‘Marriage for everyone’: only communist society can put an end to sexual discrimination

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jk1921
‘Marriage for everyone’: only communist society can put an end to sexual discrimination
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: ‘Marriage for everyone’: only communist society can put an end to sexual discrimination. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
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jk1921
Meanwhile, the PQ government

Meanwhile, the PQ government in Quebec releases a series of "provacative" anti-homphobia ads that begin by protrarying what appear to be ordinary everyday romantic encounters only to "shock" viewers by ending with a same sex couple engaing in a passionate kiss. These ads were designed, they say, to test just how comfortable the Quebecois really are with homosexuality. Of course, at the same time that very government's language cops are busy fining an Italian restaurant for daring to have a sign advertising "Pasta," which apparently isn't French enough. It seems there are no end to these kinds of contradictions under capitalism--tolerance of intolerance; intolerance towards those who don't share "our progressive values; repression of individual rights to preserve group cohesion; raced based admissions policies in a supposedly post-racial society, etc.

commiegal
I think you can welcome some

I think you can welcome some of the reforms such as the legalisation of homosexuality that have won under capitalism. However is it not true that capitalism actually needs things like homophobia to exist so that it can make profit out of promoting a false opposition to it. I'm thinking of things like food banks, how they are not interested in eradicating poverty and hunger but just so they can make profit out of the results of what the bourgeoisie have done. Perhaps a similar thing is going on here i hope that makes sense.

 

However I don't see any reason to oppose equal rights etc and various reforms that are won under capitalism and won through struggle ... (and could be taken away when they see fit ... )

Demogorgon
I think the point of the

I think the point of the article was that the "reform" being offered is a reform to property relationship (marriage) that we want to abolish in the first place.

Similarly with regard to "equal rights", it depends on what we're talking about. There have been class movements demanding equal pay for female workers; the 68 strike in Dagenham for example.

But the trick of the bourgeoisie is to turn it into an abstract issue that cuts across class. Working class women are asked to support the rights of the female boss to gain a better share of their exploitation, while black workers are called upon to support a black President because it's more "progressive" for Obama to wipe out villages in Pakistan in drone attacks that for Romney.

As the article says "the proletariat must affirm its attachment to sexual freedom, the respect for differences, but from the starting point of its own class struggle".

jk1921
http://en.internationalism.or

https://en.internationalism.org/inter/130_gay_marriage.htm

Here is an older article that take up the issue of "equal rights," and "political emancipation" in a little more detail. Some of it is probably dated by now though.......

Fred
Somebody told me: "I was glad

Somebody told me: "I was glad when I was able to get married to my boy friend, because I thought that made us respectable, especially as we got married in a church, though not a proper one like Catholics and Anglicans churches, but it was better than nothing. I thought it made us equal with straights - and Ive always wanted to be equal with straight guys and am sick of seeing myself as not a real man - and I thought getting married would do the trick. But it hasn't really. In fact, so many people have made jokes about us two guys being married ( some quite funny I will admit) that it was actually better for us, more fun, before we went public in such a big way and got caught up in the latest fashion. I must say I can't understand what a posh straight white guy, like David Cameron, sees in gay marriage, unless it makes him look modern, and will win him the gay vote next time round. But I even doubt that now. Nor do I understand why so many priests and Cardinals are all turning out to be secret gays, though at the same time they say being gay is bad. What's going on here? It's like society is all a lie and a deceit. People say one thing in public and do tbe opposite in private. Politicians are just the same. They go on about cutbacks all the time, and say we're all suffering together but we're not. Millionaires are just like the poor it's true - they're on a rapid increase like us: but that's all we have in common.(lol) Anyway, my boyfriend (sorry partner - I don't know if he's my husband or wife, we sort of interchange - just joking) says he wants a divorce and we've only been together, sorry married, a couple of months. I think he's been eating contaminated horsemeat or something, as it's all we can afford with me on the dole and having to pay the bedroom tax now we've been caught living in his mother's old house now she's in a home and in a bad way. Sometimes it begins to look like ordinary people like us have no right at all even to be alive in this crackpot society, where there's rules and regulations against just about anything you might actually want to do and there's never going to be enough money to do it anyway.

