Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility
The Problem of “Excessive” Movement
This chapter focuses on the colonial and classed facets of the configuration of bodies in motion. Through a reading in Locke, Hobbes, and Plato it shows how freedom of movement was given within a classed, racialized and gendered framework wherein only restrained movement (presumably limited to white, middle class, European men) was taken to represent freedom. The chapter’s main argument is that some patterns of movement were constantly produced as unruly in order to exclude some people from the framework of universalism. This analysis is done via examining the role the “savages” of America played in liberal theories of subjectivity. Since they were presumably nomadic and lacking property, the argument is also tied to an analysis of enclosure and the status of the poor in Europe (who were often conceived as vagrants). In both cases, the chapter works via the metaphor of fences, to propose a critique of liberal universalism.