Between Progressivism and the New Deal, Second Edition
This is the perfect moment to revisit Mariarosa Dalla Costas groundbreaking study. In the aftermath of a calamitous pandemic that dealt women a particularly devastating blow, the concepts of social reproduction and care work have finally entered the political mainstream. Family, Welfare, and the State brilliantly analyzes the conditions and ideology that shaped New Deal reforms, acutely alert to both their possibilities and limitations. This is essential reading as we push to continue the work of our radical feminist forebears.Astra Taylor, author of Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions In Family, Welfare, and the State, Mariarosa Dalla Costa provides a solid argument for overthrowing, one might say, all three. In this supposedly post-Trumpian moment, when progressive economists are prominently lauding 'the end of the end of welfare as we know it, Dalla Costa's warnings (both implicit and explicit) about the seductions and dangers of any 'new deals' offered down by the American state are salutary, to put it mildly. This book provides a galvanizing history of Roosevelt-era class struggles in and against unwaged housework, and an incisive reading of the apparatus Dalla Costa calls 'the family ideology.' Family, Welfare, and the State is equally a great and accessible starting-point for anyone curious about the Marxist concept of social reproduction, or who has yet to be introduced to this author of the immortal 1970 essay 'Women and the Subversion of the Community' and dissident scion of Potere Operaio, the 1960s Italian workerist group.Sophie Lewis, author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family For fifty years Mariarosa Dalla Costa has been the feminist conscience of autonomist, labor, radical, and workerist movements internationally. Ever since The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community appeared in 1972, no one could reasonably engage in a revolutionary struggle against capitalism, and against the imposition of waged work, without due consideration to the power of women and unwaged reproduction of workers capacity to work. By placing welfare at the center of her analysis, Dalla Costa expands upon these initial findings while opening a new front against the racial and patriarchal order, and against the discipline of the state apparatus. A new edition of Family, Welfare, and the State provides a necessary opportunity to revisit her project, and hence, our own.Kevin Van Meter, author of Guerrillas of Desire: Everyday Resistance and Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible and Reading Struggles: Autonomist Marxism from Detroit to Turin and Back Again Dalla Costas analysis of the New Deal is essential reading for contemporary theorists of racial patriarchal capitalism. Centered on the nexus of the state, the family, social reproduction, and popular struggles in a period of dramatic change, Family, Welfare, and the States historically situated argument feels prescient. Dalla Costas feminist analysis of the Keynesian prequel to neoliberalism, which attends to the crisis of waged work and social reproduction in the 1930s, is critically important to our present imagination ofand struggle against neoliberalisms sequel.Kathi Weeks, author of The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries Through the prism of working-class self-organization, Mariarosa Dalla Costa traces the historical development of the welfare state in the United States. She details the ways in which the family was instituted as the basic unit of social organization and the role bestowed upon women in the reproduction of labor power. Widening the lens, Dalla Costa maps the broader configurations of gender, race, and class that the welfare state was built upon to reveal its systematic exclusions. Family, Welfare, and the State is an important book for a time when we confr
MARIAROSA DALLA COSTA is a feminist author and activist, whose seminal book The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, coauthored with Selma James, has been translated into six languages. Dalla Costas work is a keystone of social reproductive theory and the Wages for Housework campaign and she has been a central figure in the development of autonomist thought in a wide range of anticapitalist movements. She is also, with Monica Chilese, the author of Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons, and the Global Fishermens Movement. SILVIA FEDERICI, a lauded feminist, Marxist theorist, is the author of Caliban and the Witch and Revolution at Point Zero and editor of Feminicide and Global Accumulation among other books. LIZ MASON-DEESE is an editor of Viewpoint Magazine and a longtime participant in and translator for womens movements in Latin America.
Foreword by Liz Mason-Deese Preface by Silvia Federici Introduction Mass Production and the New Urban Family Order The Crisis of 1929 and the Disruption of the Family Forms of Struggle and Aggregation of the Unemployed From Hoover to Roosevelt Women Between Family, Welfare, and Paid Labor