As if you really need legal permission to have sex with someone and even love them! As if you don't have any human rights as a worker, to have work to do, and do your bit. As if it's all right nowadays, for lots of workers, just to be stopped from working and doing anything useful, just because it doesn't make more money for the likes of those who already have lots. What sort of a fake and pointless society is this? Sometimes I think we should get rid of it and try a new kind of living where we're really all equal, and all work, and all eat and have somewhere to live, and can make love with anybody we like, or love. I said this to another mate and he said it sounded like communism. So, what's wrong with that? But he said they tried it in Russia and it was horrible. But that all finished in 1989 didn't it? So maybe we should think again? In the meantime, keep off the horse meat, avoid the poisoned water and vegetables, don't go anywhere where gays are executed, and definitely don't get married."

Fred
     On CNN, I've just

 

   On CNN, I've just watched some pastor from a southern US state say that the reason N.Korea is threatening to nuke us all  is because of gay marriage in the USA. A new Sodom and Gomorrah is about to be unleashed he says because of this, and other things too which  the pastor doesnt like about the current US situation including racism.  But gay marriage is against the bible - not "gay union" he suggested, somewhat liberally - and this is what upsets N.Korea, especially "the madman" (does he mean that nation's new and youthful leader?)  I hadn't realized that N. Korea was a nation of bible readers, and Old Testament too!  But it appears, from what the pastor said ( does he have a close  communicative relationship with god, like pope Francis?)  that the unleashing of nukes will foretell the new Sodom and Gomorrah.  Challenged as to the connection between gay marriage and N.Korea's madman, the pastor backtracked. He didn't really say it.  Presented with a caption quote which proved he did, he said he didn't mean it. But I think he does really. It's just that even he found it hard to make the connection between a crazed N. Korean leader and an outraged Christian pastor in front of thousands of viewers. 

jk1921
Religion and Homophobia

Fred wrote:

 

   On CNN, I've just watched some pastor from a southern US state say that the reason N.Korea is threatening to nuke us all  is because of gay marriage in the USA. A new Sodom and Gomorrah is about to be unleashed he says because of this, and other things too which  the pastor doesnt like about the current US situation including racism.  But gay marriage is against the bible - not "gay union" he suggested, somewhat liberally - and this is what upsets N.Korea, especially "the madman" (does he mean that nation's new and youthful leader?)  I hadn't realized that N. Korea was a nation of bible readers, and Old Testament too!  But it appears, from what the pastor said ( does he have a close  communicative relationship with god, like pope Francis?)  that the unleashing of nukes will foretell the new Sodom and Gomorrah.  Challenged as to the connection between gay marriage and N.Korea's madman, the pastor backtracked. He didn't really say it.  Presented with a caption quote which proved he did, he said he didn't mean it. But I think he does really. It's just that even he found it hard to make the connection between a crazed N. Korean leader and an outraged Christian pastor in front of thousands of viewers. 

 

In Manitoba Canada, the oh-so progressive NDP government is about to pass an "anti-bullying" law that would require every school in the province to assist students in setting up gay-straight alliance clubs if they want them. This has met with outrage from the province's "religious communities" (mostly old-order Mennonites), who view this as a violation of "freedom of religion." One Jewish cleric compared this law to requiring Jewish schools to set-up "ham-eating clubs." One letter to the editor in a local paper described this law as a Frankfurt School/Gramscian/Lukacsian counter-hegemomic strategy to destroy Western civilization.

Clearly, this issue continues to generate a lot of heat, so how should communists react to homophobia within the proletariat, particularly when it is religion inspired?

jk1921
Another Recent Scandal

Another recent scandal emerging is the release of video tapes of the Rutgers University men's basketball team practices, which shows the coach viciously assualting his players by throwing basketballs at their heads, pushing and shoving them and--of course--screaming homophobic slurs at them whenever they weren't where he wanted them to be. After sitting on their hands for months, the university administration finally fired this jack ass yesterday. This has touched off a controversy with right wing pundits defending the coach's actions as just "toughening up" his players, breaking down their defenses so they would focus, etc., while the left-wing views these actions as yet another example of a chauvinist, homophobic culture driven by pig headed machismo.

