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Red Library: A Political Education Podcast for Today's Left

Mar 4, 2019

This week, Comrade Zoya is on Red Library to bring that Marxist feminist fire by talking about Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. This is one of those books that got lost to history but deserves a second look and maybe even a second life.

We talk about the lost futures of second-wave feminism, the relationship between science fiction and utopia, the relationship between Marxism and feminism and the ways that scientific development opened up new possibilities for redefining gender and the basic structures of capitalism. This episode is especially relevant for thinking about how historical issues of gender inequality in the Leftosphere are still plaguing movements today.

Zoya and I talk briefly about the Marxist concept of reification in this episode. It can be a tough thing to grasp so here is some more information on it for anyone that hasn't memorized every concept in the entire Marxist theoretical edifice:

In Marxismreification (GermanVerdinglichung, literally: "making into a thing") is the process by which social relations are perceived as inherent attributes of the people involved in them, or attributes of some product of the relation, such as a traded commodity.

This implies that objects are transformed into subjects and subjects are turned into objects, with the result that subjects are rendered passive or determined, while objects are rendered as the active, determining factor. Hypostatization refers to an effect of reification which results from supposing that whatever can be named, or conceived abstractly, must actually exist, an ontological and epistemological fallacy.

The concept is related to, but distinct from, Marx's theories of alienation and commodity fetishism. Alienation is the general condition of human estrangement. Reification is a specific form of alienation. Commodity fetishism is a specific form of reification.


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