Jacobin has recently published a piece describing the use of femininist ideology to justify the exploitation of female workers. It was an interesting read and I recommend it to everyone. You can find it here:
The author describes the fact that although women’s access to wage labor in the developing world does move them away from village or familial patriarchy, this effect is used to gloss over and even justify the other fact that these women work in deplorable labor conditions. The author then states that the countries that have the best conditions (in other words closer to some level of equality) for women are nations where the state led and directed economic growth before embracing free market ideology as opposed to the exploitative “free market” conditions being imposed upon the developing world from the get go. Free market conditions in these nations are essentially extractive. They basically rely on the the iron law of wages which does not lead to the level capital inflow that supports economic development. Correlation is not necessarily causation here, but the author’s position makes sense to me in that centrally planned economies promote education in order to have a strong workforce. I think the mass education that goes along with state led development is the real key, however I have another point to make. The key that the author is hammering is that planned broad development on a national scale is what is truly needed. I basically agree. However, what the author, and every fucking pundit I have ever heard discuss development ignore, is that fact that for a nation to develop social and physical infrastructure, it must have a trade surplus, and for one nation to have one unit of trade surplus, another nation must have one unit of trade deficit. This is a very simple concept of accounting that is routinely ignored everywhere you go. To develop one nation, you must take from another. In other words, the state led development strategy could never work on a universal scale as it relies on
suckers other nations to adopt exploitative free markets. This is the elephant in the room that is routinely ignored and never talked about. The most maddening fact is also that deficits tend to be forced on the poorest of nations, driving them even further into the hole. I have no idea what the solution is here, but I get very sick of seeing so many otherwise well thought out articles ignore this basic precept.
Anyway, I otherwise enjoyed the article and I hope you do too.