[OPE-L] Primitive Accumulation Returns to Ithaca

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2007 - 21:32:20 EDT

 |  "Between Primitive Accumulation and the New Enclosures," Ithaca,
       New York, March 30-31, 2007
 |  http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=07/03/22/2040241

 "Between Primitive Accumulation and the New Enclosures"
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, March 30-31, 2007

 Friday, March 30
A.D. White House, Guerlac Room

"Primitive Accumulation" as "Accumulation by Dispossession": An Introduction

 Saturday, March 31
Multipurpose Room, Africana Studies and Research Center10:00-12:00
"Neoliberalism, Neocolonialism, and the New Enclosures: The Case of Africa"

"War is the health of the state": Afflicted Powers, September 11, and the
Need for Anarchist Analysis

 "Modernity is many things. Secularization is one of them, and speed-up, and
the cult of technics, and disenchantment of the world, and false orientation
to the future. But right at the heart of capitalist modernity, we would
argue, has been a process of endless enclosure. The great work of the past
half-millennium was the cutting-off of the world's natural and human
resources from common use. Land, water, the fruits of the forest, the spaces
of custom and communal negotiation, the mineral substrate, the life of
rivers and oceans, the very airwaves-capitalism has depended, and still
depends, on more and more of these shared properties being shared no longer,
whatever the violence or absurdity involved in converting the stuff of
humanity into this or that item for sale. Enclosure seems to us the best
word for the process's overall logic." - Retort, Afflicted Powers: Capital
and Spectacle in a New Age of War

 "These New Enclosures . . . name the large-scale reorganization of the
accumulation process which has been underway since the mid-1970s. The main
objective of this process has been to uproot workers from the terrain on
which their organizational power has been built, so that, like the African
slaves transplanted to the Americas, they are forced to work and fight in a
strange environment where the forms of resistance possible at home are no
longer available. . . Thus, once again, as at the dawn of capitalism, the
physiognomy of the world proletariat is that of the pauper, the vagabond,
the criminal, the panhandler, the street peddler, the refugee sweatshop
worker, the mercenary, the rioter." - Midnight Notes Collective, The New
The conference will gather four outstanding thinkers within the field of
analysis that both relies on and extends Marx's disquisition in Capital
(Volume 1) on what he calls "primitive accumulation." This process of the
assertion of the right of private property over land that was previously
held in common, that is, of enclosure, has in recent years been understood
to continue to extend its reach globally and in ways that Marx could not
have anticipated. The participants in the conference, mainstays of the
Midnight Notes Collective and the Retort group, are among the most
significant contributors to a theory and historiography of the New
Enclosures, and to interventions aimed at recovering the commons. Iain Boal,
George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, and Peter Linebaugh will join us. A
reader gathering material pertinent to the conference will be available
(contact Barry Maxwell).
Sponsors: Society for the Humanities; Institute for German Cultural Studies;
Future of Minority Studies Research Project; MITWS (Minority, Indigenous,
and Third World Studies Research Group); Africana Studies and Research
Center; Ethics and Public Life Program; Anthropology; Asian American
Studies; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; English.

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