Volume 47 part 1 (April 2002)
Matthew Thomas, Anarcho-Feminism in Late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, 1880-1914.
Tânia Ünlüdag, Bourgeois Mentality and Socialist Ideology as Exemplified by Clara Zetkin's Constructs of Femininity
Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) remains one of the most famous figures in the history of the German and international left. She rose to prominence as a social democrat beginning in 1890 and became a Marxist and, as of 1919, a member of the high-ranking cadre of the KPD; she was an activist of the Second International starting in 1889 and belonged to the executive committee of the Communist International (EKKI) in the 1920s. She is known in history primarily as the leader and chief ideologue of the socialist and later the international communist women's movement, but is also a popular figure in the leftist women's movement of the twentieth century. Zetkin, the founder of International Women's Day, is still widely depicted as a heroine. However, in light of recent research conducted in Berlin and Moscow and from the perspective of the history of mentalities, the tendency to mythologize her needs to be questioned. This essay on Clara Zetkin's constructs of femininity is part of a biography oriented toward a history of mentalities, in which the socialist and communist Zetkin is presented in the entire societal context of her times, perceived as a contemporary of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From this perspective, it is precisely Zetkin's comments on the women's issue that mirror the influences of social Darwinism and biological discussion at the turn of the century in Germany. The ideas held by the leader and theoretician of the international socialist women's movement on the "liberation of women" from "gender slavery" and "class bondage" were not aimed at pursuing an autonomous process of emancipating women for their own sake, but at pursuing a well-structured and directed process of educating them that would end up turning them into a new physically and mentally improved "consummate woman," who would efficiently serve the socialist society.
Naomi Segal, Compulsory Arbitration and the Western Australian Gold Mining Industry: A Re-Examination of the Inception of Compulsory Arbitration in Western Australia
In 1900, Western Australia, a self-governing British colony, adopted compulsory conciliation and arbitration legislation, the first Australian colony to do so. This article focuses primarily on the roles the colonial state and capital played in the adoption of the legislation and proposes a broader, more complex explanation for the introduction of the legislation than current mainstream Western Australian historiography, which, mostly, constructed the event as an unproblematic regional labour triumph. This article argues that the legislation was passed to prevent disruption to gold mining, the industry driving the development of the colony, and to revive the flagging political fortunes of the colonial government. It asserts that the timing of the legislation pre-empted a more effective Bill being introduced under conditions less favourable to capital. Organized labour, which, through its lobbying, had created consensus about the desirability of introducing the legislation, was unable to influence the shape of the legislation significantly.