Visions of the Socialist Future: Socialist Feminism, Revolution, and Theory Over Time

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Citation

Knaak, Marissa, “Visions of the Socialist Future: Socialist Feminism, Revolution, and Theory Over Time,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/81.

Title

Visions of the Socialist Future: Socialist Feminism, Revolution, and Theory Over Time

Creator

Knaak, Marissa

Date

2017

Description

After the Manifesto of the Communist Party was published in 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were the superstars of European socialism. They were not the only socialist theorists, but their legacy, especially that of Marx, looms large in the modern socialist imaginary. Other Marxist theorists have contributed a great deal to socialist theory. These theorists include August Bebel, Karl Liebknecht, and Wilhelm Liebknecht. Each of these men contributed mostly to the German socialist movement, but their work spanned the continent. However, their writings, especially those of Karl Marx, present a starting place for other theorists and activists. Their texts, and lives, cannot exist separate and distinct from the context in which they lived and worked. In this context are other activists and theorists who get left behind in modern records and scholarship on this period. In the transition from “great man” history to social history, many voices continue to be erased. These voices tend to be those of intellectual women. In this case, socialist feminists working during the same time as the men previously mentioned. I argue three of the most influential Marxists during this time are also some of the most overlooked: Eleanor Marx; Clara Zetkin; and Alexandra Kollontai. Their work with proletarian women within the Marxist framework is missing from modern socialist feminist theories. This lacuna is predominantly a function of the erasure of revolutionary potential from Western Marxism and an assumption that the goals of the past and the present are completely separate.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (62 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses