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Raj Patel_Enclosure of the Commons               [Click graphics to watch video]

Raj Patel shows the English painting below to illustrate that the Enclosure of the Commons in England in the 13th-18th centuries was achieved by fencing off the land into private property purchased by the Lords which allowed the profitable grazing of sheep, but deprived the Commoners of the means of subsistence. There were numerous rebellions against Enclosure. Peasants who lost access to the Commons were forced to move to cities to work in the new factories or work as endentured servants. Some emigrated to America.


That Enclosure was the start of capitalism and the market economy which began by selling food as a commodity rather than using it as a means of survival. That meant then and today that people who have money can eat well and those who don't are undernourished or starve. The Enclosure (theft) of the Commons led to many problems over the last 500 years including land as commodity (real estate), materialism, division of humanity into classes (poor, middle class, rich), class warfare, white supremacy (as a distraction from class warfare), patriarchy, monogamous marriage, prostitution, witch hunts, the Inquisition, colonization, genocide, empire, slavery, capitalism, industrial revolution, massive mechanization of crafts, schools, hospitals, assembly lines, rents, wages, long working hours, prisons, courts, corporations, globalization, pollution of rivers/lakes, deforestation, destruction of soils, a billion people going hungry while there is enough food, etc.

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