Marxism and womens movement

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Mrxsm nd Wmns mvmnt

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Th purps f ths rtcl s t xmn th thry nd prctc f Mrxsm s t rlts t wmns lbrtn. n rspns t fmnst crtcsm mny Mrxsts hv bn unncssrly dfnsv. n rlty th rvlutnry Mrxst trdtn hs prud rcrd. Ths s vry clr whn w cmpr th pltcs nd ctvts f th frst-wv burgs fmnst mvmnts f th lt nntnth nd rly twntth cntury wth ths f thr Mrxst cntmprrs. ndd mny mdm fmnsts wuld gr wth t lst sm Mrxst crtcsm f burgs fmnsm. Hwvr ny thry whch ss gndr rthr thn clss dvsns s fundmntl ultmtly nds up wth th sm lmttns nd wknsss.

Th mn currnts wthn mdrn fmnsm burgs fmnsm s xmplfd by rgnstns lk th ustrln Wmns lctrl Lbby sclst fmnsm rdcl fmnsm nd sprtsm hv brdly smlr crtqu f Mrxst thry: tht Mrxsm bcus t s sx-blnd[1] nd bsssd wth clss nd cnmc qustns cnnt xpln th pprssn f wmn r dl n ny stsfctry wy wth qustns f prsnl lf. vn sclst fmnsts wh n vryng dgrs s clss s mprtnt blv tht fmnst thry s ncssry bcus ptrrchy[2] xsts lngsd but sprtly frm cptlsm (r ny thr frm f clss scty). n fct thy rgu clss struggl ftn cnflcts wth th nds f wmn s wrkng clss mn llgdly bnft drctly frm th pprssn f wmn.[3]

Th ndqucy f Mrxst thry thy clm s prvd by th hstrcl rcrd. Wmn n sclst cuntrs (r cuntrs tht untl rcntly clld thmslvs sclst) r bvusly nt lbrtd. ndd thy ftn br burdn f pprssn grtr thn thr cuntrprts n th wst. Furthrmr ml-dmntd Mrxst rgnstns st nd wst hv suppsdly nvr tkn th qustn f wmn srusly nugh.

cmmn sclst fmnst tttud s xprssd by Shl Rwbthm. Sh wrts f th Mrxst rthdxy f Stlns rul nd cmmnts:

My gnrtn nhrtd Mrxsm whch hd nly cntnud n th wstrn cptlst cuntrs s dfnsv bdy f rthdxy surrundd by prtctv wlls ncrustd wth fr stff wth trrr brttl wth bttrnss chng wth dsllusnmnt.[4]

Sclst ltrntv hs n qurrl wth th sttmnt tht wmn wr nd r pprssd n cuntrs lk th frmr Svt Unn. ndd ur wn ltrtur hs rptdly drwn ttntn t th phnmnn s n mprtnt prt f ur rgumnt tht ths scts cnnt n ny wy b rgrdd s sclst.[5] Nr d w dsgr substntlly wth Rwbthms dscrptn f th Stlnsd Cmmunst Prts f th Wst. Ths s nt th plc t g nt dtld rgumnt but th clss ntur f scts lk th Svt Unn.[6] n brf ths r burucrtc stt cptlst clss scts nd snc thy r nt sclst thy d nt prv nythng but Mrxsm r sclsm. ftr th Stlnst cuntr-rvlutn f th lt 1920s th Cmmunst Prts n th wst ncrsngly lst ny clm t b th brrs f rvlutnry Mrxsm nd lrgly bcm tls f Svt frgn plcy (lthugh thr wr mny cmmttd nd ddctd ppl n thr rnks wh t sm lvl rtnd th Mrxst vsn f humn lbrtn).

Nthr th s-clld sclst cuntrs nr th wstrn Cmmunst Prts r usful gud t th Mrxst vw f wmns lbrtn. t s rthr th cs tht rvlutnry Mrxsm hs bn bndnd nd ths hs ld t th dwngrdng f th qustn f wmns (nd ndd humn) lbrtn. Thr s drct rltnshp btwn dhrnc t gnunly rvlutnry Mrxst trdtn nd cmmtmnt t wmns lbrtn.

