A study of the witch-hunt also challenges Foucault’s theory concerning the development of “bio-power,” stripping it of the mystery by which Foucault surrounds the emergence of this regime. Foucault registers the shift — presumably in 18th-century Europe — from a type of power built on the right to kill, to a different one exercised through the administration and promotion of life-forces, such as population growth; but he offers no clues as to its motivations. Yet, if we place this shift in the context of the rise of capitalism, the puzzle vanishes, for the promotion of life-forces turns out to be nothing more than the result of a new concern with the accumulation and reproduction of labor-power. We can also see that the promotion of population growth by the state can go hand in hand with a massive destruction of life; for in many historical circumstances — witness the history of the slave trade — one is a condition for the other. Indeed, in a system where life is subordinated to the production of profit, the accumulation of labor-power can only be achieved with the maximum of violence so that, in Maria Mies’ words, violence itself becomes the most productive force.