Modern capitalism as colonialism: Rethinking CB Macpherson's theory of possessive individualismnull, John Holmwood
CB Macpherson's account of the political theories of Hobbes and Locke have been has been very influential in interpreting the theory of possessive individualism as a precursor to modern capitalism. It is relatively straightforward to show that the theory is better understood as a direct justification of colonialism. However, this talk will go further to suggest that the association with modern capitalism becomes less problematic once we understand that colonialism and capitalism are integral. Contra most subsequent conceptualisations which account for capitalism as only contingently related to colonialism, we should conceptualise capitalism in terms of the logics of colonialism.