File spoon-archives/marxism-thaxis.archive/marxism-thaxis_1998/marxism-thaxis.9804, message 10

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 04:05:44 -0500
Subject: Re: M-TH: Re: Sociobiology

Charles wrote and quotes Marx:
>      Yoshie,
>       Is Marx a sociobiologist in the following ?
<<      The direct natural, and necessary relation of person to person is
the relation of man to woman, . In this natural species-relationship, man's
relationship to nature is immediately his relation to man, just as his
relation to man is immediately his relation to nature - his own natural
destination. In this relationship, therefore, is sensuously manifested,
reduced to an observable fact, the extent to which the human essence has
become nature to man, or to which nature to him has become the human
essence of man.  From this relationship on can therefore judge man's whole
level of development.  From the character of this relationship follows how
much man as a species-being, , as man, has come to be himself and to
comprehend himself; the relation of man to woman is the most natural r
relation of human being to human being. It therefore reveals the extent to
which the human essence in him has become a natural essence - the extent to
which his human nature has come to be natural essence -the extent to which
his human nature  has come to be natural to him. This relationship also
reveals the extent to which man's need   has become a human need; the
extent to which, therefore, the other  person as a person has become for
him a need - the extent to which he in his individual existence is at the
same time a social being (Emphasis in original, if it goes over e-mail.
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844)  End of quote.>>

I don't think it is necessary to agree with every single sentence written
by Marx to be a historical materialist. He did not have many things to say
about gender and oppressions based on it, period. Marx had even less to say
to us about human sexuality in all its diversity and changes. He had
nothing to say about the oppressions based on sexual identities and
practices, I believe.

To the extent that Marx regarded gender relations as "natural," his views
on them do not illuminate much from the point of view of those who are like
me feminist, marxist, and post-Foucauldian at the same time.

At least Marx in the above passage has a virtue of not bringing in animals
to argue for his view of relations between men and women, sexuality and
procreation, etc. as Boddhi and Mark have, however. That makes Marx, in
this passage, at least superior to them. Marx does not say silly things
such as 'making sex between men and women a basis for unity across the
gender divide,' as Chales B has argued. That makes Marx superior to Charles
as well.

If disagreeing with Marx on sex, gender, & sexuality makes one non-Marxist
in your view, so be it. I don't consider you to be a final arbiter in this

I guess Chales B has not evolved far away from the views of women held by a
man of the 19th century Europe.


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