The Destruction of Society (notes from Heather Marsh’s ADS series)

– Root of society is a woman giving birth to a child
– Birth makes you realize one life affects another, that a person is changed by interaction with another
– Mothers autonomy, free will and physiology are disrupted by lifegiving
– Hormonal changes create overwhelming urge to nurture and protect a strange and separate human
– Physical reality of an autonomous individual created by parasiting off another person and receiving input from many more is microcosm of society
– Life not an individual achievement but continuum passed generation to generation through vast number of life forms
– Society is a network of dependencies
– Once communities are destroyed, families are the only society preventing children from growing up completely dissociated or as sociopaths
– In stratified societies/trade economy dependent, women had roles restricted, treated less as community, more as possessions
– Trade favors those not doing the lifegiving and caregiving roles in society. Everywhere that trade flourishes, power concentrates in men
– As women became something men could buy, women’s lives restricted and guarded as possessions of one man
– Because Europe spread the third age supranational empires around the world, pattern for industrial destruction of families followed that of one set in Europe. Still used today
– Waged labor created class warfare and new master-servant relationship between men and women
– Men and women had autonomy through land replaced by autonomy for men through wages while women were now unpaid slaves
– Destruction of peasant society = loss of communal support network for women
– Women either have to manage a job in the trade economy while also being solely responsible for societal support, or accept work as a slave to their own husband and family
– Often no choice of independence from marriage for women
– Men are reduced to working all day away from their family to purchase their admittance into it
– Family relationships, once purely social, now monetized and deeply humiliating and divisive to all
– Division of men and women the most important class division, one which enabled the commodification of all the most basic dependencies and destroyed the possibility of horizontal society
– European history written as inexorable progress of trade economy, depicted as civilization
– Peasant rebellions and resistance between fall of the western Roman Empire and resurgence of trade following the raids on Constantinople depicted as blank spot called Europe’s Dark Ages
– Battles, insurrections and powerful networks of horizontal collaboration are buried in a history which reads as Thomas Carlyle’s ‘Biography of Great Men’
– Decline of western Roman Empire brought increased resistance from peasants to those who sought to enclose and control their land use and their labor
– Slavery had evolved into serfdom in most of Europe
– Many had greater autonomy, had their own land plus the commons, solidarity and community
– Peasants had diversity and society and were fighting to maintain autonomy
– Heretic movements of 11th to 13th century “liberation theology” denounced social hierarchies, private property and accumulation of wealth. Conception of society that redefined every aspect of daily life (work, property, sexual reproduction and the position of women) posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms
– The Beguines of 12th century also created society of horizontal collaboration among womenix, as did male Beghard communities
– Women were threatening church coffers, and were the major force behind the later peasant revolts during food shortages and other troubles as they were responsible for the care taking of children and others
– Women who were part of families and communities they are healers in less likely to act in interests of the powerful over the health of their communities
– Witches/healers advised people to control their consumption of sugar, since they detected illnesses related to it
– For church, which had interests in sugar industry, they wanted people to increase their consumption of sugar, not decrease
– In 13th century, when the old Silk Road reopened, European traders demanded increased production and more control over workers and their production, but Black Death had killed 1/3 of Europe’s population
– Two outcomes over increased desire for labor – 1. Women were blamed for their failure to create a work force. 2. Europe became a major player in slave trade
– In response to women not creating a work force, church and capitalists sought to establish corporate control over child birth and respond to rising egalitarian threat by dividing the previously united peasants
– Power of life and death largely the domain of women in medieval Europe as they were the keepers of medicinal knowledge and the medical practitioners
– Women were also the midwives and the people who performed abortions and taught contraception, thus they controlled the labor force
– With industry demanding more workers, women’s bodies, no less than foreign continents, became the site of a capitalist war for resources
– 1484, when Pope Innocent VIII approved the Inquisition, women were clearly defined as capitalisms first terrorist threat, accused of having slain infants yet born in mothers wombs, hindering men from performing sexual acts, hindering women from conceiving
– Homosexuals other targeted practitioners of non-reproductive sex
– Women healers (witches) had used sedatives and other drugs to assist in child birth, but church said that’s against God’s will
– As of 2012, nearly 800 women die every day in pregnancy or child birth. The church today still objects to abortion more than murder
– Between 12th and 17th centuries, witch hunt over Europe and North America killed untold numbers of women and indigenous healers who practiced medicine or had medical knowledge at the same time that the institution of all male professional medicine was being established
– Medical knowledge taught in universities of 12th century was study of Galen and Hippocratesxv, included little to no practical experience
– Universities commodified care for society members into a product to make Catholic church more wealthy
– Medical care industry continues to put corporate wealth over medical care today
– Execution of all female and indigenous practitioners and forbidding of all old knowledge was to establish a monopoly over the most important societal knowledge – the power over life and death
– What’s called The Birth of Modern medicine was really the death of all women’s knowledge and most importantly, the death of women’s control over their own reproductive destinies
– As medical knowledge in Europe became regulated and restricted to men, women known as wise women who travelled and taught others were condemned as gossips
– Churches warned of women’s idle tongues, and their ability to tell other women “those things which by evil arts they know”
– Entire networks of learning dismantled as those women were named witches and tortured to reveal their networks of knowledge sharing in attempt to genetically cull daring and intelligent women
– Daughters were made to watch mothers burn. Daughters lashed in front of mothers fires in warning
– Women’s networks also used to spread information between villages
– In centralizing control over medicine and education and isolating women, church controlled horizontal communication
– Traveling healers (witches) replaced by traveling priests and professional doctors
– Peasant rebellions wouldn’t have a sympathetic conduit for information without women’s networks of knowledge sharing
– Similar to today’s terrorism laws, witchcraft was deemed an exceptional crime, with far less rights for prisoners, interrogation under torture, death sentences for suspicion of offense, inquisitions which sought new names to prosecute
– Just as today, new medical professionals played big part as “expert witnesses” for the prosecution
– Demonization of women helped by teachings of their professional rivals who brought back Hippocratic favorites like female hysteria
– The Inquisition is described primarily as religious persecution despite the fact that overwhelming majority of its victims were women of all faiths
– Popularly known victims taught in schools are scientists like Galileo and Copernicus, who both lived to old age and continued to work
– Unmentioned are the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women and indigenous and enslaved South Americans killed.
– All of the texts at the time of the Inquisition made it clear, the primary target was women, indigenous and slaves
– Inquisition was not an attack against men of science as depicted today, it was an attack for and by men of science
– Still not acceptable to today’s corporations to mention the gynocide that put them in control or the dissociated structure that exists more than ever today as medical knowledge not just centrally controlled but also copyrighted and patented
– Search for history of western medicine jumps straight from Hippocrates to 12th century, with all of intervening knowledge photo shopped out, dismissed as old wives tales. No recognition it provided health care for all of Europe for centuries
– At same time that women’s bodies turned into workhouses to enslave them and they lost autonomy over their own bodies, the trade economy made all work not traded to the powerful for a wage unrecognized
– World Bank today still speaks of women entering the workforce and contributing labor when they enter the trade economy
– Workers movements center on waged workers, men insist more men die on the job because the occupational hazards of child birth and marriage aren’t considered jobs
– Laws protecting against forced labor and slavery don’t include motherhood
– According to the World Health Organization, 287,000 women die every year in childbirth. All U.S combat casualties in all wars ever = 848,163.
– Erasure of value from women’s work was necessary for enslavement of women. Enslavement of women was necessary for outside ownership of their bodies, the factories producing the labor force.

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