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-one separable yet interrelated cycles of ideas. It has been written and revised over a period of about sixteen years. A few sentences were added recently. Two sets of events triggered these reflections. ONE: Sometime in 1991, my 17 year old son Shanto asked me: Why are children at all born? Why they are at all required to be here in this troublesome world? Whose interests do the births of children serve? TWO: I am a househusband since 1973. My wife Sumita married me in that year on condition that I would seek answer to a question that was vexing me since 1965. The question: how was Karl Marx’s method of scientific investigations related to the methods of the mathematical and mathematized sciences of our time? At that time we did not know that Marx’s Mathematical Manuscripts exist and, that a large part these manuscripts have been published in Moscow in the year 1968. We came to know about that publication in 1979, managed to obtain a copy of it sometime in 1982, completed the first draft of its Bengali translation in1984 and, that of the English translation in 1985. These translations were published with some additional topical materials in 1994. Towards the end of this process my wife reminded me of another task that troubled us since the late 1960s. The task: the goal of women’s liberation needs a scientific investigation, analogous to Marx’s writings on political economy, pertaining to the liberation of the industrial proletariat of Europe of the nineteenth century. She chided me by saying that I was eating the food provided by her for nothing and, merrily enjoying my time in the patriarchal male preserves of philosophy and mathematics; further, since the question of Marx’s relation with mathematics is now by and large understood, I better pay up at least a part of my ever piling debt to her by concentrating on how to face the question of women’s liberation in our time. I cogitated on these questions along the following lines.
I Children are born to serve the interest of others: 1. To keep a specific part of nature, e.g., the human species, going; and,
2. To keep the human society going. A child is thus always by, of and, for others. At the point of biological origin, through the process of growth in society and finally, as an adult end product ready for the labor market or, for unpaid labor outside it, no human being is or can ever be completely self-oriented. Objectively speaking, s/he is always other-oriented. If everybody and everything is for others, then how is selfishness different from selflessness? At one level they are not separable: self is self only in relation to and in respect of the other. At another level one can never be absolutely self-interest free. Hence also they are inter-dependent: by serving one's self-interest one serves others as the self is always embedded in the other. The difference between selflessness and selfishness that does not exist at the level of, let us say, "deep structure", however, manifests itself in what may be called the "surface structure", at the level of day to day human behavior. If a person is above average greedy in any given society, then we call her/him selfish in the context of that society. If another person's personal greed level is below average for a given society, then we call her/him selfless within that society. Thus selfishness or selflessness are not the properties of a given individual self as such, but are measures of the social averages of greed, which are dependent upon the greed-levels of others in a social milieu. The fact that the birth and growth of a child is not for her/his self-interest but, that it is for the interest of others, may be understood within the above discourse. II Maria Mies had indicated in her Patriarchy and Accumulation on World Scale: Women in International Division of Labour (London 1986), that Mariarosa Dalla Costa was perhaps the first person to challenge the received Marxist opinion that women's unpaid work at home is 'private', reproductive, secondary etc., hence 'non-work', in: The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community (Padua and Bristol 1972). Trade unions and labor parties/left parties have historically colluded with capital in its strategy to remove all non-wage work from public perception. An important earlier point of counterdeparture here was Rosa Luxemberg, The Accumulation of Capital etc. (1923), wherein it was underlined that capitalism always needed 'non-capitalist milieux and strata', e.g., peasants, artisans and colonies, for its sustenance. The domestic domain still continues to be such a milieu even in the G 7 or G 8 countries, not to speak of the rest of the world.
The work of women, both in giving birth to and in raising children, the future source of labor for the market, as well as rest of the domestic work, that daily replenishes the laborer, is not considered work or labor, in political economy. Maria Mies' work is descriptive, sociological. It contains many insights. Yet it is no systematic theory. It reflects a certain stage of Women's studies/gender sensitive political economy. III Familial relations are considered very remote from the subject matter of political economy, because they contain very intimate forms of production/reproduction relations and, are foundational to the other forms of production relations. Sexual relations are a taboo topic in civil societies. They are kept secret, because they are foundational. IV If the utterances of Bhisma in the Mahabharata are made to come out of the lips of Ganga or Gandhari or, if instead of Krishna, Draupadi utters the shlokas of the BhagavadGita, then what sort of structural transformation will these texts undergo? A probable starting point for this search could be: Iravati Karve  Yuganta; available at: <http://gyanpedia.in/Portals/0/Toys%20from%20Trash/Resources/books/yuganta.pdf>.
V Consider the following: 1. A Child is by nature free. 2. Family is by convention, bound; i.e., not free. 3. A child is born and is raised in a family. 4. That is to say, a free person is raised in an environment that is not free. This I call the paradox of the family.
