Holstrom has also edited two books, Not For Sale: In Defense of Public Goods (with Anatole Anton and Milton Fisk), 2000, and The Socialist Feminist Project: A Contemporary Reader in Theory and Politics, 2002. She has a neo-socialist, feminist critique of capitalism, but she has also done some work proposing alternatives.
In Capitalism, For and Against: A Feminist Debate, Holstrom explains a basic outline for what might be considered the framework for a feminist next system. The following snippets and notes on her arguments attempt to sum up her arguments:Much of her argument in this book is a critique (as she concedes). She writes:
- "Capitalism creates the conditions for genuine human liberation but at the same time it puts up systemic barriers to its realization. Technology exists to make work better. But it hasn’t happened. Capitalism has brought neither greater freedom from work nor in work."
- She continues by adding that socialism failed at that too. Obviously, she argues that capitalism has been catastrophic for women. But, near the end, she argues that her critique also provides the basic guidelines for an alternative:
- What women need to advance their strategic and practical interests and to lead fulfilling lives is a genuinely democratic society at all levels, economic, political, They must be free to organize and press for their interests. No structural barriers.
- Need to move to a society that aims directly at the satisfaction of social need
- And not just individual societies, but on a global scale.
- Environmental disasters, war, terrorism – no one is secure in the world organized as it is. The resources must be seen as common treasury.
- Collective rationality must prevail in cases of conflict.
- Some role for a market but the most fundamental decisions should be made by democratic planning (participatory planning)
- Not a restriction on freedom or autonomy. Constraints can and should be put on the power of the collectivity (social planning is the only way, however). But, there must be a recognition of certain individual rights. Women need rights as individuals and as members of collectivities.
- Collective, “rule-from-below”
- Alternative Socialism as a good term? The word socialism has been applied to so many different, indeed, incompatible models – from early utopian projects to social welfare capitalist societies to different totalitarian models – hesitant to use it for fear of misunderstanding.
- This is socialism from below – self-emancipation as both the means to, and constitute of, socialism. This vision exemplified by Marx quote “the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself.” Name not so important. Could be socialism, eco-feminist, libertarian socialism, or economic democracy – or a new name. Across all of these political groups and histories - and more - women have fought against capitalism, colonialism and slavery. For women’s liberation in all dimensions. That is the key point to bring into a new design.
- Before we get to next system (and as part of it), feminists should push to get the most from capitalism. They should push not for freedom to exploit and be exploited on same basis as men. They have to focus on practical, as well as strategic, gender interests. For example, rather than simply fighting for the right to abortion, they should fight for reproductive rights for all women.