looting

Peter Linebaugh is always good value. And here he is with a brief article entitled “Once Looting was the Pay of Imperial Soldiers” (via wood s lot). A snippet:

In Zora Neale Hurston’s great flood novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the people become a chorus to the events of the mighty. “It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. The sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.” This helps explain why Bush could not visit the Convention Center or the Superdome. Tens of thousands sit in judgment.

The history of New Orleans is a history of class war; and class war brings out the actualities in the potential of communism: the thirsty do not ask permission to take a drink, nor the hungry food. Is it the new society? Of course not. But it could be; this is self-activity. The ruling class does all it can to prevent it from happening.

Now go and read The London Hanged, which has much to say about pilfering, custom, and criminality. Then read The Many-Headed Hydra, which is among other things a book about pirates. I hear the Beacon Press paperback has some fantastic blurb.

[Update: thanks to s0metim3s, a link to “Get Off the Fucking Freeway”, from MetaMute.]

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