Marx and Woman (was Re: Gender & Free Speech)

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Fri Mar 24 14:54:04 PST 2000

Catherine Driscoll wrote:

> yes, but...
> doesn't _the grundrisse_ still presume a 'real and concrete' on to which is
> laid social relations, even if those relations shape how the real is
> organised socially? isn't there still something outside of the history
> which should be analysed without these abstractions. marx here does think
> about human beings in their social relations as ensembles. but i'm not
> convinced he includes 'sexual difference' within these. happy to learn
> otherwise.

Though I disagreed with his conclusions I admired the way Norman Geras proceeded in his *Marx and Human Nature* -- that is, he sharply divided the philogical question, what did "Karl Marx" think back in 1852 - 1867 - 1875 -etc from the question of "what is true" (within terms that Marx first established but which are true independently of Marx establishing them). Marx may or may not have regarded 'sexual difference' as constituted through social relations. I suspect that had he been asked (there are innumerable hiatuses in his work) he would have said he did. But it matters not. MarxISM is not confined to what Marx said.

Incidentally, I'm still not entirely clear as to Catherine's own position on all this. Are you just interested in the consistency of Marx's thought, or are you saying (as I am) that quite possibly Marx (not having the benefit of the women's movement of the 20th century) was probably inconsistent on this point but that marxism need not be so? Like the human species or each individual, marxism does not have a history, it *is* its history.


More information about the lbo-talk mailing list