Further: 1. A child is never mediocre. 2. A teacher is generally a mediocre intellectual. 3. A teacher teaches a child. 4. That is to say, generally, a non-mediocre is taught by a mediocre. This I call the paradox of education. It seems to me that the paradox of education emanates from the paradox of the family, in so far as the parents of the world are the first teachers and, most teachers are themselves convention bound parents. VI Women put themselves in the danger of domestic and societal subjugation through patriarchy, by making two discoveries in the Neolithic age. 1. By domesticating animals they helped create enough surplus, which in turn created the preconditions (=wealth to be inherited) for the transition from matrilineal family to patrilineal family. 2. By domesticating plants, i.e., by discovering agriculture, they created the precondition (=large scale farming and animal husbandry) for the transition from familial unpaid labor to the system of unpaid labor outside the family. VII On Family, Institutions, and Structures of Domination in General Officially monogamous-for-women-only family proper became a reality together with the advent of patriarchy. Marriages, anthropologists tell us, came into being some 8000 years ago. Various forms of matrilineal/multifocal family cover the period between the emergence of marriage and that of patriarchy. This was coextensive; it is conjectured, with the transition from the last phase of human beings in the state of nature to the first stage of civilization. The institutions of society, of which the state is the largest, are all, without exception, extensions of patriarchal family. All these later institutions are, in a sense, products of the
insecurity complex of patriarchy. In the light of available documentation/anthropological data, it is said that the first phase of patriarchy was/is openly coercive. As patriarchy made its journey to consolidated monogamy, to begin with on the part of the woman/wife, it developed certain cultural-ideological insecurity: that of being overpowered by the WOMAN. Since for the human male all relations in the civil society are relations of domination, HE was afraid, lest the female partner dominate HIM through familial relations. Hence the ideological baggage of nearly all/all major religions prior and posterior to Buddhism: that the sansara/world/society is a realm of bondage; that the woman is evil incarnate; that She is an obstacle to the salvation of the soul etc. Hence the search for some pure domains of patriarchy : the Buddhist Sangha; the monastery ; the cult of brahmacharya/celibacy, i.e., homo-/hetero-sexual relations sans the restrictions/duties imposed by familial culture; the army/police etc. domains of the state power; stag associations of all kinds; all the policy making clubs : the corporate board rooms, the Mafiosi, the politburos, etc. From Buddhism to communist party ruled barrack socialism, via crusade, jihad, piracy, empire building, fascism, Stalinism: it is one continuous journey of the MALE in search of a secure domain for HIMSELF. From the first Buddhist monasteries to the last communist parties, from the first brahmachryashrams to the last party communes: the search is on for consolidating and protecting patriarchy from the enemy "within": the familial slave, the female engaged without wages in the production and reproduction of the most vital productive force, that of the HUMAN LABOUR. Thus, the most secret/invisible remains the most important domain of human activity. Political VIII Towards a Theory of the Family Family is the c e l l of all human institutions. Historical parallels are: commodity for capitalism, sign/symbol for communication/symbolic operations. Family is also the longest surviving of all the human institutions, though it has undergone and is undergoing changes in form. First, second etc. industrial revolutions under capitalism have brought in their wake slow but steady commoditization of familial services and relations. The developments in Economy of the family still remains a science of the future.
Semiotics have opened up the possibilities for investigating the family as a system of symbols/signs, for studying familial operations as symbolic operations. Though progressively commoditized in the more developed capitalist economies, familial services and relations still retain their status as natural economic goods and services, to a very large extent, in the overwhelming majority of the families of the world. Hence the need to study the family from the perspectives of: 1. Anthropology/Sociology, 2. Political Economy, 3. Psychoanalysis, 4. Law. … … … The prerequisites of a general theory of family were laid down in the 19th century, in the: 1. Anthropological theories of kinship, 2. Concept of production relations in political economy, 3. Psychoanalytical investigations into sexual taboos, prevalent in a given society, 4. Comparative study of the laws of inheritance. … … … Insofar as the families are engaged in the production and reproduction of human labor for extended social production and reproduction cycles of goods and services, kinship relations contain production relations. At the center of these familial productive and reproductive activities lies human sexual intercourse. It is essential for the perpetuation of the unpaid female slave labor, in the familial system of production and reproduction of live human labor, that the primary familial productive activity, human sexual activity leading to child birth and, the familial production relations, the human kinship relations, remain mystified. Hence the origin of the sex taboos. Hence, also the ideological glorification of motherhood, in all proto-religion, religion and latter-day secular ideologies. The mystification and obfuscation that perpetuated the mutual isolation of anthropology, law, political economy and psychoanalytical studies of sexuality, are also
essentially the products of the mystificatory needs of that civil society, which shall not, because it cannot, pay for the services rendered by the female familial slave. The combined historical efforts of all ideologies, all religions, all sciences, belles-lettres, and, all performing arts are aimed at perpetuating this mystery, because it pays, because the human civilization is still not ready to, cannot afford to pay.
