What are your favorite regularly updated Marxist blogs?

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RossWolfe's picture
RossWolfe
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Sep 20 2011 12:18
yoda's walking stick wrote:
I've been reading I Blame the Patriarchy to sensitize myself more to feminist issues, but the author Jill Posey Smith seems a little bit too mean-spirited for my taste. She's brilliant though.

http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/

There has been an incredible dearth of Marxist feminist literature in the last thirty years. Feminism as a whole has been assimilated to bourgeois inclusionist demands and identity politics. Like many single-issue groups that were once integrally part of the international socialist movement, feminist politics has become largely separatist.

If I were you, rather than searching for contemporary Marxist feminist blogs (of which I can't even name one), I would just go back and read the classic Marxist feminist literature that's on the books: August Bebel, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Dora Montefiore, Vladimir Lenin, Aleksandra Kollontai, Simone de Beauvoir, Evelyn Reed, Teresa Ebert, and Juliet Mitchell.

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Sep 21 2011 14:24

Also, to Noa:

As I've said, I'm impressed with your extensive knowledge of the history of Marxist politics, as well as your apparent fluency in both Russian and German. In light of your exchange with Chris Cutrone on his blog, I was wondering how you happened across it. On that note, have you also engaged with Platypus more generally?

And to return to the original intent of this thread, posting a shameless link to the group with which I most closely identify myself:

The Platypus Affiliated Society

As well as an even more shameless link to my own blog, on Marxism, avant-garde architecture, and contemporary politics:

The Charnel-House

But here are some other Marxist blogs that I really enjoy:

Rough Theory
Bob from Brockley
Critical Grounds
Contested Terrain

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Sep 21 2011 15:30

Rough Theory continues at http://uncomfortablescience.org/. I'm also a fan.

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Sep 21 2011 16:54

Through Principia dialectica (nobody mentioned them yet here - harsh). It was nice to see platypus invite (Macnair of) the CPGB and vice versa, to speak at the communist university in London.

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Sep 21 2011 18:24
Noa Rodman wrote:
Through Principia dialectica (nobody mentioned them yet here - harsh). It was nice to see platypus invite (Macnair of) the CPGB and vice versa, to speak at the communist university in London.

I'm of course familiar with Principia Dialectica, and find them far more interesting than the usual Marxist fodder that's floating around on the Left. The only thing I find frustrating about them is that they seem to categorically refuse to take Lenin seriously, and are uncomfortable with discussing the split between Marx and Bakunin and Marx's insistence upon a "dictatorship of the proletariat" in general. Otherwise I would say that Platypus and Principia Dialectica should naturally get along, insofar as they both occupy fairly unique positions on the Left. It's rather a shame that there has been so much needless polemic between them. But oh well.

piter
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Sep 21 2011 19:04

speaking about Lenin I don't think he ever wrote something interesting (or original) about feminist issue , I'm surprised you mentionned him on your list of authors worth reading on feminist issue...

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Sep 21 2011 19:16

Piter, don't forget Lenin's famous (and completely philistinic) tirade against the "glass of water" theory smile.

Also, that list composed by Ross is kind of sad. Italian marxist feminism? Never happened!

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Sep 21 2011 19:44

Ross, you see what happens when you speak here of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Anyway, Margarethe Hilferding-Hönigsberg (what a sweet name!) is someone else who wrote reviews on some works related to women for Die Neue Zeit.

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Sep 22 2011 03:09

Lenin's writings on the "woman question" are perhaps not as radical as Kollontai's or Zetkin's, but they're at least on par with Luxemburg's few pieces addressing the subject. According to an interview that Zetkin conducted with Lenin following the Revolution, Lenin believed that no work had outdone Bebel's Woman and Socialism.

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Sep 22 2011 08:18

http://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/

piter
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Sep 23 2011 12:57
Quote:
Ross, you see what happens when you speak here of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Naming Lenin (oups I did it!) is not a problem (fot that matter I wrote my Phd thesis about Lenin..and that's also why I was surprised to find him on a list of valuable writers about feminist issues because he wrote very very little on that and nothing really interesting I think).
what's more a problem is crediting him wrongly with interesting feminist writings.
and Ross reply only confirms it...

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Sep 23 2011 13:06

I think that has something to do with the marxist gland piter. It is a little known fact that when human beings read too many marxist authors they actually reach the next stage of evolution (self-avowed communist). This produces a new development in the brain called the 'marxist gland' which induces 'marxist reflexes'. Now the Marxist reflex allows the communist to relate every subject ever back to Marxist writings, regardless of whether or not the subject in question is actually present in the text....

piter
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Sep 23 2011 13:21

maybe...with the leninist gland being the highest stage of the marxist gland...

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Sep 23 2011 13:31

oh yeah, well, Max Nordau did his Phd thesis on female castration; I rest my case.

