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(en) France, Alternative Current OCL #225 - Types and classes - reflections on the struggles (fr) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 27 Dec 2012 14:06:05 +0200

Types and classes ---- The approach to reflect on the relationship between male dominance and capitalism, between women's struggle and class struggle, is quite rare these days to make you want to talk about it when it presents itself. Especially as the collective author of styles and classes, widespread insurrection destroy men and women (1) explains this choice "thorny" by his desire to overcome the "clichÃs militants" and dated analysis to contribute to a essential debate. ---- The work done by the group communising (2) Incendo input is declared "unfinished", both because it covers only Western society (especially French) and because it is primarily composed of notes and lines of thought provoking questions on internal discussions "always bright and conflict" as to give priority to either the class struggle is the fight against male domination.

Anyway, I first summarize the analysis proposed here before him make a few comments.

Patriarchy, capitalism and the state

A revolutionary perspective, we can not do without gender issues * finds Incendo , because the division of labor by sex or gender (or sexuation first division of labor) is intrinsically linked to capitalism (mode production where the "monopoly of the bourgeoisie over the means of production and subsistence, [...] the proletarian, destitute of everything, is forced to wage labor and the production of surplus value"), and because under communist society is incompatible with the persistence of forms of hierarchy and domination. The assignment of individuals to a particular social role has always existed, but with "degrees" of male dominance variable. We advance the common maternity and constraints to explain the gendering: pregnancy, breastfeeding, safety of pregnant women (vital for the survival of a group or society) would have resulted in a shift to the "protection" all women because of their potential reproductive capacity. In addition, male dominance is reinforced with the emergence of private property and class society, due to the appropriation of women by the father or the husband over the family and marriage.

The "domestic work" was invented by capitalism considers Incendo . Before the industrial period, the population is predominantly rural and peasant units and production and reproduction * coincide. Lives at home with an extended family agricultural production allows survival and activities of men and women * are "complementary and indispensable" ("sexuation this does not then a devaluation and invisibility of women's work"). Part of female activity is carried out at the place of residence, but it is mainly for own consumption (making clothes, candles, etc..) And no longer exists (3); Conversely, what now constitutes the bulk of domestic work (cooking, laundry, cleaning) there is very marginal (cleaning and laundry Spring, etc..) and raising children is very sketchy (they are considered and treated as miniature adults).

The transition to the capitalist mode of production breaks dramatically with the situation. Until the first half of the nineteenth century, of course, use all capital labor available - so men, women and children. But with the growth of the industry, it becomes dangerous for reproduction even "race workers," as Marx (up to 14 hours per day, more trips ...). However, the increase (or at least renewed) the number of workers is a prerequisite for economic growth. Hence the gradual assignment of women at home to perform domestic tasks: when wage and commodity become the rule, there is not only a deprivation of the means of production and subsistence for the majority but also a separation between place production (human / plant, public sphere) and breeding (wife / home privacy).

To do this, capitalism is based on patriarchy - "type of social organization where family and political authority is exercised by men." Institutions (government, law, religion, politics ...) aims to ensure the continuity and stability of the social order whose family is fundamental because it allows the inheritance. It is set by the working class marriage, to ensure integration and reproduction of the labor force, promoting the bourgeois family model and morals.
however, the all-out industrialization at the turn of the twentieth century and the two world wars lead capitalism to change the shape of sexualization to suit its new objectives. To promote the entry of women into the wage secondary and tertiary, it uses the State, and with the explosion of the consumer society and the massive growth of female employment, there in the middle of the twentieth a change in the relationship between the sexes. Women gain economic independence and a certain formal equality.

Of course, capitalism "releases" for nothing women: it needs a low labor cost and a constant stimulus to consumption by increasing purchasing power, and the family "traditional" hinders the mobility of workers. Moreover, the accession to power of the bourgeoisie, the French Revolution, led an ideology promoting the idea of ââformal equality between men and women ("freedom, democratism, work ethic, success, competition, individualism" ... ). The feminisation of the workforce has a direct involvement in the massive class struggle: on the one hand, the proletariat (composed of workers and employees of both sexes) is expanding on the other hand, the nuclear family, which became the norm, explodes.

