War, Debt, and Colonial Power
in Debt as Power

This chapter illustrates both the amplification and spatial expansion of debt as a technology of power during the era of European colonialism and resistance. A key moment in the resistance to colonial taxation is the Bambatha Rebellion, an armed revolt in the Natal region of South Africa personalized by the name of its minor Zulu leader. The chapter demonstrates how networks of indebtedness reconfigured political communities for the benefit of creditors and capitalists and how this continued on after formal colonialism started to come to an end in fits and starts after the Second World War. By 1875, dispossession, indebtedness, and burdensome taxes were so widespread throughout the Deccan that cultivators directed their anger at the vanis and rioted. The chapter concludes with a brief examination of the sovereign debt crisis in the so-called heartland of global capitalism.


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