Archives de Tag: Famille

It is this redu…

It is this reduction of personal relationships to relations of production (i.e. the family) that underlies the growing isolation of individuals within capitalism. The individual becomes isolated not only from outside society but also from other family members with whom he/she has a relation based on production and not the individual him/herself. Thus while capital, at the formal level, offers each individual great freedom of choice over with whom to exchange within the relations of reproduction it is illusory, because this « freedom » is matched by minimal real opportunity for individual relationships.

Leopoldina Fortunati, The Arcane of Reproduction : Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital; Autonomedia, 1996, p. 25

C’est cette réduction des relations personnelles à des relations de production (c-à-d la famille) qui sous-tend l’isolation croissante des individus sous le capitalisme. L’individu deviennent isolés non seulement de la société extérieure, mais aussi des autres membres de leur famille avec qui il/elle entretient une relation basée sur la production et non sur l’individu lui/elle-même. Dès lors, alors que le capital, au niveau formel, offre à chaque individu une grande liberté de choix en ce qui concerne avec qui il peut échanger à l’intérieur d’une relation de reproduction, il s’agit d’une illusion, puisque cette « liberté » est compensée par une opportunité réelle de relations individuelles minimale. 

the family can …

the family can be considered the capitalist form of relationships of reproduction between individuals

Leopoldina Fortunati, The Arcane of Reproduction : Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital; Autonomedia, 1996, p. 19

« La famille peut être considérée comme une forme capitaliste de relations de reproductions entre individus. »

Giovanna Franca Dalla Costa, la répression des putes et le modèle familial de production.

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Giovanna Franca Dalla Costa, The Work of Love: Unpaid Housework, Poverty and Sexual Violence at the Dawn of the 21st Century.

Nothing, in fac…

Nothing, in fact, has been so powerful in institutionalizing our work, the family, and our dependence on men, as the fact that not a wage but “love” has always paid for this work.

Silvia Federici, « counterplanning from the kitchen” (1975), in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 37

It is the essen…

It is the essence of capitalist ideology to glorify the family as a “private world,” the last frontier where men and women “keep [their] souls alive,” and it is no wonder that this ideology is enjoying a renewed popularity with capitalist planners in our present times of “crisis” and “austerity” and “hardship.”20 As Russell Baker recently stated in the New York Times, love kept us warm during the Depression and we had better bring it with us on our present excursion into hard times.21 This ideology that opposes the family (or the community) to the factory, the personal to the social, the private to the public, productive to unproductive work, is functional to our enslavement to the home, which, in the absence of a wage, has always appeared as an act of love. This ideology is deeply rooted in the capitalist division of labor that finds one of its clearest expressions in the organization of the nuclear family.
The way in which the wage relation has mystified the social func- tion of the family is an extension of the way capital has mystified waged labor and the subordination of our social relations to the “cash nexus.” We have learned from Marx that the wage hides the unpaid labor that goes into profit. But measuring work by the wage also hides the extent to which our family and social relations have been subordinated to the relations of production—they have become relations of production—so that every moment of our lives functions for the accumulation of capital. The wage and the lack of it have allowed capital to obscure the real length of our working day. Work appears as just one compartment of our lives, taking place only in certain times and spaces. The time we consume in the “social factory,” preparing ourselves for work or going to work, restoring our “muscles, nerves, bones and brains”22 with quick snacks, quick sex, movies, all this appears as leisure, free time, individual choice.

Silvia Federici, « counterplanning from the kitchen » (1975), in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 35-36
 

It is the essence of capitalist ideology to glorify the family as a “private world,” the last frontier where men and women “keep [their] souls alive,” and it is no wonder that this ideology is enjoying a renewed popularity with capitalist planners in our present times of “crisis” and “austerity” and “hardship.”20 As Russell Baker recently stated in the New York Times, love kept us warm during the Depression and we had better bring it with us on our present excursion into hard times.21 This ideology that opposes the family (or the community) to the factory, the personal to the social, the private to the public, productive to unproductive work, is functional to our enslavement to the home, which, in the absence of a wage, has always appeared as an act of love. This ideology is deeply rooted in the capitalist division of labor that finds one of its clearest expressions in the organization of the nuclear family.
The way in which the wage relation has mystified the social function of the family is an extension of the way capital has mystified waged labor and the subordination of our social relations to the “cash nexus.” We have learned from Marx that the wage hides the unpaid labor that goes into profit. But measuring work by the wage also hides the extent to which our family and social relations have been subordinated to the relations of production—they have become relations of production—so that every moment of our lives functions for the accumulation of capital. The wage and the lack of it have allowed capital to obscure the real length of our working day. Work appears as just one compartment of our lives, taking place only in certain times and spaces. The time we consume in the “social factory,” preparing ourselves for work or going to work, restoring our “muscles, nerves, bones and brains”22 with quick snacks, quick sex, movies, all this appears as leisure, free time, individual choice.

