Before the advent of capitalism, much of humanity produced their immediate livelihoods on lands and with tools to which they either had rights of use or held as individual property. All that came to a violent end with what Marx preferred to call the "original expropriation" (often misleadingly termed "primitive accumulation"). This reading group will explore the historical roots and persistence of such crimes and the resistance they evoke by reading together Ian Angus's recently published The War Against the Commons, Peter Linebaugh's Stop Thief! and related texts.
In eight weekly sessions guided by Dan La Botz, we will look at imperialism in the long view, from the ancient world to today. We will examine the experience of imperialism and the theoretical justifications for it, as well as anti-imperialist movements and their arguments. We will look at imperialism as economic phenomenon, as political strategy, as cultural experience, and as psychological affect. We will discuss imperialism and gender and imperialism and the environment.