IX On Sexuality and Transfer of Guilt In civil society, sexual activity is characterized not only by taboos, against incest, promiscuity etc., but also by an atmosphere of blanket guilt. Why? Plants have no 'guilt' about pollination of flowers, nor have insects, birds and animals any 'guilt' about fertilizing and being fertilized. Non-human part of the nature does not have any 'guilt' about anything. Guilt is an entirely human social phenomenon. As a concept, guilt does not belong to biology. Human beings feel guilty when they know that they are doing something wrong, unfair, something which is harmful to others; for instance, cheating someone of her/his dues, abusing/misusing someone etc. Human sexual activity in civil society is surrounded by an aura of shame and guilt. Are human, social sexual activities wrong and unfair? If our sexual activities are wrong and unfair, then why are these activities so widespread among us for a substantially large part of our lives? Apparently our sexual activities are not wrong as such. The only unfairness that surrounds these activities within patriarchal families pertains to the non-payment of the service charges to the sexual service provider woman, and the charges emanating around the consequences like pregnancy, child birth, child care etc. The entire civil society has cheated and continues to cheat the wife/mother of her honest dues for conceiving, bearing and, rearing human labor that comes out into the world as a child involving, interestingly enough, a final 'labor pain'. However, this real guilt cannot be/is not to be acknowledged straight off. Such an acknowledgement would at once put patriarchy and the corresponding civil society on the dock. Yet the guilt does not die. Hence the collective need to transfer it to somewhere else. The nearest possible solution is to transfer it to the human sex act itself. Thereby a double purpose is served:
1. Patriarchy is shielded; and, 2. Guilt is universalized. Thus the real issue, that of non-payment of the dues of women's honest labor, that of a plain and simple long historical cheating is cleverly obfuscated. A human social guilt is posed as guilt around a biological and cultural drive. It is interesting to note that this guilt around sex act and sexuality is actively propagated by all religious and secular (school etc.) forms of socializing instruction, by all patriarchal familial norms and practices. It is drilled into the heads of small children, who, poor kids, have not yet had the chance to know about human sexual activities first hand. This guilt is most heightened among the adolescents and the youth: who are the would be producers of children. They are not permitted to ponder over and discuss human sexuality coolly, rationally, objectively, publicly and responsibly. The boys in this age group are not always fully committed to patriarchy. Out of their affection for their mothers/other female relatives/girl friends, they might, if rightly initiated, realize the amount of historical, cumulative as well as contemporary cheating of labor dues involved here. The girls might recognize and protest against the sheer economic injustice involved. They may demand a more equitable reorganization of familial labor and, perhaps, plus some more as arrears payment for the historical labor dues, in the form of preferential treatment/proactive positive discrimination, for the girl child here and now, so that she can overcome her historical handicaps in a couple of centuries. The consequences will be catastrophic for the patriarchal family. It has been observed that the guilt around sexuality is noticeably low among the men/fathers. They only manage and supervise the overall atmosphere of guilt around sexuality, through their religious and secular ideologues. They conduct the day to day management of this guilt through their wives/mothers/sisters: the very persons about cheating whom men should have a double, personal and collective, guilt. Generally, married men get rid of their personal guilt complexes about sexual drives, from which they suffered in their adolescence and early youth. At most they have some guilt about taboo sexual relations, not about sexuality as such. This is so, since they are already in the act. They can no more participate in any prior protest against patriarchy. And now it is in the vested interest of the married men/fathers to obfuscate the gigantic issue of cheating the mother/wife of her labor dues. The wife/mother can 'protect' her second grade status in the patriarchal family only by pretending that it was/is a 'labor of love'. She can salvage the self-image allocated to her by patriarchy, only by participating
in the blanket mystification and obfuscation of human sexuality, guilt and all, by pretending that she has not been cheated. Since familial exploitation of female labor, non-payment of women's dues for sexual services, child bearing, child rearing and other domestic labor has been institutionalized only in the patriarchal families, one finds little trace of guilt around sexuality among those tribal/indigenous people who are just discovering patriarchy for themselves and, are less influenced by their contacts with the more complex patriarchal civil society. The growth in the use of contraceptives and, of awareness about human sexualities, has created the technological and other cultural preconditions for delinking human sexual activity from pregnancy and childbirth. These preconditions are more pronounced in the more industrialized/urbanized societies. Hence, the gradual withering away, of some aspects of the guilt around sex, in the mass-culture of the youth, of these societies. Indeed, it is only in the era of the second, third etc. industrial revolutions that we could raise the entire issue of patriarchal domination and exploitation of women from the present perspective. The combined effects of contraceptive-culture, mass outdoor employment of women and, the related changes in sexual and familial practices, life styles etc., are increasingly rendering the mechanism of guilt transfer around sex untenable and unnecessary. If sexual intercourse and pregnancy/child birth can be (through the use of contraceptives and cultivation of safer sexual culture) and, has to be (owing to the outdoor work schedules of the womb-endowed female) delinked, then the transfer of guilt for the non-payment of the wife/mother, from the cheating involved around child bearing, rearing and related domestic work, on to the human sex act as such, can no longer remain necessary and effective. By pauperizing the people, by making them mere wage earners, the industrial revolutions are at the same time eroding the foundations of an important material drive of patriarchy, namely, the worries around the problems of inheritance of private property, among the masses. This is directly related to the uprooting of the peasantry, erosion of peasant-patriarchal-pastoral value systems etc., even in the villages. The glass house of guilt around sexuality, assiduously erected by patriarchy, is under attack from many directions. We find one of the expressions of such attack in the products of mass-culture: popular music, literature, films, TV serials etc. The veil is being lifted, albeit slowly. The unfairness of female slavery in the family is being posed on a moral plane by the contemporary women's liberation movement. The task is to raise the question at the level of science, construct a comprehensive political economy of the family, an analytical economic theory of the family; and, thereby prepare the conceptual grounds for corrective personal, familial, group and mass social action in the domain of emancipation of the female domestic slave.
The way out of the real familial guilt lies through the path of equitable redistribution of familial labor. The march of time is making its transfer and transformation into some mystified guilt around sexuality, untenable. Let us teach the male child to participate in familial labor as much as the female child does. The guilt around sexuality will vanish in its own time.
X In the industrially developed countries of the West marriage appears to be contractual; but, in actuality, it gives rise to status relations. Under Muslim law marriage is a contract and, its object is procreation and legalization of children. For the Hindus of India marriage is formally sacramental. How about the Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs? How about the Jews? How about the corresponding situation among the indigenous people without organized religion?
