Juan Carlos Sánchez-Antonio
Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, México


This article deals with the relation between thanatopolitics, capitalism, and epistemic racism in the ‘colonial world of death’ that enslaved, exploited, and murdered millions of Black and Indigenous women and men as a preponderant condition for the original accumulation of capital in the 15th century in the Americas. We argue that thanatopolitics is a device producing death that made possible not only establishing slavery as a form of unpaid work, but also as a condition of possibility for the original accumulation by an emerging capitalism, as well as fostering a racist necro-epistemology forged against the light of the colonial experience to cover up and guarantee the continuity of capital. At the end, we argue in favor of the need to overcome thanatopolitical capitalism and its necro-epistemology by drawing from an inter-epistemic construction of a new environmentally-friendly equivalent production system and a new environmental rationale favoring life.

Keywords: original accumulation, modernity, coloniality, exploitation, biopolitics.