[Marxism] Polanski

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at berkeley.edu
Sat Oct 3 21:04:21 MDT 2009

It's absurd to think that Marx, who campaigned against child labor, 
would have considered such a situation even possibly consensual. It's 
more than clear that he would have also thought the conveniently 
negligent mother nothing more than a hawker of a slave. And there are 
those who think that the state has socially constructed adulthood at 16 
years of age and that nothing lies beyond this demarcation than--to wax 
Foucauldian-- the classifying technology of the state which is then 
understood as the primary instrument of oppression, instilling in youth 
a fear or even disdain for their own bodily pleasures that adult 
proletarian life will never be able to satisfy. Yet Katha and others are 
not inveighing against sexual experimentation among roughly same age 
teenagers; no one here is signing on to the Palin abstinence movement. I 
am in favor of sex education and birth control.

 And this white hot anarchist radicalism pays no attention to the actual 
maturity and biological and social development of a ninth grader in our 
culture, and no one who pays attention to this material reality--that is 
anyone who does not think that the achievement of adulthood is only an 
arbitrary state classificatory action, per radical social 
constructionism (see the criticism by Andrew Sayer in the Moral 
Significance of Class)-- can  say that ninth graders can be consensual 
sex partners of forty year old adults.
Those who rise here to the defense of Polanski sully Marx's name and 
discredit the great struggle for emancipation to which he devoted his life.
And perhaps their intention is to discredit Marx by enlisting him in 
support of Polanski. At the very least what we have here are men 
concerned only with themselves, and they make me certain that I am not a 

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