XI For Sigmund Freud, masculinity and feminity are polar opposites, given and normal. Freud was beholden to a bio-behavioral purism. He is silent on the role of ideology in determining human inhibitions. It speaks volumes about his own ideological conditioning.
XII More on the Theory of Family and Civil Society The data-base for an adequate theory of family and civil society will have to be built from: 1. Biology; 2. Comparative law of marriages and inheritance; 3. Anthropology of kinship, childhood and adolescence; 4. Belles-lettres woven around human love and familial relations;
5. Theories about modes of production postulated in political economy; and, 6. Study of the scriptures or, dharmashastras as arthashastras / kamashastras and, scientific investigations into secular ideologies. Production and reproduction of labor in the family are at once a: 1. Biological act, to begin with; 2. Fact subsequent to some contract (marriage) which gives rise to status based rights (of the husband) and duties (for both the wife and the husband); the status based duties/work/labor are ultimately transferred into a product: the child acquiring the capability to provide labor for the society (in and through the process of rearing in the family, school, apprenticeship etc.); 3. Fact preceded by and following from some interpersonal sexual love/desire of men and women; this bonding element of the familial production relations constitutes the subject matter of a vast amount of oral and written Lalita Sahitya/ literature; 4. Process whereby a primary product (the biological child) is first transformed into an intermediate product (the child in the family) and, finally into a finished product ready for use, as a paid/unpaid worker in a given mode of production; this process is called the process of rearing and educating a child; 5. Part, the most fundamental part, of the general cycle of production of goods and services in any given mode of production; and, 6. An object of continuous obfuscation by all patriarchal religious and secular ideologies. Liberal anthropology considers patriarchy to be a hypothetical construct. Marxists relegated it to primitive society. Patriarchal Family is the prototype of all social institutions. Yet it is a component part of any given society/socio-economic formation and, that is why it is subject to the overall systemic possibilities/constraints of that given socio-economic formation or of the interformational zones. So far the theory of institutions has been approached from the macroscopic end: the firm/company, the state etc. Now it needs to be approached also from the microscopic end: the atomic/nuclear family. The theories about the institutions of the patriarchal civil society will perhaps become adequate, when these institutions will have at least half out-
grown their existence. Has patriarchal family exhausted at least half of its life? In other words, is patriarchal civil society at least halfway thorough? There are indications that such is the case. The emergence of numerical instrumentation, micro-electronics, computerization and robotics as forms of automation, as competitors of direct human labor, are sounding the death knell of the producer of abundant human labor: the patriarchal family, which has been, and still is, engaged in the production and reproduction of human labor. The emergence of the patriarchal family in the Neolithic age coincided with the emergence of more systematic animal husbandry and agriculture. The need for huge amount of manual labor for these occupations consolidated the patriarchal family. The first industrial revolution eroded its base for the first time: witness the journey from realism to existentialism in belles lettres during the first half of the twentieth century. The ongoing second, third etc. industrial revolutions and, the emergence of bio-technology based second agrarian and pastoral revolutions are coinciding with a further withering away of the necessity of existence of the patriarchal family as the pivotal organization of society: hence all the contemporary cry about the loss of familial values and, their 'post-modern' deconstruction. In point of fact, this is nothing but a way of serving a notice to the patriarchal civil society. The losses of importance of old agriculture, animal husbandry and industry and, the process of weakening of the patriarchal family as an institution are merely the two aspects of a single process: that of the gradual demise of the patriarchal civil society. Before it finally disappears, the patriarchal family, this product of the Neolithic revolution, will perhaps continue to exist for another 8-10 thousand years. However, this time around it will continue to do so with a significant difference: in this second half of its historical existence, it will by and by shed some of its previous roles; for example, as a site of the kitchen, laundry, private property etc. Similarly the school, government/state etc. would lose or are already losing some of their earlier roles. Such role shrinkage will not always be irreversible. There may be back lashes from time to time, in different geographical locations. However, it appears that, in sum, the processes of withering away of the institutions of the existing civil society, namely, of the patriarchal family, the organized school, state etc., are going to be interdependent and simultaneous.