Silvia Federici, “counterplanning from the kitchen”, in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 35-36

the formation of a multinational working class has its origins in the history of women as a section of the class. Women began, particularly since the war, to take their own direction in an increasingly homogeneous and diffuse way. Hence, the emergence of a new quality of political power, as expressed by this class, has to be attributed to, and defined in terms of the new processes of autonomy opened up within the class by its various sections and particularly by woman.
Above all by women’s refusal to procreate.
During the second half of the Sixties, all European coun- tries registered a dramatic fall in the birth rate8 that cannot be wholly attributed to the increased availability of contraceptives.9 The birth rate fell particularly steeply among those sectors that formerly had proved to be less successful in controlling their fertility10
Women were better able to reject State controls over procreation the more they resisted pressure from within the family, from the elderly, from husbands, from other children.
This rejection and resistance can be found to a greater or lesser degree in all countries irrespective of whether the number of women in waged work is high or low, whether the country is one of immigration or emigration and whether the women are “native” or immigrants themselves.
Thus the family, the centre of unpaid work and personal dependence, has emerged as the primary terrain on which women have managed to resist and to organize themselves at a mass level.
The more women succeed in freeing themselves from the constraints of the family the more they will be able to succeed in emancipating themselves from conditions that limit their ability to improve their lives.

Mariarosa DALLA COSTA, “reproduction and emigration”

Soon all female work, if done in the home, was defined as “housekeeping”, and even when done outside the home it was paid less than men’s work, and never enough for women to be able to live by it. Marriage was now seen as a woman’s true career, and
women’s inability to support themselves was taken so much for granted, that when a single woman tried to settle in a village, she was driven away even if she earned a wag
Combined with land dispossession. this loss of power with regard to wage employment led to the massification of prostitution. As Le Roy Ladurie reports, the growth in the number of prostitutes in France was visible everywhere:

From Avignon to Narbonne to Barcelona “sporting women” (femmes de debauche) stationed themselves at the gates of the cities, in streets of red­-light districts …and on the bridges … [so that] by 1594 the “shameful traffic” was flourishing as never before (Le RoyLadurie 1 974: 1 12-13).

The situation was similar in England and Spain, where, everyday, in the cities, poor women arriving from the countryside, and even the wives of craftsmen, rounded up the familt income with this work. A proclamation issued by the political authorities in Madrid, in 1631, denounced the problem, complaining that many vagabond women
now wandering among the city’s streets, alleys, and taverns, enticing men to sin with them (Vigil 1986: 1 1 4-5). But no sooner had prostitution become the main form of subsistence for a large female population than the institutional attitude towards it changed. Whereas in the late Middle Ages it had been officially accepted as a necessary evil, and prostitutes had benefited from the high wage regime, in the 16th century, the situation was reversed.
In a climate of intense misogyny. characterized by the advance of the Protestant Reformation and witch-hunting, prostitution was first subjected to new restrictions and then criminalized. Everywhere, between 1 530 and 1 560. town brothels were closed and prostitutes, especially street-walkers, were subjected to severe penalties: banishment, flogging, and other cruel forms of chastisement. Among them was “the ducking stool” or
acabussade – “a piece of grim theatre,” as Nickle Roberts describes it – whereby the victims were tied up, sometimes they were forced into a cage, and then were repeatedly immersed in rivers or ponds, till they almost drowned (Roberts 1992: 16).
Meanwhile, in 16th-century France, the raping of a prostitute ceased to be a crime. In Madrid, as well, it was decided that female vagabonds and prostitutes should not be allowed to stay and sleep in the streets and under the porticos of the town, and if caught should be given a hundred lashes. and then should be banned from the city for six years in addition to having their heads and eyebrows shaved.
What can account for this drastic attack on female workers? And how does the exclusion of women from the sphere of socially recognized work and monetary relations relate to the impositon of forced maternity upon them, and the contemporary massification of the witch-huny?
Looking at these phenomena from the vantage point of the present, after four centuries of capitalist disiplining of women, the answers may seem to impose themselves. Though women’s waged work, housework, and (paid) sexual work are still studied often in isolation from each other, we are now in a better position to see that the discrimination that women have suffered in the waged work-force has been directly rooted in their function as unpaid laborers in the home. We can thus connect the banning of
prostitution and the expulsion of women from the organized workplace with the cre­ation of the housewife and the reconstruction of the family as the locus for the produc­tion of labor-power.

Silvia FEDERICI, Caliban and the Witch, p. 94-95