We have split the carnival into two parts, with a selection from Louise, and a selection from Andy
Louise looks at the issues on left feminist blogs:
Feministing has written on McCain and equal pay
The ongoing attacks on choice is shown by Feministe who reports that in Oklahoma, anti-abortionists are pushing for intrusive and invasive ultra-sounds for women who want a termination.
Race, feminism and class
Angry Black Woman has written about feminism and race. And the face of feminism reflects white, privileged women.
Feminism is made for and by white women. And I really feel like this is one of those areas where the white women need to get enlightened before things can change. But, of course, many of them won’t be because they don’t see racism, which is directed against women of color, as a feminist issue. They’re hard pressed to acknowledge that racism is as great a problem as sexism at all.
I agree with her. Hierarchy of oppression argument is wrong. Feminism is about challenging all forms of oppression, including racism, and showing solidarity with black feminists.
This leads onto the sad fact that the feminist blogosphere is missing an excellent blog. brownfemipower has written a very powerful post about how she felt she had no other choice than to stop blogging. I hope she re-thinks. Here, here and here explains why.
And now Blackamazon has quit the blogosphere as well.
I would like, therefore, to extend my support and solidarity to brownfemipower and Blackamazon and to add my own disgust at the way women of color have been sidelined, ignored and now silenced by defensive white feminists.
There are glaring comparisons and parallels to be made as women experience being sidelined, dismissed, silenced and ignored within the patriarchal capitalist society so why white feminists replicate those power relationships by treating Black women in a similar way such as subordinating their experiences and denying them a voice is beyond comprehension.
As feminists we have a duty to recognise this behaviour and consciously challenge it rather than to capitulate and reinforce it.
I also largely agree with what Zenobia has to say and it is not the kind of feminism I signed up for:
“So let’s work on fostering the ideas of community, solidarity, and the value of people’s hard work. I won’t say ‘within feminism’, because feminism is partly, supposedly, about fostering those ideas in the community at large, not about creating an exclusive club of perfect (white, middle-class, ivy-league educated, successful) women”.
Andy Newman’s selection on China:
Aaronvitch Watch notes that Tibet is the latest decent cause du jour. The Decents are those who try to dress up slavish support for US foreign policy with tortuous arguments about why this is the furthest left position that is decent: “I note that they are busy recycling the claim that the Chinese have killed 1.2 million Tibetans. A few moments googling tells me that this claim is hardly uncontroversial, to say the least. More to the point, how come the Decents recycle such factoids uncritically when it suits their agenda, but express pop-eyed incredulity when standard techniques produce answers they don’t like for Iraqi excess deaths?”
As the blog shock-troops of the Decents, Harry’s Place mischievously highlighted the e-mail sent out by the Stop the War Coalition office that erroneously suggested that everyone in the Coalition supported the call for Tibetan independence. In a letter to the Morning Star, STW Chair Andrew Murray explained that this was an innocent error, and STW had no policy on Tibet, and no real harm was done.
Jim of Daily Maybe eleoquently supports Tibetan independence, and sums up his position: “The simple truth is that if you’re with those who roll their tanks over the heads of the poor then you’ve chosen the well trodden path of complicity with dictatorship. It’s time to rethink.”. Jim explains his position:
“An independent government, whether or not the Dalai Lama led it, would be moving forwards towards the modern world and greater democracy. A victory in Tibet could and should open up a space in the rest of China and give inspiration to others whether they be in Burma, Iraq, Nepal or Luton. China is an imperialist state. It acts like imperialism, it walks like imperialism, it leaves dead bodies and helps itself to stolen territory just like imperialism. When people protest for the ability of the individual to live their own life, it is the very the definition of tyranny to send in a trigger happy occupying army to crush those desires.”
Jim’s jay’s approach seems very straightforward and honourable, but I think he has misunderstood the situation. However, Liam Mac Uaid also supports Tibetan independence:
“By denying the Tibetans their right to self determination the Chinese bureaucracy is creating an opportunity for the imperialists to actively engage in Chinese politics. Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with the Dalai Lama yesterday was just such an intervention. The irony is that the the rioters on the streets no longer seem to be taking a political lead from a religious leader whom they see as too willing to accommodate to the bureaucracy and they certainly were not demanding a confessional state.”
