Resistance and Citizenship — Review by Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz Souza (PPGEAFIN/Uneb), on the book “The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form, by Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento

Luís Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento | Image: Facebook

Abstract: In “The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form”, Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento reflects on the “coloniality of power” and “peripheral modernity” and defends the quilombo institution as a kind of new name for the land.

Keywords: Quilombos, Coloniality, Peripheral Modernity.


Quilombos as New Names of the Earth: from Form-Valor to Form-Community is a book released in 2020 by Dialética, written by Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento. This work is the result of his Master’s thesis defended at the State University of Bahia (Uneb), two years earlier, and aims to present the experience of quilombola organizations as a new form of community organization in contemporary Brazil. With his book, Nascimento seeks to avoid erasing community black resistance, a common phenomenon in works that deal with historical records.

Nascimento is a professor at Uneb, participated in the major area of Applied Social Sciences/Law/Sub-area: Theory of Law. He has a master’s degree in Human Ecology and Socio-environmental Management, in addition to having a post-graduate degree and a bachelor’s degree in Law. Nascimento has published articles that explore peripheral spaces and groups, presenting himself as an intellectual engaged in issues of human rights and social movements and the so-called “rights of the poor”.

The book is warranted in two parts, in addition to the concluding remarks. In the first, entitled “Coloniality of Power and Peripheral Modernity”, the author discusses the modernist period and the definition of accommodation, seeking to contextualize the work through the concept of Modernity. For this, he employs categories of WF Hegel’s thought, which understands the embodied of the modern era as a collapse of the spirit with the immediate being, in the quest to make the spirit free. With this, capitalist modernity, according to the author, has two problems about its origin. Nascimento questions whether the fact occurred due to the potential of Europe or due to the discovery of the Americas, which made the explorations possible.

Nascimento highlights the thought of the philosopher Smith, who sees the discovery of the Americas as one of the greatest achievements for humanity. Despite the fact that many injustices were committed, especially against the indigenous people, these discoveries promoted interaction between worlds and brought distances closer together, making Europe the center of economic power.

In this context, the author emphasizes ideology as reality and illusion, underlining the symbol of Althusser’s symptomatological reading in “Reading Capital”. Nascimento concludes this first discussion with Marx’s thought, stating that the link between economics and politics is intensified in reproduction, which, in order to perpetuate itself, needs to reproduce itself. Thus, for him, social formation does not occur in natural data, but in understanding and analyzing the ideological effects of nature. For the author, in a structuralist language, land ownership is concentrated in the hands of the white ruling class. With this, the separation between the worker and the means of production occurs through the establishment of racism in peripheral modernity.

In the second part of the book, “The Quilombos as New Names of the Earth”, Nascimento addresses biopower as a place of production. He discusses the relationship between master and slave and the colonial mode of capitalism. In the countryside, raw life prevailed, the “killable life”, as he describes it, linked to the calculability taken to the inheritance of surplus value. Faced with this new concept of exploitation, the “peasant breach” emerges, which initially appears as a benefit for the wage-earner or slave, but aims to further promote the servitude of the proletariat. The latter, eager to achieve overproduction and profit from it, does not realize the extreme exploitation of his work.

In this scenario, the book clarifies that the vision of the means of production is distanced from the workforce, cutting the ties between human strength and productivity, with the intention of devaluing the service provided to the detriment of exacerbated profit, making the “law of the strongest” prevail. At this point, Nascimento highlights the relevance of the dialectical method to elucidate the problem involving the less favored.

Black flags and materialists. IF/IA/Midjourney (jun. 2023)

Returning to some discussions present in the first part, about the category of totality and Cartesian thought, Nascimento seeks to understand scientific thought as subject to change. He discusses Hegel and the potency inherent in each situation, comparing this potency to a seed that generates the plant, the flower and, finally, the fruit. In this cycle, the fruit is the cause of the seed, forming a self-organizing cycle. In this way, life is understood as a substance to rise as a complex self-organization that produces autonomy.

