Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Rate this book
Written between 1975 and the present, the essays collected in this volume represent years of research and theorizing on questions of social reproduction and the consequences of globalization. Originally inspired by Federici's organizational work in the Wages for Housework movement, the topics discussed include the international restructuring of reproductive work and its effects on the sexual division of labor, the globalization of care work and sex work, the crisis of elder care, and the development of affective labor. Both a brief history of the international feminist movement and a contemporary critique of capitalism, these writings continue the investigation of the economic roots of violence against women.

208 pages, Paperback

First published October 5, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Silvia Federici

77 books1,265 followers
Silvia Federici is an Italian and American scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist and anarchist tradition. She is a professor emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University, where she was a social science professor. She worked as a teacher in Nigeria for many years, is also the co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, and is a member of the Midnight Notes Collective.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
509 (52%)
4 stars
331 (34%)
3 stars
111 (11%)
2 stars
15 (1%)
1 star
4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 88 reviews
Profile Image for Miss Ravi.
Author 1 book992 followers
February 4, 2023
وقتی کتاب رو خریدم اصلاً مترجمش رو نمی‌شناختم ولی یه روز بعد از این‌که کتاب به دستم رسید عکس مترجمش رو دیدم که از اوین آزاد شده بود. واسه همین در طول خوندن کتاب همش لبخند مترجم توی ذهنم بود که با همه سختی‌ روزهای بازجویی چقدر به زندگی مشتاق بود. به نظرم این موضوع از نوشتن درباره خود کتاب مهم‌تر بود واسه همین ریویو رو این‌جوری شروع کردم.

سیلویا فدریچی توی این کتاب تقریباً همون مسیری که در کتاب کالیبان و ساحره: زنان، بدن و انباشت بدوی ترسیم کرده بود رو پیش گرفته. البته توی کالیبان و ساحره فقط درباره این حرف می‌زد که سرمایه‌داری چطور از زن‌ها سوءاستفاده می‌کنه، این‌جا هم همون موضوع رو با تمرکز بر کار خانگی بسط می‌ده. اما لحنش تندوتیزتره که البته من خیلی خوشم اومد و فکر می‌کنم با توجه به این‌که تقریباً بیشتر آدم‌ها مسئله کار خانگی رو بی‌اهمیت می‌دونن و متوجه آسیب‌هاش و تأثیری که توی زندگی زن‌ها می‌ذاره، نیستن لازمه این‌قدر تند درباره‌اش حرف زد. البته موضعی که فدریچی در مقابل سرمایه‌داری می‌گیره خیلی هم با وضعیت ما جوردرنمی‌آد. ولی می‌شه فهمید که حرکت‌های اعتراضی فمینیست‌ها معمولاً چه شکلی دیده و قضاوت می‌شه. مثلاً درباره این حرف می‌زنه که سازمان جهانی حقوق بشر چطور ادای حمایت از زن‌ها رو درمی‌آره ولی در واقعیت داره فقط هدف‌های خودش رو جلو می‌بره. از اون طرف فدریچی با همه مخالفتش با سرمایه‌داری با کمونیست‌ها هم همسو نیست. به چپ‌ها انتقاد می‌کنه و درباره کاستی‌های نظریه مارکس حرف می‌زنه و می‌گه جای حق زن و پرداختن به وضعیت اون‌ها در مانیفیست مارکس خالیه. می‌خوام بگم که اگه به اون‌ور می‌تازه این‌ور رو هم بی‌نصیب نمی‌ذاره. بحثش هم البته منطقیه.

*من تقریباً به بیش‌تر کتاب‌هایی که با موضوع فمینیسم و زنان می‌خونم امتیاز بالایی می‌دم. چون اغلبشون حرف‌های جدیدی می‌زنن که تو کتاب قبلی نخوندم و یا خوندم ولی نگاه جدیدی بهش پیدا کردم. همه این کتاب‌ها یه دریچه کوچیک برام باز می‌کنن که برای من حداقل را‌ه‌گشاست. می‌خوام بگم به این امتیازها و ستاره‌ها این‌جوری نگاه می‌کنم. معنیش این نیست که کل کتاب رو قبول دارم یا نویسنده و شخصیت و زندگی خصوصیش رو تأیید می‌کنم یا نماینده همه فمینیست‌های جهان هستم. من توی مسیر مطالعه درباره زنان خیلی کم‌تجربه‌ام و دانشم محدوده. دلم می‌خواد خودم رو فمینیست بدونم ولی هنوز راه درازی پیش‌روی خودم می‌بینم که بتونم همه جنبه‌هاش رو بشناسم. همین دیگه.
Profile Image for Chris.
172 reviews8 followers
November 16, 2012
This is a seriously amazing book. It tempers the lack of feminism in such bloated works by Hardt and Negri like *Empire*, *Multitude*, and (the best of the series) *Commonwealth*. Offers a great retrospective as well as advancement regarding the Wages for Housework movement and how it built upon and developed from Workerism in a somewhat more nuance and materialist direction. Should be read in conjunction with "The Subversion of Community" James and Dalla Costa.
Profile Image for Filip Boberić.
8 reviews9 followers
February 12, 2018
I was literally blown away by almost every sentence. The book contains a lot of useful and interesting information, arguments, references, examples and solutions and is one the best radical leftist intersectional pieces I've read so far. Silvia's stance against patriarchy, sexism, capitalism, racism, neoliberalism, imperialism, neocolonialism, militarism, prison-industrial complex, police brutality, capitalist nation-states and all other capitalist and imperialist organizations which disguise themselves as saviours of marginalized people (UN, IMF, The World Bank, diverse charities, NGOs and "feminist" organizations) is firm and brilliant. Essays composing the book are written from the 1970s to the early 2010s, so you can easily trace the development of her thought as well as history of different left-wing organizations and people's struggles all around the world. Everything is well explained and clear, even very complex and confusing economic terms and concepts. I must admit that I had been very ignorant of issues concerning reproductive work, but fortunately Revolution at Point Zero opened my eyes.

