The plantation continues to expand across contemporary frontiers, remaking social orders and ravaging ecologies in the service of value extraction through commodity production. This article revisits the “strange industrial order” of the plantation in 1950s Indonesia at a time of deep contestation in which estate workers were organizing to reinvigorate the unfulfilled goals of anticolonial struggles. Reading this moment through the anxieties of European planters in the British archive, this article argues that these struggles deeply disturbed the localized racial labor order of the plantation, while also working against the extractive tributaries of the international order. Further, the article suggests that keeping alive a historical consciousness around how industrial racial regimes are produced, disturbed, and fractured is vital to countering the harms of our plantation present.

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