I believe that Federici's analysis of these cataclysmic events of four centuries explains why women are so ignorant of our bodies and have so little independent control over our bodies, whereas in ancient times, effective birth control methods were known and used among women in general and midwives in particular. It shows that we can reclaim this knowledge. Working together, we can undo the harms that were done to us.
Fully understanding this history as Federici tells it reinforces my belief that all women and all people of color who descend from colonized and enslaved peoples have every reason to blame capitalism and its exaltation of patriarchy for past atrocities and their present oppression. I also believe that if white men of ordinary intelligence understand how capitalism is wrecking our planet today, they will also blame capitalism and they will see that racism and sexism is keeping humankind from taking effective action against capitalism.
I urge you to read this book. I already had a general understanding of history, but Caliban and the Witch has helped me to interpret and understand it better and provided me with a road map on how to bring about social change. I'm hoping to inspire you to run right out and get it; I've written a summary which I am attaching. After you read it, please let me hear back from you.
FROM: Carol Downer
DATE: October 9, 2014
About the author: Federici has the chops to write this book. She worked with Wages for Housework in the 70’s, then with others to write books and articles about the transition of feudalism to capitalism. The first edition was published in 2004. She taught in Nigeria for 3 years, during which time she witnessed the Structural Adjustment imposed on the Nigerian economy by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that selectively impoverishes the country for the enrichment of the few. She recognized that this was similar to the way that European nobility, along with the Church and the mercantilists, accumulated capital.
- They forced serfs off the land through enclosing the commons, pushing men into becoming waged workers,
- They created a sexual division of labor; they forced women to reproduce the labor force through the Witch Hunts which destroyed women’s knowledge of contraception and abortion,
- They gave wages to male workers who then had the power to force the unwaged (females) to perform the social reproduction which enhanced the productivity of the waged workers.