XIII On Family, Caste, and Class Liberal sociology proposed a study of the family here and now. Result: a growth of synchronic empirical investigations into the various aspects of modern micro-families. Marxists stressed the class character of the families. Result: introduction of social class related terminology into the diachronic study of the historical evolution of various types of families. South Asian families being in most cases determined by their caste/ethnic status, posed a stumbling block to the Marxist anthropologists. Result: a caste-ethnos-class dilemma that haunts most modern anthropological/sociological study of the South Asian families. It is being proposed hereunder that the truth, i.e., the being and the becoming, the nature and the history, of South Asian families demands some inversion of the hitherto prevalent approaches. The neglect of diachrony, of history, of becoming, of the broader parameters of classdivided civil society, by liberal sociology, stands corrected, but only partially, by the Marxist interventions. The Marxist anthropologists and sociologists went to the other extreme by neglecting synchrony, the study of the nature, that of the being, of the South Asian families here and now. At best they tried to push the study of concrete families/castes/ethnic entities per se to the periphery, at worst they resorted to vulgar reduction of all societal categories into social class related categories. This has marred their attempts to correct the imbalance of liberal sociology. The solution may lie in an enlightened return to the central concern of liberal sociology/anthropology: to the study of familial/kinship relations and structures; but it has to be a return informed by the attempts of Marx, at investigating the contract-oriented inequalities of class-division and, by the critical anthropological attempts at investigating the status oriented inequalities of caste-distinction in South Asia. Familial inequalities are the mother of all status and contract based inequalities. Such inequalities are also observed in the pre-caste/pre-class/pre-civil societies of tribes/clans/indigenous people. That is why deciphering of the familial codes are a sine qua non for the further growth of studies into the tribal-, clan-, caste-, and, classinequalities. This study has to be at once synchronic and diachronic, empirical and text-
critical; while remaining alert about the penetration of various ideologies into the relevant disciplines: anthropology/sociology, historiography, hermeneutics etc.; such study must also address the problem of the familial roots and forms of all ideologies, mediated as these are through the languages we use, from the very moment of birth of human communication, a communication that remains coded in the sounds, for instance, of the proto-Sanskritic vij mantras, Sivasutras of our Vyakarans and, in the graphics of our alphabets, for instance, in the adya matrikas of our Tantras. Thus, this proposed return to the study of the family involves several inversions: from the Marxist study of class-character of families, a kind of 'about turn' is being proposed here to the study of the familial codes of class, caste, tribal etc. organizations; from the liberal study of family-in-itself, a journey is being proposed to the study-of-family-for-thestudy-of-others, namely, as a key to the study of tribes/clans/castes/social classes. In the past: in the liberal program, individual family was central and social class was peripheral; in the Marxist program, social class was central and individual family was peripheral; in colonial Indology caste was central and both social class and individual family were peripheral; in the modern South Asian anthropology of the pre-civil societies, tribes/castes are central and individual family is peripheral. In the proposed future: families will again have to be of central concern but only as the key to the study of the existing realities of the tribes/clans/castes/social classes. Now the synchronic study of the family has to concentrate on identifying the structures and mechanisms of familial control, so as to locate the path of evolution of the controlmechanisms and control-structures of the tribes/clans/castes/classes. Finally, this approach may be extended to the study of the political society, of political parties, governments, organs of the states etc., i.e., to the study all the other organizations of the society, of which the patriarchal family is the c e l l. Classical anthropology (Morgan et al) investigated the genetic movement from the Paleolithic hordes to the Neolithic families, farther on to the emergence of patriarchal monogamy in civil society ( = civilization). Neo-classical or liberal sociology (Durkheim, Sorokin et al ) studied only the synchrony of tribal/rural/urban families. The Marxists remained confined to the study of some diachrony, of the historical evolution of classes and states and, reduced the study of family into a kind of parroting of class-terminology.
The task ahead of us is to study the generic movement of the patriarchal familial relations giving rise to the other relations of the existing civil societies, for example of the emergence of religious, secular etc. ideologies from the familial ideologies. Neither the diachrony of the genetic motion giving rise to the patriarchal family, nor the synchrony of its structure and function at any given time, but a study of the transformation of the genetic into the generic movement that gives rise to a given structure and its corresponding functions, which will answer our remaining questions about the existing civil society, namely, how, when and why human relations and interactions give rise to one sort of inequality or the other?
XIV On the Universality of Inversion 1. If we take the emergence of any object, formation, organization, idea or symbol to be a nodal point in its history, separating the genetic motion that gave rise to it, from the generic motion that flows from its emergence, then a striking course-inversion presents itself before us, at that very point of emergence. 2. Take the cosmological emergence of galaxies/extra galactic systems/our solar system; the geological emergence of the earth; the biological emergence of plants and animals; the social emergence of human group, family and institutions; the conceptual emergence of ideas or the semiotic emergence of symbols: the path of their genesis and the course of their existence thereafter, are indeed different. The two courses are not and cannot be the same. 3. An object, organization, idea or symbol arises not out of itself, but out of something else: namely, out of an analysis or a synthesis, a need or an action, an association or a reflection, a material or a symbolic operation. They then give rise to something other than themselves, they always generate something else. 4. Hence the universality of course-inversion in the realm of nature, which contains the realm of human society, which contains the realm of our ideas / symbols. The institution of patriarchal family is no exception to this rule.
XV Once More on Family and Society: Status, Contract, and Mode of Production Davos. February 1, 1993. The world cannot rely on the United States as the locomotive to pull it out of the current economic recession..… Professor Fred Bergsten of Washington said: the G-7 is dead; it had not managed to revive the world economy…. Mr. Carlos Menem, the President of Argentina told the World Economic Forum in Davos, that if the Uruguay Round of world trade talks failed, "tragic consequences" would follow for both the poor and the rich countries, with a worldwide revival of protectionism. The Statesman, Kolkata, February 3, 1993.
The item of news quoted above indicates the beginning of the end of a phase of the ongoing industrial revolution. Perhaps posterity will call it the G-7 phase. The losses being incurred by the transnational giants like IBM, GM and others for some time now are indicative of the redundancy of their economies of scale. What is happening? A form/phase of the present industrial revolution of capitalism is being outlived. The exit policy is not only for the old workers, it is also for the old managers, businessmen, companies, politicians, political parties, states etc. One day these people came forward as a result of new contracts, which in time got transformed into statuses, became old, immune to change and, now they are being shown the door. Such renewals not only indicate the eclipse of modes of production, but also of their phases / forms. For instance, capitalism has already witnessed several forms/phases: commercial, first industrial, second industrial etc. So have the modes of production other than capitalism. However, is it proper today to call capitalism the dominant mode of production? Capitalism is characterized as a mode of production by the preponderance of commodity production for profit. Well, how preponderant is really preponderant? Till date commodity production everywhere is based upon the natural production of the worker in the family. Even in the bourgeois families of the G-7 countries, the familial production and reproduction of the children of the bourgeoisie is not commodity production, but natural production: production of use value without the corresponding exchange value.
