Against Imperialism, Patriarchy, Sexism: Let's Fight For Our Liberation!!!

Article from London Notes #1 1992

We translate and publish here an article/leaflet recently circulated in the European Counter Network. It deals with women's position within the capitalist relation of work as (re)producers of the most important commodity, that is labour power. It deals with the recent strategies outlined by international agencies and private corporations to control and plan the quality and the quantity of this commodity, through the control of women's bodies and their sexuality. It appeals for the circulation of political analysis on this subject and of struggles against these strategies.

One of the central aspects of imperialism in the new world order is the demographic control of population. The image of a globe full of starving masses in the Southern Hemisphere was one of the first concepts we were taught at school. The main reason for their so-called underdevelopment was the mythical 'over-population' of their living space. To explain this false interpretation, which hides the oppression of one class by another, of one sex by the other, of one region by another, it is said that the present enormous demographic growth jeopardises the material and natural needs for our existence, as natural resources are not enough for the survival of humanity.

In reality, since colonial times the products of the Third World were destined for the industrialised countries, which have monopolised most human resources and land. On the other hand, it is a fact that people starve in Bolivia with six inhabitants per square km, in India with 238 inhabitants per square km, but not in Holland with 356 inhabitants per square km, nor in Japan with 321 inhabitants per square km. In fact, the reasons for demographic control are of a political, social, and economic character: by regulating demographic fluctuation in relation to the needs of social and political control, to prevent riots, revolutions, and through the industrial production of human resources in relation to the needs of capitalism.

This is nothing new, Since the Second World War the US has imposed new policies of demographic control on the Third World by forming private organisations for birth control: for example, the IDA (International Development Agency, formed in the 1970's and directly managed by the ministry of foreign affairs) whose function was to develop a plan for demographic control to impose on Third World countries as a condition for obtaining economic aid. As a result, thousands of women have been forced to be sterilised or to use dangerous contraceptives. Some examples: 40% of Puerto Rican women have been sterilised. In Mexico between 1978 and 1984 one and a half million women were sterilised. 70% of women who gave birth by caesarean were sterilised. The sterilisation happens without the women's awareness or sometimes in exchange for a bus trip, blankets, food, etc. In Brazil the Association for Family Welfare inserted the coil in women with the thread cut off, so that it was impossible to remove it. At least 7.5 million women were forcibly sterilised in this way.

We could go on forever. In this massacre of women's bodies an important role has been played by the pharmaceutical multinationals which produce contraceptive methods whose dangerous side effects are directly tested on women. The Capital Norplan Capronor, chemical hormone bombs in silicon capsules, which are released in the body over a period of five to six years, were given in Brazil to adolescent, pregnant women, who were breast feeding, without them being properly informed.

Nowadays it is the World Bank, the IMF, the WHO, International Planned Parenthood and the USA, together with other private organizations, such as the Ford-Rockefeller Foundation, that are realising the plan for population control in the Third World. A current example is Project 2020, developed in the USA for Puerto Rico with the aim of reducing the population from 4 million to 1.5 million people. In particular, the interior of the country would be completely uninhabited to leave space for industrial sites and 17 high-tech military bases which would not require human labour. The United Europe of 1993 is already developing programs of research in the field of genetic technology like Project Eureka, by entering the market and building research/experimentation centres, some of which are already in operation. In Holland, for example, TNO, a major centre for scientific research, is in possession of equipment which is capable of determining everyone's genetic identity, everyone's proneness to disease and their resistance to environmental factors. In Russia and in the USA the people who are employed in certain noxious factories are tested to determine their resistance to and tolerance of toxic substances with which they will come into contact at work.

THE ROLE ASSIGNED TO WOMEN WITHIN THESE POLICIES IS TO PRODUCE THE HUMAN RESOURCES FOR PRODUCTION' WHICH MUST BE CONTROLLED AND PLANNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NEEDS OF CAPITAL. OUR BODIES ARE ORGANS, OUR SEXUALITY BECOMES THE OBJECT OF THIS PRODUCTION, TO BE USED AND MANIPULATED.

Today, within the imperialist project a fundamental role is represented by the development of the bio-technology sector and genetic engineering, The 'Gemona Project', or ‘Genetic Passport', is probably the most ambitious project. Its aim is to select population discriminatively by determining individual identities, by controlling hereditary deviations, proneness to disease and resistance to environmental factors. This technology is used, certainly not for humanitarian reasons but as a continually developing tool of patriarchal power over women.

What better tools to limit, diminish, or render completely impossible the reproduction by women of undesirable groups than the control of black women, immigrant women, disabled women, and lesbians; or on the other hand, to encourage and/or to make possible the birth of children to women of 'desirable' population groups, for example in Europe through sperm banks, artificial insemination, and surrogate motherhood (the rented uterus often belongs to women from the Third World)?

While forced sterilisation is the practice in the Third World, in the developed world the aim is to increase the birth rate, within a perspective where racism and the selection of the species are the criteria that determine who will or will not have children. Basically a sort of 'racial selection' which will constitute the future society in accordance with the rules of the New World Order' of which racism, exploitation, sexism, and barbarism are fundamental. How else do we explain the actions and racist attacks in Germany and all over Europe, if not as a sort of raid 'for racial hygiene' in the model of the eugenics movement, introduced into the Third World from the Third Reich, which also conducted mass sterilisation campaigns, and the USA?

The selective production of human resources has become a fundamental element for the development of capitalism. Women's bodies are the means for this production which must be controlled and planned. In this context patriarchal power over women and the division between sexes continues to be important for the stability of the capitalist economic system.

We antagonist women want to develop analysis and discussion on these issues, to single out objectives and initiatives which attack these policies. The anti-imperialist struggles against patriarchy, sexism, and racism, and for self-determination over our own bodies and our existence, must become part of all antagonist movements. Let's start by boycotting all those organisations, companies and multinationals which are involved: SHELL, BP, STANDARD OIL IMPERIAL CHEMICAL COMPANY, GENERAL ELECTRONIC COMPANY, DUPONT, IMCC, NIKEL CONCERN, CIBA GEIGY, BOEHRINGER, HOFFMAN LA ROCHE, HOECHST, BAYER, BASF, SCHERING, FIDIA…