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This is indeed a next-to-the-last, a penultimate, since it comes before the ultimate. The ultimate is when the assemblage must change its nature: B would have to plant the excess seeds. A would have to increase the rhythm of its own plantings and remain on the same land. (ATP 438, emphasis added) The question of exchange here touches the precise relation one has to the land, and the manner in which the land will appear as an entity—either as an entity that withholds its presence to a certain extent (in that it refuses a universal measure), or as a territory that can be appropriated from afar.

Rather, it is the subtraction of the relational singularity of the other—the inhabitancy of the other—that is the necessary precondition of the colonial apparatus. ” The expressions “openrelational context of the earth” and “process of subtraction” are no doubt limited in their efficacy without any connection to the sociopolitical. What follows concretely situates this ontological analysis of the land. III. Sticks of Mead: A Genealogy of Enclosures, the Open-Field System, and the Commons With the discussed ontological analysis of capitalism and the earth in mind, we can now critically examine a number of major works by agricultural and economic historians dealing with enclosures and the Common-field system, paying specific attention to the ways in which these scholars have discursively woven this history and its symbolic significance.

Nor is what is subtracted a positive substance; it is instead the open-relational context of the earth, the itinerant exchange-limit that wards off monopolization. Colonization begins with the subtraction of that which wards it off. And what wards it off is neither empty raw materiality nor spirit of place but the relation of the always specific and local exchange-limit. This negation is colonization’s origin, which its discourse of “efficiency” and “correctness” occludes. Colonization is inaugurated from the ground up, and it does not so much find its origin in the demonization of its others (although this certainly occurs), nor in the marking of the other as a difference in relation to the colonial same.

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