Today, the appropriation of women "is mostly a collective mode, domination becomes indirect, impersonal [...]." Since the nineteenth century, the role of the state is a major and growing: it has, through medicine, control over women's bodies (contraception, abortion, etc..) And through various devices (DASS ...) on the family (at the expense of the power of the husband), it supports some of the tasks of reproduction of the labor force (childcare, education, training, health ... Safely, allocs ...) it imposes legal equality women with men, establishes regulations regarding divorce, adoption, child custody ... As for family policies, they seek more backup of the parental couple as married couple (PACS, divorce reform - Consent mutual ...).

The image of the housewife has gradually been replaced by the worker or unemployed, and a growing number of women participating in the capitalist exploitation (4) accessing or prestigious positions of power - a phenomenon "inevitable" even if it is faster or slower depending on the sector. The public sphere thus "lost masculinity that characterized". This "mix growing ruling class (women, men, straight, gay, black, white, Yellow, etc.)." Has the effect of "hide, in part, oppression of genres, but is primarily a reflection of reality: the goods does not care the genre of proletarian and even more than the capitalist. " There has been a breakthrough for the bourgeois.

In contrast, the private sphere remains the domain of women: domestic work and the reproduction of the labor force them back always, all are "determined by their reproductive function" (though more they rise in the social hierarchy unless they are of children), and there is continuing violence against them (rape, sexism ...). This dual activity of women, who "combine" their status in the home of a patriarchal society with that employee (5), encourages Incendo to speak now of "male domination" rather than "patriarchy": "The majority of men hold the power but society (Western) is more organized (legally and politically) in the direction of the sexual division of labor and the exclusion of women empowering activities (monopoly policy, the use of weapons and of the most effective). '

Feminism and revolution

Once this analysis, however, Incendo faces - like many others - such questions as: "Is there a double contradiction within classes and within genres? The bourgeois can they take part in the revolution? Can there be "solidarity" between women across classes - and vice versa? "Continuing its reflection, the collective of the journal focused on the women's movement of the 1970s and its three main feminist currents:

radical feminism (particularly with feminist issues and the tendency of radical lesbians), which takes women to a class. Capitalism is the result of patriarchy, sexism is a foundation, and if you can not shoot one without the other, the main enemy is the patriarchy;
essentialism or differentialism (including Psychepo [6]), which promotes women's bodies and their reproductive capacity, the "femaleness" wishing birth control and ownership of children by women;
the current class struggle (including the group / log PÃtroleuses and Circle Elisabeth Dmitriev) for which the convergence of women's struggle and class struggle is a necessity (capitalism have used the existing structures of patriarchy) which focuses on the struggles of women in wage employment. The idea is admitted into this stream that women are domination, not a specific farm, and they are not all the same dominated (bourgeois and proletarians do not have the same interests). Strategic choices but then diverge, according to analyzes made between: the class struggle is paramount, and the struggle of women must be linked to it, or the struggle of women is in itself anti-capitalist, or the struggle of women against patriarchy and the struggle of the proletariat against capitalism must join in a battle against the main "system."
Nowadays, the women's movement has almost disappeared but the feminist sensibilities still recalls Incendo, who notes about radical feminists and lesbians: "Although homosexuality tends increasingly to be integrated by capitalism, critical of heterosexuality and its counterpart, the pressure of motherhood, have always held to be ", but" this can lead to critical theory of lesbianism as a political strategy (and sometimes) anti-separatist tendencies men denouncing heterosexuality as a form of collaboration with the enemy or voluntary submission. For this position, it is to deny male domination, but certainly not sexism, and even less types. "

Essentialists continue to value the "nature" of women, motherhood and the "sisterhood", often in idealized pre-capitalist societies and wanting to reclaim ancient knowledge.

And besides "gender specialists" (academic and intellectual faculties in speaking, publishing and media), there is action groups (Bitches guard Neither whores nor submissive, the World March ...) often citizenists social democrats who seek a pressure on the government, and through lobbying campaigns and recourse to justice, the rights of women. These groups want to correct the defects of male domination and improve the "status of women" by developments which in fact part of the evolution of capitalism (parity, equal pay, defending the right to abortion ...) [7] .

