The Diggers – Eating in Public

Ξ June 27th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Uncategorized |

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The all-time greatest heist in the world, was the theft of the world. And the rights and autonomy of those upon it.


In responding to these contemporary developments, we find that we have to contend with something that was less of a problem during the times of the first Diggers. During their time, it was fairly clear to people that their land was being stolen, that their labour was being exploited and that nationalism, racism and sexism were being used to sow dissent amongst the motley crew of commoners, peasants, artisans and the emerging proletariat throughout the world. Today, many of the things that the Diggers fought against - private property and the nation state with its public lands - are so hegemonic that to merely question them is to open yourself up to ridicule and perhaps much, much worse.

As Audre Lorde long ago pointed out, we live in a time when we are enthralled by the very instruments used to oppress and exploit us. The enclosure of common lands has been accompanied by the enclosure of our imaginations. The notion of the goodly public space is one such instrument of colonization. The global system of national states, with its legalization of the expropriating practices of capitalists, has been, and continues to be, an integral feature of capitalist colonization. The fostering of national identities, particularly those of "oppressed nations," is seen as a sign of empowerment and eventual liberation instead of seeing such identities as the prison in which to contain us in the service of capitalist globalization. This is evident in the 'progressive' rhetoric that complains about the loss of citizens rights while remaining largely mute about the exploitation of non-citizens (or 'illegals') and/or that of people living in 'other nations' - an outcome that Oliver Cromwell himself had hoped for so many centuries ago. This is evident in both mainstream and progressive versions of nationalism around the world.

 

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