Of course, the question nobody is asking is why did the players seemingly accept this type of treatment without any visible signs of protest? Its tempting to make a parallel between this and the wider situation facing the working class today. Why so so many people seemingly accept being treated like garbage?

Fred
jk 1921 wrote: Of course, the

jk 1921 wrote:
 Of course, the question nobody is asking is why did the players seemingly accept this type of treatment without any visible signs of protest? Its tempting to make a parallel between this and the wider situation facing the working class today. Why so many people seemingly accept being treated like garbage?
 

You're right jk, about people accepting being treated like garbage, and, on the other side, the inclination these  days for people to go round treating everybody else... just like garbage!  Perhaps we take it in turns. We live in a garbage society though; the ICC calls it "decomposition".   At the risk of being sloppy and sentimental, there isn't much love around anymore - when was the last 'age of love' -   and really everybody hates and resents everyone else, and life is a misery for many. I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but in the UK the government now openly treats everyone as garbage, apart from the rich.  We are so much trash to feed the profit making machinery. They would love to be able to manage without us. (We would love - some of us - to manage without them! )  The attitude of government ministers when addressing the trashy public, is very de haut en bas, and they almost hold their noses while doing it. The gap between those who have money and those who have nothing, more or less all of us now, is so gigantic and obvious, that the vast majority of us know that we're rubbish  and eternal failures, from  capitalism's point of view, and are getting used to the idea, and accustomed to being shat on and treated as shit by the ruling class and its politicians, who no longer try to hide their natural god-given superiority when addressing the lower orders.  Perhaps an acceptance of being reduced to garbage by capitalism, is part of a maturing consciousness.  So is it the same in the US? 

But the streets and urban centres of the UK are garbage too nowadays. Closed down, boarded up and derelict buildings are to be seen everywhere, except in London and the moneyed S. East.  Decay is the order of the day. If ever there were strongly  outward and visible signs of an inner interminable decay, and the absolute need for change and something new,  we've got it now. And then there's the "rust belt" in the US. 

 

It's difficult to say anything sensible about homophobia. But in rotting bourgeois society - and even when it wasn't rotting  cf. Oscar Wilde - anyone who dares to be different and let's it be seen or understood, is asking for trouble. Society's working class straights - some of whom may perhaps not be quite as straight as they wish - are so down-trodden and fucked over themselves that they can't be blamed for looking for someone to victimize. They can't be blamed because they're victims too!  Homophobia will only, like religion, disappear when we have a communist society, and victims and victimizing people will no longer be a necessary means to the release of tension. 

 

That the crazed basket ball coach eventually got "outed" on the net, and came in for criticism (he even said he was sorry on the news)  is an improvement on the recent past, when he would have got no criticism at all, only total acquiescence. Perhaps the players will pick up some courage from the response and now learn to stick up for themselves, and abandon the sadistic pleasure of being  victimized, if that's what it is. 

 

jk1921
Yes

Fred wrote:

The gap between those who have money and those who have nothing, more or less all of us now, is so gigantic and obvious, that the vast majority of us know that we're rubbish  and eternal failures, from  capitalism's point of view, and are getting used to the idea, and accustomed to being shat on and treated as shit by the ruling class and its politicians, who no longer try to hide their natural god-given superiority when addressing the lower orders.  Perhaps an acceptance of being reduced to garbage by capitalism, is part of a maturing consciousness.  So is it the same in the US? 

Yes Fred, I think you are right that there seems to be a growing expectation that in everyday life you will be treated like utter crap and that you probably deserve it or in some way its for your own good. I don't know if this reflects a maturation of conscnousness though. Its real tempting to see in this incident with the basketball coach an example of Reich's "Mass Psychology of Fascism." I half expect some of the players to come forward and defend this wacko.

