- Capitalism and Alternatives -

When it comes to your petty proprietor 'socialism' & patriarchal attitudes, it's the most apt word

Posted by: Stoller on January 15, 19100 at 11:50:47:

In Reply to: Is 'reactionary' your catch-all criticism? posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on January 14, 19100 at 16:16:30:

Do I ever hate debating abortion... esecially with the religious...

: Exactly why is it the woman's only decision? Either the fetus is a human being, or it's a non-human "object" like an unfertilized egg, or it's something on a continuum in between. If it's a human, it oughtn't to be deprived of life in teh first place, at least not without input from as many involved people as possible; if it's an object, clearly both the father nad the nmother have claims to it. If it's somewheer in between, I still don't see how you reason that it's only the mother's decsiion.

When I say 'freedom to or freedom from,' I mean, in that paradigm, only one side gets freedom.

Freedom for the capitalist---or freedom from the capitalist? They're not compatible. Freedom for (even) one person to pollute the air---or freedom from pollution? They're not compatible. Freedom for the mother---or freedom for the unborn child? Again, they're not compatible.

A CHOICE HAS TO BE MADE---in all instances where freedoms are not compatible. Like I said here, this isn't the time for postmodern wishy-washiness, sides must be taken.

The ability for a woman (or a man) to have the ECONOMIC AUTONOMY to leave the relationship AT ANY TIME (and abortion is relevant here)...

: But the question is really, "Does the fetus have a claim to human life...

Yawn...go bother someone on the Anything Else board, NJ...

To stay with a spouse merely because that would be the 'expedient' thing to do (read: economic dependence) is to DENY love-bonds.

: Yes.

Therefore marriage (as in obligation to stay together) is reactionary.

: But every society displays some form of marriage- for teh children'/s sake, if nothing else?

In a proper communist society, children would be cared for by their parents.

But if anything should go wrong with that family, society should be equipped to care for the child.

: Easy divorce hurts women more than men. Just look at countries like Pakistan, where a man can easily divorce hsi wife whenever he gets tired of her (under Islamic Shariah law). How do you think Pakistani women like that? Easy divorce allows men to use women as sex objects, while lying to them that they will be lifelong partners.

In BOURGEOIS society, yes. I'm talking about communism here... where social services and access to the means of production would be so abundant that women would be as free as men traditionally are in choosing---or leaving---relationships... There wouldn't be 'divorce' because there wouldn't be 'marriage.' Love would not be a contract, it would be a (private) relation. Same for the children.


[Communism] will transform the relations between the sexes into a purely private matter which concerns only the persons involved and into which society has no occasion to intervene. It can do this since it does away with private property and educates children on a communal basis, and in this way removes the two bases of traditional marriage, the dependence, rooted in private property, of the woman on the man and of the children on the parents.(1)

: Now, I'm not syaing couples shouldn't be allowed to divorce, or that divorce is not sometimes necessary. I am saying its somethingthat snhouldn't be entered into lightly or casually.

You sound so conservative, so patriarchal...

: What's wrong with a family wanting to spend thirty minutes together over an intimate dinner? Family bonding, and all thta. What's wrong with allowing people the choice whether or not tehy want to eat dinner with their neighbors every night? What about freedom of choice?

What's wrong with it? Well, what's wrong with it is that usually women always do the cooking and the cleaning up...

: What's wrong with getting the kids to help with the dishes?

Why didn't you mention MEN helping with the dishes?

What's wrong with rationalized job rotation so the cooking and the cleaning up can fall to EVERYONE (men included, pal) in equal shares? As far as privacy goes, ever heard of seperate tables (like in restuarants)?

: Anyway, many women would prefer to take time off and raise children; shouldn't they have the choice? Isn't that freedom?

You have a suspiciously male point of view. Most women want BOTH child raising and outside work---job rotation, you know...

[Child rearing] also kept [women] isolated, in the house all the time...

: Uhhh, no.

'Uhhh, no'?

...which perpetuated their illiteracy and backwardness and submissiveness to the men who 'earned their living' FOR them...

: What about allowing women to do both housework and 'earn a living'?? anyway, I advocate a future in which no one HAS to earn a living, I think that money should be necessary only for a few luxuries; food, medicine, leisure, shelter, education, etc. should be free.

I say no money at all.

And yes, women (like men) should care for their children AND work outside the home, too. Have we finally found common ground here? I mean, jeez, these are perfectly acceptable concepts to the bourgeoisie...

I'm all for love-bonds. I'm all for children. And you can bet that I'm all out for relationships in which all parties---yes, even the kids---have the freedom to leave the 'nuclear unit' should it become a place they don't like (therefore, regarding children, those day---and night---care centers should be VERY quality)... That is how love stays REAL.

: Yes. But when it comes to the kids, how many rights shoudl they be given? Lets say their parents want to teach them about communism, but they'd rather go play video games? Are you going to indulge that preference? That would be absurd.

No, you are being absurd. Will the child centers in a socialist culture be filled with video games? Unless you're talking to Lark, no... The same ruling ideas that inform the parents will be there in the child care centers...

: Didn't MArx CRITICIZE capitalism for destroying the family relationship?

Yes---but conditionally. But he (and, especially, Engels) was clear that only complete financial independence could 'liberate' women, so they supported women entering the workforce. Capitalist reliance upon female laborers was progressive compared with feudal 'housewife' work.


By destroying the patriarchal isolation of the... population who formerly never emerged from the narrow circle of domestic, family relationships, by drawing them into direct participation in social production, large-scale machine industry stimulates their development and increases their independence, in other words, creates conditions of life that are incomparably superior to the patriarchal immobility of precapitalist relations.(2)

: You're losing a valuable ally, Barry, and I don't mean myself. I mean those people, particularly in the Third World, who support tradition and the family. "Family values" and "tradition" both provide strong, strongcritiques of capitalism. And I believe that if capitalism is bad (which it is) then we should try to defeat it, and that means taking allies where we find them.

No, I disagree. There are many 'allies' that will turn on the proletariat once the 'common enemy,' big business, is overturned. The 'religious right' is one such 'ally.' And you, I'm afraid, seem to share some of their disgustingly backward views...

And your bit about school vouchers---yikes!



1. Engels, Principles of Communism, Monthly Review Press 1952, p. 18.

2. Lenin, 'The Development of Capitalism in Russia,' Collected Works, Progress 1972, p. 546.

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