Drawing upon Indigenous peoples' struggles against settler colonialism, Theft is Property! reconstructs the concept of dispossession as a means of explaining how shifting configurations of law, property, race, and rights have functioned as modes of governance, both historically and in the present. Through close analysis of arguments by Indigenous scholars and activists from the nineteenth century to the present, Robert Nichols argues that dispossession has come to name a unique recursive process whereby systematic theft is the mechanism by which property relations are generated. In so doing, Nichols also brings longstanding debates in anarchist, Black radical, feminist, Marxist, and postcolonial thought into direct conversation with the frequently overlooked intellectual contributions of Indigenous peoples.
“Theft is Property! is an intellectually riveting and necessary critical consideration of the genealogy of dispossession as it is used to different ends by Indigenous scholars and activists and within Marxist critiques of capitalism and labor. Its emphasis on the normativity of dispossession as a recursive theft into property formation that explains the structural formation of settler colonialism will be a central text in shaping discussions around why indigenous critique matters beyond identity politics.”
Jodi A. Byrd, author of
The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism