feudalism

Caliban and the witch - Silvia Federici

Illustration of a witch burning

Caliban and the Witch is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.

The Agrarian Origin of Capitalism - Darren Poynton (2011)

Jean-Francois Millet "Peasant Digging"

The transition from feudalism to capitalism is often viewed as the result of a gradual and rising progress of technology, urbanisation, science and trade - inevitable because humans have always possessed ‘the propensity to truck, barter and exchange’ (Adam Smith). However, as I hope to demonstrate, the rise of capitalism depended on very specific and localised conditions and was the result of a process that was far from automatic.

Karl Marx on the transition from feudalism to capitalism - Claudio.J.Katz

A useful summary of the argument that the class struggle of the peasantry was crucial in the transition to capitalism.

Race and the Enlightenment part II: The Anglo-French Enlightenment and beyond

American left communist Loren Goldner's history of the origins of race and racism. Part Two of Two.

Race and the Enlightenment part I: From anti-semitism to white supremacy, 1492-1676

American left communist Loren Goldner's history of the origins of race and racism. Part One of Two.

Feudalism - further reading guide

Libcom's guide to further reading on feudalism and feudal systems.