Fred wrote:

That the crazed basket ball coach eventually got "outed" on the net, and came in for criticism (he even said he was sorry on the news)  is an improvement on the recent past, when he would have got no criticism at all, only total acquiescence. Perhaps the players will pick up some courage from the response and now learn to stick up for themselves, and abandon the sadistic pleasure of being  victimized, if that's what it is. 

So, there is something like "progress" taking place on this issue then? I think a lot of people have trouble with this. Whatever reactionary resistance continues to exist on the issue of "gay rights," it does seem like the pendulumn is shifting in favor of more acceptance (which may be why the wackos fight harder and more viciously against it). What is the nature of this change? What need is being fulfilled for capital here? Of course, this "progress" seems to fly directly in the face of what we just said above about a growing expectation that others will treat you like crap. I am having difficulty reconciling the dichotomy here. On the one hand, young people are supposed to have no problem with homophobia--on the other, a new shocking incident of anti-gay bullying seemingly comes to light weekly.

jk1921
Does anyone have any more

Does anyone have any more info about the fast food workers' strike in NYC last week? It seems like it was sponsored by some SEIU front group, (the same ones that organized the Wal Mart "strike" late last year), but is there anything genuine about it? At the very least, does it show some level of consciousness that these kind of conditions are not acceptable?

Fred
By so kindly allowing "gay

By so kindly allowing "gay marriage" at least in the US, UK and France, is the bourgeoisie actually inviting, even encouraging, a backlash. Are they so Machiavellian that they would do this? 

jk1921
The radicalness of the closet

Fred wrote:

By so kindly allowing "gay marriage" at least in the US, UK and France, is the bourgeoisie actually inviting, even encouraging, a backlash. Are they so Machiavellian that they would do this? 

 

I don' t know Fred, but is there another possible "material need" for captial that liberalizing marriage laws addresses? I bet some queer theorists would argue that it is away of recuperating the subversiveness of homosexuality by bringing it out of the closet and encouraging it to confrom to bourgeois values of monogamy and the nuclear family.

Fred
Interesting idea jk. But the

Interesting idea jk. But the best and queerest queers  will never fall for genteel bourgeoisification jk. The bourgeoisie is using this issue as a distraction from more compelling matters. It's the economy stupid! 

jk1921
Reformism

Fred wrote:

Interesting idea jk. But the best and queerest queers  will never fall for genteel bourgeoisification jk. The bourgeoisie is using this issue as a distraction from more compelling matters. It's the economy stupid! 

 

Then, why is there such a strong movement in favor of legalizing gay marriage? Its tempting to compare it to the early hsitory of the workers' movement. In the early period, when accomadation with the existing society was impossible--radical forms prevailed, but as society changed and the state recognized the need to accomadate "difference"--the movement subcumbs to the temptation of "actually achievable" reforms.

commiegal
exactly.

exactly.

Fred
it's the economy stupid!

Rubbish. Gay marriage isn't a "reform" in the working class' understanding of the term.  It's just a cheap distraction designed to keep "tame" queers quiet and romantic liberals warm and happy.  The anti gun movement is a similar distraction. It's the economy stupid! 

commiegal
homophobia is a class issue

homophobia is a class issue though surely? And a lot of people will come to communist politics through experience of homophobic discrimination at school, work, etc (section 28 etc)

Demogorgon
Homophobia is a class issue

Homophobia is a class issue in the sense that it represents a barrier between gay and straight workers. That doesn't mean revolutionaries should support gay marriage (although it goes without saying we don't oppose it either!).

commiegal
But doesn't gay people not

But doesn't gay people not being allowed to be married mean their marriage has less legal significance and therefore fewer legal rights?

Demogorgon
I think you need to specify

I think you need to specify exactly what rights you mean because these will no doubt vary from country to country. As far as I understand it, civil partnerships in Britain already afford all the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage - the only difference is the label and, for some, the religious significance. If I'm wrong, of course, please correct me.

