Work-Standard Accounting Practices: Feminist Critiques of Double-Entry Account Bookkeeping

Compared to the various ideologies studied here and the two preceding Treatises, Feminism has undergone rapid transformations throughout its history. The State of Total Mobilization itself has given women more opportunities to exercise Legal Duties and Legal Rights than that was previously made possible in the State of Natural Rights during the Enlightenment. But because the State of Total Mobilization has yet to fully supplant the State of Natural Rights, it can be difficult to understand Feminism as ideology from the perspectives of male observers. The 20th century alone saw the “Three Waves of Feminism,” with the “Second Wave” and the “Third Wave” claiming to continue what the First Wave is said to have started.

How should political scientists study Feminism, conveying to accountants and auditors why the ideology has discernible objections to Double-Entry Account Bookkeeping, the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, and the United Nations System of National Accounts (UNSNA)? What would be the descriptions of the Three Waves of Feminism?

  1. The First Wave sought to argue that women should not be treated as being the extensions of Private Property-as-Wealth or Productive Property-as-Power. Its adherents wanted to advocate that women are just as human as the men in their lives. Any Legal Rights and Legal Duties that the men in their lives already have should also be bestowed to women. The Suffragettes who stressed the need for women’s suffrage were members of this Wave and it became an integral part of their political appeals.
  2. The Second Wave emerged throughout the height of Bretton Woods. Its adherents believed that women are still being oppressed by the State of Natural Rights and they should be given the Will-to-Power to acclimate themselves further in the State of Total Mobilization. The two World Wars have demonstrated that women are just as capable of creating Kapital and Schuld or Arbeit and Geld as well as the men in their lives. Technologies imbued with the Feminist Design Philosophy will enable women to achieve greater participation in the workforces as well as the armed forces.  
  3. The Third Wave emerged after the Death of Bretton Woods, during what International Relations Theory refers to as the “Unipolar Moment” of the Liberal International Economic Order (LIEO) in the 1990s. The adherents of this category questioned the idea of the “Feminine Essence” or the “Feminine Mystique” that the last two Waves took for granted. Its adherents believed that every woman should redefine themselves to suit the epoch of Neoliberalism, which also meant embracing the identity politics of the culture war. The term “Intersectionality,” the idea that one form of oppression can be correlated by another form of oppression, was coined the same year as the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.    

What is really interesting about Feminism for Political Science is that the ideology complements other ideologies. This trend is not exclusive to Feminism insofar as it can also be found in other ideologies such as Environmentalism and Conservatism. Pretty much any ideology willing to accept women into its own ranks and respecting them for who they are meant to be is capable of accommodating Feminism. But Feminism also has its own criticisms of Double-Entry Account Bookkeeping, the Fractional-Reserve Banking System and the System of National Accounts, which it perceives as a major source of oppression among women. Certainly, there have been Feminists who espoused opposition to Neoliberalism’s economic and social tendencies as well as its political ones.

The central argument is that neither Double-Entry Account Bookkeeping nor the System of National Accounts will identify the voluntary caretaking of children and the elderly as part of the national income. In Double-Entry Account Bookkeeping, these activities are Liabilities which are meant to demonstrate the Net Worth of a woman and her family. This conclusion is also shared among certain demographers and sociologists who think that women with larger Quantities of Kapital tend to have larger families. In fact, it continues to perplex them as the birthrates across the Western world have been diminishing significantly since the Death of Bretton Woods.

Meanwhile, for the United Nations System of National Accounts (UNSNA), childbearing and caretaking are not factored anywhere in the aforementioned three Economic Indicators of Profit and Utility Maximization. A woman giving birth and raising a family in one country does not yield any Value whatsoever in the System of Accounts. However, another woman engaging in pornography or prostitution in a country where both activities are legal does yield Value in the System of Accounts. In the context of the latter, there is Value ostensibly being created from the transactional sales and the any taxes paid to Parliament. This particular discrepancy held by Neoliberalism is also indicative of how it perceives Arbeit. Arbeit to Neoliberalism is something undesirable and at best a means to achieving Kapital as opposed to being an end in itself. It is a sentiment comparable to how Neoliberalism imbues Technology with its own Design Philosophy: to eliminate Arbeit in order to further accommodate the interests of Kapital.

What Feminist economists have achieved in the decades since the Death of Bretton Woods has been to draw attention to these discrepancies and put greater emphasis on the Human Development Index (HDI). HDI is a socioeconomic statistic describing a country’s standards of living, factoring in life expectancy, educational level, and income level. It is a notable emphasis in light of the ideology’s concerns about the “Gender Pay Gap” or why Neoliberalism objectifies women as another form of Kapital. The term “Human Capital,” which originated from Irving Fisher as the proponent of Fractional-Reserve Banking’s polar opposite–Full-Reserve Banking, is relevant here.  

Compared to the Post-Bretton Woods Debt Standard, the Work-Standard does in fact account for the economic lives of both women and men within the Household as “Heimarbeit (Work-from-Home),” which in itself is a form of Actual Arbeit that can be easily converted into Actual Geld. The Third Place (1st Ed.) identified its presence and significance in relation to studies of the Socialist Student Economy (SSE). Although Heimarbeit does include childbearing and looking after children and the elderly, it also encompasses other activities that anyone could do inside the Household. This is because a well-kempt, well-disciplined, and well-behaved Student Body eases the administrative and organizational burdens of the Student Government at the secondary and tertiary educational levels. Student Government also encourages stay-at-home parents to incorporate their Heimarbeit into the SSE’s Cooperatives, Small Businesses, Workshops, and other Student Enterprises.

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