[Marxism] Class and race and gender

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Thu Jun 24 01:08:08 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Ferguson" <plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz>

> Comrades such as Lou Paulsen and Carroll Cox seem to totally dismiss the
> significance of racialised and class differences among women.  However,
> these are by no means insignificant.

*sigh* I didn't think the question of whether there were significant
racialized and class differences among women was in dispute.

> Some US comrades also have an extremely bad - I will avoid using the 'c'
> word - habit of extrapolating from the US onto the other imperialist
> countries and assuming that our imperialist societies must merely mirror
> the US, because the US is so spectacular, and therefore telling us how
> to conduct Marxist politics in Britain, NZ etc.

Hey, don't restrain yourself from using the word 'chauvinist' on my account.
You might have a point.  I probably should have toned down my response to
Pearn some.  I was writing after he had called José a middle-class liberal
and was a bit excited, but that's an explanation, not an excuse.

Now, I don't believe that the US is "spectacular" in any political way.
Rather the reverse.

> Or making snide
> comments about how things must be in Britain, NZ, often without even the
> benefit of having even holidayed over here.

I suppose it would only make matters worse if I said, "but I saw those
movies."  I apologize for the hobbit references.

> So just like the US tries to boss around the lesser imperialist powers,
> we have Marxists in the US telling Mike Pearn and Ian Pace and others
> how it must be and how Marxists must go about things in Britain, and
> then having the nerve to use the 'c' word about people like Mike who
> demur and who say, well, actually comrades, it's not quite like that
> over here.

I will try to be less arrogant in the future.  On the other hand, you, Phil,
were the one who wrote that Carroll's ideas were 30 years out of date,
citing NZ phenomena as the evidence, whereas he lives here, not there; and
Ian wrote several things about the dominance of "liberal feminism" in the US
which I believed to be simply mistaken.  In any case, I thought that with
regard to this "liberal feminism" issue, on which I responded to Pace, I had
adequately stated that I was drawing on the situation in the US, which Ian
had started writing about himself.

> *Some* US comrades need to wake up, stop hiding behind race and gender,
> drop the arrogance, and look at trends in other imperialist countries.
> Not least because, I suspect, our more evolved imperialist societies
> show you the future of your own.
> Phil

I wish I thought that the US was at all "evolving" in the direction of being
like NZ as you describe it, but I don't.  I am inclined toward seeing NZ's
development as an exception, conditioned by geographic and economic factors.
Do you think this is wildly wrong?  I would be very interested, in any case,
in hearing people's assessment of the 'trends' in other imperialist
countries - with particular reference to the post-1991 period.

Lou Paulsen

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