As mentioned above, absolute refusal to tolerate homophobia and to protect gay workers from attacks from the state or reactionaries, is a sine qua non for proletarian politics. Wherever possible, workers should stand together to defend gay workers from victimisation in the work place as well. The same applies for all the other prejudices within bourgeois society.

But that's not the same as joining campaigns for gay marriage, which encourage workers to look to the bourgeois state to guarantee their "rights" rather than working to build up the capacity of the working class to defend itself. It is thus part of the whole mythology of the democratic state which, in the guise of "protecting" this or that group, binds the entire the working class to the ruling class and annihilates the capacity for struggle.

It also feeds the democratic ideology of the rule of law, and all being equal before the law. This has deep roots in the underlying structure of commodity production where the exchange of equivalents, in the form of the value of labour power, essentially reduces all human beings to being the same and the crushing of true individuality. The "individual" thus becomes a construction of the state, a "legal person" entirely divorced from anything from human with the only offering return being the individualism offered by private ownership.

The inhuman-ness of these underlying property relationships (and their legal codification) eats away at the underlying human-ness of the pair bonding relationship. Just as the bourgeois owns his factory, so to do we own our partners. We have "rights" to expect sexual congress; a marriage is not legally binding until it has been consumated and refusal of sexual congress is grounds for divorce. Essentially, if I deny my partner the right to use my penis she can end the contract between us.

Ironically, the gay marriage provisions (as I understand them) do not have this element because lawmakers were unable to define consumation for homosexuals. Nor will having sex with another man be grounds for homosexual men to divorce because of the underlying assumption that actual sex involves the insertion of a penis into a vagina. In other words, having gay sex with another man is not "adultery" but if the man has sex with a woman that is adultery.

This is the kind of reactionary institution that the state is generously offering to gay people. It has nothing to do with love or even good-old-fashioned bonking but the penetration (ahem!) of bourgeois property relations into human sexuality. Just as one should probably take care concerning those with whom one as sexual congress, so too should class conscious workers be mindful of the political campaigns that they ... ummm ... get into bed with.

jk1921
I agree with your last post

I agree with your last post Demo, but there are certain issues involved in the gay marriage debate that appear on the surface to be "class issues" for many. For example, in the U.S., the federal government, through the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA,) refuses to recognize same sex marriage, even if it is legally contracted through a state that permits it. Thus, upon the death of one partner in a legally contracted gay marriage (or even a non-married heterosexual partner in a common law realtionship), the surviving spouse has no right to Social Security survivor's benefits. The dead spouses' "contributions" to Social Security go up in smoke. Thus, many see the extension of these kind of rights as tremedously important class issues. My question is, why now? What is the state seeing that is necessitating this kind of change today? What does it correspond to? What need of the national capital is being fulfilled here?

Demogorgon
I don't deny that that is a

I don't deny that that is a very important issue, on the other hand (as you say) you could also argue that the same difficulty confronts unmarried couples. In fact, the only reason why some people get married at all is because of the difficulties in transferring savings, pension-rights, mortgages, etc.

Naturally, you could argue that heterosexual couples at least have that choice. Or, on the other hand, you could point out that this demonstrates that the entire institution of marriage is a form of domination by the state with a strong theocratic element to boot!

I think your last question, of course, provides the key to some of the issues in this debate. None of this has been initiated by any mass movement of the working class. It's being carried out on the initiative of the bourgeoisie (and in the UK, by its most reactionary wing). This alone should make us deeply suspicious.

jk1921
Here is a very concrete

Here is a very concrete question: How should workers respond if a co-worker is sacked, or otherwise disciplined, for making an off the cuff homophobic remark in the workplace? Of course, I suppose one could ask the same question about racist, sexist remarks, etc. Should workers' show solidarity to a fellow proletarian who is about to lose his paycheck even if they may have certain regressive ideas in their head? What is the approach to take? How does one show solidarity and attempt to protect a fellow worker, while at the same time demonstrating that the underlying behaviour is not acceptable?

