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Synopsis

'The break with the past, which has been described by others as the transition to a capitalist mode of production, I describe here as the transition from the aegis of gender to the regime of sex.' Ivan Illich insists that we survey attitudes to male and female in both industrial society and its antecedents in order to recover a lost 'art of living'. 'While under any reign of gender women might be subordinate, under any economic regime they are only second sex... both genders are stripped, and, neutered, the man ends up on top.' He argues that only a truly radical scrutiny of scarcity, with special attention in this study to the sexes and society, past and present, can prevent an intensification of this grim predicament.   

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