Scramble for land: paths of resistance

August 12, 2012

This is the second of two linked posts, by Steve Drury. The first one is HERE.

To think about resistance to “land grabbing” and the way to develop socialist thinking on land, it is worth considering historical analogies. The twenty-first century global land rush by capital brings to mind the crushing of the British peasantry, from medieval times to the nineteenth century, by Enclosure of the common land on which they largely depended for subsistence.

The March for Justice, for land rights in India

Moreover, land speculation creates the conditions for stepping back to the worst form of feudal serfdom, where former small peasants lose what tenancy to land they once had, work exclusively for the new landlord and survive at that landlord’s whim. Such semi-slavery is the source of the highest possible rate of profit from agriculture apart from fully-fledged slavery.

With the modern emphasis on mechanised agriculture, another analogy is the Clearances of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in Scotland and Ireland especially, that simply expelled entire populations in the interests of Read the rest of this entry »

Scramble for land: a continent up for sale

August 12, 2012

This is the first of two linked posts, by Steve Drury. The second one is HERE.

The global land grab now in progress is being touted by international agencies as the way to improve food security for people in the least developed countries. But the reality is that small farmers are being forced from the land, opportunities to raise small-farm productivity are being squandered, and class divisions deepened. The World Bank, through its private sector arm the Read the rest of this entry »

Support Pussy Riot by all means. But support the Kazakh oil workers too

August 9, 2012

A court in Mangistau, western Kazakhstan, has rejected appeals by 12 oil workers against prison sentences ranging from two to six years, imposed for their part in last year’s strikes.

One activist, Roza Tuletaeva, had her sentence cut from seven years to five – but her family fear this is part of a campaign to force her to give evidence against political oppositionists in an upcoming trial. Threats against Tuletaeva’s children by the KNB security service have made her suicidal, they warn. Read the rest of this entry »

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