baboon
A belated response jk

I can't give a definitive answer to your question but I can tell you about my personal experience at work. My workplace in the water industry was a hub and its continued production required back up teams of fitters, electricians, technical services, scientists and ground workers. These were "in house" and different teams were required on a daily basis. On top of this we had contractors from all over the country as well as frequent deliveries of fuel, chemicals, etc. Our mess room was often packed with different workers and our tea and lunch breaks got longer and longer as we discussed this and that and generally chewed the fat. This got to the point one memorable morning when a whole building flooded with a thousand cubic metres of water an hour with nowhere to go when an outlet valve closed and I disabled the alarms so we could continue with our discussion.

One of the guys on our shift came out as gay after an attempt to blackmail him. I was impressed with the response by the great majority of the workers which, along with racuous humour occasionally, was entirely in solidarity with him. He was generally a popular guy but was much more so afterwards and he made a lot of friendships from a lot of the guys and their families. I still see him now we've both retired and he has maintained many close friendships. One day in the mess room an electrician, an ex-National Front member, and his mate, turned on him for being queer. They were big guys and very aggressive but I had to confront them and told them to leave if they didn't like it. It was touch and go but they stayed and was tense but OK afterwards. You can't confront every racist or sexist remark and political correctness is just the other side of the coin of bourgeois prejudices, another form of them. These two characters were the only two out of hundreds who showed outright hostility with one of them, the ex-NF guy. getting promoted to senior management for his obvious attributes, and his mate, a guy they called "punchy" turned right around under the pressure of the majority and became friendly. So, concretely, I would say do what you can when you can.

I came back to read this site because of the recent French connection to this story. One thing unites both sides of this bourgeois argument and that is the "inviolability" the "eternal and enduring nature" of marriage. On one side this is coming from the same priests and bishops that were marrying eleven year old or younger children to despots and fornicators. This is the "sanctity" of marriage that both sides support. It's the 'lies and deceit' that Fred talks about above that religion, indeed capitalist society is based upon. And of course none of them, not one side or the other, will give any houseroom to the fact that for the majority of the vast expanse of human history society has developed the pairing relationship from some form of group marriage or relationship.

Why  now with this campaign of the bourgeoisie. Basically for the same reasons for the "anti" campaign which is promoted or nudged forward by certain governments with the opposition for "more tolerance" where it exists. For the liberal west the advantage of the campaign is that it is virtually cost-free and this is cheap way of promoting themselves as able to provide liberal reforms  "despite everything". The whole campaign is posed in terms of the bourgeoisie because they are the ones that are manipulating it.

 

 

jk1921
Thanks for that Baboon--a

Thanks for that Baboon--a very interesting story. I agree with your analysis of "why now?" from a political perspective, but I also wonder if there isn't something more sociological taking place in the captialist labor process that is driving all this at some level as well?

Fred
I just wondered whether

I just wondered whether "sexual freedom" means the same as "freedom of sexual expression"?  When the bourgeoisie talks about its newly permitted "sexual freedom" - though not in Africa for god's sake: Heaven forbid! - it takes a strictly limited view of what sex is.  I think the trouble is that sex has got itself so "mechanized"  that it's only measured now in terms of number of orgasms achieved.  Sex equals orgasm.  So masturbation, which has the advantage of not requiring somebody else's contribution, could become the rule and somehow would fit into capitalism's packaged society very well.

  Sex has lost its connection to love  hasn't it?  Sex is often called  "making love " when really its just "having sex"making sex. Definitely not making babies though!  So all this talk about the crackpot system of living together in splendid isolation called marriage, which legalizes any sex you can come up with ....but I have got to leave this now and go. Sorry! 

Fred
commoditized sex

Sex is merely a commodity like everything else, isn't it? You can buy it and sell it.  But in this capitalist society, which is more like a mortuary than a living social world, love, actual genuine affection between human beings, has been rendered so problematic that I wonder if we really know any more what love actually is.  So we associate  it with the mechanized sex which is available to all if you've got the money.  And when someone seems to have just given it away for nothing, there are always lingering questions which can crop up later.  Did he really do it for love or for a momentary gratification?

