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The War against the Commons: Dispossession and Resistance in the Making of Capitalism

The War Against the Commons: Dispossession and Resistance in the Making of Capitalism

A unique historical account of poor peoples’ self-defence strategies in the face of the plunder of their lands and labor
Stay tuned for 2023

For five centuries, the development of capitalism has been inextricably connected to the expropriation of working people from the land they depended on for subsistence. Through ruling class assaults known as enclosures or clearances, shared common land became privately-owned capital, and peasant farmers became propertyless laborers who could only survive by working for the owners of land or capital.

As Ian Angus documents in The War Against the Commons, mass opposition to dispossession has never ceased. His dramatic account provides new insights into

Indonesian sulfur miner carrying their 90-kg-load of sulfur from the floor of the volcano to crater rim

Mining Capital and the Indonesian State

Arianto Sangadji traces the relationship between the state and mining capital in Indonesia throughout the historical capitalist development of the country from Dutch colonialism to the contemporary practices of multinational mining corporations. While these powerful firms have generated significant profits, they are also associated with dispossession, environmental degradation, and ruthless labor exploitation, spurring resistance from the local populations. | more…

Washington's New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective

Washington’s New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective

As the American people delude themselves once more into thinking of the United States as a liberating force for peace in the world, Waging a New Cold War invites us, instead, to think for ourselves. Behind the scenes the plans to wage war have been laid—either by proxy, as in Ukraine, or directly, against the U.S.’s old twentieth-century foes. Waging a New Cold War: A Socialist Perspective makes a strong case that, as the official story is laid out by government propagandists, and as the mainstream media provides cover, the aim of this latest set of American military escapades remains the same as ever: Maintenance of U.S hegemony in the global financial system. Foregrounded with an introduction by Vijay Prashad, this cogent collaboration puts forth three essays that illustrate clearly that, while the Cold War against the Soviet Union ended, the “cold war” against the “enemies” of the United States did not. Furthermore, its authors lay out evidence that the U.S. establishment has been willing to risk nuclear winter—in other words, mutual annihilation—to hold onto economic primacy. And they show that, while Russia and China can each be criticized, justifiably, for their violations of human life and dignity, neither, on its own, threatens the eruption of a Third World War and the end of the human race as we know it. Just in time, we have in our hands an intelligent text that strengthens our struggle against the cynical machinations of the American military behemoth and its propaganda machine. | more…

A flag with the Women's Strike logo at the Krakow Equality March

What Comes after a Cycle of Protests? The Case of the 2020 Women’s Protests in Poland

Two years after the peak of the 2020 street protests for reproductive rights in Poland, Magdalena Muszel and Grzegorz Piotrowski explore the movement’s effects on Polish society. Despite the dissipating energy of the participants and continued intransigence of most major parties, this cycle of protests shifted the values and political preferences of specific gender and age groups, as well as affecting the common perception of protest movements in Poland. | more…

In the Mir (1893)

Marx and Engels and Russia’s Peasant Communes

In the past and in his own time, Marx has been portrayed as endorsing the enclosure of the commons as a necessary historical stage on the path to socialism. However, a more accurate account, one that is critical of the enclosure movement, can be found in his response to the destruction of commons-based peasant communities in Russia—while it was actually happening. | more…

"GOELRO Plan" poster (part of the triptych), by Alexander Lemeshchenko

Some Lessons on Planning for the Twenty-First Century from the World’s First Socialist Economy

The Soviet Union’s efforts at centralized economic planning suffered greatly by neglecting to integrate cybernetics into a comprehensive model. Today, this cybernetic approach to economic planning is still blocked. The time has come to implement alternative planning in the form of an automated model that coordinates the activities of all industries and sectors of toward a prosperous and sustainable future. | more…

Brigadistas!

!Brigadistas! An American Anti-Fascist in the Spanish Civil War

In this exhilarating graphic novel about the Spanish Civil War, three American friends set off from Brooklyn to join in the fightdetermined to make Spain “the tomb of fascism” for the sake of us all. Together they defy the U.S. government and join the legendary Abraham Lincoln Brigade, throw themselves into battle, and conduct sabotage missions behind enemy lines. As Spain is shattered by the savagery of combat during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), readers see the darkening clouds of the World War to come. | more…