Dog Days of Summer

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sun Aug 13 14:07:23 PDT 2000

kenneth.mackendrick at wrote:

> There is no good reason to rule out the eventual abolition of capitalism... but
> there is good reason to rule out the abolition of *some* form of (political)
> economy. Maybe gender can be abolished... but sexuation can't be.

"Political Economy" and "Capitalism" are simply different names for the same thing. There is no political economy in the social order we glimpse behind the *Odyssey*. (See M.I. Finley, *The World of Odysseus*.) Ken is essentially equating human freedom with the tyranny of market forces. And the proposition "sexuation can't be" (abolished) is trivial; it is like saying eating cannot be abolished. But the forms of eating undergo such enormous changes over time that the proposition is trivially true.

In her earlier post Yoshie wrote of: "the eventual abolition of gender oppression (and hence gender)," and Ken apparently does not understand the force of that "hence." Without the oppression of one gender by another gender becomes invisible. We "think" (assume as common sense) that the female gender is such and such because they have to be such and such to make sense of the objective fact of their oppression. Once that oppression disappears there will remain no way of identifying a person of female gender. It is not a black skin which identifies a "Negro" but the oppression of a subset of the society which makes skin color (or the presence of skin color in an ancestor) an identity. Once racial oppression disappears race disappears. Once exploitation disappears political economy disappears.

My right thumb is shorter and much thicker than my left thumb. A biological marker like skin color or possession of a uterus. But no one speaks of a race or gender of fat thumbers.


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