restricted access America
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63 America I remember my first trip to America, the continent and not just the country. It was in 1991, I was 31 years old. Flying, eyes wide shut, somewhat bewildered , from St Louis to Memphis, I was reading Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, the opening pages to be precise where he famously declares, ‘In the beginning, all the world was America’. I glanced out of the window at the forested vastness of the undulating landscape beneath me, which still looked to my eyes like some state of nature. This big, strange country will always be defined for me by that original Lockeian act of violent settlement and the viral spread of private property. In the few centuries that have passed since the original act of expropriation, nothing negates for me the sheer contingency of life here, the layering of a savage domesticity over a vast and alien nature. ...


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