[Marxism] Women's rights
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun Apr 25 23:56:44 MDT 2004
(The below is a rewritten personal correspondence to Comrade DMS.)
What comrade ********** has written is tragic because he places his
ideological conceptions within the Marxist tradition. Jenny has written that birth
rates drives underdevelopment and are used by the bourgeoisie to drive the cost -
value of labor power and its price - down. That is the more people there are,
the more the bourgeoisie can drive down the value of labor power is her logic.
This is pure Malthus.
Under development is of course "under" or below, something. What is being
Walter Rodney popularized the term "underdevelopment" roughly 30 years ago in
his "How Europe Under Developed Africa." Even here, Mr. Rodney is looking at
economic - the bourgeois property relation, development based on the imperial
Jenny apparently views women as a class and I do not object to deploying a
concept of women as a class in relationship to bourgeois property. My starting
point however is that the proletariat is female as opposed to a concept that
views the existence of women as a category and the proletariat as a category,
that happen to intermingle.
How people fight out social questions depends on a complex of factors, we
subject to the lens of Marx. We are not talking about woman as she existed
one-hundred years ago or 50 years ago for that matter.
That is to say what drives the value of labor power down, keeping in mind
that the real proletariat in America and most of the world is female, is not
child bearing, but everything Marx writes about in Capital and his Theories of
Surplus Value or "The Law of The Tendency for the Rate of Profit to fall."
We have discussed this endlessly on Marxmail as the "organic composition of
capital." (Here I remember Comrade ********* difficulty in understanding the
meaning of the word "organic composition" - which of course is no crime. I also
recall the endless data DMS has provided outlining the actual working of the
law of value, the fall in the value of labor power and its price).
What has driven real wages down in America for the past 30 years of our lives
is not child bearing or the "over production" of people. I of course believe
the concept of "the carrying capacity of the earth" is dangerous stuff,
because the amount of people on earth has to be understood in the context of the
metabolic process of the earth and how Marx described the production of "needs."
Even here Jenny speaks of "overproduction of people" as a question of pain -
biological pain of women in the birthing process, or physical endurance. The
tale Comrade Jenny weaves is that child bearing is directly connected to under
development of . . . . . viola! . . . .women or the proletariat (because the
proletariat is female in the first place).
There of course is nothing wrong with a "Women Centric" point of view if the
proletariat is in fact female. However, a Marxist standpoint is required to
understand the law of value - and not feminist ideology, which is not
necessarily "Women Centric." It gets tricky because feminist ideology locates women very
real struggle with men as the essence of the property question as
reproduction of material values and the creation and production of unique needs.
Here is what she states point blank:
"The analogy is that women are forced to produce more children than they
would otherwise have to keep the price of labor DOWN."
I understand her meaning or rather ideology. I would most certainly work with
her concerning reproduction rights and any political rights of our class.
Nevertheless, DMS has grasped the issues at their root.
Now the title of this thread is false (The Working Class Is Men). The working
class is not all men. I emphatically state that the working class is female
and all we have to do is count all the proletarians and ask them to take off
their clothes and viola! . . . . most of they have a vagina. The problem is that
women have political rights as women and proletarian and are not going to
take their clothes off for inspection.
It time to go to school . . . Marxism 101 or the lens of Marx.
The first stages of the Women's Movement began years and years ago, with the
bourgeois women fighting to inherit their husbands wealth, rather than having
it go to the first born son or a male relative. They fought for things like
the right to dispense and disperse the family wealth and to go into business.
Now, this did not have anything to do with the slave women, or the women living
in shanty town and working for fifty cents. Nor did this have anything to do
with the women of the working class Engels describes in his monumental
"Conditions of the Working Class in England."
In other words the Women's Movement was not really a Women's Movement at that
time or at that stage of its evolution. It was not a movement of women as a
class. It was a struggle to quantify the equality within the upper class.
