I first saw Vatamanu and Tudor's films, I was actually in the midst of re-reading Capital. I was working my way through the chapter on original or "primitive"
accumulation, which is one of the most internationalist chapters in the book because
it describes, among other things, the excesses of the colonial system. "Capital
comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt,"
Marx says, and the "rosy dawn of capital" was preceded by an epoch of
expropriation, bloody legislation, enclosure, and colonial genocide - all in the
name of lofty ideals. The state played a key role in institutionalizing this violence.
The methods of original accumulation, writes Marx, "all emply the power of
the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house
fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the
capitalist mode, and to shorten the transition." This is ultimately what
wrests briefly independent producers from their means of production and creates
a new class of "free" laborers. Marx uses the word vogelfrei,
literally "free as a bird", to describe producers who at firstown their
means of production but then become "open game" for exploitation. Here
freedom becomes the freedom to work, under relations of production that extend
a legalized, less abrasive version of that original violence. "Force is the
midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. It is itself an economic
power," Marx concludes..."
excerpt from The Wrong Version of Capital?
by David Riff, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, monographic publication
published by BAK and Post Editions, 2009.