Feminist Next System Literature Review

Nancy Holmstrom

Nancy Holstrom, philosopher and professor emerita at Rutgers, has had a long and varied career. In her early career, she focused on metaphysics and the philosophy of the mind but her later work has been in social and political philosophy, specifically issues related to gender, freedom, and work under capitalism. Her books and articles include: Do Women Have a Distinct Nature?,” “A Marxist Theory of Women’s Nature,” “Rationality and Revolution,” “Rationality, Solidarity and Public Goods,” “Exploitation,” “Marx and Cohen on Exploitation and the Labor Theory of Value.”

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:Holstrom has more detailed analysis to describe all of these points, and others. The sketch of her alternative system--and its defense against would-be critics--extends from page 256-322. 

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