Silvia Federici: Caliban and the Witch
Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation
‘Caliban and the Witch’ is 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 mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.
“In the neoliberal era of postmodernism, the proletariat is whited-out from the pages of history. Federici recovers its historical substance by telling its story starting at the beginning, with the throes of its birth. This is a book of remembrance, of a trauma burned into the body of women, which left a scar on humanity’s memory as deep and painful as those caused by famine, slaughter, and enslavement.” —Peter Linebaugh