I got acquainted with Wages for housework, a global feminist social movement Silvia Federici was a founding member of, and its struggle for recognition of housework as regular wage labour which would break the concept of housework as innate women's activity done out of love and enhance working-class unity. I got to know history and struggle of movements and organizations founded by women of colour which had similar goals. Existence of capitalist nuclear family ensures that state and capitalists get the most valuable commodity, workforce, for free. It keeps traditional patriarchal roles thus ensuring that men are well-fed, in a good mood and always ready to work as much as possible and children prepared for school and/or (house)work. Men are given the illusion of power by having women as servants, so they don't feel too much oppressed by capitalism and don't want to rise up against it. Also, women and children depend on their work (because housework is not paid). I really like Silvia's criticism of both neoliberal bourgeois feminism and traditional leftism concerning housework, wage labour, women's emancipation and general liberation. They both want to put women in a position of double oppression by not recognizing housework as regular work women should be paid for and by proposing employment as a way of emancipation in order to become a part of working class (concerning leftists) or become independent and free (concerning white liberal feminists), usually at the expense of other women and undermining their liberation. That means they should spend 8 or more hours doing some "regular" work (many women even have more than one job) while still spending the same time doing housework as before. Of course, the situation today is slightly better and we can see a lot of men doing housework, but the problem hasn't been solved yet and it will not be until capitalism and patriarchy are completely abolished. Traditional leftists (mainly Marxists) have always put white heterosexual male workers in the centre of the struggle, but there are people like Silvia who are concerned with liberation of all the oppressed and cannot accept anything less.

It's such a great thing that the book covers globalization, its roots, mechanisms and devastating impact on people in Africa, Asia and Latin America and diverse anti-capitalist struggles (observed from feminist and autonomist perspective). "Third World" is destabilized by wars and put into dependent state by structural adjustment programmes, land privatization (new enclosures) and food aid. The consequences of neocolonialism are millions of victims and refugees, starvation, installation of free-trade zones where workers are literally turned into slaves, intensification of local conflicts. Silvia gives so many examples of mainly women's bottom-up grassroots movements, organizations and projects using diverse tactics (urban gardening, squatting, occupation and use of privatized land, establishment of community centres according to anarchist principles, strikes and direct confrontations with government and capitalists...) to oppose New world order (world shaped by neoliberalism and neocolonialism of course, not some conspiracy theory). By the destruction of "Third World" "First World" has got cheap workforce. There's a huge number of mostly "illegal" women who are usually houseworkers and have the reproduction of "First World" on their shoulders (that's why we can see the decline in a number of "First World" women doing (intense) housework). Women who haven't left their countries have to take care of the reproduction of local workforce and keep subsistence agriculture alive in order to feed the majority. These are the reasons why feminism has to embrace anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and left-wing stance in general. Silvia also puts great emphasis on environmental issues because they are directly connected with globalization, imperialism and capitalism.

