To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The current resurgence of Marxism is based on new sources of inspiration and creativity from movements that seek democratic, egalitarian and ecological alternatives to capitalism. The Marxism of many of these movements is neither dogmatic nor prescriptive, but rather, open, searching, utopian. It revolves around four primary factors: the importance of democracy for an emancipatory project; the ecological limits of capitalism; the crisis of global capitalism; and the learning of lessons from the failures of Marxist-inspired experiments. Marxisms in the Twenty-First Century challenges vanguardist Marxism featured in South Africa and beyond. Featuring leading thinkers from the Left, the book offers provocative ideas on interpreting our current world and serves as an excellent introduction to new ways of thinking about Marxism to students and scholars in the field. Many anti-capitalist traditions and themes - including democracy, globalisation, feminism, critique and ecology inform and shape the contributions in this volume.
In this moment of economic and ecological crisis a feminist anti-capitalist politics could generate a transnational solidarity that is larger and more powerful than anything we have yet seen. Such a politics requires both Marxism for its trenchant critique of capitalism and the class inequalities essential to it and feminism for its commitment to gender equality. Both require a commitment to anti-racism. In this chapter we trace the uneasy relations between Marxism and feminism showing the contributions each has made to the other and argue that the success of the current Marxist revitalisation hinges on a more equal relationship. This integration is best described as a socialist feminism based on the understanding that ‘the liberation of women depends on the liberation of all people’ (Rowbotham 1972: 11).
Feminism is both an intellectual project and a political movement, so its theoretical debates are also political and strategic. Feminists tend to be drawn together by their commitment to oppose women's oppression, but they are also engaged with different theoretical and political paradigms, differences that are sometimes obscured by the apparent unity of ‘feminist theory’. There are multiple ‘feminisms’. Typically, mid- to late twentieth-century feminism included several distinct political currents: liberal feminism aspiring to formal legal equality and access to equal opportunities with men; radical feminism, which assumed that unequal gender relations are the primary contradiction of social organisation and that women's oppression underlies all other inequalities; Marxist feminism, which assumed that women's liberation depended on overthrowing or dismantling capitalism; and socialist feminism which combined the historical materialism of Marxism with an analysis of gender-based inequalities.
In an influential intervention published over thirty years ago, Heidi Hartmann complained that the relationship between Marxism and feminism was marked by extreme inequality. She compared it to the marriage between husband and wife depicted in English common law at the time: ‘Marxism and feminism are one, and that one is Marxism’. She concluded that ‘either we need a healthier marriage or we need a divorce’ (Hartmann 1981: 2). Her hope for a healthier marriage was based on a conviction that each had strengths the other needed:
[W]hile Marxist analysis offers essential insight into the laws of historical development, and those of capital in particular, the categories of Marxism are sex-blind. Only a specifically feminist analysis reveals the systemic character of relations between men and women.