dual systems (to Justin from Tom)

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Tue Nov 8 21:38:57 MST 1994

On Tue, 8 Nov 1994 tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu wrote:

> Justin,
> I think we're basically in agreement on the main points in this discussion.

If you say so.

> to follow up, and extend my analogy with other adaptations:
> Language is important.  To use words like exploitation and imperialism
> in their broad sense is fine--in ordinary conversation.  But in political
> economy, we need to define them narrowly.  here is another example:
> during the Hitler-Stalin pact, Schachtman et al. concluded that Stalinism
> was "imperialist" like Nazism.

I was talking about "exploitation" and thought I had argued that women are
in a technical sense exploited, i.e. perform forced uncompensated surplus
labor (for men).


This is really funny, because before I even got this message, I was just about
to leave you this one, responding to this idea.

Forced uncompensated surplus labor?!

These are all very loaded terms, based upon comparisons with the capitalist
system not at all very well thought out.  When you say "forced," I have to
pause.  Are you saying that women have the same objective logic to contend
with as the "work or immiserate" logic that workers face?  Are you saying that
if any woman refuses to do her domestic chores, any and all of their
male companions are going to whip them, like slaves?

"Uncompensated": well, by this, you are already assuming that men are capitalists.
You're assuming that they, rather than the capitalist boss, has the money
to pay women to do this unpaid labor.  Yes, of course they're uncompensated.
But is that up to the working man?  Is the choice of giving or not giving
his companion a paycheck really an option?

I know couples--and this is a big tradition in the working class--where the woman
immediately takes the weekly paycheck from her husband the worker and
regulates expenditures.  So I guess she's "exploiting" herself--rather than
the capitalist exploiting them BOTH!

"Surplus labor"  This connotes the idea that the man is collecting surplus ve
.  That's the very problem I rushed to the E-mail to talk to you about
tonight before I finally go to sleep.  Under every form of CLASS exploitation,
there is a SOCIAL SURPLUS.  Where is the social surplus here?

Your words raise far more questions than answers.



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