When it comes to eldercare, leftists are usually silent (just like on reproductive work in general). Silvia criticizes Marx and his dogmatic followers for overlooking it and caring only about men able to work while giving examples of anarchists, autonomists and feminists organizing to help the elders and other vulnerable members of society (generally mutual aid). She explains all the problems concerning eldercare, its impact on women and society and proposes some solutions alongside aforementioned examples. This question is usually ignored because eldercare doesn't produce any commodity and I'm really glad that I got better acquainted with it. This book is just another proof that we cannot fight oppression and liberate ourselves without intersectionality.
164 reviews130 followers
January 5, 2014
This is an amazing and insightful anthology. Providing both an overview of Federici's work and Marxist-Autonomist Feminists perspectives on issues of reproduction, Revolution at Point Zero is a must read for anyone interested in issues of feminist anti-capitalist struggle, the re-organization of everyday life in anti-oppressive modes, self-reproducing movements, or ecofeminism.
Profile Image for Kevin Carson.
Author 29 books202 followers
October 19, 2019
Part III, in which she emphasizes the commons as the foundation for a post-capitalist society, is especially good.
394 reviews103 followers
July 30, 2013
An essay collection containing essays going from 1974 to its present - the key subjects are
- housework and wages for housework; changing how women's work in the household is viewed and showing that it's an important arena for revolutionary struggle and part of capitalism
- the way anti-capitalist struggle is key to feminism, capitalist advances hurt women most and women are at the forefront of the struggle in many places
- thoughts on anti-capitalist struggle in general; ideas about the commons and what can interrupt the flow of capital

Generally interesting and hits on important topics that groups today need to address. The importance of reproduction is something that needs to be stressed a lot more and it's good to see someone bringing stuff dismissed to the forefront of struggle. The ideas about wages for housework and criticising institutional feminism are the sort of things that should be talked about much more. However, it can be frustratingly shallow because it's a serious of essays and they sometimes cover the same areas, leaving you with the same concept talked about 3 times but always at the same level when you desperately want more. The reproduction stuff is clearly a book-length topic but what it means exactly is kind of vague - she mentions other books in the text but I wish we got more of her own concept of these things. My 3 star rating is reflective of the lack of depth and the repetition involved - some great insights that get a bit buried and can't develop into really movement defining ideas.

To me, the first part focusing on housework and ideas of "women's work" as actual work, resistance, etc was the most interesting and valuable part. The second part, focusing on global feminism and reproduction, was interesting but suffered from lack of detail and repetition - it'd probably be worthwhile reading one of the essays here though. The third part was ok - it had some good information on struggles worldwide and I appreciated her talking about how the elderly need to be considered much more - but it had nothing particularly insightful/unique in my opinion. So probably like 4, 3, 2 stars respectively.

I do think if there was a book covering these topics by her I'd rate it 5 stars. Her theory and approach is generally spot on although I sometimes disagree with her ideas of praxis (too much faith in non-capitalist spaces on their own) and I'm certain she'd do an excellent job. As is, it's a useful but limited primer on some important ideas but not earth shattering.

One last note: "On the one side, there has been the demise of the statist model of revolution that for decades has sapped the efforts of radical movements to build an alternative to capitalism." NO. Ugh. Disappointing to see inaccurate statements about "statism" in a book. In general it's somewhat critical of Marx but sympathetically and seriously.
Profile Image for Amy.
514 reviews38 followers
January 4, 2019
Easy to read essays that are clear and succinct and motivating. If you are interested in feminist theory and practice around the commons, the struggle against capitalist globalization and for reproduction labour then read this.
Profile Image for Annie.
249 reviews37 followers
July 18, 2016
Hell of a book to read immediately postpartum, LET ME TELL YOU
Profile Image for Luke.
868 reviews14 followers
November 21, 2022
An effective thematic collection of essays (1975-2011) that aren't too repetitive and yet each stands alone well, arguing from an anti-exploitation feminist perspective for housework and carework to a) be recognized as an unpaid foundation of capitalist society, b) organize and refuse being atomized and devalued under this society - from rejecting earlier feminist/leftist legitimizing of only workforce participation to globalization's outsourcing and industrializing of the home, and c) be understood as a collective social responsibility integrally valued in reproducing the society we want. A lifetime's vibrant perspective.
Profile Image for Laura.
115 reviews5 followers
May 29, 2021
Nel libro sono presenti nove saggi scritti da Silvia Federici, che spaziano dalla retribuzione del lavoro domestico, alla cura degli anziani come questione femminista, all'ignoranza della sinistra sulle tematiche di genere. È stata una lettura molto interessante, ho preso tantissimi appunti e indubbiamente lo rileggerò.
Federici mi ha aperto un mondo tramite la sua analisi dei rapporti di classe e del femminismo, e di come queste due tematiche siano strettamente collegate tra loro. Leggere i suoi scritti è sempre un momento di grande apprendimento e riflessione.

Ho letto questa saggio dopo Calibano e la strega, quindi dopo aver già bene in mente quale fosse il pensiero politico di Federici e le sue tesi. Inoltre, consiglio anche la lettura di Potere femminile e sovversione sociale, che è stato per me indispensabile al fine di comprendere al meglio Il punto zero della rivoluzione, e che viene spesso citato dall'autrice. Personalmente penso che, per digerire bene questo saggio, sia utile conoscere il movimento per il salario al lavoro domestico e le teorie delle femministe radicali di quei tempi. A parte ciò, che è solo un'opinione personale, lo consiglio vivamente a tutte/i.
289 reviews6 followers
July 11, 2013
really interesting look at what is and isn't considered "real work" under capitalism. also interesting historical info about female lead resistance movements in the last thirty years or so.
Profile Image for Dont.
53 reviews13 followers
March 15, 2014
Recently I've been witness to a number of explosive encounters between gender justice activists and feminists. The former accuse the latter of essentializing gender by daring to speak of "women," while the latter accuse the former of ignoring the realities of gender inequality. These two camps seem to be able to hear one another less and less.

