Karl Marx Unpack Surrogacy

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HEALTH- I COMMERCIAL SURROGACY: AUTONOMOUS CHOICE OR EXPLOITED LABOUR? Abstract- In this paper, I will attempt to unpack Surrogacy, while simultaneously critiquing the exploitation which the private clinics are involved in. First I will underline the reasons which have enabled the commercial surrogacy to grow in the contemporary Indian context. Secondly, I will try to question the Liberal Feminist stand of Surrogacy as an ‘autonomous choice’. Thirdly, I will try and explain the way through which a surrogate’s labour is exploited and finally by taking up Marx’s idea of ‘Alienated Labour’, I will try to explain the alienation labour performed by a surrogate mother. In a Patriarchal and Patrilineal structure,…show more content…
In "Commodity Fetishism" , Marx argues that real social relations within a Capitalist Society are garbed under the presence of commodities. Commodities form an intrinsic and vital part of the capitalist society than the human labor. Marx explains that human labor gives value to the product but it appears as if the value results from the nature of the products. Within the capitalist society, value is attached to the commodity itself and no attention is paid towards the labor doled out to produce that commodity. Through his analysis, Marx explains that how a worker feels alienated from the commodity that she produces. The worker has no control or agency over the product that she produces, she is disconnected from her own labor. Marx posits that a commodity is viewed only in terms of a final product while the processes through which it underwent remains veiled and, therefore, disregarded. A commodity’s value is achieved only in terms of ‘exchange’ in the market. Therefore, the exchange value is based on the human activity under particular historical and social conditions. The worker in a capitalist society sells the labor, hence getting a small return, the capitalist on the other hand sells the commodity and gets a greater return. The worker in this process has neither control over his product nor any agency. A surrogate, like a worker in a factory, has no control and agency over her ‘product’. Her labour too like that of a worker is ‘alienated’ because of the fact of relinquishment. Private clinics in a capitalist society, which supposedly are in charge of the entire process negate and exploit the labour put in by the surrogate mother simultaneously obtaining the entire profit. Because of the lack of legal intervention, the amount of compensation received by the surrogate remains extremely
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