Thursday, 17 April 2014

Communization and Feminism. Insightful quotes.

  • "Communisation’s very starting point is a demand for the abolition of fundamental material elements of the reproduction of gender – the division of social life into two ‘spheres’. This implies an analysis of the system of gender and class as a unity, and because it focuses on the gender binary as a material relation of exploitation or oppression in which the two sides are produced rather than given, it also articulates the patriarchy in a way which, opens avenues of new and more rigorous theories of gender oppression that are able to link the exploitation and oppression of women with violence and oppression based on hetero-normatvity and cis-normativity"
  • "The possession of a uterus is an anatomical feature, and not immediately a distinction, but ‘baby maker’ is a social distinction which makes the anatomical feature a natural distinction. Within the nature of this social construction, of this system of constraint, that which is socially constructed –women – are always sent back to biology"
  • "[…] sexual difference is given a particular social relevance that it would not otherwise possess. Sexual difference is given this fixed significance within class societies, when the category woman comes to be defined by the function that most (but not all) human females perform, for a period of their lives, in the sexual reproduction of the species. Class society thus gives a social purpose to bodies: because some women ‘have’ babies, all bodies that could conceivably ‘produce’ babies are subject to social regulation"
  • "They argue that 'the determination of a public sphere' is actually the 'source' of the sex difference, and we may infer that this is because the public sphere formalises the appropriation of women in/as the private sphere"
  • "Because capital does not consistently face dwindling populations (and in fact, the opposite is often true) both TC and Gonzalez agree that we cannot maintain the same theory of gender when capital comes on the scene. Baby-bearing can no longer be the functional reason for appropriating women in their totality, because it is no longer the principal productive force. Here, Gonzalez and TC part ways, Gonzalez positing that baby-bearing remains the ground of gender but, because it no longer plays the same social function, it is 'more or less ideological', while TC defer primarily to the ever more materially distinct separation of spheres necessitated by the wage-relation as the material ground for gender in capital.Gonzalez’ relegation of gender in capitalism to ideology ends up drawing her argument closer to those Marxist-feminists who have argued that capitalism more or less mobilises an historical echo of past material relations of oppression, and this is the reason for persistent patriarchy."
  • "Some have argued correctly that some strains of feminist emphasis on rape have served a racist or classist function within struggles and analysis, but it is also true that the neglect of rape and sexual violence is just as easily used in racist or classist attacks. If it is not a systematic structural relation, rape and sexual violence are 'bad things' that some 'bad people' do, and on these accounts, those bad people blamed by law, media and white supremacist popular opinion, are more often than not poor and of an ethnic or racial minority"
  • "To ignore sexual violence and compulsory heterosexuality in an account of structurally gendered capitalist social relations is equivalent to ignoring the way in which the threat of unemployment and the growth of unemployed populations structures the relation between labour and capital."
  • "Understanding sexual violence as a structuring element of gender also helps us to understand how patriarchy reproduces itself upon and through gay and queer men, trans people, gender nonconforming people and bodies, and children of any gender."
  • "But if we consider sexual violence as an essential material ground in the production of hierarchised gender relations, then we can begin to see how such patterns relate to the production of the categories women and man and the distinction between the spheres of waged/unwaged; social/non-social; public/private"
  • "The race question has yet to be put on the table for communisation theory. Theorists who analyse race and racialisation as a fundamental social relation that grounds and reproduces capitalist society, (from Cedric Robinson’s epic Black Marxisms to the recent 'afro-pessimists' like Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton) have not been addressed within communisation. This is a testament to the persistent Eurocentrism of current communisation theory, even as it is drawn into the American context"
  • "We believe that capital is a totality which is ‘classed’, ‘gendered’ and ‘raced’ by virtue of its own internal logic. These are not three contradictions which sit on three thrones in the centre of the capitalist totality, homologous with one another, dictating its logic."
  • "the obvious fact that the reproduction of racial and ethnic hierarchies affect, form and constitute every moment and place of capital’s reproduction. A range of feminists, from African-American feminists like Patricia Hill Collins to eco-feminists like Maria Mies, have noted and argued that gender is produced through racialisation, and that racialisation is produced through gender. Communisation has now been able to say, there is never a proletarian who is not gendered, so we must also be able to say there is never a proletarian or a 'woman' or 'man' who is not raced. There is never a 'woman' or a 'man' who is not also a woman who is raced. Communisationists can’t afford to turn a blind eye to these necessary processes of the capitalist totality"

"communisation is more specifically understood as a product of the so-called French “Ultra-Left” of the 1970s. Communisation, in this sense, developed as a criticism of the orthodox Marxist theory of socialist transition and the role of a “socialist” state, arguing instead that communism was not a “stage” to be reached after the revolution but the essential content of the revolution itself. This, understandably, was informed by the actual experience of “socialist” states – which were authoritarian, imperialist and bureaucratic - but also a concentration on Marx’s theory of the commodification of labour and the operation of the law of value as essential to understanding the persistence of capitalist organisational forms during even revolutionary upheavals and the key chain which the proletariat must break. Key writers within this tradition include Theorie Communiste (TC) and Gilles Dauvé"

"The inclusion of anarchism within this list should not come as a great surprise to any individual with a firm understanding of social anarchism. While differences still remain in terms of principle and general theoretical framework between anarchism and even libertarian traditions of Marxism, the essential content of communisation - the rejection of transition and reformism (often referred to as “programmatism”), attacking the law of value and communisation as revolutionary process – represent very common ground indeed."

"Communism (or communisation) had to be both a universal and immediate process transforming all aspects of humanity’s societal intersubjectivity and its relationship with its environment. To argue otherwise was to open the door for reaction and counter-revolutionary measures. To put it simply, as Cafiero (1880) did, “anarchy and communism are the two essential terms of the revolution” "

"It’s in 1880, at the conference of Jura Federation [the anti-authoritarian worker’s federation of the mainly French-speaking Swiss Jura], that for the first time an anarchist conference opted in favor of communism as a mode of economic organization. Here’s how the Italian revolutionnary Carlo Cafiero was defending the communist thesis at this conference: “One cannot be an anarchist without being a communist. Indeed, the slightest hint of limitation carries with it the seeds of authoritarism. It could not show itself without promptly spawning law, judge and gendarme. We have to be communists, because the people, who do not understand the collectivists’ sophisms, have a perfect grasp of communism, as friends Reclus and Kropotkin have already indicated. We must be communists, because we are anarchists, because anarchy and communism are the two essential terms of the revolution."

"So if freedom for us is anarchy and equality is communism, then our revolutionary formula will be: (Revolution) = (Freedom and Equality) (Anarchy and Communism)."
The Gender Rift in Communisation


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