"Bodies in Revolt" argues that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) could humanize capitalism by turning employers into care-givers, creating an ethic of care in the workplace. Unlike other feminists, Ruth O'Brien bases her ethics not on benevolence, but rather on self-preservation. She relies on Deleuze and Guattari's interpretation of Spinoza and Foucault's conception of corporeal resistance to show how a workplace ethic that is neither communitarian nor individualistic can be based upon the rallying cry "one for all and all for one."
O'Brien contends that, to instigate such a revolt, disability must be viewed as an integral part of life, an ever-evolving, indeed, almost universal aspect of the human condition. This recognition transforms the ADA from a narrow civil rights law into the most revolutionary labor/civil rights law that the United States has ever seen. Its employment provisions would do nothing less than undercut capitalism by making employers provide reasonable accommodations on the basis of human needs instead of profits. Accommodating one person sets precedents for all. Absent a divide between individual rights and collective action, persons with disabilities become Foucauldian agents of resistance or "bodies in revolt," undermining the standardization and dehumanization of the post-Fordist political economy.