Archive for the 'enclosures' Category

Indian farmers against export processing zones

Monday, May 12th, 2008

I do not know what happened since last year, when the news came out of Indian farmers refusing to sell their land in order to develop export processing zones and thus forcing the government to do a U turn. In any case, this is an interesting piece of news here

The capitalist use of a hurricane and the struggles against enclosure of public housing

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

video_button_white_dred.gifThis short film surveys the tactics used by the city administration of New Orleans, to try to get “affordable” housing tenants out of their houses, so as to “regenerate” them for money making. It also shows some of the struggles of the tenants to stay in. They have other types of “regeneration” in mind. A clear case of value struggles.

The other oil shock

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

palmoil.jpgThis good article from the International Herald Tribune links it all: peak oil and biofuel, planterary urbanization and growth in meat consumption for middle classes, increase in food prices, especially hurting the poor, and spreading food riots across the globe.

The other oil shock: Vegetable oil prices soar (more…)

Aquaculture and cancer

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

fishfarming.jpgvideo_button_white_dred.gifThis article from the International Herald Tribune argues that Chinese fish farmers face polluted waters. There are 10 million fish farmers in China who produce for both domestic and export markets. Much of Chinese fish export goes to Japan and East Asia, followed by USA and Europe. 70% of world farmed seafood comes from China, mostly grown inland. So much is the intensity of aquaculture along the coast of China, that not only fish farming pollutes fresh water sources and the surrounding land (a classical example of modern enclosures for the traditional peasantry and local communities — not discussed by this article) but fish farmers are polluting each other ponds. The pollutants of fish and shrimp exports are linked to cancer. Look at this video from The New York Times which pictures fish farmers working in their surrounding, and discusses the reasons why Chinese fish exports are polluted. The colour of the water in these video clips is not the most attractive! Also, check this slide show always from the New York Times for a visual ideaof the work involved in fish farming.

Enclosures, Oil and the Junta

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

This is a clip from the new film “total denial” interviewing villagers in Burma and documenting oil companies collusion with military junta. Yet another story of modern enclosures, and capital’s accumulation. Interesting exhange between Chevron’s attorney and Californian Judge. “Chevron is one of the largest foreign investors in Burma and is the only remaining major U.S. corporation with a significant presence there. In 2005, Chevron bought the company Unocal weeks after the latter settled a lawsuit accusing it of assisting the Burmese military junta in the torture, murder and rape of villagers during construction of a pipeline.” See Democracy Now

Magna Carta and the commons

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

magnacarta.jpgHere is Peter Linabough keynote at the crisis of the californian conference held in Berkeley on 27 and 29 April 2007. For more audio material see here. Peter Linabough has just finished a book on that treaty of the class war that was the Magna Carta. For a short article on the matter, see here. This laid back and passionate talk tell us how the recent anti-terrorist laws are cutting bak on that original deal and help us to see the struggles for commons through the letters of the law.

Microcredit, enclosures, commons

Monday, December 18th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is an extract of a debate on microcredit broadcasted by Democracy Now! (13 December - go here for full coverage in real player) between Susan Davis, founder and chair of the Grameen Foundation, and Vandana Shiva. The occasion was the Nobel Peace price acceptance speech made by the founder of Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus. The Commoner has already pusblished a critique of Grameen Bank with the article by George Caffentzis titled Varieties of Bancocide: Left and Right Critiques of the World Bank and IMF, linking microcredit to IMF and World Bank policies.

The debate here extracted is not only informative, it is also enlightening of the gap we have to overcome in our critical discourses. Susan Davis and Vandana Shiva epitomise here two opposite ways to deal with “poverty” and “development”. Susan Davis, in a business like fashion, (more…)

Global warming and indigenous survival: the Inuit

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifAn extract from a talk by Sheila Watt-Cloutier of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference at a Internation Forum on Globalisation teach in few days ago (taken here from Democracy Now of 23 November). She is making the very simple, but essential point, that global warming is not so much about the “environment”, but about people and communities whose livelihoods and ways of life are threatened by it. People like the Inuit, whose cultural tradition of hunting and sharing food across the artic are threatened by the effects of the global system of capitalist production. The speaker gives us some interesting insights on how the life of the Inuit depends on the ice sea, which is the main “hightway” for transportation as well as the “supermarket” from which food is obtained. Global warming here clearly appears here as a context of enclosures, and I could not avoid to think that as for the Inuit it represent an opportunity to struggle, for capital it represents an opporunity to replace the “supermarket” of the ice sea with new Wall Marts or Tescos wherever they think to relocate the Inuit once the see ice has melt.

Enclosures’ terrifying fragility

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a short clip from Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, The Wrath of God, a 1972 film set in the mid-16th Century, and telling the story of Don Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), ‘the wrath of god’ who, consumed with visions of conquering all of South America, leads his own army down a river battling with starvation, Indians, nature and each other. The character shown in this clip is the “emperor to be” of the not-yet conquered land. He is seen here leaving the latrine on the raft just seconds before sitting at a table, making a pompous pronouncement about him taking owneship of the surrounding land, and then signing a dirty piece of paper, the evident proof of his newly acquired property. I love this clip! It captures a moment of the institutionalisation of enclosures, and reveals it so damned fragile and almost fortuitos, a fragility underlined by Aguirre’s subtle comment to the emperor-to-be. Yes we know of course, behind this fragility of the moment of acquisition, there is the long social process that keeps acquisition in its place and turn it into a continuous precondition to capital. The characters of the film are not lucky however, and will all perish doomed by their own obsessions.

On the “tragedy of the commons” (that is, the tragedy of commons without communities)

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

tragedy-of-the-commons.jpgThe recent version of the “tragedy of the commons” argument was put forward by Garret Hardin in 1968 in the journal Science. The core of the argument, is that commons are incentive and distribution arrangements that inevitably result in environmental degradation and generally resource depletion. This because the commons are understood as resources for which there is “free” and “unmanaged” access. In this framework, no one has an obligation to take care of commons. In societies in which commons are prevalent, Hardin argues, people live by the principle: ‘to each according to his needs’ formulated by Marx in his Critique of the Gotha program. By assuming that commons are a free for all space from which competing and atomized “economic men” take as much as they can, Hardin has engineered a justification for privatization of the commons space rooted in an alleged natural necessity. Hardin forgets that there is no common without community within which the modalities of access to common resources are negotiated. (more…)