The book also indicates that the narrators of the story, when describing the facts, did so from a bourgeois point of view. They described the quilombos as spaces of escape, with the intention of taking away the merit of the black population. With that, struggles and resistance were suppressed to ensure complete domination, including in the records of History. However, the concept of quilombo and its real meaning bring the idea of autonomous spaces as part of a positive declaration of freedom and resistance of the population that refused to be enslaved.

In this context, the author presents the category of nomos, in the decolonial sense, which undertook and legalized land seizures by Europeans. The taking of land was, therefore, the unification of the territory and its organization. The text emphasizes the organization of quilombos as legitimate autonomous spaces, acquired through struggle and resistance. In this way, these are constituted as a new social formation, originating a community form. The quilombos established themselves as agrarian communities, considered associations of free human beings whose common ownership of land, according to the author, establishes a new ethics: the development of one is the condition of the other.

Finally, considering that capitalism does not abdicate the process of accumulation consistent with the expropriation of the indigenous land base, the author states that it is urgent to rescue the memory of the quilombos as a community form. Therefore, they must be recognized as autonomous spaces full of citizens with rights, allowing them to occupy their spaces as beings who think, act and transform the environment in which they live.

Overall, I think the book is current for several reasons. First, it presents decolonial theory and Marxist social theory, recent approaches in Brazil in the field of Social Sciences. Secondly, the book proposes to rescue the struggle of the quilombos as a new “form of community”. In this way, the work addresses black resistance in the form of quilombos, constituting a “new space of autonomy”. The book is also original. The author innovates by stating that the social issue and the racial issue are intertwined in the American and Brazilian contexts. He is innovative in denouncing the incompleteness of works that discuss quilombos and, mainly, in inserting quilombos in the context of the colonial conquest of Africa and Latin America.

Despite these qualities, the book has shortcomings that could be corrected in a second edition. It also shows primary failures in terms of typographic and textual revision, errors that would be unlikely to be committed by a beginner after a brief revision requested from a colleague or partner. The book suffers, above all, from mistakes in verb-nominal agreement and in the use of commas. In an attempt to explain contexts and concepts, the author quotes several philosophers, however, he does so abruptly, delaying the reader’s understanding of the place referenced in the text. In addition, he makes excessive use of direct quotations. Finally, the book presents (mainly in the final considerations) truncated excerpts that hinder the understanding of sentences, in addition to using a far-fetched and anachronistic vocabulary throughout the text, interrupting the narrative flow.

The book, however, demonstrates consistency between its objectives and conclusions. The announced goal of illustrating the originality of the quilombola social organization is resumed as a proposition in the final considerations. In fact, quilombos are spaces conquered through struggle and resistance and must be recognized as places of autonomy and full and legitimate citizenship. Therefore, it is a work that should be read by researchers and activists of issues related to quilombos who are interested, mainly, in approaches that associate dimensions of class and ethnicity.

Summary of The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Coloniality of power and peripheral modernity
  • Quilombos as the new names of the earth
  • Final considerations
  • References

To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz Souza – Master’s student in the Graduate Program in African Studies, Indigenous Peoples and Black Cultures (PPGEAFIN/UNEB), graduated in Pedagogy and Teaching at UNEB, Degree in Biology (FTC) and professor at the State Secretariat for Education (SEED-BA). LATTES ID: http://lattes.cnpq.br/5929301415371558; ID ORCID  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0287-0854 [email protected].

 


To cite this review

NASCIMENTO, Luis Eduardo Gomes do. Os Quilombos como novos nomos da terra: da Forma-valor à Forma-comunitária. São Paulo: Dialética, 2020. 113p. Review by: SOUZA, Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz. Resistance and citizenship. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, May/June, 2023. Available in <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/resistance-and-citizenship-review-by-erica-simone-rodrigues-da-paz-souza-ppgeafin-uneb-on-the-book-the-quilombos-as-new-names-of-the-land-from-value-form-to-community-form-by-lui/>.


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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Resistance and Citizenship — Review by Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz Souza (PPGEAFIN/Uneb), on the book “The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form, by Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento

Luís Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento | Image: Facebook

Abstract: In “The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form”, Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento reflects on the “coloniality of power” and “peripheral modernity” and defends the quilombo institution as a kind of new name for the land.