Capitalism would have us believe this question is irrevelant.  Momentary gratifications are the stuff of capitalism.  But human beings  still expect more from relationships than mere commodity exchange, or even the exchange of bodily fluids (awful expression!) as the ultimate measure of, well what exactly....pleasure; love; sexual satisfaction; self-realization; human contact; escape from the mortuary;.momentary freedom?  Please fill in your own word. 

Even partners cost money. Especially wives. But as love has got so inexplicably all mixed up with money, it is almost impossible now to know whether somebody really does love you, or whether they're just in it for the money, or some other perceived advantage real or imagined.  

 

Writers and song writers have worked hard to persuade us all that true love is what we're all looking for with its consummation in sex. All you need is love they sing.  Romeo and Juliet are prime examples for us all.  Or Romeo and Tybalt.  But why do ruling classes see love in such a restricted manner, and as only realizable between two individuals, who should really be married, and commit to each other for life?   Love thus becomes yet another capitalist prison house  with the joy of sex turned into yet another ritual to go through.  

 

The bourgeoisie have a lot to answer for in insisting their capitalist system of exploitation and death is the only system on offer, and we have to put up with it like it or not. (Who could possibly like it?) Not only do they destroy people with their non-stop violence and war, and destroy the environment with their plundering, but they've managed also to corrupt and destroy love, and the manifestation  and growth of love, and the physical actions of love  expressed in sex.  This is a terribly condemnation. Workers unite to remove them from power!  

 

Link
more efficient exploitation

I think Baboon's tale is a small but good example of why the bourgoisie is implemented such apparent reforms – the need for more efficient exploitation of the workforce.  

Wny now?   It’s a rather well developed stage of decadence and exploitation of the working class has demanded ever greater levels of sophisticated working procedures to get the more out of the workforce it possibly can.  Whatever your view of the causes of decadence it is clear that the opportunities for profit offered by the capitalist system are being limited by the economy itself.

At the start of the 20th century the bourgeoisies scientists starting investigating work processes and improving on the efficiency of exploitation through first time study methods then later man management techniques, marketing techniques and latterly quality systems.  

Alongside during the past half century has been a series of measures that aim to limit social and workplace disruption and as I say improve efficiency in the system.  I would include in this all equal rights legislation (whether that be anti racism anti homophobia or anti sexism based)  as well as the health and safety legislation regarding accidents at work or holidays, pregnancy and so forth.

These all sound like reforms we should be supporting as commiegal indicated earlier in the thread but I don’t see them as a product of the wc movement.  I would suggest they are being put into place because it seems to me that capital needs to reform itself to improve levels of exploitation, something it desperately needs at this stage of decadence 

Fred
The voice of truth

A definition from some on-line dictionary come across by accident.  

Quote:
 Homophilia  Avocation of homosexuality, in any form.Most liberal democrats support homophilia.  Most liberal democrats while supporting homophilia are also homophobic.by TheVoiceOfTruth December 02, 2008.  
   I agree  with what link says above about the bourgeoisie wishing to engage in reforms  that don't cost much and which can serve to disguise exploitation, and make our rulers look cool and loving.  But I think "The Voice of Truth" whatever it is has probably got it right about liberal democrats who are so schizoid at this stage of capitalist decomposition that while supporting homosexuals they can loathe them at the same time.  Doesn't  this apply to blacks, Jews, women, gypsies, retards, the unemployed,  workers who want more money and folk who don't vote Tory.   You have to pretend to love them even if you don't and just hope to screw them more unseen.   Like that right wing presenter guy on the BBC's "Top Gear" who isn't crazy about blacks or queers but has to insist now that he's a secret lover  of the black race - after maybe  using the absolutely forbidden nigger word (do they still publish Conrad's  novel called "The Nigger of the Narcissus" with its original title I wonder?) - but I doubt he'll ever get round to confessing a love of queers.  That'd be risky!  And he's much too valuable to the Beeb to be sacked.  So he'll just be able to go on spouting his right wing hate of everyone who doesn't think like him - if 'think' is the right word - for ever and ever Amen.   
Fred
Demogorgon and commiegal