Everywhere in the world, the familial goods and services enter into the commodity chain only as end products: as child labor, adult labor, nutrition for the laborer, health and vigor of the rested laborer etc. And even when the sum total of familial services and goods (= laborer) enters into the market, nobody pays for the past services rendered, for the dead labor of the mother/wife/other care giver embedded in the body and consciousness of the laborer available for hiring in the market. In other words, familial labor is still everywhere outside the pale of the commodity market. Those persons who go to the labor market to sell their labor power, do so for a fixed period of time: say, 8/12 hours a day; for the rest: 16/12 hours of the day, even the capitalist of the G-7 countries lives outside the pale of commodity exchange for quite some time, namely, when he enjoys the unpaid familial services. Familial unpaid services being ad definitio natural, commodity production and exchange at most occupies 50% (= 12 hours) of the life of people of G-7 countries. For the people of the rest of the world, the reach of commodity production is certainly less than 50%. Shall we then call commodity production/capitalism preponderant in the world today? It appears that so long as human civilization remains unable or unwilling to pay for the domestic labor of women, who constitute about 50% of the global population, commodity production and capitalism cannot become preponderant in the world. This over and above the fact that till date laborer ( = child) is everywhere produced naturally, i.e., without wages. Thus the notion of preponderance of commodity production/capitalism over natural production is false, as it does not stand the test of facts once the lie, the veil of secrecy, around familial labor and life is torn asunder. If anything, globally speaking, even today commodity production is based upon non-economic compulsion, upon the non-payment of the due wages of familial labor of women. In history we have two clearly interdependent types of production: natural and commodity. The different socio-economic formations so-called, e.g., slavery, feudalism, the Asiatic mode and capitalism, are nothing but various combinations of these two types of production. The G-7 phase is a phase of a stage of one such form. The crisis of a phase does not necessarily signify the crisis of a form, not to speak of a mode of production, which goes through or assumes many forms. In fact the concept of mode of production itself requires reformulation. This is also necessary in view of some developments in social and economic anthropology, for instance, Jack Goody, 1996, The East in the West (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press); and, some developments in the study of history of world economy, such as, Andre Gunder Frank, 1998,ReOrient : Global Economy in the Asian Age (New Delhi : Vistaar Publications).
So far political economy of labor has remained concerned with the 8/12 hour employed worker-in-the-market and, has failed to/refused to study the family-market continuum. The demand for a political economy of 24 hours, i.e., of the totality of human social life, cannot make peace with this failure or refusal. It has to go the whole hog. This would also entail a rewriting of the neoclassical microeconomic analysis, wherein, despite the half-hearted efforts of some to pose the child both as a consumption and a production good, for instance, by Gary S. Becker of Columbia University or, by Nancy Folbre’s critique of Gary Becker’s theory of misallocation of time, till date the isoquant is used to study only the firm and its production function and, the indifference curve is used to study only the consumption function of the household. The production and reproduction of labor that is going on in each individual household remains to be written into price theory/microeconomic analysis. Such in brief are some of the consequences of including the study of familial labor within the scope of political economy or of extending economic analysis right into the domain of the family.
XVI On Ideologies I. Genetically speaking, ideologies are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. familial : tribal/clan/caste/class; pre-religious/religious/post-religious; political: pre-state/state/post-state; aesthetic; moral; Philosophical; etc.
All latter ideologies carry layers of the earlier ideologies. This is especially true of the future oriented, post-religious and post-state ideologies like some forms of Marxism, existentialism, post-modernism, various liberation ideologies etc., which are still evolving and, can be spoken of only in the sense that they indicate the end of the total dominance of religious and state-political ideologies. These future oriented ideologies grew out of, carry their relations with and, function as religious/religion-like and, statepolitical ideologies. 2. Historically speaking, the first proto-religious and proto-state ideologies grew as some sort of abstractions from the then existing patriarchal familial relations or from the vanishing matrilineal familial relations. They were and still are extensions of and
idealizations from familial ideologies. Why did familial ideologies arise? To fill the void created by familial alienations and to keep the patriarchal family going in spite of these alienations. 3. The now dominant conservative familial ideologies emerged, perhaps together with or right after the consolidation of patriarchy, at least on some large territory. These ideologies assert that: the proper jobs for women are to give birth to and raise children and, to provide the domestic services like cooking, nursing, washing, giving care etc. These patriarchal ideologies are however completely silent about the real wages of these jobs. Thus conservative patriarchal familial ideology openly champions the cause of female domestic slavery. This speaks of what it really is. Liberal patriarchal familial ideology proceeds from the standpoint of recognizing the aspirations of woman to become a person. It argues that women should not be confined only to the four walls of the domestic world. But while so doing it obfuscates the fact, that even within the four walls of the domestic world, women are always engaged in socially necessary productive labor: namely, production and reproduction of human laborer and, the allied service sector activities such as cooking, housekeeping, washing, nursing etc. Liberal familial ideology spoke of women's emancipation without raising the issue of unpaid domestic labor of women. Thereby its stake in the continuation of domestic slavery of women is exposed. At best it proposed to accord a serf-like status to women: she may be permitted to earn a little money on the side, after the chores of domestic slavery are completed. Thus while propagating an ought, it aims to conceal what it really is. 4. How may we proceed to study the ideologies? 4.1 The sources for the study of familial ideologies are: 4.1.1 for the past: archaeological and literary evidences; 4.1.2 for the present: literary, anthropological / sociological and psychoanalytical evidences.
