Marxism and womens movement (42921)















Mrxsm nd Wmns mvmnt

(ssy)



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-blnd1 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 ptrrchy2 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 Grmny13 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






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