Hwvr bcus mst fmnsts (nd ndd mst ppl) ccpt wthut qustn th sclst crdntls f stt cptlst cuntrs nd th rgnstns whch supprt thm t s ncssry t rvw th gnss nd dvlpmnt f Mrxst thry n wmn nd xmn hw t hs frd n th hnds f vrus currnts wthn th sclst mvmnt. Th strtng pnt s th wrk f Mrx nd ngls thmslvs nd n prtculr ngls Th rgns f th Fmly Prvt Prprty nd th Stt whch prvds th thrtcl frmwrk. whl srs f qustns rltng t wmns pprssn hv rsn snc ngls tm‑prtculrly n rltn t sxulty nd th blty t cntrl frtlty. But Mrxsts tdy cn stll us ngls nlyss s bss t dl wth thm.

Mrx nd ngls n wmn

Mrx nd ngls wr nfluncd by th utpn sclsts wh prcdd thm. Thy ftn qutd Chrls Furrs thss lnkng scl prgrss wth dvncs n th cndtn f wmn [7] nd wr fmlr wth th wrk f Rbrt wn nd Hnr d Snt-Smn n th qustns f wmns rghts nd sxul frdm.[8] n Th Cndtn f th Wrkng Clss n nglnd ngls spnt lt f tm xmnng th ppllng xprnc f wrkng clss wmn nd th mpct f ndustrl cptlsm n thr hlth th fmly nd th rltns btwn th sxs. H dd nt s ths s trvl ssus.

Frm hs bsrvtns h drw cnclusns whch wr dvlpd mr fully n ltr wrks. mng th mst mprtnt f ths ws tht th wrkng clss fmly ws n th prcss f dsslutn. Ths turnd ut t b mstkn but t ws nt n unrsnbl prdctn t th tm. H dd nt frs th cmng tgthr f tw fctrs whch wuld ld t th rcrtn f th wrkng clss fmly: th cptlst clsss lrm t th prspct f kllng ff th prltrt nd ts cncrn t nsur stdy supply f rsnbly hlthy nd pprprtly sclsd wrkrs; nd th dsr f th wrkng clss tslf fr th fmly s rfug frm th msry f ndustrlstn. Nnthlss ngls bsrvtns f th prltrn fmly wr xtrmly mprtnt n th ltr dvlpmnt f hs ds.

ngls furthr cncludd tht dspt ll th hrrrs nvlvd th mss ntry f wmn nt th wrkfrc ws hstrclly prgrssv nd ld th bss fr qulty btwn th sxs. Ths ws ltr splld ut mr fully by Mrx:

Hwvr trrbl nd dsgustng th dsslutn undr th cptlst systm f th ld fmly ts my ppr nvrthlss mdrn ndustry by ssgnng s t ds n mprtnt prt n th prcss f prductn utsd th dmstc sphr t wmn t yung prsns nd t chldrn f bth sxs crts nw cnmc fundtn fr hghr frm f th fmly nd f th rltns btwn th sxs.[9]

s prt f th wrkfrc wmn hv scl pwr thy d nt pssss s wvs nd mthrs nd cn tk n ctv prt n thr wn lbrtn nd tht f thr clss th tw g tgthr. Ths fcus n wmn s wrkrs wth pwr rthr thn s pssv vctms s n f th ky dffrncs btwn th Mrxst nd th fmnst pprch nd undrls ny gnunly rvlutnry pprch t th struggl fr lbrtn.

