Sea grabs

Literal, "material" piracy is back - if it ever left - on the horizon of capitalism. With the most recent Somali pirate hijacking, this time of a Saudi supertanker carrying crude (news of which caused the price of oil to jump up a dollar a barrel), it's starting to look like one of the weak links in global circulation is coming as a return of a repressed imperial past.

If one can no longer access world accumulation of capital via "legitimate" means (offering tax sheltering, disposable manual labor, turning a blind eye to repressive anti-union policies, etc), the Somali pirates are showing, with a sort of striking literalness, how to skip the whole circuit. Forget the new era of land grabs. This may be the time of sea grabs (something we can perhaps see in Schmitt's conception of the geographical reimagining of the world in Nomos of the Earth). Can steam-punk dirigibles snagging passing cargo planes be far behind?

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