Caliban and the Witch

Caliban and the Witch

Book - 2014
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A history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.
Publisher: New York : Autonomedia, 2014
Characteristics: 285 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Edition: Second revised edition
ISBN: 1570270597
9781570270598
Call Number: 305.4094 FEDERICI

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LibraryGrrrrl
May 31, 2019

"The economic profit derived from the births imposed upon them was also far more concealed. In this sense, it is the condition of the enslaved woman that most explicitly reveals the truth and the logic of capitalist accumulation. But despite the differences, in both cases, the female body was turned into an instrument for the reproduction of labor and the expansion of the work-force, treated as a natural breeding-machine, functioning according to rhythms outside of women's control." p 91

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LibraryGrrrrl
May 31, 2019

"This would explain why, when population growth became a major social concern, at a time of severe demographic crisis and labor shortage in the late 14th century, heresy became associated with reproductive crimes, especially "sodomy," infanticide, and abortion." p 36

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LibraryGrrrrl
May 31, 2019

This is a transformative book that calls into question everything you thought you knew and understood about the world, at least for me. It answers a myriad of questions I constantly wrestle with such as “why is there so much food in the world and yet people are starving? Is capitalism a good thing? Why is there such an emphasis on individuality? How did certain phrases comes to be common?”

Federici lays out a compelling argument for the participation of women in resistance to the exploitation inherent in capitalism- exploitation of labor, of the body, and of women as a group. She explains the process of enclosure and privatization as the first step to mass genocide. She explores how the witch-hunts were not a “period of superstition” but was a systematic state initiative to stamp out female leaders and break the collective willpower of the people to resist their own exploitation. She further explains how the participation of males in these campaigns of terror and of Europeans in the same campaigns of terror in colonization (the two processes happening parallel) confirmed their own exploitation.

If you’ve ever wondered why housework is unpaid labor, how come world leaders tend to be white men, how many racial stereotypes were impressed upon collective conscious, why there are no female gods, how homosexuality became a crime, why prostitutes are jailed instead of their clients, why old women are invisible in our society, why reproductive politics continues to rage in an unabashed assault against women’s knowledge and autonomy, among other relevant questions- this book is a must read.

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LibraryGrrrrl
May 31, 2019

LibraryGrrrrl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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