The Socialist Origins of International Women’s Day
In 1894, Clara Zetkin took to the pages of the Social Democratic women’s magazine Die Gleichheit (Equality), which she had founded three years earlier, to polemicize against the mainstream of German feminism. “Bourgeois feminism and the movement of proletarian women,” Zetkin wrote, “are two fundamentally different social movements.” According to Zetkin, bourgeois feminists pressed reforms, through a struggle between the sexes and against the men of their own class, without questioning the very existence of capitalism. By contrast, working women, through a struggle of class against class and in a joint fight with the men of their class, sought to transcend capitalism. By 1900, women in the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) were holding biannual conferences immediately before the party congresses — conferences where all the burning issues of the proletarian women’s movement were discussed. This ideological and organizational strength turned the German Socialist working women’s movement into the backbone of the International Socialist Women Movement. In 1907, the International Conference of Socialist Women convened in Stuttgart, Germany for its first gathering, proclaiming as its main demand “the right to universal female suffrage without qualifications of property, tax, education or any other kind of barrier which may hinder members of the working class from availing themselves of their political rights.” The struggle for the franchise, the delegates insisted, was to be carried out “not together with the women’s bourgeois movement, but in close co-operation with socialist parties.” The invitation to the next International Conference of Socialist Women — held three years later in Copenhagen — exhibited the same adherence to the proletarian class struggle: “We urgently call on all the socialist parties and organizations of socialist women as well as on all the working women’s organizations standing on the foundation of the class struggle to send their delegates to this conference.”
Eight Years Without President Chávez
Talk given in Webinar: US/Canada: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA, END SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA NOW!: "March 5th 2021. Today is the 8th anniversary of the untimely death of President Hugo Chávez. Immediately after, the USA, Canada and allies intensified their attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government, believing his successor, Nicolás Maduro, would be unable to follow in Chávez’ shoes and would fall easily. They seriously underestimated Maduro and the resolve of the Venezuelan people! I have been recalling the year 2003 when I was on a huge, elevated stage that was set up in one of the longest avenues of Caracas. I was standing very close to President Chávez, who was addressing the enormous crowd that extended as far as the eye could see. It was a sea of happy people, laughing, dancing, singing, shouting slogans, waving at us. I had never seen so many people all at once and having such a fine time! They had been there waiting for hours but nobody seemed to mind or look tired or annoyed. It was a giant celebration. I was truly moved to the core – this was the power of the people. They were not there under duress – not forced to be there, not paid to be there. They wanted to be there, to be with Hugo Chávez. He really was larger than life. I could not stop staring at him knowing that I was standing next to a man who had entered into History and into the very heart of his people, who changed their destiny and that of the whole region. It was an unforgettable moment. On the mournful day that he was buried, the massive outpouring of grief and of love for a president is something the country had never seen and is not likely to see again."
This Is America #136: Struggle Against Line 3 Grows; Rent Strikes Spread; Elites Obsess Over ‘Culture War’
Welcome, to This Is America, February 6th, 2021. On today’s episode, we launch into resistance news, from updates on the fight against the Line 3 pipeline in the midwest, to continuing rent strikes in major cities, and ongoing fierce abolitionist struggle from Portland to New York. We then switch to our discussion, where we offer an analysis of Trumpism and CPAC 2021, along with a critique of the elites existing obsession with the “culture war.” All this and more, but first, let’s get to the news.