sources for the study of religious / dharmic ideologies are: texts and anthropological reports on actual practices, wherein the dharmashastras need to be studied as arthashastras / kamashastras.
4.3For state-political ideologies: texts matched against historical records.
4.4For tribal ideologies: folklore and anthropological data.
4.5For caste ideologies: texts, anthropological/sociological and journalistic reports. 4.6For class ideologies: literary/religious/secular texts and, historical / sociological etc. reports. 4.7For post-religious and post-state ideologies: texts and, reports of lived experience in journalism, literature etc. One observes that in the present day life in South Asia and in the world all the aforementioned kinds of ideologies are operative simultaneously and, that they influence each other with all their regional variations. The world outlook of a person today may, therefore be studied in terms of interactive networks involving all these various kinds of ideologies. 5. Let us attempt a schematic presentation: Familial ideology > undergoes first abstraction and first mystification > becomes religious ideology > undergoes a second abstraction and a second mystification > to become secular state-political ideology > which undergoes a first concretization and a first demystification > to become post-religious and post-state ideologies > which are undergoing a second concretization and a second demystification > to produce the now emerging proposals for 'post-familial', 'post-ideological' outlooks. Are these end-products themselves ideological? Perhaps yes, insofar as they remain utopian/dystopian. Further, so long as social organizations of some kind exist, even if the patriarchal family and the corresponding civil society and state wither away, will those organizations involve human relations and alienation? Are alienation free human social relations possible? If ever such relations emerge, then and then alone will human outlook be free from any ideology, as the need for organizing human beings with the help of this or that type of ideology = false consciousness will cease to exist.
On decoding the sentence: "There is nothing unfair in love and war" In terms of received opinion the above sentence stresses a counsel, namely: everything is fair in love. It also underlines the similarity of two seemingly dissimilar activities, love and war, and, declares that an apparently incompatible fair-activity like "love" and an unfair-activity like "war" are indeed compatible. Here we are left with some uneasiness. What is the way out of this antinomy? The aforementioned antinomian sentence is often spoken and taken in a lighter vein. It remains unnoticed that the intended joke apart this sentence expresses a simple yet profound truth, namely, that there exists some common denominators to both love and war. These activities are not as dissimilar as they seem. First, love. In the aforementioned sentence, it refers first and foremost to the sexual love of men and women. In modern civil society such love is considered to be the precondition for family: the sine qua non for the economics and politics of child rearing, that of generation and development of human labor. In this sense familial economics and politics is the mother of all other kinds of economics and politics. As an organization, family uses all the productive forces and production relations known to a given civilization, all the known tricks of resource mobilization and interpersonal manipulation. In other words love and its organization, family, involves every form of material productive forces and power relations, cultural persuasions; literally, everything that is appropriate to the successful conduct of familial relations and operations, available at the disposal of human kind in any given stage of civilization. Now, war. War is the continuation of economics and politics by other means. In the market and in political power play, all means are used to attain the desired goals. Hence, also in war. The linkage of war with the principles/precepts of Kautilya and Machiavelli is recognized by all. What we have failed to notice so far is the relevance of Kautilya and Machiavelli for love and family, since it was not customary to view family as an ensemble of economic and political activities. Once this ideological /customary filter is removed – a funny filter indeed, insofar as it forces us to view the c e l l of human society, the family, as something supraeconomic and suprapolitical, hence suprasocial – we find that economics and politics connect love and war. Decoded in the light of what has been said above, the sentence under consideration loses its antinomian character and reads: "Anything goes in economies and politics". Even a cursory glance at human civilizational history corroborates this statement. Such is the
path traversed by human utterances: spoken in jest by one generation, they reveal unexpected world-historical truth to another.
XVIII On the Inversions around children 1. Official Culture: The genetic motion resulting in the human child, the adult heterosexual intercourse, is a taboo topic. It belongs to the realm of the secret and private. The generic motion of child development is an open, public topic. Child is an object of public joy and adoration. Conclusion: sexual intercourse is bad but child is good. 2. Real Culture: Sex is fun, but child is a botheration. Conclusion: Child is to be adored in public, but despised and neglected in private. 3. Through the conflict between official and real culture children are subjected to a double inversion: a. Private (genetic)/Public (generic): produce child privately, but raise child publicly; and, b. Private (neglect) / Public (care): neglect children privately, but show concern for children publicly. 4. The question is why? As a social product, the child is subject to a process of alienation like all other social products, for instance, like labor itself, of which the child is the physical base. Somebody produces, someone else appropriates. That is civil society. The sex taboos and the dual (private/public) morality around the production and rearing of children are two sides of
the same coin: a strategy for hiding the real state of affairs, by substituting them with obfuscating cultural ideological constructs.
