Abstract: In Capital I, Marx wrote that the history of the separation of the producers from the means of production “is written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire” (Marx, 1976: 875). This ‘so-called primitive accumulation’, or ‘accumulation by dispossession’ in David Harvey’s words, continues unabated. Yet, its framing has changed considerably. Increasingly, capitalists have tried to avoid writing primitive accumulation in ‘letters of blood and fire’. Instead, they focus on creating the ‘enabling environment’ for accumulation by positing neoliberal capitalism as the ‘only alternative’. This short essay focuses on nature conservation in Southern Africa to illustrate that this seemingly ‘civilized’ or ‘inevitable’ accumulation is none other than the induced self-marginalisation of local people under the ‘golden letters’ of win-win neoliberal conservation.