I want to be careful not to suggest that the divide is absolute or that it has forced into two discrete camps all those who resist gender oppression. However, reading Silvia Federici's collection of essays that span from 1975 to 2011, I can't help but wonder how her tireless articulation of a radical materialist feminism might fall out of the current debates altogether. Her unapologetic insistence on an analysis of the exploitation and resistance of women makes her a likely target of anti-essentialist absolutists. And her fierce critique of liberal feminism's narrow focus on equality and women in the workplace puts her out of step with much contemporary feminist advocacy.

Federici's 2004 monumental study of the European witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Caliban and the Witch, offered a dense analysis based on extensive research of historical documents. The essays collected in Revolution at Point Zero offer a different kind of writing. Less based on primary research than Caliban and the Witch, these essays demonstrate the voice of a public intellectual weighing in and intervening on urgent debates in political movements. Since many of the essays originally appeared in movement publications, conferences, and journals or anthologies addressing current political events, Federici places the emphasis on critique and synthesis and less on detailed in depth research or observation. These are writings for movement activists. Each essay offers precise arguments that seek to challenge conventional wisdom in Leftist thinking. Whether she's writing a political tract for the 1970s Wages for Housework campaign or analyzing the gendering of poverty under globalization, Federici's critical themes remain consistent. She continually targets Marxist analyses that minimize the importance of reproductive labor. Federici also voices her opposition to a feminism that ignores the material conditions of women. The effect of these themes is that one begins to understand how a number of key contradictions persist over the years as long as they remain unrealized politically.

In the 2008 essay, "The Reproduction of Labor Power," Federici offers her most succinct argument for the constancy of her critique. Some in the feminist movement have criticized Federici's on-going use of the term "labor-power." These critics find the term reductive and an abstraction. But for Federici, the term reminds us that all labor, productive and reproductive, occurs within the constraints of the demands of the labor market; the coercive system wherein people sell their labor for a wage. So while reproductive labor is generally outside of the wage system, it remains conditioned by the needs of capitalism for the reproduction of workers in that wage system. Secondly, she argues, the term "labor-power" allows us to recognize the fundamental contradiction in reproductive labor between the desire to serve the needs of one's family and community with the production and valorization of that desire to meet the needs of the labor market. "Labor-power" reminds us that even in the most intimate spaces of caregiving, we chafe against the exploitation of that intimacy by capital. Having a name for that contradiction allows us to understand the radical potential of reproductive labor to fundamentally redefine the entire category of work and to collectivize reproduction as resistance.

What emerges powerfully over the course of these essays is the implicit argument that woman is the socially-determined word for workers whose labor is unwaged, naturalized, and yet "essential" for the reproduction of an exploited workforce. Likewise, as Federici writes in the last pages of the collection, woman is also the socially-determined word for those whose knowledge, experience, and struggles around reproductive labor have served and will continue to serve as a crucial foundation of anti-capitalist resistance and another possible world. For this reason, these essays offer a vital resource for radicals engaged in anti-capitalist and feminist praxis. Federici challenges the idealism of a gender politics delinked from a materialist analysis as much as she provides the tools for challenging a petite bourgeois ideology that delinks theory from practice itself.

As one side note, I think it would be useful to excavate the political conditions that require Federici (and other radicals) to misrepresent Marx as somehow committed to a linear notion of history. In nearly each and every essay compiled in Revolution as Point Zero, Federici argues that Marx cleaved to the idea that capitalism represented a progressive force in history; a necessary stage on the road to proletarian emancipation. Marx gets accused of overlooking colonialism and adhering to a Eurocentric point of view. Ironically, Federici cites Samir Amin as a critic of Marx's Eurocentrism and the limits of Marxism for an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics. I say, ironically, because in his book, Eurocentrism, Amin joined a long line of scholars who have demonstrated that Marx complicates the image of a Eurocentric thinker. (Other such scholars include Horace B. Davis, John Bellamy Foster, Sunti Kumar Ghosh, Kenzo Mohri, and Teodor Shanin.) Kevin B. Anderson's recent, Marx at the Margins, goes to great lengths to show Marx's engagement with anti-colonial struggles and his critical perspective on race and gender, countering long-standing claims about his Eurocentricity to which Federici and many others adhere.

