The Historic Setback of Capitalism – A Review of Silvia Federici’s “Caliban and the Witch”


The End of Capitalism

The following book review was published in the Fall issue of Fifth Estate.  I originally wrote a much longer version here. This one’s short and sweet. [alex knight]
calibanwitch250Silvia Federici’s book, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation, is an essential read for those of us seeking to overthrow systems of domination and build a liberated future.

What is most fascinating about Caliban and the Witch is how it challenges the widely-held belief that capitalism, though perhaps flawed in its current form, was at one time a “progressive” or necessary development. Uncovering the forgotten history of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe in suspicion and fire for more than 200 years, Federici demonstrates that capitalism has always relied on spectacular violence, particularly against women, people of color, workers, and those cultivating a more egalitarian future.

The book recalls the enormous and colorful peasant movements of…

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Fine Gael will go to the limits and beyond to defend the Garda


Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

The theme of a posting I put up three weeks ago concerned the role of the Garda in pursuing the Jobstown prosecutions and how their stock in the eyes of the public had plummeted in recent years not least due to their role in the water charges movement.

In the intervening three weeks we have observed:

  • The existence of up to forty unauthorised bank accounts centred around Templemore Garda training college which were operating as a slush fund and the efforts of senior Gardaí to obstruct civilian management within the organisation investigating this
  • The complete degradation of Dara Quigley days before her tragic suicide
  • Headlines regarding a significant jump in Garda surveillance including at least one occurrence of surveillance of a Minister’s constituency rival

Coupled with the last point is the victimisation of another Garda whistleblower who objected to the completely inappropriate surveillance practices.

Gene Kerrigan in last weekend’s Sunday…

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The judiciary remains the last potential obstacle in securing a not guilty verdict for the Jobstown Protesters


Jobstown -v- Joan: Which side are you on?

Most of us who have followed closely the unfolding Jobstown Trial over the last four weeks can’t help but feel a rising optimism about the prospects of a not guilty verdict. Our anxiety about the blatant stacking of the jury was assuaged when the judge threw out the DPP’s application seeking basically a jury composed of hardcore Fine Gael and Labour voters. The resources that #JobstownNotGuilty and others put into exposing the DPP’s disgraceful anti-working class application were resources well spent.

Our next concern was that the politics that underpin the Jobstown trial, that is Labour’s betrayals in government, which brought people out in protest against Joan Burton, would not get an airing. It has to be acknowledged that the Senior Counsel, whose personal politics I cannot vouch for, have followed their brief admirably and brought the class politics into the courtroom when cross examining Joan Burton, Karen O’Connell and…

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