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Proper property or anti-fascist anthropology? the Trojan Horse of possession-based economies and modes of production as its Achilles' heel.

Neveling, P., 2017. Proper property or anti-fascist anthropology? the Trojan Horse of possession-based economies and modes of production as its Achilles' heel. Anthropological Theory, 17 (2), 239 - 254.

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DOI: 10.1177/1463499617716739

Abstract

This commentary discusses Julien-François Gerber and Rolf Steppacher's proposal for an anthropological engagement with the basic principles of possession-based economies. The empirical and analytical validity of the theory of ownership is dismissed. That theory mistranslates classics of economic anthropology into economics. The modes of production approach reveals that the theory of ownership's core claim is false - capitalism is not based on legal property but on inequality instead. Further, the theory of ownership's analysis of an absence of legal property in socialist economies and its recent alignment with far-right anti-migrant and Islamophobic ideologies are rejected. Accordingly, Gerber and Steppacher's theoretical and empirical assumption that possession-based economies are capitalism's opposite is false, as is their conception of basic principles and logics, which empties economic anthropology of an analysis of power and inequality. Alternatively, a historical anthropology of modes of production is proposed that is alert to and rejects co-optation by far-right ideology.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1463-4996
Uncontrolled Keywords:Capitalism; Property; Modes of Production; Theory; History
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:35150
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 15:34
Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 15:34

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