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Anti-Woman Bigot Summers Spills the Beans

Following massive public outcry, the sexist pig gave a groveling apology, vowing to leave all pseudo-scientific speculation to the real “experts.�
Harvard: Too Much Veritas!

Anti-Woman Bigot Summers Spills the Beans

Reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 844, 18 March 2005.

Another sexist at Harvard caused a national stir in recent weeks by insinuating what the American ruling class has believed all along: When it comes to math, hard sciences or any “high-powered� academic career, a woman’s place is in the kitchen or at a secretary’s desk. This time, the bigot in question is Harvard president Larry Summers.

Summers rose to acclaim through his ability to take centuries-old, racist views and pass them off as “novel.� As chief economist of the World Bank, an imperialist institution dedicated to looting the Third World, he advocated in a 1991 memo: “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.� Soon after he took the job at Harvard in 2001, Summers took it upon himself to drive black intellectual Cornel West out. And now, Summers has hit the headlines after “speculating� at a January 14 economics conference that “in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude� (read: genetic inferiority) of women. Exposing his all-sided bigotry, he also managed to posit that genetic differences account for the varying representation of Catholics and Jews in particular fields and for white men in basketball!

Following massive public outcry, the sexist pig gave a groveling apology, vowing to leave all pseudo-scientific speculation to the real “experts.� There has been no shortage of reactionary intellectuals who have in the past picked up this stinking corpse of a “hypothesis� for racial or sexual inferiority and run with it. Take Harvard’s Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, who peddles the racist lie of genetically determined black inferiority, or Harvard professor Steven Pinker, who denies that lack of women in the sciences is proof of discrimination—this despite documented evidence of bias in every aspect of academic life (Harvard Crimson, 19 January).

But Summers’ cynical apologies were not enough to stop the angry protests of many Harvard faculty, staff and students alike. Members of the Boston Spartacus Youth Club participated in a February 22 student protest at Harvard calling for Summers’ resignation. We discussed with students how this is not about one man with sexist ideas, but rather someone who let slip out in a rather crude way a certain aspect of what Harvard—and indeed this capitalist society as a whole—is all about. Women’s oppression, rooted in the family, is embedded in class society. The institution of the family serves to regiment the population to abide by the norms of the ruling class. Women are drawn into the workforce as needed by the bosses and face persistent discrimination there, while still bearing the burden of childcare.

Harvard is a prime purveyor of the reactionary ideology, including anti-woman chauvinism, of capitalist society. Women and black students at this protest spoke to us of the horribly oppressive atmosphere they face on campus. As the foremost think tank of the most powerful and ruthless ruling class on the planet, Harvard has always had a special mission to develop ideological justifications for capitalist tyranny, to say nothing of its plethora of links to the CIA. We say: Nationalize Harvard! For open admissions and no tuition! Throw open the gates of this “ivory tower� to the black youth of Roxbury! It’s not just Summers who should get the boot; the whole administration should be abolished and replaced by worker/student/faculty control. ROTC, CIA, Harvard cops off campus!

Harvard: No Ivory Tower

The water boys of Socialist Alternative (SAlt) busied themselves handing out leaflets that treated Summers as an “embarrassment� to Hahvud’s good name! A February 22 leaflet by the “Coalition for an Anti-Sexist Harvard�—of which the Harvard SAlt branch is a co-signatory—reads in part: “As the head of a university with so much international prestige, the president of Harvard should play a special role in advancing the cause of women in higher education.� Are we talking about the same Harvard that brought us the Klitgaard report, Harvard’s “modest proposal� for an Aryan university? The leaflet goes on to say, “We are...outraged that the Harvard Corporation unabashedly supports his continued tenure.� SAlt really pushes this myth of Harvard as an ivory tower, calling to “democratize� the second richest “non-profit� institution in the world next to the Catholic church! To think that “The Corporation�—that insufferably arrogant, racist, anti-union and sexist institution that runs Harvard—would do anything but unabashedly support this man’s politics is truly beyond naive.

The Coalition demands that “Harvard support justice and human rights campaigns by divesting from corporations like Unocal and PetroChina� because these companies invest in Burma and Sudan. The problem with calls for divestment is that they are premised on the view that there are good corporations vs. bad corporations. Presumably, Harvard should invest in corporations that do business only with “democratic� countries, companies that are in fact no less exploitative than any others. Furthermore, the campaign against the state-owned Chinese oil company, PetroChina, is a years-long anti-Communist campaign that predates the recent atrocities in Darfur and is aimed at mobilizing sentiment behind the imperialist goal of restoring capitalism in China. We are for the unconditional military defense of China, a deformed workers state, against capitalist counterrevolution, and for political revolution to oust the Stalinist bureaucracy. The supposed “Trotskyists� of SAlt have shamelessly signed on to this pro-imperialist campaign against China, joining forces that are opportunistically exploiting outrage over Sudan to push for counterrevolution.

Such actions are not surprising coming from Socialist Alternative, the American section of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI). Just look at its open fraternization with the “National Bolshevik� fascists in the former USSR. In Germany, the CWI section has banned our comrades from their meetings because of our position defending the right of consensual sex and opposing the U.S. state vendetta against Michael Jackson. The hallmark of the CWI is its craven capitulation to the lowest depths of whatever national (or campus!) milieu it finds itself in.

The Coalition’s call for the administration to “create gender neutral social space� is a call on the administration to regulate student life—to harass and ban minorities and leftists, from The Seneca all-women’s group to communists on campus. We oppose the administration’s regulation of student life in any form!

The Spartacist League and SYCs fight for an egalitarian society that can only be won by abolishing capitalism through socialist revolution. Women in the Soviet Union were productive, franchised, literate members of society with full equality before the law...nearly 50 years before Harvard allowed women to set foot into its Lamont Library! Despite the degeneration of the workers state under Stalinism, Soviet women were trained to be top engineers, fighter pilots, doctors, mathematicians and physicists in vastly greater numbers than American women ever were or have been since. Does this speak to the “intrinsic� superiority of Russian women over American? Hardly. This was the direct product of the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that swept away capitalism in Russia. The revolution brought literacy and access to higher education to all the sons and daughters of the workers and peasants throughout the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks sought to replace the functions of the family and make childcare and household duties the collective responsibility of society. Only when women are freed from household drudgery and double oppression of work and family can their true capacities be realized. For free, quality health care and childcare, maternity and paternity leave and equal pay for equal work!

Through our fight for political revolution and against capitalist restoration in East Germany in 1989-90 and in the USSR in 1991-92, the International Communist League uniquely fought to defend the gains of the Russian Revolution and to extend those gains worldwide. Counterrevolution has had devastating effects on women and workers. Our proud record stands in stark contrast to the fake Trotskyists of the CWI who also were in Moscow, on the same side of the barricades as the Russian Pamyat fascists—in opposition to women’s liberation and in support of the Yeltsin-Bush counterrevolution!

The Boston SYC is looking for a few class traitors who, like American Communist John Reed (class of 1910), are fed up with this hideously repressive capitalist society and want to fight for its overthrow. For a multiracial workers party that fights for socialist revolution!
 
 


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