Nordau wrote:
All these solaces are denied to the single woman if she wishes to keep her reputation clear; she is condemned to a perpetual solitude in her sorrow over her wasted life. If she owns property she can only increase it with difficulty, it is much more liable to be diminished or lost entirely, for she is far less competent than man to conduct business affairs, that is, to protect her possessions against the sharks swarming around them, owing to her training and the customs of society. But if she has no property the picture grows indistinguishable from the hopeless darkness that settles down upon it. Only a few and un-remunerative means of earning a livelihood are accessible to woman. The uneducated girl of the lower classes goes out to service and thus supports herself, but never learns the meaning of independence and liberty, while her character is crippled by constant humiliations. Slow starvation is the result of woman's independent efforts, and working by the day, she receives on an average one half as much as a man, although her natural wants are about the same. The educated girl of the upper classes becomes a teacher; in most cases she enters upon the slave's life of a governess; in some countries a limited number of subordinate official positions or clerkships are open to her, but none of them allow a cultivated and intelligent woman to practice her talents and inclinations, to satisfy her inner life, which alone makes poverty bearable; and those who can get these positions are the fortunate ones. The rest are poverty-stricken, wretched, a burden to themselves and others, oppressed by the consciousness of their aimless and useless life, unable to obtain for themselves any pleasures in their youth, their bread from day to day, or a provision for their old age. And with all this, the girl who vegetates in such a terrible solitude must have superhuman principles. We require this sad, morbid, starving, shivering girl to be a heroine! Prostitution stands near, waiting for her, enticing her. She can not take a step in her solitary and joyless life, without being beset by temptation in a thousand guises. Man who avoids assuming the responsibility of providing for her for life, does not hesitate to demand her love as a present, which requires no return from him.

(this chapter was also translated by Rocker into Yiddish)

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Sep 24 2011 03:38
piter wrote:
Quote:
Ross, you see what happens when you speak here of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Naming Lenin (oups I did it!) is not a problem (fot that matter I wrote my Phd thesis about Lenin..and that's also why I was surprised to find him on a list of valuable writers about feminist issues because he wrote very very little on that and nothing really interesting I think).
what's more a problem is crediting him wrongly with interesting feminist writings.
and Ross reply only confirms it...

Fair enough; Lenin doesn't add that much to the conversation when it comes to issues of feminism within Marxist discourse. But again, neither does Rosa Luxemburg, really. In terms of the relative influence that Lenin's proclamations on "the woman question," his various remarks (of which there are actually quite a few) were extremely important to the radical Bolsheviks of the 1920s like Iurii Larin and Leonid Sabsovich, who called for the total dissolution and abolition of the family. They were of course also influenced by Kollontai.

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Sep 26 2011 20:10
RossWolfe wrote:
There has been an incredible dearth of Marxist feminist literature in the last thirty years. Feminism as a whole has been assimilated to bourgeois inclusionist demands and identity politics. Like many single-issue groups that were once integrally part of the international socialist movement, feminist politics has become largely separatist.

If I were you, rather than searching for contemporary Marxist feminist blogs (of which I can't even name one), I would just go back and read the classic Marxist feminist literature that's on the books: August Bebel, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Dora Montefiore, Vladimir Lenin, Aleksandra Kollontai, Simone de Beauvoir, Evelyn Reed, Teresa Ebert, and Juliet Mitchell.

Nah.
I'd recommend some books - Kate Weigand's Red Feminism, Silvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch, Leopoldina Fortunati's Arcane of Reproduction, Maria Mies's Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale, Jean Boydston's Home and Work, Amy Dru-Stanley's From Bondage to Contract, Baxandall and Gordon's document collection Dear Sisters, Lydia Sargent, Women and revolution: a discussion of the unhappy marriage of marxism and feminism, and a book called The Feminist Memoir Project.

There's also some very good online collections of documents from the US women's liberation movement, including the archives of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and some general collections on second wave feminism. Those are experiences that people tend to talk about in very flattening terms as if the movement had all the same ideas and outlooks, which anyone who's been around activist stuff a while will get that while there are common assumptions and shared questions, movements and organizations are as much composed of disagreements and unfinished areas of inquiry as they composed of agreed upon sets of conclusions. It's also important to read these ideas with an eye to their original context. An idea that would sound very reformist now might have had much more disruptive potential at another point in time (which is part of why people often fail to see the context-limited nature of their ideas - I think this is part of why Marx and Engels often sound quite odd to radical readers today when they're writing about the right to vote).

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Sep 26 2011 20:11

[double post]

piter
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Sep 27 2011 20:43
Quote:
RossWolfe wrote :
Fair enough; Lenin doesn't add that much to the conversation when it comes to issues of feminism within Marxist discourse. But again, neither does Rosa Luxemburg, really

yes...but since I don't know Luxemburg's writing as well as Lenin's I could'nt object to Luxemburg...

Quote:
In terms of the relative influence that Lenin's proclamations on "the woman question," his various remarks (of which there are actually quite a few) were extremely important to the radical Bolsheviks of the 1920s like Iurii Larin and Leonid Sabsovich, who called for the total dissolution and abolition of the family.

ok. so citing Larin and Sabsovich would have been more accurate and interesting maybe...but better now than never.