[Marxism] women and worker self-management

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 7 08:51:24 MST 2017

Today's Socialist Worker has a fascinating biography of an overlooked
fighter of the Commune, Elisabeth Dmitrieff. It describes her work leading
the Women's Union and the role it played in the newly-self-managed economy.
As with strikes and revolutions in general, the need to provide essentials
grew over into greater and greater worker control.

One interesting aspect of how this played out in the Commune is this demand
from the Women's Union, in a list of demands in pursuit of both gender
equity and securing working class rule:

"--2. A local and international federation of the various trade sections in
order to ease the movement and exchange of goods by centralizing the
interests of the producers."

The word "centralizing" may seem odd in a document from a Commune whose
ideology was as much anarchist as socialist.

But it reminded me of some interesting passages in Sam Dolgoff's book about
how Spanish anarchists built nationwide economic structures.


On Dmitrieff see:

With the growth of today's feminist movement, especially its pro-working
class wing, it's a good time to revisit these precursors (most immediately
for discussion of what the growing move to shut schools tomorrow might mean
for teacher/parent/student control).

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