For the Socialist Workers’ Party, rape is now a big issue. Under very different circumstances – when it was more of a theoretical topic – rape was also a big issue twenty years ago.
The document reproduced below was written in association with the Radical Anthropology Group. It summarizes debates during the SWP’s Marxism event in 1991 – debates triggered by the marxist anthropological theory that the prohibition against rape, enforced through struggle thousands of years ago, was the foundational rule of early human society and culture.
[b]After months of lively discussion – including a well-attended debate between RAG member Lionel Sims and SWP leader Duncan Hallas at ‘Marxism’ – around 20 SWP comrades, including virtually all the party’s anthropologists, were summoned by the leadership to a kangaroo court at which they were told to discontinue the debate on pain of immediate expulsion.