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At the same time, however, it is also a cosmogonic force: its metaphysical settings and parameters actually create the world.Campagna differentiates between two great reality-systems or “cosmogonic forces”: he calls them “technic” and “magic.” From this perspective, one can say that the age of reason—or the age of capitalism, whose advent, according to Federici, coincides with the emergence of witch hunts and the eradication of alterity—is defined by the metaphysical parameters of technic: representation, abstraction, separation, etc.Equally incompatible with the capitalist work-discipline was the conception of the cosmos that attributed special powers to the individual: the magnetic look, the power to make oneself invisible, to leave one’s body, to chain the will of others by magical incantations …The incompatibility of magic with the capitalist work-discipline and the requirement of social control is one of the reasons why a campaign of terror was launched against it by the State.My goal, however, is not to investigate the historical veracity of this claim and determine whether Lenin was indeed a descendent of this enigmatic woman.Rather, the very idea that the revolutionary leader could have had an ancestor who was a witch, sorcerer, or magician in intriguing to me: the superpowers which, as a Soviet child, I imagined he had could have been inherited from someone who fell victim to the genocide committed under the banner of Christianity amidst the rise of capitalist modernity. In Federici presents the figure of the witch “as the embodiment of a world of female subjects that capitalism had to destroy: the heretic, the healer, the disobedient wife, the woman who dared to live alone, the obeha woman who poisoned the master’s food and inspired the slaves to revolt.” Behind the witch hunt, she uncovers a joint effort by the Church and the state to establish mechanisms of gendered control of bodies that immanently resisted newly instituted regimes of productive and reproductive work.

Given the number of people massacred for this “crime” from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, this story might very well be true.These notes are conditioned by my personal experience of being a child who was so scared of the dark that the only way to overcome the horror was to let myself be fully absorbed by this darkness, to identify with it.I’m sure I’m not the only child who has used this tactic to deal with her fear of the dark.This transformation required the destruction of the conception of the body “as a receptacle of magical powers that had prevailed in the medieval world,” in which the lines between Christian religion, magic, and the remains of paganism were still not clear.Precapitalist bodies felt themselves connected to nature and the stars in various ways: the The death of the body meant cutting off any magical potential that did not fit into the scenarios of capitalist development.

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