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State-building and primitive accumulation in Solomon Islands: The unintended consequences of risk mitigation at the frontiers of global capitalist expansion

Hameiri, S. (2014) State-building and primitive accumulation in Solomon Islands: The unintended consequences of risk mitigation at the frontiers of global capitalist expansion. In: Carroll, T. and Jarvis, D.S.L., (eds.) The Politics of Marketising Asia. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 101-117.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137001672_5
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Abstract

Primitive accumulation — the, often forced, separation of direct producers from their means of production and their subsequent proletarianisation — has concerned political economists since Karl Marx’s days. In Marx’s understanding, primitive accumulation was a nasty, though necessary, precondition to capitalist development in that it created private property where none had previously existed. It also, however, created the working class, which Marx saw as the progressive agent of historical transformation to socialism. Nevertheless, his analysis of capitalism’s often violent origins challenged many of the political economists of his time who imagined the world around them to be a kind of benign, Lockean “state of nature”. More recently, partly due to David Harvey’s (2003) reinterpretation of primitive accumulation as “accumulation by dispossession”, the term has found new significance (Glassman 2006). The novelty of Harvey’s argument has been to use the concept not only in relation to the shift from pre-capitalist to capitalist societies, but to also describe processes occurring today in the world’s advanced capitalist states, where capitalism has supposedly shifted beyond the primitive accumulation stage. Harvey teaches us that primitive accumulation is not a historic relic but an intrinsic part of capitalist development. But the increasing integration of capitalism on a global scale (see Cammack, this volume, Chapter 2) raises interesting questions regarding the form primitive accumulation assumes in peripheral settings on the frontiers of capitalist expansion (a significant theme of this volume).

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/39265
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