Theft Is Property!

9781478006084: Hardback
Release Date: 10th January 2020

9781478006732: Paperback
Release Date: 10th January 2020

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 240

Series Radical Américas

Duke University Press Books

Theft Is Property!

Dispossession and Critical Theory

Robert Nichols 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.
Hardback / £88.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.
Paperback / £22.99
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

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.

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction  1
1. That Sole and Despotic Dominion  16
2. Marx, after the Feast  52
3. Indigenous Structural Critique  85
4. Dilemmas of Self-Ownership, Rituals of Antiwill  116
Conclusion  144
Notes  161
Bibliography
Index

Robert Nichols is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Minnesota, and author of The World of Freedom: Heidegger, Foucault, and the Politics of Historical Ontology.

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

“In this extraordinary work of political theory, Robert Nichols offers a wholesale revision of the conceptual problematic of dispossession in light of the history of settler colonialism and in a context of contemporary indigenous resurgence. Through sustained engagements with critical race theory, Marxism, and feminism, Nichols forcefully reanimates the moral sense and political understanding of Indigenous dispossession as a recursive process by which proprietary claims of settlers have been constituted, and Indigenous subjects simultaneously made bereft of something they never claimed to own—a transformation of theft into property. This profound and pathbreaking work will change the conversation across several fields.”

Nikhil Pal Singh, author of
Race and America’s Long War