For Incendo, the emphasis has been more in the women's movement, the private lifestyle, explains its decline: if "the personal is political", the policy does not reduce it , and it is imperative to talk about yourself, it can lead to a shift towards "politics is private" when confined to a deconstruction ("questioning individual and personal gender") without s' involved in social movements. This deconstruction "as any alternative, is reduced to the search for personal happiness in capitalist society", while genres are not "fixed identities [but] a social construct, it is not possible to s extract social relations of which they are the expression (8). "

If women do constitute a group dominated because of their assumed reproductive capacities, bourgeois and proletarians "are not all subject to the same physical conditions and conflicting interests." However, unable to make further progress on the issue of gender and class, Incendo relies then the revolution: "This move permanently abolishing existing order of things, that is to say reports the social world of shit (state, property, capitalism, exploitation, value, money, wage labor, trade, classes, etc.)., at the same time eliminates the need to reproduce the labor force, and family genres. The abolition of wage labor and revolutionary activity put an end to the distinction between social activity and individual activity between the various divisions (working time, rest, leisure, etc.)., So the basics of domestic work (separation between private / public sphere and reproductive / productive). '

Comments on the above

Some analyzes of Incendo on pre-capitalist societies seem attractive (such as non-devaluation of women's work time), but they nonetheless assumptions. Everything depends on what is more social classes studied, and can not in any way "measure" for example reinforcing male dominance with the advent of the bourgeoisie. Moreover, Incendo writes that patriarchy "especially for contemporary industrial societies" is it to say that in France lasted barely a century or two? How then described earlier societies - and there was not really in these societies, gender hierarchy based on the differentiation of tasks? This is surprising given the importance of physical strength and the number of children ("arm") in the rural economy. As for the "invention" of chores assigned to capitalism, it is only to recall the origin of the word "domestic" (domus = home) to say that already in Roman society had any idea. Finally, the return of women to the house with the rise of industrialization in perspective a lot, because at the beginning of the twentieth century, half the French population was still agricultural, with so many women working on their living and the bourgeois were confined at home.

It was also a little impression from reading the review, that patriarchy and capitalism are separate entities and monolithic. Yet these are the very structures (both economic, social and institutional) of the same power, which reinforce each other, and their supporters are sufficiently mixed to have spilled tons of ink for decades on the question of where is the chicken and which is the egg. And then there are in the upper classes a constant struggle and war between "progressives" and "conservatives" in their respective research to maximize profits, to promote or otherwise prevent the necessary changes.

Always on patriarchy, it is argued that the legalization of abortion and contraception has increased the "fatal blows" and that this term is exceeded to qualify societies. Why not to prefer the "male domination", in fact - even though an increasing number of women enter the upper echelons? Nevertheless, despite its transformations, the family remains the pillar system in place (it determines the class membership, promotes or hinders social mobility, is the basis for economic support between generations ...) , and that traditional marriage is not "obsolete" so far as Incendo esteem: after several years of cohabitation, there has yet to pass the heritage ... but also because it is the desire of establish a stable and sustainable based on loyalty. For the requirement of fidelity "of yesteryear" has not gone far away, and, married or unmarried, the couple remains the dominant model. Even if it is "liberalized" with the "turnover" of broken families, divorces and blended soldent today more than half of all marriages, there is in general practice fidelity to the other time relationship - hence the appropriation of another. "The constant torque can be explained by the growing economic difficulties to join to raise a child," suggests Incendo , however, among other factors, there is a strong desire to live together in faithfulness before ... parting to reform another couple on the same basis as often.

More annoying to me in theses presented, is the kind of underlying determinism - for example concerning the struggle of women in the 1970s: "Is it the women's movement that has changed the backward mentality French? [...] And if the feminist campaigns were only the effect and not the cause? Like all groups / orgas leftists who are developing in the 1960s, the emergence of the feminist movement is indicative of the economic and social upheaval, and conflictual social relations of the period. [...] In fact, this struggle was not in contradiction with the modernization of society, on the contrary. '

Take a look distanced and critical feminism (as any other school of thought) of course has its usefulness, and it is not wrong to say that all the "advanced" (abortion, contraception and other ...) obtained by social movements, based on claims arising from economic developments, partly satisfy the maximum benefit to capitalism - as when a balance of power in the economic and social development can snatch something, the power never stops to pick him off his subversive side ... But, firstly, that capitalism could choose to improve the "Women" to promote industrialization and the service sector jobs does not mean the outcome would have been the same without the women's liberation movement. On the other hand, if we push further this line of reasoning deterministic, why not simply expect that economic developments lead to social change - as, for example, the "conditions" are satisfied that arises a new women's movement ? (The revival of this movement, said Incendo "does not obviously depends on energy and voluntarism of some conditions but the beginning of the twenty-first century remain to be studied.")

