01
Jul
11

Joining the Party: Freedom Socialist Party (Part V)

 

The thing that’s probably most striking about the Freedom Socialist Party is that describes itself as advocating Socialist Feminism. Now obviously, all Marxists advocate feminism- there’s even an entire section of the Communist Manifesto dedicated to calling for women’s rights. Feminism is something that’s simply assumed of revolutionary groups- so I was naturally curious as to why the FSP chose to emphasize feminism.

 

The FSP states:

Women are the most oppressed of every oppressed group. No one needs revolutionary transformation of society worse than they do and no other group has the capacity to unite the oppressed in a mighty, working class movement that addresses all the injustices suffered by the dispossessed under capitalism…

The profit system survives on women’s unpaid labor in the home and low-waged labor in market place… This is a radicalizing expereince and accounts for the tremendous role women play, particularly women of color and indigenous women, as leaders in the struggle for revolutionary change.

In short, Communism must be achieved by the oppressed, and women are the oppressed of the oppressed.

That’s certainly something I can get behind. Indeed, as leftists, we probably need to be talking about feminism more. Whether its due to complacency with our feminist roots or the illusion of gender-equality today, we’ve really seemed to have slacked off in defending equality and fighting women’s exploitation.

But back to the party.

 

Among the pros of the FSP are:

  • An emphasis on the oft-neglected struggle for gender-equality.
  • A focus on the role that oppressed minorities play, including racial minorities and the LBGT community.
  • The FSP, from what I can discern from their website, is an extremely active group.

Among the cons are:

  • The FSP is a relatively small organization, and largely localized to the West Coast. This is really the only problem that I could find- but it’s a big one. If I’m not living in a major city on the west coast, there’s really not a lot that I can do. Sure, one could argue that I should join and recruit others (spreading the reach of the FSP), but part of the reason I’m looking for a party is because I don’t know any other Marxists.

 

My conclusion?

Despite being a pretty nice-looking organization, the FSP just seems too small and localized for me to join it. It’s a pity- if the organization were more widespread, the FSP would be near the top of my list.

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1 Response to “Joining the Party: Freedom Socialist Party (Part V)”


  1. 1 mdh
    December 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    This seems, rather, like a bad thing to me. To focus on one form of oppression, rather than all, equally, seems counterproductive. It’s been a long time since we collectively decided that “struggle reductionism” – particularly, class reductionism in the case of the majority of the leftist dialogue – was a bad thing. Sexism-reductionism isn’t any better, though. Above and beyond this, the notion that women are the most oppressed group in society is nowhere near a fact that can be stated as such. As a queer person born male, I would say that it’s quite clear growing up that my heterosexual female contemporaries experienced less gender oppression than I did, and in many cases, less oppression overall.

    Further, any organization that focuses specifically on “women”, as one half of a binary gender system, probably doesn’t really *get it* about gender, anyhow. That isn’t a focus on gender oppression: that’s a focus on oppression of “women”, one half of an outdated gender binary that should, instead, be entirely abolished.

    Just as the left has – rightly so – left behind the notion that “it’s not really about race/gender/sexuality/ableness/whatever else, it all comes down to class!”, the idea that “women are the most oppressed group” regardless of their socioeconomic background, their sexuality, their race, or any other factors, is just stupid and counterproductive. Perhaps, even, counter-revolutionary.


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