Keywords: Quilombos, Coloniality, Peripheral Modernity.


Quilombos as New Names of the Earth: from Form-Valor to Form-Community is a book released in 2020 by Dialética, written by Luis Eduardo Gomes do Nascimento. This work is the result of his Master’s thesis defended at the State University of Bahia (Uneb), two years earlier, and aims to present the experience of quilombola organizations as a new form of community organization in contemporary Brazil. With his book, Nascimento seeks to avoid erasing community black resistance, a common phenomenon in works that deal with historical records.

Nascimento is a professor at Uneb, participated in the major area of Applied Social Sciences/Law/Sub-area: Theory of Law. He has a master’s degree in Human Ecology and Socio-environmental Management, in addition to having a post-graduate degree and a bachelor’s degree in Law. Nascimento has published articles that explore peripheral spaces and groups, presenting himself as an intellectual engaged in issues of human rights and social movements and the so-called “rights of the poor”.

The book is warranted in two parts, in addition to the concluding remarks. In the first, entitled “Coloniality of Power and Peripheral Modernity”, the author discusses the modernist period and the definition of accommodation, seeking to contextualize the work through the concept of Modernity. For this, he employs categories of WF Hegel’s thought, which understands the embodied of the modern era as a collapse of the spirit with the immediate being, in the quest to make the spirit free. With this, capitalist modernity, according to the author, has two problems about its origin. Nascimento questions whether the fact occurred due to the potential of Europe or due to the discovery of the Americas, which made the explorations possible.

Nascimento highlights the thought of the philosopher Smith, who sees the discovery of the Americas as one of the greatest achievements for humanity. Despite the fact that many injustices were committed, especially against the indigenous people, these discoveries promoted interaction between worlds and brought distances closer together, making Europe the center of economic power.

In this context, the author emphasizes ideology as reality and illusion, underlining the symbol of Althusser’s symptomatological reading in “Reading Capital”. Nascimento concludes this first discussion with Marx’s thought, stating that the link between economics and politics is intensified in reproduction, which, in order to perpetuate itself, needs to reproduce itself. Thus, for him, social formation does not occur in natural data, but in understanding and analyzing the ideological effects of nature. For the author, in a structuralist language, land ownership is concentrated in the hands of the white ruling class. With this, the separation between the worker and the means of production occurs through the establishment of racism in peripheral modernity.

In the second part of the book, “The Quilombos as New Names of the Earth”, Nascimento addresses biopower as a place of production. He discusses the relationship between master and slave and the colonial mode of capitalism. In the countryside, raw life prevailed, the “killable life”, as he describes it, linked to the calculability taken to the inheritance of surplus value. Faced with this new concept of exploitation, the “peasant breach” emerges, which initially appears as a benefit for the wage-earner or slave, but aims to further promote the servitude of the proletariat. The latter, eager to achieve overproduction and profit from it, does not realize the extreme exploitation of his work.

In this scenario, the book clarifies that the vision of the means of production is distanced from the workforce, cutting the ties between human strength and productivity, with the intention of devaluing the service provided to the detriment of exacerbated profit, making the “law of the strongest” prevail. At this point, Nascimento highlights the relevance of the dialectical method to elucidate the problem involving the less favored.

Black flags and materialists. IF/IA/Midjourney (jun. 2023)

Returning to some discussions present in the first part, about the category of totality and Cartesian thought, Nascimento seeks to understand scientific thought as subject to change. He discusses Hegel and the potency inherent in each situation, comparing this potency to a seed that generates the plant, the flower and, finally, the fruit. In this cycle, the fruit is the cause of the seed, forming a self-organizing cycle. In this way, life is understood as a substance to rise as a complex self-organization that produces autonomy.

The book also indicates that the narrators of the story, when describing the facts, did so from a bourgeois point of view. They described the quilombos as spaces of escape, with the intention of taking away the merit of the black population. With that, struggles and resistance were suppressed to ensure complete domination, including in the records of History. However, the concept of quilombo and its real meaning bring the idea of autonomous spaces as part of a positive declaration of freedom and resistance of the population that refused to be enslaved.