This is Demogorgon's reply to commiegal more than a year ago.  (What's happened to Demogorgon and commiegal?  Have the bourgeoisie silenced them?) commiegal had been expressing interest in people's  "rights", which the bourgeoisie in its unmeasurable generosity of spirit occasionally bestows on some oppressed group or other as a concession to human need - but in fact to keep people quiet, to appear "with it" and modern and as a means of using their phony supposed love of humanity as a cover for increased exploitation.   But Demogorgon says it better and I've I've taken the liberty of posting  what he wrote again.  

Demogorgon wrote:

I think you need to specify exactly what rights you mean because these will no doubt vary from country to country. As far as I understand it, civil partnerships in Britain already afford all the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage - the only difference is the label and, for some, the religious significance. If I'm wrong, of course, please correct me.

As mentioned above, absolute refusal to tolerate homophobia and to protect gay workers from attacks from the state or reactionaries, is a sine qua non for proletarian politics. Wherever possible, workers should stand together to defend gay workers from victimisation in the work place as well. The same applies for all the other prejudices within bourgeois society.

But that's not the same as joining campaigns for gay marriage, which encourage workers to look to the bourgeois state to guarantee their "rights" rather than working to build up the capacity of the working class to defend itself. It is thus part of the whole mythology of the democratic state which, in the guise of "protecting" this or that group, binds the entire the working class to the ruling class and annihilates the capacity for struggle.

It also feeds the democratic ideology of the rule of law, and all being equal before the law. This has deep roots in the underlying structure of commodity production where the exchange of equivalents, in the form of the value of labour power, essentially reduces all human beings to being the same and the crushing of true individuality. The "individual" thus becomes a construction of the state, a "legal person" entirely divorced from anything from human with the only offering return being the individualism offered by private ownership.

The inhuman-ness of these underlying property relationships (and their legal codification) eats away at the underlying human-ness of the pair bonding relationship. Just as the bourgeois owns his factory, so to do we own our partners. We have "rights" to expect sexual congress; a marriage is not legally binding until it has been consumated and refusal of sexual congress is grounds for divorce. Essentially, if I deny my partner the right to use my penis she can end the contract between us.

Ironically, the gay marriage provisions (as I understand them) do not have this element because lawmakers were unable to define consumation for homosexuals. Nor will having sex with another man be grounds for homosexual men to divorce because of the underlying assumption that actual sex involves the insertion of a penis into a vagina. In other words, having gay sex with another man is not "adultery" but if the man has sex with a woman that is adultery.

This is the kind of reactionary institution that the state is generously offering to gay people. It has nothing to do with love or even good-old-fashioned bonking but the penetration (ahem!) of bourgeois property relations into human sexuality. Just as one should probably take care concerning those with whom one as sexual congress, so too should class conscious workers be mindful of the political campaigns that they ... ummm ... get into bed with.

lem_
in answer to the dilemma it

in answer to the dilemma it would depend on my relationship with the "homophobe", as well as theirs with the rest of the workers there.

if they were a friend, the answer seems fairly obvious - support them, but make it clear that they really should reconsider their homophobia. and then my answer moves through various shades of support, until it becomes evident any struggle to reinstate the homophobic worker would be both impossible and pretty much tantamount to encouraging them to bully our gay workmates.

Fred
Question

Why would you want to be friends or go on being friends with a self proclaimed homophobe - unless you were one yourself?  (I am not talking about you lem. Just asking the question.) Is it possible to be friends with an out-and-out self-proclaimed racist, fascist, paedophile, woman basher,  a politically  aware supporter of the bourgeoisie,    a bourgeois politician, or  a member of the Big Bourgeoisie in person?  

 

Demogorgon has warned class conscious workers in the post above about which political campaigners they might be inclined 'to get into bed with."  Is this warning relevant to many other if not  all of the  relationships a person, a communist, might come across in life?