Andreas Malm introduces Verso’s new free ebook, Property Will Cost Us the Earth

“There can be only one accurate description of the situation: out of control.”

Andreas Malm

Andreas Malm’s book How to Blow Up a Pipeline, with its call for the environmental movement to start sabotaging fossil fuel infrastructure to save our planet, has sparked a vibrant discussion on the left about direct action tactics and eco-sabotage to address the climate crisis.

Verso has put together a free, downloadable ebook, Property Will Cost Us the Earth, of essays from activists and writers around the world grappling with the idea of direct action and eco-sabotage, survey climate activism around the world, and argue for the necessity of building a fighting global movement against capitalism and its fossil fuel regime.

Moving from Mozambique, the Niger Delta, and the coal mines of India to the forests of Ecuador and the watersheds of North America, Property Will Cost Us the Earth details the global scale of climate devastation as well as active struggles around the world to halt further extraction. From this come tactical and strategic questions: how can local direct actions relate to political work forcing states to end reliance on oil, coal, and gas? What kind of protest movement can we build that reflects the urgency of our moment? What does a direct action–based movement require from those on the frontlines of struggle?

With contributions from: Alyssa Battistoni, James Butler, João Camargo, Jen Deerinwater, Ben Ehrenreich, Madeline ffitch, Frente Nacional Anti-Minero (Ecuador), Bue Rübner Hansen, Siihasin Hope, Tara Houska, Jessie Kindig, Benjamin Kunkel, Anabela Lemos and Erika Mendes from Justiça Ambiental! (Mozambique), Andreas Malm, M.O.T.H. Collective, Vanessa Nakate and Amy Goodman, Brototi Roy, Andrea Sempértegui, Richard Seymour, and Adam Tooze.

Andreas Malm’s introduction is reprinted below.

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From Feudalism to Capitalism

Social and Political Change in Castile and Western Europe, 1250–1520

Series: Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume: 252

Author: Carlos Astarita Translator: David Broder

BRILL

Cover From Feudalism to Capitalism

Carlos Astarita’s From Feudalism to Capitalism: Social and Political Change in Castile and Western Europe, 1250–1520 presents for an English-speaking readership a major intervention in a number of debates in Marxist historiography. The work has four thematic nuclei: the socio-political evolution that led to the feudal state, the genesis of capitalist rural production, the class struggle and the relationship of these factors with the commercial flow between regions. Received interpretations are revaluated through a series of original case studies that greatly enrich our understanding of theoretical terms, and suggest new interpretations of the absolutist state, the temporal validity of the law of value and the origins of capitalism.

This book was originally published in Spanish as Del feudalismo al capitalismo/i> by Publicacions Universitat de València (PUV), 2005, 978-84-370-6206-8.

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DISCUSSIONS ON PANDEMICS

The Pandemic Bookshelf Grows

Tilli Tansey

Nature | December 18, 2020

Cemetery workers in full PPE (personal protective equipment) bury a victim of COVID-19 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Cemetery workers wear personal protective equipment to prepare graves for those who have died from COVID-19 in Juárez, Mexico.Credit: Mario Tama/Getty

The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread — and Why They Stop Adam Kucharski Wellcome Collection (2020)

COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One Debora Mackenzie Hachette (2020)

Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live Nicholas A. Christakis Little, Brown Spark (2020)

Understanding Coronavirus Raul Rabadan Cambridge University Press (2020)

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My Love Affair With Books: Self-Education From Greaseball to Street Intellectual – Part II 1989- 2017

by Bruce Lerro

Between the worlds

Throughout all my formal studies, I continued to be an artist model and it wasn’t until I began teaching in college that the paths of teaching and modelling crossed in irreconcilable ways. My first teaching gig was at New College of California in 1988, teaching Soviet Personality Theory, a course that I made up. About the second week I was teaching there the booking secretary of the Model’s Guild offered me a modelling job in the New College Art Department. The possibility of students in an art class turning up in my Soviet Personality Theory class was not a prospect I wanted to consider. At that point I realized that I was at the end of the line of my modelling life. From that point on, while I was expanding my part-time teaching work, I also took part-time work as a psychological counselor, working in halfway houses for two years. Throughout it all I continued to read about two hours a day, come hell or high water.Read More »

U.S: Books Are Everything – Which Must Be Why New York Prisons Want To Ban Most of ‘Em Except Bibles and Coloring Books

by 

Common Dreams | January 10, 2018

New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in its enlightened wisdom has launched a pilot program drastically limiting books, fresh produce and other inmate care packages to six approved vendors selected by the department and listed on its website. Two of the vendors are mail-order companies selling sneakers and electronics, and two more will be added soon. As of December, Directive 4911A is in effect at Greene, Green Haven, and Taconic correctional facilities. If the new rule is deemed a success, the restrictions will be extended to all New York prisons. When DOCCS announced the initiative last March, it said its goal was to “maintain an efficient operation” and “enhance the safety and security” of prisons – aka to stop drugs, cell phones and other contraband from being smuggled in, presumably via novels and oranges. Members of PEN and prisoner advocate groups like Critical Resistance say the rule “appears to have no reasonable basis.”

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Unpacking a Library: Babasaheb Ambedkar and His World of Books

by 

The Wire | October 29, 2017

People scatter rose petals in front of a portrait of B.R. Ambedkar. Credit: Reuters

People scatter rose petals in front of a portrait of B.R. Ambedkar. Credit: Reuters

This last month marks the solemn occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar embracing Buddhism, along with lakhs of people, drawn to his vision. The Buddhism that Ambedkar made his own was described and argued in The Buddha and His Dhamma, a complex, layered text, which brought together his multiple and intersecting concerns: his commitment to a life of the mind, and his passion for bringing together knowledge and ethics, to leaven the claims of pradnya with those of sila; his desire for and commitment to fraternity, to maitri, or social fellowship, which, in his lexicon, was ‘greater than karuna’ (compassion); and the struggles that he and his fellow Dalits and other democratically minded opponents of the caste order waged to bring forth a more just and beautiful world, and one animated by sadhamma.Read More »