But again, rather than seeking to correct Federici or, worse, discount her arguments, I ask why it becomes necessary to marginalize Marx from a radical feminist and anti-capitalist project? At my age, I've come to learn that such debates often have political and strategic bases. Hence I think the answer may lie in Federici's insistence (as well as that of Maria Della Costa, Selma James, and Leopoldina Fortunati) on the centrality of feminism to the anti-capitalist project. One can argue that the organization of working class resistance in which Marx played a crucial role focused almost entirely on industrial labor. But when he opens the analysis to reflect on the metabolic rift from the natural world, colonial extraction, and enslavement, etc. Marx acknowledges a constitutive relationship between the conditions of reproduction and commodity production.

So, I ask, why one would marginalize Marx (all the while remaining very much oriented towards Marx in one's critique) becomes a provocative question. It is a political question; one that has the potential to interrogate socialist strategies of the past in contrast to Federici's vision of an alternative form of social organization wherein reproductive labor, the point zero of the book's title, has the potential for a revolutionary mode of production in opposition to capitalist accumulation. Is Federici merely inverting the paradigm, undialectically replacing one dogma for another? Or does that inversion make a kind of politics possible that productivism denied? These are questions to be taken up in organizing, militant inquiry, and political experimentation.
Profile Image for Clare.
724 reviews30 followers
June 9, 2020
After reading the Marie Kondo book for the politics book club, I considered suggesting Silvia Federici’s Revolution at Point Zero, but decided not to try to make the book club read a third Federici book in a year because I know not everyone gets stuck on the same things I get stuck on. BUT THEN, someone else in the book club suggested Revolution at Point Zero for all the same reasons I wanted to read it, which was very cool! And then we voted to read that one! And while I was having some trouble finding the time to actually sit down and read it, when I did, it was just so friggin’ good, and I was very pleased to have a bunch of people willing to read multiple Federici books a year with me.

So of course, the universe being what it is--i.e., a malicious entity that punishes me personally every time I dare to relax about anything--I was about halfway through the book when the news dropped that, in her latest publication, Federici has gone TERF.

Once the defensive numbness had worn off my first impulse was obviously to throw the book off a bridge, but, given that I would now have to go significantly out of my usual pandemic-circumscribed routine to get to a bridge to throw it off, I slogged on, though my enjoyment of the book was considerably ruined. Every time it made a good point--say, for example, “‘What does being female actually mean; what, if any, specific qualities necessarily and for all time adhere to that characteristic?’ To ask that question is to beg for a sexist reply. Who is to say who we are?”--I just got frustrated and disappointed all over again. This happened a lot, because there are, in fact, a whole lot of good points made in a fairly small book. The essay “Why Sexuality Is Work,” in particular, is one that I would strongly have preferred not to be ruined forever, because that whole framework of it being work that you do, instead of a somewhat nebulous fundamental state of being, was extremely useful for me. I am significantly annoyed that I only got to feel good about how useful it was for a week.

I am sure we will have a lot to say about how the book theorizes reproductive labor and the various failures of both liberal feminism and factory-focused Marxism to properly attend to the work that goes into reproducing the workforce. Oh, and about the way capitalist relations create and enforce supposedly “natural” ideas about womanhood that are actually made-up nonsense designed to uphold a hierarchical division of labor where the profit-makers get to cheap out on a bunch of it. (Apparently it’s real important to rigidly gatekeep and uphold those “natural” lines of division if we ever want to free ourselves from them, or… something. I don’t know, I don’t understand TERF logic.)

Uhhh anyway TL;DR great book, shitty news, abolish the police

Originally published at How to ruin a book.
Profile Image for Catarina Carvalho.
172 reviews10 followers
October 22, 2021
Silvia Federici é uma filósofa, autora e professora Italiana radicada nos EUA. A temática do trabalho doméstico foi sempre o grande tema da sua obra, e também deste livro (mas não só).

A autora argumenta que vivemos num sistema que lucra com a ideia de que a família integra uma espécie de bolha particular isolada das relações socias e que, por isso, existem “atividades naturais” destinadas a cada género, também abordadas pela teoria da divisão sexual do trabalho. Federici argumenta que a discussão acerca da remuneração do trabalho doméstico deve ser encarada a partir de uma perspectiva política. Assim, o simples fato de querer salários para o trabalho doméstico significa rejeitar um papel socialmente imposto, isto é, contestar a ideia de que o trabalho reprodutivo - reprodução da espécie, da força de trabalho e das necessidades de aprovisionamento e cuidado - não é produtivo.

Uma das críticas que faço à autora prende-se com a incompletude do seu projeto político para que seja incorporada uma forma viável de remuneração do trabalho doméstico. Quem paga? Criaremos na figura do Estado um patrão fictício? E o dinheiro, irá mesmo para as mãos das mulheres ou para as contas dos seus maridos? (já que as mulheres dentro da sociedade patriarcal sofrem, muitas vezes, de dependência económica e social face ao homem). Não estaremos a falar de uma medida que implica uma aceitação da divisão sexual do trabalho?

