File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1996/96-11-13.154, message 24

Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 13:30:24 -0500
Subject: Re: M-I: Reply to Carrol Cox

At 7:43 AM 11/10/96, Louis N Proyect wrote:

>But prejudice is not our problem. Capitalism is. Capitalism is causing
>the economic insecurity of women, minorities and older people.

I agree with much of what Lou said, but I think things are a bit more
complicated than this. I think a capitalism without racism and sexism is
theoretically possible - though obviously one hasn't happened yet - and
that bigotry has a life of its own apart from market relations. Teresa
Ebert rethinks class as how one fits into the division of labor, a
formulation that embraces household work as well as market work. Certainly
there are forms of work that are highly racialized and gendered. Lots of
work needs to be done in figuring out how these things all work together.

One problem I have with the pomo construction of identity is that it's
highly subjective and experiential, whereas class (and Ebert's division of
labor) are social structures with an existence beyond the individual. That
offers some social grounding for solidarity, while the subjective and
experiential encourages inwardness and the search for uniqueness.



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax
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