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Fri Jul 12, 2019, 11:23 AM

"it is not our thoughts that shape material reality, but material reality that shapes our thoughts"

From "Misogyny is Revisionism Part 1: On the Left’s “Woman” Problem"
Zachary George Najarian-Najafi

“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.” Marx

"That is, it is not our thoughts that shape material reality, but material reality that shapes our thoughts. In fact, Marx’s first major work, The German Ideology, is exclusively dedicated to explaining this.

...By shifting the definition of “woman” away from a materialist one to an idealistic one, we lose the ability to define and fight the causes of women’s oppression. In its most extreme form it erases women as a class, and makes it impossible to talk about patriarchy as an existing force. Why, then, are Marxists, who are supposed to be dialectical materialists embracing a set of ideas the very opposite of dialectical materialism? To answer this, we need to look at the nature of patriarchy; it is a system that predates capitalism. As already stated above, patriarchy and class exist in a symbiosis with one another. The one cannot be eliminated without the elimination of the other. Overthrowing capitalism is not the same as overthrowing class. As Mao pointed out, class dynamics still exist in the socialist society, and require continuous vigilance and combat on the part of revolutionaries. This is why many socialist states still restricted women’s rights to certain degrees, such as the draconian anti-abortion laws of Ceausescu’s Romania. All males benefit in some way from patriarchy, even males in a socialist society. It therefore follows that socialist males fighting capitalism also benefit from patriarchy. While men and women may be in solidarity with one another as workers, working class men also belong to the male sex class, a class that predates the existence of the modern working class. Class allegiances run deep. This is why so many socialist and “feminist” men are quick to defend and even endorse the violent language and actions perpetrated by some gender non-conforming men against the female sex class, regardless of how these gender non-conforming men identify themselves. This is not to deny that gender non-conforming men are discriminated against, and face harassment and violence themselves, but even as exiles from the male sex-class, they still benefit from some of the privileges awarded to this sex class. Note that I do not use privilege in the manner it’s currently used by the regressive left, i.e. as some abstract notion that needs to be “checked”. Rather, it is an actually existing force that must be combated, just as white revolutionaries must actively combat white supremacy, and first world revolutionaries must actively combat “their” state’s imperialism.

Opportunism and the “fear” of being on the “wrong side of history” are also driving forces behind this embrace of revisionism. The Anglophone left, especially in the United States, given its weakness in the overall political arena, has long sought to be seen as “acceptable” and “polite”, and is often eager to jump on any bandwagon it believes can advance it. This desire to be accepted also drives the fear. It is true that communists have made serious errors in judgment in the past, but that is not an excuse to rebel against core philosophies and hastily embrace ideas and movements without fully analyzing their beliefs and goals. This is not to say that communists should not be on the forefront in defending gender non-conforming individuals. A thoroughgoing socialist revolution requires that these existing oppressive structures be cast aside. But it is possible to defend gender non-conforming people without embracing misogynistic pseudoscience and revisionism.

Women are not just oppressed, but thoroughly exploited. Working class women make up what is possibly the most thoroughly exploited section of human society. By embracing philosophies that not only erase their ability to define and explain their exploitation, but also deny them the agency to organize as a revolutionary class, these “Marxists” have proven that they are in direct contradiction to Marxist philosophy and ideas. They are engaging in revisionism."


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