We need to learn from Marx and Engels, at this point, but at the same time get dislodged from ‘cliche marxism’ that clogs thinking and freezes action. One of those ‘cliches’ is that whopper called ‘primitive accumulation’. Rephrase the term and recast the basic clarity of Marx’s insight and you have basis for a legal Kockout Punch of capitalism based on the exposure of the history of expropriation of the Commons. The point is clear: property rights are an illusion based on the kleptocracy of resources by illegal means. And this process has never stopped, is getting worse. It makes no sense to say that an agent of already rogue capital (the accumulation of oil treasure plunder) can decide the environmental fate (to the point of radioactive contamination of fracking sites) of whole peoples. We need to grasp the point of Marx’s basic charge, extended to something not especially primitive but entirely insidious.
We should say then that ALL of the profits of the exploitation of the Commons since the onset of the Industrial Revolution are kleptocratic plunder, and that the claims of property right are null and void and revert to the Commons.
The basic system of (global) capitalism is therefore a criminal enterprise and indictable on that basis. No kidding. Checkmate. Get yourself a good lawyer.
It is obvious that a criminal state would not allow the enforcement of any such claim, as yet. But a clear statement of principle puts a tremendous pressure over time on a basically PR-addicted ‘good image’ system.