This blog has been disused for a while. Hardly anybody ever read it, so I decided to hardly ever write for it. But now I’ve decided to use it, for a while at least, to start posting comments on things I am reading, copied from my notebooks. These are not edited, and particularly not made to function as stand-alone essays. I.e., I have not tried to paraphrase the arguments from the books that I may be discussing. The first book I’m doing this with is Thomas Piketty’s “Capital and Ideology”. Page references are to the 2020, hardcover, English language edition, published by Belknap Press.
4/6/20 Piketty “Capital & Ideology” p. 103
French revolutionaries, like 19th Century Radical Republicans, were unable to conceive two ideas that could have led to more egalitarian societies, in each case:
- That centuries of exploitation – working the land for someone else’s benefit – might give people (peasant or freedman) a “property right” in the land greater than that of the titular owner who had been exploiting them, and,
- The idea of cooperative ownership, i.e., of former plantations in the U.S.A., or things like mills (“banalités”) in the French case.