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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
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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

Crypto Winter

Crypto Convulsions, Digital Delusions, and the Inexorable Logic of Finance Capitalism

The crypto winter, Ramaa Vasudevan writes, is here. Cryptocurrency, far from being a democratizing force in finance, has led to only further concentrations of wealth and power and increased precarity within the financial sector. The recent fall of Sam Bankman-Fried is only the beginning. | more…

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…

Smokestacks in Garneau, Edmonton, Alberta

Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Other “-Cenes”: Why a Correct Understanding of Marx’s Theory of Value Is Necessary to Leave the Planetary Crisis

The perception that we are living in a critical historical period regarding the conditions of habitability on Earth—not only for humans but for many other living organisms too—is gaining more and more adepts among common people, academics, politicians, and social movements. This critical period has been typified as the planetary crisis of the Anthropocene Epoch and studies undertaken in the present century show that habitability on Earth is progressively deteriorating. | more…

Photograph of journal bindings in an anthropology library, showing the transition where Eugenics Quarterly was renamed to Social Biology in 1969

Intelligence Under Racial Capitalism: From Eugenics to Standardized Testing and Online Learning

From the era of overt eugenic research to the present-day education system, the attempts to categorize and rank individuals’ “intelligence” through testing and statistics reflects and reinforces the power of racist, capitalist, and imperialist institutions. | more…

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Over the last 11,700 years, during which human civilization developed, the earth has existed within what geologists refer to as the Holocene Epoch. Now science is telling us that the Holocene Epoch in the geological time scale ended, replaced by a new more dangerous Anthropocene Epoch, which began around 1950. The onset of the Anthropocene Epoch is characterized by an “anthropogenic rift” in the biological cycles of the Earth System, marking a changed reality in which human activities are now the main geological force impacting the earth as a whole, generating at the same time an existential crisis for the world’s population. | more…

Climate Justice

Socialism and Ecological Survival: An Introduction

Time is running out for humanity to avoid a catastrophic planetary tipping point. Widespread mass mobilizations of populations worldwide must fight to bring about revolutionary societal changes and dismantle neoliberal monopoly capitalism, with its reliance on extractive exploitation of our planet’s resources and communities. | more…

Chicago Climate Justice activists protesting cap and trade legislation at the intersection of LaSalle & Adams in Chicago Loop (November 30, 2008)

Climate Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

Climate imperialism has emerged as a new—and potentially even the most lethal—form of imperialism in the world economy today. Confronting it requires recognizing and dealing with all its different aspects. But it also requires addressing the monopolies of knowledge created by the global regime of intellectual property rights that has been instituted and cemented by hegemonic world powers. | more…

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle

For most economists, labor is simply a commodity, bought and sold in markets like any other – and what happens after that is not their concern. Individual prospective workers offer their services to individual employers, each acting solely out of self-interest and facing each other as equals. The forces of demand and supply operate so that there is neither a shortage nor a surplus of labor, and, in theory, workers and bosses achieve their respective ends. Michael D. Yates, in Work Work Work: Labor, Alienation, and Class Struggle, offers a vastly different take on the nature of the labor market. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 74, Number 2 (June 2022)

June 2022 (Volume 74, Number 2)

Time is running out for the world to carry out the social transformations necessary to avert irreversible climate catastrophe, keeping the increase in global average temperatures below 1.5°C (or below 2°C). The most optimistic scenario currently provided by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes a pathway in which the increase in temperature will not rise to 1.5°C until 2040, peaking at 1.6°C, and then falling back to 1.4°C by the end of this century. But to achieve this will require revolutionary scale transformational change in global social relations affecting the human relation to the climate and the planetary environment as a whole. | more…