International Viewpoint: The Dispossessed

Bensaïd’s essay, as contextualized in this volume by Nichols, successfully pushes, especially those of a Marxist orientation, to make the idea of dispossession more central to their theoretical and practical work.

Excavating Marx’s early writings to rethink the rights of the poor and the idea of the commons in an era of unprecedented privatization

In an important sense, although his introduction takes up less than a third of the volume, this text belongs more to Nichols than to Bensaïd or Marx. Specifically, he reads the two principle parts of the collection through a conceptual lens which he regards as crucial for understanding our own time, which he calls the ‘crisis of kleptocracy’ (viii). In addition to providing his own commentary on these texts, Nichols provides a helpful, though brief, overview of Bensaïd’s life and works emphasizing both the connection of theory to practice as well as Bensaïd’s evolution over time.

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