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Review of Silvia Federici: Caliban and the Witch - Essay Example

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The essay of the second chapter "Review of Silvia Federici “Caliban and the Witch” attempts to bring about a clarification on the subjects of the degradation of women in Europe as well as the emerging slave trade in the Colonial Americas and the capitalistic tendencies…
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Review of Silvia Federici: Caliban and the Witch
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Caliban and the Witch The second chapter in the book “Caliban and the rich” by Silvia Federici attempts to venture into the of the degradation of women and accumulation of labor in the transition to Capitalism. One distinctive features of this text is that it neither supports the capitalist movement that in the author’s opinion brought about a number of negative aspects with it, nor does it fully support the traditional Marxist theories and its tenets. It can be said that the chapter attempts to bring about a clarification on the subjects of the degradation of women in Europe as well as the emerging slave trade in the Colonial Americas and the capitalistic tendencies that caused what can be termed as the encouragement of what were treated as necessary evils (though not exactly viewed as evil during this period of time due to the level of acceptance that such a mindset enjoyed from the society) in order to enhance the capitalist production of a region to its maximum capacity. The chapter looks at how practices such as the slave trade and even less obvious acts such as witch hunts were manipulated to bring about a suitable environment that will encourage the growth of capitalism (Federici, 2004).
The exploitation of certain races in the Colonial Americas such as Native and African Americans who were sent to work in plantations as well as the expropriation that took place in Europe may have been the more obvious elements that played a role in the accumulation of labor, but they were not the only tools that were utilized to this effect (Federici, 2004). It is through other methods that can be considered to be slyer than their main counterparts because of their capacity to hide in the background and disguise themselves as non-related elements with regard to the topic in discussion. In my opinion, these elements can be considered to be more dangerous as their ability to blend in can make it harder for them to be identified and dealt with effectively. These alternative tools included strategies such as the elimination of a strong feministic influence in the public so as to eradicate any potential problems that may arise as a result (Federici, 2004). This was done through the persecution of innocent lives in the form of witch hunts witch painted women as a potential danger to the society thus requiring close monitoring and some level of control. The attack on women’s power was also carried out in the form downplaying the type of work that was usually associated with the female sex that were seen more as communal contributions rather than valid additions to the improvement of a society.
The use of a divide whereby the powers that be developed a method of enhancing the differences in society to create certain classes among the population that in most cases determined the direction that an individual’s life would take. This would be based on the hierarchy that was designed and implemented amongst society. It is because of factors such as this that the advent of capitalism cannot be considered to be a total success in all aspects (Federici, 2004).
Reference
Federici, S. (2004) Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation.
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