dual systems and adaptation in general
tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Wed Nov 9 13:18:43 MST 1994
I think Justin has done a good job of stating my views about the
situation of men and women in capitalist patriarchy being structured as
both exploitative and oppressive so I wont go over ground he has already
I BEG TO DIFFER.
I dont think fears that we may not have a common ground to
unite against the system should lead us to ignore the very real splits we
face because of institutionalized privileges.
THIS WOULD BE A GENUINE CRITIQUE: IF I
MYSELF DID NOT ALSO HAVE A MORE SUBSTANTIAL
CRITIQUE THAN SIMPLY THAT YOUR ARGUMENT IS POLITICALLY INCONVENIENT.
PLEASE ADDRESS THIS CRITIQUE RATHER THAN STRAW-MAN.
It is not "liberal" to
point these out, nor is it helpful to label these this way. No liberal
thinker would be caught dead arguing that men exploit women!!
MANY LIBERALS, ESPECIALLY FEMINIST LIBERALS, ARGUE IN PRECISELY THIS WAY.
ANDREA DWORKIN, WHO BLOCKED WITH JESSE HELMS AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY, SAYS THAT
ALL HETEROSEXUALITY IS RAPE. I HAVE READ ARTICLES IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, A
liberal PAPER, WHICH PUSH EXACTLY THE NOTION THAT MEN ARE A "CLASS." LIBERALS
SEEK TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER IN ORDER TO PUSH STATE COOPTATION UPON US. WHILE
I WOULD NOT NECESSARILY TERM PEOPLE ON THE LEFT, LIKE YOURSELF, AS A LIBERAL,
I WOULD CERTAINLY ARGUE THAT DUAL SYSTEMS IS A capitulation TO LIBERALISM.
(I'M USING CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I'M ANGRY, BUT BECAUSE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME
I HAVE USED THIS AND I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE WILL BE LITTLE BRACKETS AROUND
way, I think a parallel argument can be made that whites as a group
exploit African-Americans because of the still existing racial division
of labor, although as that heterogeneous labor situation breaks down
because of Black unemployment what we seem to be left with is oppression
due to racial segregation and poverty.
ONCE AGAIN, THE DAY THAT WHITE WORKERS HAVE BIG ENOUGH PAYCHECKS TO SHARE WITH
THEIR BLACK SISTERS AND BROTHERS, AND STILL REFUSE TO, IS THE DAY I'LL
TERM WHITE RACISM "EXPLOITATION"
In any case, the tri-systems
theory of social domination systems doesnt imply that there is no way to
make coalitions to fight social inequality. All we have to do is to
realize that as social animals people can forge political alliances based
on a moral-social interest in achieving an accepted historical-political
ideal, in this case, political equality which leftists can argue requires
economic and social equality. And although our material group interests as
whites, or men, or middle class prof. workers, may oppose those of people
of color, women, and working class proper workers, our moral-social
interests can be engaged to form radical coalitions around
anti-capitalist economic and social democratic demands. If this be petty
IT'S CERTAINLY VERY CLOSE TO EDUARD BERNSTEIN'S KANTIAN REFORMISM. THAT'S NOT
TO SAY THAT YOU SHOULD THEREFORE DROP YOUR POSITION LIKE A HOTPLATE YOU JUST
PICKED UP BY ACCIDENT. THE PROBLEM WITH HIS AND YOUR POSITION IS THAT THERE'S
NO REAL WAY THAT IT'S GOING TO WORK. SOCIALISM HAS BEEN AROUND AS A MORAL IDEAL
EVER SINCE AT LEAST THOMAS MORE. IT WAS MARX WHO DEVELOPED THE IDEA THAT RADICAL
MORAL IDEALS HAVE TO HAVE REAL MATERIAL POSSIBILITIES TO WHICH THEY MAY
ATTACH THEMSELVES: "THEORY BECOMES A MATERIAL FORCE WHEN IT GRIPS THE masses."
BUT IF THE MASSES ARE INTRINSICALLY DIVIDED, THEN NOTHING IS NOTHING GOING TO
REAL MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS ONLY COMES ABOUT AS A RESULT OF MATERIAL INTERESTS.
IF WHITES/MEN ARE A SEPARATE CLASS, WITH AN EXPLOITATIVE CLASS INTEREST AGAINST
THE REST, THEN THERE IS NO CHANCE THEY WILL FORM THE "ALLIANCES" YOU SEEK, LET
ALONE THE INTEGRATED VANGUARD PARTY THAT I SEEK. OF COURSE, WHITES/MEN
DO NOT FORM A SEPARATE CLASS--BUT IDEOLOGIES SUCH AS YOURS, WHICH CAPITULATE
IN EFFECT TO LIBERAL ELITE PLURALISM, ENSURE THAT THOSE ALLIANCES AND THAT
PARTY WILL NOT BE BUILT. INSTEAD, BLACKS AND WOMEN WILL BURROW THEMSELVES
INTO SEPARATISM/NATIONALISM. IF YOU THINK THAT SUCH MOVEMENTS LEAD TO SOCIALISM,
CONSULT GERALD HORNE'S RECENT WRITINGS. IT'S LIKE TRYING TO GET ACROSS TOWN
BY WAY OF CHINA.
and challenging the base/superstructure distinction,
then make the most of it!! I dont think reductionism gained us anything
in the past
"REDUCTIONISM" IS A LABEL, WHICH ITSELF DIMINISHES AND MINIMIZES THE SCIENCE
OF HISTORICAL MATERIALISM. H-M IS THE ONLY BODY OF THOUGHT, TO MY MIND, THAT
EVER GOT US ANYTHING. OUR GAINS WERE INDEED DISTORTED BY A REDUCTIONIST
CARICATURE OF HM: DIAMAT. BUT THE TWO ARE SIMPLY NOT THE SAME.
and I dont think it will in the future!!
aferguso at uci.edu
FOR REVOLUTIONARY INTEGRATION AND CLASS ANALYSIS/STRUGGLE
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