“expanding pension and healthcare costs of ever greater numbers of elderly, supported fiscally by ever fewer numbers of working-age people.”
There are an infinite number of ways that the law marginalises groups of people. What is meant here by the word ‘marginalise’ is the sense that the law treats certain groups of people in particular ways: as inferior, less important, different to others, or as members of a periphery, and with the intention of forcing them into or maintaining their positions of powerlessness. In other words, if we consider the etymology of the word, these are moments that people are forced to the margo, or ‘edge’ of the law. Normally, the existence of legal obligations speaks to the way in which those within a society are bound to one another and to the law as an enforceable system of rules. This includes the myriad of national or international societies and their related laws. However, ironically, people remain bound to the law even if those legal systems exclude them; or put another way, they are included by their exclusion. The process of making such legal exclusions amounts to what Agamben might consider ‘abandonment’ by the law [1, pp. 28–29]. Rather than inclusion or complementary law, this practice reduces people to ‘bare life’ ; divorced from legal recognition and at the threshold of normalised political societies. This, according to Agamaben, has overwhelmingly become a ‘technique of government’ [2, p. 2].1 Likewise, Foucault would see legal marginalisation as a form of biopower that has taken root in modern society as ‘an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations’ [3, p. 140].