XIX On the Sex Workers and Housewives of Patriarchy "Sex work is one of the oldest professions of the world. Yet this form of independent business/profession or wage labor is discussed only in descriptive sociology. Even there the discussion does not cover all the aspects of it. The nature and history of sex work [as a kind of service sector labor] is still neglected in the discourse of wage labor, in analytical economic theory. The system of [patriarchal] monogamy, which ushered in sex work, is also discussed only in descriptive sociology. The analytical economic theory of the monogamous family is still a matter of the future. Meanwhile the demand for equal duties and rights for men and women inside and outside the family is advancing step by step. The existence of gender inequality/inequity is being recognized as a major social problem. However, scientific investigations on this problem and, the corresponding search for the roads to solution are still in an embryonic stage. By neglecting the problems of the sex workers or of the providers of love and, part or whole of the related domestic services for some wage/fee, analytical economic theory has also neglected the problems of the housewives, who provide similar services as full-scale or partial slaves. Women as a whole constitute about half of the global population. By neglecting their economic role in the household, economics has remained truncated as a science or discipline [Ghosh 1997]. Today new horizons are being opened up for the study of this hitherto neglected area, by the emerging studies of gender in economics [ Krishnaraj et al 1993], that of the dialectics of women's liberation [Dunaevskaya et al 1996], by the reality of sperm trade, womb rental, contraceptives delinking sexual activities and pregnancy, asexual reproduction of life through cloning, the study of neuron-hormone 'dialogues' as the biochemical building blocks of sexual asymmetry and, by the contemporary movement of the sex workers or of the providers of love for a fee/wage, for the establishment of their legal and social rights [Durbar 1997]". Excerpt from : Pradip Baksi, "Samakaleen Samajer Uttaraner Samasya" ("Problems of Sublation of contemporary Society"), Mizanur Rahamaner Troimasik Patrika (Dhaka), Vol.XX, No. 4, January-March 2003, pp. 9-43 (excerpt:pp.10-11).
It is a revised and extended version of the Rammohun Roy Memorial Lecture read by the author at Kolkata on 18 March 1998. References: Dunaevskaya, R. and Domanski, O. 1996. Dialectics of Women's Liberation. Nagpur: Spartacus Publication. Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee. 1997. We must win this Battle. Theme paper of the First All India Conference of Sex Workers, Kolkata 14-16 November 1997. Kolkata: Durbar Prakashani. Repr. 2003 Ghosh, Shashwatee. 1997. Ardhek Arthaneeti [Half of Economics]. Kolkata: Ananda Publishers. Krishnaraj, M. and Deshmukh, J. 1993. Gender in Economics: Theory and Practice. Delhi: Ajanta Publications. XX On the breakup of wages of the female domestic slaves under patriarchy, i.e. of the unpaid labor of woman: 1. If she is a single mother : 1. Womb rental/servicing charges, 2. for baby care : as 1. washerwoman, 2. nurse, 3. janitor, 4. cook, 5. housekeeper, 6. teacher, 7. Supervisor of 1.2.1-1.2.6. That comes to 8 different jobs in the minimum. 2. If she is a mother and wife of somebody : 1. Entertaining the husband as a sexual service provider in a situation of asymmetrical desire,
Serving the family as womb provider, cook, nurse, washerwoman, housemaid, house keeper etc. (1.1-1.2.7 above also for the rest of the family).
That comes to 17 different jobs in the minimum. The problem is this that all the 17 unpaid jobs are continuous and overlapping. That calls for much more concentration of labor, than what is required for an average job in the market. How can one proceed to compute the minimum wages due to a wife and mother? We must add to that the lost wages, she could have earned, had she gone to the market. All these jobs have wages in the market. However, when applying the scale of wages in the market, for similar/same domestic work, what weightage should one put per hour of each job at home? How to compute the wages of the total unpaid labor performed at home and, that over a lifetime, for thousands of years and, for all women? Time use studies may provide some solution. Go to: <http://www2009.timeuse.org/information/studies/>, and, to: <http://www.eijtur.org/>. Society/human civilization was/remains unable to pay these wages. Hence the need for patriarchy, which ensured the uninterrupted extraction of female slave labor for thousands of (may be 8/10 thousand or more) years. As of now the only possible way out is equitable distribution of domestic work among and, democratic participation in familial decision-making by, all.
XXI How may we proceed to create an adequate Political Economy of Women's unpaid Labour/Political Economy of Familial Labour /Political Economy of Production and Reproduction of Labour in the Family, by utilizing the techniques of time-use studies? I request the concerned people to read: Duncan Ironmonger, 2004, “Bringing up Bobby and Betty: the inputs and outputs of childcare time”, in: Family Time: The social organization of care: 93-109; edited by Nancy Folbre and Michael Bittman (London and New York: Routeledge). Ironmonger has used data from the Australian Time Use Survey for the year 1997 to inter alia show that, for Australia, childcare is the largest industry in both the household and market economies. It requires to be tested in the light of Time Use Data collected from the rest of the world. Such data will provide some building blocks for the emerging Political Economy of Familial Labour.
Id-ul-Zuha Mubaarak! Merry Christmas! Pradip Baksi 21 December 2007 [Editorial of AALSA Webzine, December 2007<http://aalsa.org/index.php?
revised on 3 March 2012.] Pradip Baksi: <email@example.com>
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