In this context, the author presents the category of nomos, in the decolonial sense, which undertook and legalized land seizures by Europeans. The taking of land was, therefore, the unification of the territory and its organization. The text emphasizes the organization of quilombos as legitimate autonomous spaces, acquired through struggle and resistance. In this way, these are constituted as a new social formation, originating a community form. The quilombos established themselves as agrarian communities, considered associations of free human beings whose common ownership of land, according to the author, establishes a new ethics: the development of one is the condition of the other.

Finally, considering that capitalism does not abdicate the process of accumulation consistent with the expropriation of the indigenous land base, the author states that it is urgent to rescue the memory of the quilombos as a community form. Therefore, they must be recognized as autonomous spaces full of citizens with rights, allowing them to occupy their spaces as beings who think, act and transform the environment in which they live.

Overall, I think the book is current for several reasons. First, it presents decolonial theory and Marxist social theory, recent approaches in Brazil in the field of Social Sciences. Secondly, the book proposes to rescue the struggle of the quilombos as a new “form of community”. In this way, the work addresses black resistance in the form of quilombos, constituting a “new space of autonomy”. The book is also original. The author innovates by stating that the social issue and the racial issue are intertwined in the American and Brazilian contexts. He is innovative in denouncing the incompleteness of works that discuss quilombos and, mainly, in inserting quilombos in the context of the colonial conquest of Africa and Latin America.

Despite these qualities, the book has shortcomings that could be corrected in a second edition. It also shows primary failures in terms of typographic and textual revision, errors that would be unlikely to be committed by a beginner after a brief revision requested from a colleague or partner. The book suffers, above all, from mistakes in verb-nominal agreement and in the use of commas. In an attempt to explain contexts and concepts, the author quotes several philosophers, however, he does so abruptly, delaying the reader’s understanding of the place referenced in the text. In addition, he makes excessive use of direct quotations. Finally, the book presents (mainly in the final considerations) truncated excerpts that hinder the understanding of sentences, in addition to using a far-fetched and anachronistic vocabulary throughout the text, interrupting the narrative flow.

The book, however, demonstrates consistency between its objectives and conclusions. The announced goal of illustrating the originality of the quilombola social organization is resumed as a proposition in the final considerations. In fact, quilombos are spaces conquered through struggle and resistance and must be recognized as places of autonomy and full and legitimate citizenship. Therefore, it is a work that should be read by researchers and activists of issues related to quilombos who are interested, mainly, in approaches that associate dimensions of class and ethnicity.

Summary of The quilombos as new names of the land: from value-form to community-form:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Coloniality of power and peripheral modernity
  • Quilombos as the new names of the earth
  • Final considerations
  • References

To broaden your literature review


About the reviewer

Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz Souza – Master’s student in the Graduate Program in African Studies, Indigenous Peoples and Black Cultures (PPGEAFIN/UNEB), graduated in Pedagogy and Teaching at UNEB, Degree in Biology (FTC) and professor at the State Secretariat for Education (SEED-BA). LATTES ID: http://lattes.cnpq.br/5929301415371558; ID ORCID  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0287-0854 [email protected].

 


To cite this review

NASCIMENTO, Luis Eduardo Gomes do. Os Quilombos como novos nomos da terra: da Forma-valor à Forma-comunitária. São Paulo: Dialética, 2020. 113p. Review by: SOUZA, Érica Simone Rodrigues da Paz. Resistance and citizenship. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.11, May/June, 2023. Available in <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/resistance-and-citizenship-review-by-erica-simone-rodrigues-da-paz-souza-ppgeafin-uneb-on-the-book-the-quilombos-as-new-names-of-the-land-from-value-form-to-community-form-by-lui/>.


© – The authors who publish in Crítica Historiográfica agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation of their texts, even for commercial purposes, provided that due credit is guaranteed for the original creations. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 11, May/June, 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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