dual systems (to Justin from Tom)

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Sat Nov 12 07:33:55 MST 1994


Justin,
On your last post on this topic of exploitation and women's unpaid labor.:

First of all, I for one did not think lulu's post at all tedious. I really
wish you would resist your impulse for summary dismissal and derogation.
It is not very constructive nor comradely.

Secondly, it is the capitalists who benefit, most of all, from women's unpaid
labor.  They benefit from it in the sense of exploitation: they make
 surplus from it. Women's unpaid labor allows the capitalists to pay workers
even less wages: it imposes upon the woman in the working class family an oner
ous burden in the reproduction of labor-power: a burden which rightfully,
within the capitalist system, ought to be paid by the capitalist (and
shared equitable between men and women, no question).

You can dismiss this logic as dubious.  Fine.  The point is that I don't see
any other ways of fitting domestic unpaid labor into Marx's scheme of
exploitation.  So either way, men are not a class who exploit women. Unless
we talk about market relations (which was what lulu, I think, was getting at),
which are the LOCUS OF EXCHANGE AND SURPLUS VALUE IN CAPITALIST SOCIETY, then
what you are doing is simply making analogies.

I don't believe that such analogies are spurious, by the way: I think they're
very important, and that they have even historical significance.  Didn't
Marx say that the division of labor has its roots within the "latent slavery
of the family"?  Did not Veblen trace the ancient mode of production to the
taking of FEMALE slaves?  It's incredibly analogous.  But that doesn't mean
it's the same thing, by ANY means.

Tom



     ------------------



More information about the Marxism mailing list