Today we are dealing with a vastly different Women's Movement than in the
post WWII era or even the 1960s or 1970s. It is a mistake to combine reproduction
rights with the question of over population as the bourgeois sector of the
Women's Movement did in the past. The point I am trying to get to is that the
struggle of women as a class can only emerge when the means of production
develops that allows them to behave as a class or proletarians drive by their
majority, which is going to be female.
This stage of the social struggle is very different from what we faced even
fifteen years ago.
Reproduction rights are extremely important. The fact of the matter is that
Women are going to be liberated on the same basis that everyone and anyone else
is liberated. They get kicked out of their social position. When the
sharecropper got kicked off the plantation that was his liberation. When the serf got
kicked out of his social position in a system of landed property and entered
the cities - become part of the world of proletarians, that was his liberation.
The proletariat, which is female - (take off their freaking clothes for
Christ sake and look at them . . . those girls not boys), is being kicked out of
its position in the system of bourgeois production. This is the result of the
revolution in technology. A huge section of the proletariat can no longer sell
its labor power in a manner to enter the world of commodity exchange and
reproduce itself as proletariat. This growing section of proletarians on a planetary
scale are not lumpen proletarians but goddamn women that cannot find work.
Here is the "new class" or the "communist class" as it is slowing evolving in
real time. This "communist class" only seems to be largely black in America -
which it is . . . but it is really more female, in its fundamentality.
Who amongst us is willing to call these Women goddamn "lumpen proletarians."
Comrades are not simply looking at things wrong but have not grasped the logic
of the new era. New features of the social movement always take time to catch
Marxists are not required to accept feminists ideological concepts of another
generation or bourgeois (black) nationalist ideology.
Now the issue of political rights - reproduction rights, only seem very
important to the Women's Movement, when in reality it is more important to the
proletariat because the proletariat is female, especially its lowest and most
poverty stricken sector. These are not impoverished "women" in their
fundamentality but proletarians or proletarians that are women. These are not women of
another period of history when their "unpaid labor" was an appendage to the wages
the bourgeoisie paid the men. The men could not work if the women did not do
the back breaking 18 hours of work while the fellows ran to the tavern. Women
have a real "beef' with their historical treatment you and I have never denied.
Yet we have to subject all of this to the lens of Marx and the property
question . . . and the distinct cycles of bourgeois reproduction, that mark it a
distinct system of social production.
The new alignment of social forces and new features of the social struggle is
presenting a complex of issues to the Women's Movement especially concerning
abortion, not simply reproduction rights.
I shall get in trouble for making this political separation.
This new feature of the social force that is the modern proletariat and
female seems to be demanding the right to bear children and have them cared for
regardless of what the bourgeoisie or our generation thinks. At this stage it
appears as if they are conservative and do not understand the epic abortion
rights fight but perhaps they are saying "fuck abortion rights . . . fuck that shit
of the last generations . . . I am going to do what the fuck I please and my
fucking children are going to be cared for or the way society is set up is
going to be overthrown."
Some complex directions are emerging, but the working class has never fought
in just one direction.
I cannot say for sure because we are only at the second stage of this new
social process - and of course I am not a women. (A person might not know if they
are Gay, but one know when they are not a women . . . I need to stop being
One knows they are at the second stage of a new social process when it
becomes visible. No one can see the transition because the human eye cannot see
emergence but only that, which has emerged. I am not sure but the women under 30
years old are giving us the blues and it might take a little longer to figure
out their direction.
Women will be liberated the same way anyone else is liberated. The process of
her breaking her dependency from men has been a monumental and historic
battle. The development of the means of production that in turn revolutionized
house hold work . . . like the washing machine, gave women more time . . . and she
basically . . . from my point of view said, "Man fuck you I am getting a job
and not taking your bullshit. You out with the fellows again and I stuck doing
the shit work. Go to Hell . . . mutherfucker."
Then she became proletarian and like the sharecropper could only enter this
class at the bottom. Then the fight against the glass ceiling exploded led
increasing by proletarian women.
Jenny might do well to reread Marx, as we adjust to a new period in history.
The ideology of the past will no longer suffice.
The Communist Class has arisen . . . and guess what fellows . . . Its a
Victory to the Proletariat.
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