n Th Cmmunst Mnfst Mrx nd ngls usd th phrs bltn f th fmly.[10] Thy rgud tht th fmly nly xstd n ts cmpltly dvlpd frm mng th burgs. blshng th fmly ws prt nd prcl f blshng prvt prprty nd prcndtn fr ndng th sttus f wmn s mr nstrumnts f prductn. Thy lkd frwrd t th dstructn f cptlsm brngng wth t th bltn f th cmmunty f wmn sprngng frm tht systm .. f prsttutn bth publc nd prvt. Thy dvctd th bltn f ll rghts t nhrtnc (n rlr vrsn tlkd f qul rght f nhrtnc fr lgtmt nd llgtmt chldrn);[11] th qul lblty f ll t lbur nd th fr ductn f chldrn n publc schls.

n Prncpls f Cmmunsm ngls psd th qustn Wht nflunc wll th cmmunst rdr f scty hv n th fmly nd nswrd t s fllws:

t wll mk th rltn btwn th sxs purly prvt rltn whch cncrns nly th prsns nvlvd nd n whch scty hs n cll t ntrfr. t s bl t d ths bcus t blshs prvt prprty nd ducts chldrn cmmunlly thus dstryng th twn fundtn f hthrt xstng mrrg th dpndnc f th wf upn th husbnd nd f th chldrn upn th prnts.[12]

Ths wr xtrmly dvncd ds. Undrlyng thm ws vw f th fmly s scl nsttutn whch prptutd th pprssn f wmn nd rjctn f th ntn tht wmns mn rl shuld b tht f wf nd mthr. Cupld wth ths ws th undrstndng tht th mncptn f wmn dpndd n thr bng nvlvd n scl prductn.

Wthn th sclst nd wrkrs mvmnts Mrx nd ngls ds wr cntrvrsl. Fllwrs f Prudhn n Frnc nd Lssll n Grmny[13] blvd tht wmn shuld nt b nvlvd n scl prductn whr thy cmptd gnst mn but shuld rmn n thr nturl sphr th hm. Mrx nd ngls frquntly nggd n htd dbt n ths qustn. Thy rgud fr wmn t b rgnsd nd brught nt th wrkrs mvmnt. t ws Mrx wh nsstd tht n nglsh schltchr Hrrt Lw b ppntd t th Gnrl Cuncl f th Frst ntrntnl.[14] H ls prmtd th frmtn f wrkng wmns brnchs f th ntrntnl n rs whr thr wr hgh cncntrtns f wmn wrkrs.[15]

Th rgn f th fmly

Th publctn f ngls Th rgn f th Fmly Prvt Prprty nd th Stt whch md xtnsv us f Mrxs nts ws lndmrk. Hr fr th frst tm ws thrugh mtrlst nlyss f wmns pprssn. ngls rgud tht t ws nt nturl r nvtbl phnmnn but ws ssctd wth th dvlpmnt f clss scty. Th fmly (nd hnc rltns btwn th sxs) s nt nturl unchngng nsttutn. Fmly frms hv vrd nrmusly thrughut hstry. Furthr thr s lnk btwn fmly frms nd th wy prductn s rgnsd n dffrnt clss scts: chngs n prductn ld t chngs n th frm f th fmly.

ngls lctd th rgn f th pprssv fmly wth th bgnnngs f prvt prprty nd th dvsn f scty nt clsss. n pr-clss scts thr hd bn sxul dvsn f lbur but ths hd nt ld t th systmtc pprssn f wmn. Th bsnc f surplus nd th nd t survv mpsd crtn gltrnsm n ths scts usully dscrbd s prmtv cmmunsm. Hwvr nc wnrshp nd nhrtnc f prprty bcm n ssu th prvusly xstng mthr rght (th trcng f dscnt thrugh th mthr rthr thn th fthr) hd t b nd ws vrthrwn. ngls clld ths th wrld hstrcl dft f th fml sx whn th mn tk cmmnd n th hm ls; th wmn ws dgrdd nd rducd t srvtud; sh bcm th slv f hs lust nd mr nstrumnt fr th prductn f hs chldrn.[16]

