Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"The distinction between the feudal system and the capitalist system stems from the radical expropriation to which workers are subjected to in capitalism, and their separation from the means of reproduction. This is the motor of capitalist development as well as the intense exploitation of labour...(C)apitalism is the first system of exploitation that sees labour, rather than the land, as the main form of wealth. For this reason it has developed a whole new politics with respect to the disciplining of the body, especially the body of women, and the management of reproduction beginning with procreation. Capitalism must control the work of reproduction, as it is a central aspect of the process of accumulation, so that reproductive work functions as the reproduction of labour power, i.e. our capacity to work, rather than (for instance) the reproduction of our struggle...(W)omen’s unpaid labour, which continues into the present, is the condition for the devaluation of labour-power. Without this work, the capitalist class would have had to make a major investment into all the infrastructures necessary to reproduce labour-power and its rate of accumulation would have been seriously affected. There is also a political side to the devaluation and consequent naturalization of reproductive work. It has been the material basis for a labour hierarchy which divides women and men, which enable capital to control the exploitation of women’s work more effectively through marriage and marital relation, including the ideology of romantic love, and to pacify men giving them a servant on whom to exercise their power."---Silvia Federici

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