Alas blog amuses itself by the intemperate tone of Jim Denham’s contribution to the debate about Tibet at Shiraz Socialist, ostensibly an open letter to the Morning Star newspaper.
“Listen, you Stalinists! You have been systematically spreading lies about the ’Free Tibet’ movement, and offering uncritical support to the vicious, red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalist ruling class in Beijing. “
Though the same post by Jim Denham was approvingly aggregated by Brownfemipower at the radical “blog and the bullet” site. The argument on Shiraz was not only bad tempered, but also relied upon over-stretching historical analogy.
Madam Miaow took a very different view, concerned at the knee jerk reactions to the Tibet issue.
“China needs to deal with what rampant capitalism is doing to all its people. To present this as Chinese “communism” oppressing a rebellious religious minority is to miss the point and distort the picture. Just who are the Tibetans who are rebelling by attacking the Han Chinese and Hui Muslims, anyhow? Descendents of the serfs? The clergy class? They may have legitimate grievances in that they feel they are being treated as third class citizens and fear they’ll end up the same way as native Americans and Australian aborigines. Cutting the pursestrings by granting some faked-up “independence” where they’d be dependent on UN handouts and subservient to their new western political masters is probably not the answer. Finally, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s not China which is the biggest threat to world peace. I think the US and UK are at the head of that queue. Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, China: these are all within their sights (sorry if I missed any).”
On Socialist Unity blog I have also argued that the best interests of Tibetans lie within the Peoples’ Republic of China.
“It is hard to see that there is any social or economic class in Tibet whose interests would be improved by independence, and without such an interest then there are probably no grounds for a mass struggle for independence. Cultural and political autonomy within the Peoples’ Republic is an acheivable option, whereas full political “independence” would just mean Tibet swapped China for domination by the USA or India. The disadvantages and social exclusion of Tibetans in their own land need to be addressed, but the fact that many of their economic grievances are the same as, or similar to, the problems faced by Han Chinese throughtout the whole of China must be recognised. Given the paranoia of the CCP about any threat to the unity of the Peoples’ Republic, then the least effective way to gain reforms to solve these problems is to link them with the demand for independence, and be seen to be aligned with the foreign powers who are enemies of the Chinese government. The last thing the Tibetan people need is to be used as a pawn in a propaganda war against Beijing.”
Derek Wall supported the protests against the Olympic Torch, but also highlighted the wider issues of human right abuse in China:
“Derek Wall Green Party Principal Speaker says ‘I urge you to get on the streets on sunday to protest at the Olympics being held in China. Human rights are abused in Tibet but in this matter there is little discrimination, human rights are abused irrespective of ethnicity by the Chinese government. Tibet must be free and all Chinese must be allowed human rights. The Olympics will be a scandal.’”
Other China related issues were discussed on the blogs. Dave Osler opines that “any balance sheet of China’s shift away from central [economic] planning has to be broadly positive.”, and on Socialist Unity blog, I look at China’s environmental movement. Lenin’s Tomb explores the paradox that although Mao’s Great Leap Forward led to terrible famine, the overall record of Communist rule in China has been economic and social advance:
“China did suffer one appalling famine in 1959-61, with mortality estimates ranging from 15 million (the Chinese government’s figure) to 43 million (the figure reached by the reformist Chinese economist Chen Yizi). The reasons for this, as one would expect, are as much political and economic as natural. The sudden, drastic changes in property forms and incentives associated with the catastrophic ‘Great Leap Forward’ dramatically reduced output, while at the same the government was appropriating grain for mass export to pay debts to the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, barring that atrocious failure, China did fundamentally depart from its at least century old status as the ‘land of famine’. It raised life expectancy all round as a result of social protection systems.”
Politics in the Zeros highlights the action of South African trade unionists in blocking Chinese arms exports to Robert Mugabe’s government That could be used for a crack down on the democratic opposition.
Adam Curry shares this cartoon with us.
Finally, two interesting posts from Splintered Sunrise refer to the KMT election victory in Taiwan, and the influence of Mao Zedong thought among the American New Communist Movement in the 1970s, and the comments discuss the Red Guards in New York.
While we are at it, perhaps worth looking at this recent summary of English speaking Maoist blogs.