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In the 1990s, right after the collapse of the USSR, the Russian tabloid press burst into a huge series of exposés on leaders of the state socialist past.
A lot of this attention fell on Lenin—as the founder of the state, he became a privileged target of all sorts of attacks.
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.
From palmistry to divination, from the use of charms to sympathetic healing, magic opened a vast number of possibilities.
Federici adheres to this Foucauldian approach of uncovering the genealogy of power, placing greater emphasis on it than conventional Marxist and feminist analyses.
She states that witches do not work either; they are engaged in alternative activities, and this is their main crime against the bourgeois order.
There was magic designed to win card games, to play unknown instruments, to become invisible, to win somebody's love, to gain immunity in war, to make children sleep …
Eradicating these practices was a necessary condition for the capitalist rationalization of work, since magic appeared as an illicit form of power and an instrument , that is, a refusal of work in action …