Good book on the enclosures (both in UK and throughout Europe)

Submitted by autogestión on March 2, 2021


Can anyone recommend any good history books on the enclosures? I was reading an account of this in Jason Hickel's book on degrowth, and wanted to learn more. I never quite realised the extent of the death, destruction of communities, armed conflict etc. that was involved in the process. It's an area of history that seems to be completely glossed over in standard education.



2 years 9 months ago

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Submitted by adri on March 5, 2021

Not an answer to the question but I came across the ideas of "degrowth" recently, and I think it's a bit naive to think you can have a capitalism detached from growth. I mean if capitalist A is competing against B then A will need to throw whatever surplus back into production to expand/grow their enterprise to crush B, so growth is inherent to capitalist competition. It's really an issue of capitalist social relations than some "over-emphasis" on growth. Capitalism creates entire industries whose sole existence is profit-making (and which also create jobs, etc.) and that would never exist under other social arrangements. In a post-capitalist society "excessive growth" wouldn't be an issue, since people would be at the helm of their relations with one another, rather than being dominated by capitalist social relations. I'd recommend maybe Foster (of Monthly Review) or Out of the Woods for anti-capitalist ecological writings.


2 years 9 months ago

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Submitted by autogestión on March 6, 2021

I haven't finished the book, but he does seem to be saying that capitalism is incompatible with degrowth. What exactly that amounts to depends on his account of capitalism and what post-capitalism would look like, which I haven't got to yet.

R Totale

2 years 9 months ago

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Submitted by R Totale on March 6, 2021

The citations to this might be helpful:
It sort of feels like it must be something that either EP Thompson or Silvia Federici must cover, I imagine?
Maybe also some Christopher Hill - Liberty Against the Law, perhaps?