Outros assuntos desenvolvidos pela autora (e bem!) são o imperialismo dos E.U.A., coadjuvados pelas suas ONGs de bolso, em países do sul global, ocupando terras alheias, impedindo modelos eficientes de economias de subsistência agrícola, frustrando sistemas de coletivização em que há uma divisão equitativa do trabalho doméstico. Este livro aborda, igualmente, questões como a opressão do corpo, a velhice enquanto hipoteca, entre outros.

Podem encontrar a minha opinião em vídeo, a partir do minuto 10:55: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMQ14...
Profile Image for Mary.
4 reviews14 followers
November 28, 2020
This is a very thoughtful collection of essays on capitalism’s parasitic dependence on unwaged housework and controlled social reproduction at the individual level (nuclearization of households, reproductive politics) and international level (ecotourism, neoliberal institutions funding cash-crop agriculture in other countries with punitive loans, etc.). Federici adds to the discourse on capitalism with a feminist lens and makes clear this isn’t just about paying people for housework, but she argues for more cooperative commons in food production, social care and more to restore the humanity of people and to do away with defining them by the value of their labor-time. Most affected by and subjected to technocapitalist “solutions” are feminine bodies, especially those of color, and aging individuals who are separated from their communities and no longer seen to be productive. Rather than granting them support by a commons, capitalism creates a culture of “valorizing” housework and reproductive labor as one done out of love and also attempts to substitute communal support with projects like robots to provide neonatal and elder care. Critics might want to poke holes about lack of quantitative data or that the arguments appear too abstract to be persuasive, but I find that the essays collectively provide a perspective that is not often considered especially if one’s life is steeped in capitalism.
Profile Image for Medeiros.
45 reviews1 follower
March 9, 2021
outro livro maravilhoso da Federici, que termino sentindo que ainda vou reler alguns capítulos ao longo da vida pq mds muito bons, nesse livro especialmente o texto "RUMO A PEQUIM: COMO A ONU COLONIZOU O MOVIMENTO FEMINISTA" foi um dos meus preferidos devido ao meu interesse de observar como o Sistema absorve e reescreve movimentos que não podem se extinguir, a primeira parte do livro onde ela discute trabalho (re)produtivo e remuneração do trabalho doméstico também são partes interessantíssimas para a compreensão da ideia de "trabalho livre de alienação", sinto que ainda vou procurar outros materiais relacionados ao ultimo texto do livro, "Sobre o Trabalho Afetivo". Em tempos massivos de Neoliberalismo, cofcof isso pra não dizer protofascista cofcof, faz muito bem poder contar com literatura radicalmente anti-sistêmica.
Profile Image for Suellen Rubira.
854 reviews77 followers
December 24, 2020
Não se trata apenas do trabalho doméstico não remunerado que cria sujeitos bonitos e saudáveis prontinhos para serem explorados pelo mercado de trabalho.

É sobre os trabalhos afetivos (de cuidado), é sobre o feminismo higienizador branquinho da ONU (que lindo ver a Emma Watson e outras atrizes brancas como embaixadoras de uma agenda feminista, néam - mas isso eu que tô dizendo, ñ tá no livro).

É sobre como a sociedade capitalista trata (muito mal) seus idosos. É sobre manter países africanos e asiáticos na pobreza seguindo uma agenda de globalização muito bem definida.

Mas é também sobre mulheres que exigiram que seu trabalho dentro da comunidade como mães e trabalhadoras fosse reconhecido e pago.

Como todos os livros de Silvia, há muitas referências e notas de rodapé. É uma leitura fundamental para o feminismo e para a postura anti-capitalista, que é feminista em sua base. Não há feminismo sem anti-capitalismo.

Beijos de luz!
Profile Image for Leonie.
56 reviews9 followers
May 5, 2021
Buch das vor allem Männer in heterosexuellen Beziehungen lesen sollten.
Profile Image for Jimmy.
41 reviews
April 10, 2019
The essays in Part I, primarily about wages for housework, were full of sharp, unflinching analysis of social reproduction—I learned a great deal in a short time here. The parts about globalization and the commons were less incisive and quite repetitive.
Profile Image for Whittyfh.
15 reviews2 followers
April 27, 2013
Federici is my favorite feminist. She takes a marxist frame towards housework, social reproduction, and women's struggles and it will leave you reeling out of your neo-liberal current framework. This book reflects 40 years of collected essays and research by Federci starting with her early work in the Wages for Housework movement. Federici's metamorphais over time is not only interesting to watch but as the reader you feel you are going through that metamorphasis with her into thinking more about the global commons in relation to "alienated labor". If you have ever had any interest in feminist issues, called yourself a feminist, owned or even have seen a vagina you will not be disapointed by this book. Here is a really great interview about the book with Federici http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/85455
Profile Image for Stephanie B.
122 reviews28 followers
January 1, 2020
Silvia Frederici is pointing a microscope at the global injustices towards women and the elderly and the neglect of capitalism and Marxism to acknowledge reproduction, caregiving and housework -women’s work- as the very (unpaid!) backbone of everything.

