[OPE-L:1765] Domestic labor and the patriarchal mode of production

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sat, 13 Apr 1996 15:34:41 -0700

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Paul Cockshott wrote in [OPE-L:1761]:

> Jerry further asks what I mean by the patriarchal
> mode of production.
> By patriarchal or domestic production I mean that set
> of production relations in which women/wives from the
> exploited class, in which labour is unpaid and the
> product does not in general assume the form of a
> commodity. In the agricultural sector, subordinate
> males - sons and younger brothers, may also be exploited.

I think we differ regarding the definitions of mode of production and class.
While I would like to see us discuss the question of unpaid domestic
labor, I do not think that women/wives form an exploited class. I think
that the relation approximates more of a caste relation which is
compatible with a number of different modes of production.

> Its invisibility to classical marxism is a combined
> effect of the outlook of bourgeois political economy
> - which defines economy not in terms of oikonomos the
> household but in terms of monetary transactions -
> and of patriarchal ideology itself.

This topic was analyzed in a fashion by Engels, theoreticians of German
Social Democracy (e.g. Bebel), and the Bolsheviks (e.g. Kollantai). There
is much that needs to be developed beyond that analysis, but I don't
think that it is fair to say that that tradition is the "combined effect"
of the outlook of classical political economy and of patriarchal ideology.

I would be interested in hearing from Mariko on the above subjects.

In OPE-L Solidarity,