On classes and types, Incendo we propose a similar conclusion inescapable: "With the revolution, gendering and gender have in fact been abolished by individuals immediately Social [" already processed by communisation "]" the insurrectionary process " inevitably incorporate gender issues, and lead us eventually abolishing them under pain of falling into cons-revolution. " Although it is true that it is deeply in situations of breaking, revolutionary, people become (role, attitudes ...) and the usual social relationships are disrupted or interrupted, advance seems to show more a frantic optimism because the social machine does not function as "magical". Incendo just puts a damper on his description: everything not bathe immediately, and therefore will require a "period of transition (not wasting the State, but wasting capitalist mentality) to communism. " For my part, I do not need to prove the necessity of a revolution by some "evidence" caught in history: the desire that I makes me rather, I confess, look for signs of a step towards this revolution in the relationship of forces.

Recent remarks regarding male domination: the marriage was not to me only foundation for the transmission Heritage's concern and the bourgeoisie became dominant instill values ââ and was well ahead to Church and State, a great tool for sexual repression - and that is why sexual liberation, the right to dispose of his body, was one of the main demands of the women's movement. However, this release is virtually absent from the magazine.

Similarly, Incendo not dedicated to maternity little more than a pamphlet on the desire for sterilization ... do not have children, noting: "Communism is obviously not abolish the distinction between children and bringing that wear them. However, pregnancy is not a natural phenomenon, it is socially organized (differently at different times, societies and regions.)
now implies the formation of the group of women and male dominance. How will be processed and resolved the question of the organization of the pregnancy communisation is crucial and very problematic. It was on this issue, motherhood, that may abut abolition of genres, so communisation. "As for me, I think - again - pregnancy as a natural phenomenon which is not, it is the organization of reproduction. But anyway, this is certainly not a greater use of science (as many wish for changes that will leave far behind the "revolution" test tube babies [9]) that social emancipation ... born.

Finally, Incendo rightly observes that many women do not question the gendering, especially in terms of child care, that single-sex can not solve the problem of inequality between women, ie power What those who speak very easily, etc.., and that power is not "necessarily masculine" as capitalism is neither "white or" reserved "for men currently or heterosexual forever" ... many observations similar to those made ââby a anarcha-feminism (10), and the need to cross link anticapitalist struggle and fight patriarchy to advance a revolutionary process.


[ 1 ]

[ 1 ] 1. Occasional the collective Incendo ( http://incendo.noblogs.org ) sold 3 euros bookstore free price elsewhere.
2. The words followed by an asterisk are defined in the box on p. 27.
3. Chores for today are largely unnecessary: ââsee the time spent by household women workers and those at home, however, with the arrival of a child, women's work greatly increased compared to men.
4. Unlike the upper-class women of the past who took advantage of the situation only through their husbands.
5. This explains in large part the reality of part-time work: it is 80% done by women in France. In 2005, the "single parent families" (7% of households) were more than 90% of women raising their children-s-s only. In 85% of cases of divorce, children are entrusted to the mother, and 96% of recipients of family support allowance are women.
6. Antoinette Fouque, with "Psychoanalysis and Politics", created in 1973 and 1974 editions and bookstores Women and appropriated the acronym MLF in the applicant as a brand in 1979.
7. Certain groups, note Incendo , conduct awareness campaigns (against sexist toys, the publisexisme ...) for the general public and very low impact. Convinced that "sexism has its roots in education, media, advertising, they believe that it is changing education, and purifying the media and advertising that we can abolish sexism," while the oppression of women "is based on much deeper foundations" and that "education is a vector."
8. Incendo address to the same criticism Queer: if we overcome gender and identities sex, their rejection of current standards does not lead to the destruction of a part of oppression, rather its extension (by the choice of other standards), and their ignorance of class relations creates the limits of their claim for capitalism adapts well to personal change.
9. See for example "Biology and gay parenting" ( Le Monde , 27 October 2012) on the next opportunity - thanks to IPS stem cells - for homosexuals-s to have biological children with genes from both parents, and to same person to produce both eggs and sperm.
10. See, among others, Women's Liberation and libertarian project , collective work published by the OCL Acratie, and off-sets of Alternating Current "The Myth of the left: a century of social-democratic illusions" or "Sexual Liberation and social emancipation "(downloadable oclibertaire).
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