Transl. from the Original German of the 33d Edition by Daniel De Leon. — New York: New York Labor News Company, 1906. — 410 p.Bebel’s work, “Die Frau und der Socialismus,” rendered in this English version with the title “Woman under Socialism,” is the best-aimed shot at the existing social system, both strategically and tactically considered. It is wise tactics and strategy to attack an enemy on his weakest side. The Woman Question is the weakest link in the capitalist mail. The workingman, we know, is a defenceless being; but it takes much sharpening of the intellect to appreciate the fact that “he cannot speak for himself.” His sex is popularly coupled with the sense of strength. The illusion conceals his feebleness, and deprives him of help, often of sympathy. It is thus even with regard to the child. Proverbially weak and needing support, the child, nevertheless, is not everywhere a victim in the existing social order. Only in remote sense does the child of the ruling class suffer. The invocation of the “Rights of the Child” leaves substantially untouched the children of the rich. It is otherwise with woman. The shot that rips up the wrongs done to her touches a nerve that aches from end to end in the capitalist world. There is no woman, whatever her station, but in one way or other is a sufferer, a victim in modern society. While upon the woman of the working class the cross of capitalist society rests heaviest in all ways, not one of her sisters in all the upper ranks but bears some share of the burden, or, to be plainer, of the smudge,—and what is more to the point, they are aware of it. Accordingly, the invocation of the “Rights of Woman” not only rouses the spirit of the heaviest sufferers under capitalist society, and thereby adds swing to the blows of the male militants in their efforts to overthrow the existing order, it also lames the adversary by raising sympathizers in his own camp, and inciting sedition among his own retinue. Rebel’s exhaustive work, here put in English garb, does this double work unerringly.Contents. Translator’s Preface. Introduction. Woman in the Past. Before Christianity. Under Christianity. Woman in the Present. Sexual Instinct, Wedlock, Checks and Obstructions to Marriage. Further Checks and Obstructions to Marriage, Numerical Proportion of the Sexes, Its Causes and Effects. Prostitution a Necessary Social Institution of the Capitalist World. Woman’s Position as a Breadwinner, Her Intellectual Faculties, Darwinism and the Condition of Society. Woman’s Civic and Political Status. The State and Society. The Socialization of Society. Woman in the Future. Internationality. Population and Over-Population. Conclusion.
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