Several Robinsinades are coming soon.
But folks seem a bit confused about which Daniel Defoe to get into right now. As the world splutters towards total collapse, I mean, do you read his notes on the plague year first, or go for a refresher course on self-isolation in Robinson?
I’ve articles in the works on this, and have been translating an excellent essay from German on Crusoe/Croix/Kreutznaer/Kreutzer by Wulf Hund. But today, recognizing the new viral potency of the Crusoe effect, I am stumbling through a new version. We are all Robbo now.
There are few better descriptions of colonial extraction than this one where Marx eviscerates the Brits in India. He was on the case right till the end, in this case just before he heads off to Africa. Here is part of the letter to Danielson, in case you have not looked at it in a while:
In India serious complications, if not a general outbreak, is in store for the British government. What the English take from them annually in the form of rent, dividends for railways useless to the Hindus; pensions for military and civil service men, for Afghanistan and other wars, etc., etc. – what they take from them without any equivalent and quite apart from what they appropriate to themselves annually within India, speaking only of the value of the commodities the Indians have gratuitously and annually to send over to England – it amounts to more than the total sum of income of the sixty millions of agricultural and industrial labourers of India! This is a bleeding process, with a vengeance!
Marx, Letter to Nikolai Danielson
London, February 19, 1881
See here for Marx in Calcutta
I confess to ill-discipline at times, I think I enjoyed this anime from China far too much – on the 200th birth anniversary, so a bit dated, but its epic :
After some time, and somewhat shorter (tighter) edited to be less of a devotional prayer for Thorstein Bunde Veblen, this piece – The Pecuniary Animus of the University – is out with Education Philosophy and Theory. Look out for more soon.
Thanks to the many who helped get this together with good advice, critique and suggestions. Its taken a while, but all to the good.
This just in from Taylor & Francis. I comply, with a wink and a nod, but email if the 50 run out and I will work out a way…
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Somewhere I have a photograph of a piece of graffiti from Kolkata in the early 1990s. It shows three palms behind a brick wall on which is painted “Like the two Germany’s Bengal should be reunited”. (Cannot find it right now but will post it when I do).Of course, there is other news from India today, tragic violence in Delhi, a buffoon invited a buffoon to address 100,000 and other atrocities, but the good news was buried on page 6 as usual, and yes I know that is not what this railways initiative means, but 150 metres of track to go sounds like a useful development (for the record, the first partition of Bengal was proposed in 1905 and resisted, the second in 1947 we call partition and it was brutal, with ongoing effects, not least on the Jute Industry which lurched from collapse to collapse). Now this minor item of return.
From the telegraph today 22 Feb 2020
Is it the wrong time to say Make Bengal Great Again, and get some hats?
Of course, there already is a hat – but it is from Cincinnati…