Thanks to Doll Yoko for making us aware of Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici. In Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici looks at the transition from feudalism to capitalism from the point of view of 'women, the body and primitive accumulation'. Her key thesis is that the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th century were instrumental to establishing a new capitalist order through 'the development of a 'new sexual division of labour subjugating women's labour and women's reproductive function to the reproduction of the workforce.' Yet by telling the story also from Caliban's point of view, symbol of the 'trans-Atlantic' proleterian, Federici achieves what she claims: to transcend the dichotomy between "gender" and "class". This book is also a brilliant description of the process of primitive accumulation, in particular the enclosures of the common land starting at the end of the middle age and the various forms of resistance to that by renegade women and the 'motley crowd' of the working classes.
John Barker is both a novelist and an author of non-fiction essays about political, social and cultural issues. Barker's essays, published in magazines such as Variant or Mute Magazine, bristle with historic depth and accuracy of information, woven into critical narrations written in a dense prose. This evident richness of background research is maybe a result of Barker being inspired by the research methodology of a great of the 20th century, C.W.Mills. In this guest contribution, written specifically for thenextlayer.org and the taxi-to-praxi workshop, John Barker introduces us to Mills' concept of intellectual craftsmanship.
When we first started to circulate the call for taxi-to-praxi some of the reactions which I got in private email were of the kind "open source methodology, what's that supposed to be?" - "there is no such things", " etc. Since that moment I thought aha, we are on to something and I should write something about it. This is now not the all conclusive article, but a forum posting, improvised and unfinished.
Taxi to Praxi
This text expands on some of the topics mentioned in the original call for participation for the taxi-to-praxi workshop. It explains some of the motivations and the general ideas behind the research day but is by now way a complete summary of all the topics we would like to address. Currently to this text have contributed Lindsay Brown, Adnan Hadzi and Armin Medosch. If you feel that you would like to add something, please feel free to rewrite this text or create a new one. To create a new revision, do the following: Once you are in the edit section with this article open, apply your changes and then go to the bottom and click "create new revision". You can also use the text field "Log Message" to explain your revisions.