I love her so much. Her work is so important, and the very first issues she writes about here in the 1970’s remain unresolved.

The essays show evolution over time (although each of these issues remains of crucial importance nearly 50 years later) - beginning with “wages for housework”, to analyzing from a global perspective how a woman going to work affects other women on a global scale, and ending with a need for a return to the commons in a late-capitalist world.

The issues she speaks of are of such crucial importance for us all.

Thank you, Silvia Frederici. Everyone needs to read this book.
Profile Image for Melissa.
52 reviews20 followers
October 11, 2014
I very much enjoyed this impressive anthology of well-cited, lucid, and passionate essays from throughout Frederici's career (1970s to present). It is interesting to read how her ideas have developed and expanded over time, especially in response to the rise of neoliberalism, globalization, and the new international distribution of labor. Despite some ahistorical Marxism (seriously the nuclear family existed before the industrial revolution; I promise), this book is invaluable for the understanding of gendered and reproductive labor as work which deserves wages and recognition and invaluable for the understanding of how feminism has been hijacked by capital and neoliberalism, particularly to the detriment of women in the Global South.
Profile Image for Heather.
Author 18 books131 followers
July 1, 2019
Incendiary and important writings on the nature of women's work, unpaid labour, capitalism and economic freedom. Despite their age these essays still feel relevant, and while we might have shifted our cultural conversation around some of the specific topics, the central issue is one that women largely still struggle with. Well worth reading.
Profile Image for  Aggrey Odera.
225 reviews43 followers
July 26, 2020
I met Federici at a reading she gave at an anarchist bookshop in Philadelphia in the Fall of 2018. Then, I’d only had a chance to loosely skim through the pages of her first major work “Wages against Housework” (1975), and while speaking to her, it was clear that I hadn’t understood her argument, or, at best, that I had only partially done so - and thereby misconstrued it.

When I thought about wages for housework, the only ideological lense I looked at it through was a feminist one - and a limited one at that. So my mind immediately went to Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” (1963) which I had also just recently read. The main argument of The Feminist Mystique was not one that I had a hard time buying. It was this: that patriarchal male society had relegated women’s role to nothing more than “housewife-mother”, and that as a consequence, women were not leading fulfilling lives. Many facets of personal fulfilment that were available to men - “professional” careers, serious intellectual work, true political engagement etc. were not available to women.

The Feminie Mystique was a liberatory text, but it was liberatory for a very particular kind of woman: middle class and mostly white, with some formal education - usually up to college level. What Friedan argued for was basically that avenues open to men be open to women too - therefore, that women exchange the apron for the business suit, the kitchen and bedroom for the office and the boardroom. But this was indeed a classed notion, for, in pursuit of equality, it is doubtful whether working-class women were willing to (or should have had to) exchange their aprons for the overalls of the factory, their work scrubbing pots and pants for the grimy work of working with industrial effluents - i.e. exchange their own oppression for that that their men were subjected to. My mistake, by looking at Federici’s work only through this narrow feminist perspective, had been to mistake Federici’s radical liberationary argument for a version of Friedan’s more narrow one.

Revolution at Point Zero is a series of essays and speeches that Federici gave in the 70s and 80s, mostly concerned with the Wages for Housework movement, which Federici, along with Mariarosa Dalla Costa and some other women, had founded in Padua, Italy, in the early 70s. The argument that runs throughout the book (and the movement) is a powerful one: Not that wages for housework is a feminist issue, but rather that, for any serous feminist concerned with ending the subjugation of women, it is THE feminist issue.

By “housework”- Federici means cooking, cleaning, childcare, fucking etc. - that labour that is seen as the natural province of women in the household and that, since it is not waged, and is supposedly seen as outside the purview of capital, is viewed as not work. As such, Federici is mainly concerned with the idea of reproductive labour: that the work that women engage in at home, while viewed by capital as “unproductive” - for it does not generate profit, the only measure of value under capitalism, is actually REproductive, for it serves primarily to create - by birthing and tending to, nourish - by feeding and fucking, and sustain - by providing emotional labour, workers at the silent behest of capital. This is precisely why capital, so efficient at exploiting workers and sucking every last bit of value out of them, is comfortable with supposedly allowing a large mass of potential workers (women) to stay at home doing “nothing” - it’s because they’ve always been working, dummy!

