Since the earliest development of states, groups of people escaped or were exiled. As capitalism developed, people tried to escape capitalist constraints connected with state control. This powerful book gives voice to three communities living at the edges of capitalism: Cossacks on the Don River in Russia; Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico; and prisoners in long-term isolation since the 1970s. Inspired by their experiences visiting Cossacks, living with the Zapatistas, and developing connections and relationships with prisoners and ex-prisoners, Andrej Grubacic and Denis O’Hearn present a uniquely sweeping, historical, and systematic study of exilic communities engaged in mutual aid.
Following the tradition of Peter Kropotkin, Pierre Clastres, James Scott, Fernand Braudel and Imanuel Wallerstein, this study examines the full historical and contemporary possibilities for establishing self-governing communities at the edges of the capitalist world-system, considering the historical forces that often militate against those who try to practice mutual aid in the face of state power and capitalist incursion.
Andrej Grubacic is Professor of Anthropology and Social Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author of Wobblies and Zapatistas and Don't Mourn, Balkanize!
Denis O’Hearn is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the author of Inside the Celtic Tiger: The Irish Economy and the Asian Model; The Atlantic Economy: Britain, the US, and Ireland; and Nothing But an Unfinished Song: Bobby Sands, the Irish Hunger Striker Who Ignited a Generation, among other titles.
“This is an exciting book, and a very useful—one might even argue, long overdue—addition to the literature on both world-systems and forms of rebellion.”—David Graeber, author of The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy
“This is a very worthwhile project, and it will surely find an enthusiastic and influential audience among the growing throng of readers interested in margins, borders, frontiers, and their meaning for the future of capitalism and the nation state.”—James C. Scott, author of Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play
“Living at the Edges of Capitalism is a clear, well-structured, and interesting book. It considers itself justly as an example of emancipatory scholarship, and it seeks to intervene in debates inspired by the alter-globalization movements and the Occupy movements.”—Peter Linebaugh, author of Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance
“As a major shift is occurring, internationally, in radical politics from wage struggle or direct confrontation with the state to new forms of resistance, operating outside the logic of state and market, a book like this makes an important contribution to the social sciences as well as to radical politics.”—Silvia Federici, author of Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle
“Offering work of a comparative global analysis of spaces and historical experiences, Grubacic and O’Hearn raise provocative questions about the centrality of exilic space-making within the formation of global capitalism.”—Dylan Rodriguez, Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside