Revenge of the wronged

Clara Fraser. PHOTO: FS archives
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The following article was originally published in the Freedom Socialist in 1992 as “Revenge of the dykes, choicers, witches, ghettoites and single/working/welfare moms.” The title reflects Clara Fraser’s penchant for wordplay and, as she herself acknowledged, dislike of using just one word when six would do. The ideas are as fresh and relevant as ever, as they deal with the role of mainstream politicians in normalizing fascist ideas — and what can be done about it! To find more of Fraser’s writings, check out Revolution, She Wrote at Red Letter Press.

Any time some unctuous hypocrite pontificates about the absolute morality of the traditional family, reach for your pocketbook, look around for the lurking fascists in government, and cling like mad to your personal integrity.

Male politicians, dutifully echoed by wife-robots, are trying to make you, the victims of their horrible anarchy, into the reason for economic disaster and social dysfunction. How dare they!

How dare these extollers of a system that starves and exploits and crucifies untold billions blame the underpaid and the destitute for the poverty, miserable education and training, crime, dope, cynicism, domestic turmoil, and rejection of obsolete middle-class values that the profit system itself generates?

The sinister self-righteousness flown under the “family values” banner at the Republican convention powered a thinly veiled, proto-Nazi blitzkrieg against the way enormous numbers of people live their lives. Feminists were damned, single moms denounced, working mothers scolded, any and all abortions reviled, lesbians and gays excoriated. The problems of racial minorities were totally ignored — but every reference to welfare abusers and criminals was a coded allusion to persons with dark skin.

Nor did President-Elect Charming and the Democrat brat pack defuse the incendiary call-to-arms against us lifestyle-criminals. They knocked themselves out to parade their own mom and pop orthodoxy. The Clintons schlepped their teenaged daughter to every photo opportunity imaginable, while Gore made his accident-victim son the subject of unbearably schmaltzy oratory.

But all those macho office-holders with carefully coiffured, mostly-blond wives and beautifully garbed children cannot speak for the U.S. majority, who do not live or think like them or own checkbooks like theirs.

We’ve come a long way, baby, since antiquity, when property was communal, relations between men and women democratic, and females revered and central to the matriarchy — not only as the mothers, but as chief providers of food, medicine and political decisions.

When private property landed in male hands — accidentally, because men controlled the herds that became the first money commodity — women lost their economic equality. Their work became private, no longer public. Men became a ruling class, and women — after centuries of resistance — became virtual slaves.

Ever since, the male unconscious has carried within it this memory of original guilt, of their world overthrow of the female sex, of a primal mea culpa, and men deny or justify this historical abomination by asserting male supremacy.

The family has no eternal or holy or cosmic values of its own. Family values reflect and express the conditions of production of a given period. A certain set of economic relations requires a certain kind of kinship structure. And the patriarchal, male-dominated, monogamous family came into being for the purpose of transmitting inheritance of property through the male line.

As with the family, so with the state, which also exists to promote the ruling class. The state ends up decreeing a specific type of family to perpetuate the system it guards. The capitalist state needs women to be subordinate; taken to its outer limits, this means Kinder, Kirche, Küche — a là Hitler, the Quayles, shorthaired preachers, and, I fear, the muzzled Hillary.

So anybody who thinks that the Democrats are going to vanquish the New Nazis is suicidally naive. The U.S. today is Weimar Germany after World War I, facing the same choice between fascism and socialism. And the U.S. today will set the pace for the rest of the world — Germany, Japan, France — in deciding what to do about Hitler’s heirs. That is why militant activism by anti-fascists is vital.

Feminists, people of color, lesbians and gays, all workers: wake up! Social revolution is the only viable alternative to the concentration camps — and the only answer to vanishing jobs. With a technology geared to produce goods without producing jobs, high-tech capitalism is becoming an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Socialism is computers plus justice.

The global order of competitive trade and multi-currencies is absurd. It cries out to be replaced with production for use, not for greed, so as to eliminate the endless wars and hatreds spawned by dwindling markets and poverty.

A rational analysis of the mess can provide a rational solution — but never while the reason for the worldwide crisis is massively attributed to women, gays, ethnics, and unions. The family values brouhaha is a depraved and insulting attempt to deflect our attention from the basic problems of the world economy onto the usual scapegoat suspects.

Don’t let this happen! Give the looters-with-license hell. Tell ’em to take their bourgeois values and shove ’em.

And once we have created a revolution in the way we deal with wealth, this proper Jewish mother promises you that family values will take care of themselves. As always.

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