The demand for wages for housework is therefore a demand for the recognition of this relation that capital has to housework (which is why the demand is that the state pays these wages, not individual men to their wives). And indeed capital does recognize housework per se as work; it is only housework that is done by people who enter relations with each other as family (I.e. wives, mothers and daughters, other relatives etc.) that is not viewed as actual work. This is demonstrated by the fact that daycare and foster centers, contracted cleaning services etc. are legitimately thought of as actual labor deserving of a wage - which leads Federici to surmise that if the state is willing to pay women to care for other women’s children but not for their own (I.e. foster parenting arrangements conducted by the state), then women might have to resort to swapping their children with each other.

But Federici insists that the recognition of this relation is only the first step, for providing women with a wage does not release them from this relation of subordination (any more than paying a factory worker a wage releases him from his exploitative relation with capital). To understand why she thinks this is so, we have to understand that there is a reductivism inherent in Federici’s argument, a tendency to view all subjugation - on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. through the primary prism of class exploitation (for example, she says that the reason why intimate homosexual relations are frowned upon under bourgeois capitalism circa 1975 is because they are not viewed as productive - whereas sexual relations between men and women have as their core purpose the production of additional humans, thus additional workers).

Therefore, for Federici (and this is why she sees wages for housework as the primary feminist issue), women cannot be liberated (as Friedman desires) without men too being liberated - and in her conception, unlike Friedan’s, men are not free. The subjugation of women in the household is a consequent of the subjugation of men under capital (which is why, even waged women working in offices still bear the brunt of household labour when they get back home from work), and until we are all freed from the yoke of capital, women will not be free. Point zero is the household, and when we recognize capital’s activity in this domain and challenge it, when we start the revolution in the household, then we can challenge capital’s supremacy in other areas of our life. This is why wages for housework is but the first step. Only when this, the expansion of the revolution that begins in our households to every sphere of our lives controlled by capitalism, happens, thinks Federici, will women truly be free - because all of them (not just white middle class ones, as implicit in the arguments of Friedan and many liberal feminists) will be free.
Profile Image for Ebru.
78 reviews12 followers
January 29, 2019
Federici eylemin içinden çıkardığı politikaların tartışmalarını makaleler halinde paylaşıyor. Yeniden üretim (bakım) işinin ücretlendirilmesini, tarım ve müşterekler siyasetlerini tartışıyor.

70’lerden beri politik gündem olan yeniden üretim (bakım) işinin ücretlendirilmesini Marksizm eleştirisiyle beraber detaylandırıyor.

İşçi örgütlenmesinin sadece meta üretiminin olduğu yerlerde olmayacağı (evde de olacağı), yeniden üretimin sadece barınma vs gibi toplumsal emeğin üretimi ile olmayacağını (evdeki bakım emeği ile de olacağını), kadınlar için ücretli emeğin özgürleşme değil çift mesai getirdiğini bu tartışma içinde dile getiriyor.

Federici ücretin sömürüyü gizlemekle beraber işi görünür kılma özelliği nedeniyle politik hedef olduğunu, asıl hedefin bu işlerin boyunduruğundan kurtulmak olduğunu belirtiyor. Bakım emeğinin talep ettiği bütünsel efor nedeniyle duygulanımsal (affect) veya gayri-maddi emek kavramsallaştırmalarıyla açıklanamayacağını da ekliyor.

Tüm bunları anlatırken geçinmek için bakım hizmeti vermek için ülke değiştiren kadınlar üzerine de bir tartışmayla konuyu derinleştiriyor. Şimdi de Caliban ve Cadı'yı okuyacağım.
55 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2022
Really enjoyed this. The writing is very basic, so it wouldn't nessecarily be an engrossing read for anyone already familiar with the concepts Federici is discussing, but the majority of her arguments around 'wages for housework', and reproductive labour were mostly new to me and completely engrossing. The collection brings together essays Federici wrote over several decades starting in the 1970s, and although several of her arguments are recycled in the essays, you can also see her thinking evolve and change, taking into account issues of global migration, and multinational development institutions like the U.N. Although there are points here and there where Federici is less successful at making her case, overall "Revolution at Point Zero" is extremely persuasive, and is one of those rare books that has me genuinely rethinking and adjusting my view on the world.
Profile Image for Natalia Alves.
42 reviews
January 2, 2023
“Estou interessada em construir uma sociedade na qual a criatividade seja uma condição de massa e não um presente reservado a poucos sortudos, mesmo que metade deles seja composta por mulheres. No momento, nossa história é a de milhares de mulheres agonizando sobre o livro, a pintura ou a música que nunca podem terminar, ou sequer podem começar, porque não têm tempo nem dinheiro.” (p. 125)
Profile Image for René.
583 reviews
January 15, 2018
No hay común posible a no ser que nos neguemos a basar nuestra vida, nuestra reproducción, en el sufrimiento de otros, a no ser que rechacemos la visión de un nosotros separada de un ellos. De hecho si el <> tiene algún sentido, este debe ser la producción de nosotros mismos como sujeto común.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 88 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.