“The proponents of M.O.O.C.s (Massive Open Online Courses) look for the magic bullet, hoping to find a technological solution to the crisis in education. The O.O.P.S. (Open Online Public Seminar) project is to use the new technology, the potential of the web, to extend education’s promise.”
With these words, I closed my introduction to a New School for Social Research experiment, using the resources of Public Seminar to realize the intellectual mission of engaged social science in and beyond the classroom. Since then we have been pushing forward. …
Last week Johanna Oksala asked is capitalism good for women? And if it is not, are there reforms that can make capitalism good for women? Rather than rehearse her complex and fascinating answers to these questions, let me rather interrogate the assumptions that underlie them. One, of course, is that we know what capitalism is, but I won’t go into that just yet. Another is that we can consider women as a social and historical totality — a “gender” — that is oppressed as a whole, and that can seek remediation as a whole. Of course, there are differences among women — rich and poor, gay and straight, young and old and so forth. Nonetheless, women as a whole are oppressed and can seek remedies that apply to all women.
Many of us were excited and inspired by Kollontai, Pankhurst and Goldman’s approach to the relation between feminist and anti-capitalist struggles. For all three revolutionaries, social relations as a whole (gender and family relations, affective and moral capacities, and psychic life) are involved in the reproduction of capitalism. This entails that the transformation of reproduction in this expanded sense is as important as that of production, since an emancipatory struggle that fails transform social life as a whole runs the risk of reproducing the very forms of domination it seeks to overcome. In order to reconstruct some of our discussion in a schematic way, I will discuss several aspects of this insight that informs the practical and theoretical commitments of Kollontai, Pankhurst and Goldman. This shared presuppositio