Wth th rs f th fmly cm ls chng n th ntur f dmstc lbur. t ws n lngr scl functn but prvt srvc wth th wmn s dmstc slv xcludd frm scl prductn cnmclly dpndnt n th mn nd cndmnd t mngmy. ngls wnt s fr s t sy tht wthn th fmly th mn rprsntd th burgs nd th wmn th prltrt. Ths ws n unfrtunt frmultn mplyng tht mn wr th nmy. But th mn pnt ngls wnt n t mk ws tht th frst cndtn fr th lbrtn f th wf s t brng th whl fml sx bck nt publc ndustry nd ths n turn dmnds tht th chrctrstc f th mngmus fmly s th cnmc unt f scty b blshd.[17]

ngls rgud tht th cmng scl rvlutn wuld dstry th cnmc fundtns f mngmy nd ts cmplmnt prsttutn. Wth th sngl fmly n lngr th cnmc unt f scty huswrk nd chldcr wuld b sclsd. Ths n turn wuld ld t sxul lbrtn fr wmn. ngls ws nt cmpltly fr f th prjudcs f hs tms; nr culd h frs th mpct f chp sf cntrcptn nd brtn stll lss th dvlpmnt f tchnqus such s n vtr frtlstn whch pn up th prspct f th cmplt sprtn f sx nd rprductn. H blvd tht sclsm wuld ld t th dvlpmnt f hghr frm f mngmy. But h ls md t clr tht ths culd nt b dfntly prdctd r prscrbd:

Wht w cn nw cnjctur but th wy n whch sxul rltns wll b rdrd ftr th mpndng vrthrw f cptlst prductn s mnly f ngtv chrctr lmtd fr th mst prt t wht wll dsppr. But wht wll thr b nw? Tht wll b nswrd whn nw gnrtn hs grwn up: gnrtn f mn wh hv nvr knwn wht t s t buy wmns surrndr wth mny r ny thr scl nstrumnt f pwr; gnrtn f wmn wh hv nvr knwn wht t s t gv thmslvs t mn frm ny thr cnsdrtns thn rl lv r t rfus t gv thmslvs t thr lvr frm fr f th cnmc cnsquncs. Whn ths ppl r n th wrld thy wll cr prcus lttl wht nybdy tdy thnks thy ught t d; thy wll mk thr wn prctc ndtht wll b th nd f t.[18]

ngls crtcs crrctly pnt ut tht sm f th nthrplgcl vdnc h usd hs bn rfutd by mr rcnt nvstgtn but thy g n t rgu tht ths cmpltly dscrdts hs cnclusns. Th htd dbt vr nthrplgcl qustns[19] hs bscurd n mprtnt pnt: tht t ws Mrxst wh md th frst srus ttmpt t ffr scntfc xplntn f wmns pprssn nd tht ll subsqunt ffrts t rgu n ltrntv hv t tk ccunt f ths smnl wrk. Th mprtnc f ngls bk s tht t lcts wmns pprssn n mtrl cndtns n clss scty rthr thn n nturl lws humn ntur r th ds n mns hds nd thrfr shws hw t gt rd f t. By chngng th mtrl cndtns by gttng rd f clss dvsns nd xplttn by dstryng th nsttutn f th fmly wmn cn b lbrtd frm th pprssn f pst gs. nd cruclly t gvs wmn thmslvs s wrkrs ldng rl n thr wn mncptn. t s nt smply mttr f wtng fr rvlutn t cm lng nd lbrt thm thy r thmslvs n ntgrl prt f th struggl. vry smll vctry n th clss struggl s stp twrds lbrtn. Th struggl gnst pprssn nd xplttn r nsprbly bund up.

Bbl

Sm f ngls ds frmd th bss fr bk by ugust Bbl f th Grmn SPD (Scl Dmcrtc Prty) Wmn Undr Sclsm.[20] Ths ws th sngl mst ppulr publctn f th SPD gng thrugh hundrds f dtns nd bng wdly trnsltd. t ws nstrumntl n cnvrtng whl lyr f wmn t sclsm nd brngng thm nt pltcl lf. ccrdng t hstrn f th prd Hld Ln: Fr th prltrn wmn wh ws ntllctully lv Bbl ws lmst lwys th wy t Mrx.[21]

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