Can There Be a People's Commons? The Significance of Rosa Luxemburg's <i>Accumulation of Capital</i>

Drucilla Cornell

in The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780823249602
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823250752 | DOI:
Can There Be a People's Commons? The Significance of Rosa Luxemburg's Accumulation of Capital

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Hannah Arendt saw that imperialism, led to the anti-political drive for infinite and thus total expansion that was one element of totalitarianism. Imperialism is also, as Rosa Luxemburg argued, the necessary engine of capitalist accumulation. Drucilla Cornell builds on Luxemburg's analysis of imperialism to help explain both the force of the capitalist economy today and also sites of resistance to it. Exploring alternative economic spaces seeking a foothold in South Africa, Cornell argues that such a living communism might be seen as a deeper form of democracy, one that not only involves decision making but also organizes the mass of the people as coproducers of a common outside … which is “ours.”

Keywords: People's Common; Hannah Arendt; Rosa Luxemburg; Accumulation of Capital; African National Congress; South Africa; Karl Marx; Communism; Apartheid; S'Bu Zikode; Nelson Mandela

Chapter.  2928 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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