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[ex-ussr-left] Fw: [che-list] Gays and capitalism - Ãåè è êàïèòàëèçì
----- Original Message -----
From: Jan Pole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2002 12:29 PM
Subject: [che-list] Gays and capitalism
> Among the demands of campaigners for homosexual equality is that there
> should be an end to the discrimination towards gays and lesbians in the
> armed forces. Everyone, whatever their sexuality, should be treated
> equally in their military training, the opportunity to join "elite"
> units and their chances of promotion. And they should be encouraged to
> kill other people just as efficiently and ruthlessly as any other
> soldier, sailor or airperson. Welcome to the world of "equality".
> We can spend a lot of time considering the nature of prejudice against
> homosexuals and how deeply this might be rooted in the bigots'
> anxieties about their own sexuality. In the case of the armed forces,
> with their emphasis on disciplined, uniform devotion to the task of
> wiping out other human beings, it is no surprise that the prejudice
> should be particularly strong and cruel.
> But, typically of a prejudice, it is not a theory supported by any
> evidence; the assumption that military gays have to be confined to work
> in the cookhouse because they couldn't be trusted in the frontline has
> no basis in reality. In the First World War, for example, soldiers like
> Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were homosexuals who were as
> reckless of their own safety in carrying out their grisly "duties" as
> the most bloodthirsty commander could have wished.
> Owen went back to the trenches from the hospital where he had been
> treated for - but not apparently cured of - shell shock and concussion.
> At the front he wrote of how exhilarating it was "baffling the machine
> guns with quick bounds from cover to cover". In the final weeks of the
> war he was out in the leading units breaking through the German lines
> and he was decorated for it-until he was killed a little before
> Armistice Day.
> Sassoon's exploits in battle were so impressive that he earned himself
> the sobriquet of Mad Jack. After one particularly reckless episode he
> too was decorated. He then developed some doubts about the war but then
> became reconciled enough to go back to the Front.
> So there is absolutely no reason for the armed forces to have any
> qualms about filling their ranks with a mixture of heterosexuals and
> homosexuals in the confidence that they will all work together in a
> disciplined employment of the latest weapon technology to destroy as
> much of the "enemy" as possible.
> This is all in the best interests of the ruling class; capitalism
> depends on the support of people, in peace and war, boom and slump,
> whatever other differences they may have. We have recently seen how
> this principle applies to the governments of capitalism and to what is
> significant about their operation.
> There is no reason to believe that Members of Parliament - no matter
> what image of themselves they project - are any different in terms of
> their sexual preferences from the people they are supposed to
> represent. So we can assume that there are proportionately as many
> homosexuals in the Commons as in the world outside (although there are
> persistent rumours that there are rather more). But for various reasons
> it was considered politically advisable to disguise this fact and there
> was a powerful, united effort to do this.
> Tom Driberg, for example, was a Labour MP elected in 1945 whose sexual
> exploits-at a time when homosexual activity was illegal-were renowned
> for what might be called their reckless audacity. But Driberg was never
> exposed, even when he had landed himself in a police station, facing a
> criminal charge. On the other side of the House the Tory MP Harvey
> Proctor mixed his homosexuality with a nastier type of racism but he
> was protected until one of his associates blew his cover.
> When he had to leave Parliament his friends continued to stand by him,
> helping him out with loans to open a clothing shop. There were
> persistent, lurid rumours about more than one prominent member of
> Thatcher's cabinets - in one case it was said that his withdrawal from
> the brightest of the limelight was enforced by a frantic police
> interest in his activities.
> By the time we got round to Ron Davies, Peter Mandelson and Nick Brown
> the situation had changed. Perhaps it was because the fact had finally
> sunk in, that the law had been reformed some years ago. Perhaps it was
> because one or two MPs - most prominently Chris Smith - openly
> announced that they are gay and that this would not prevent them doing
> their job as administrators of capitalism.
> Whatever it was, the steam had clearly gone out of the whole thing so
> that even the Sun could point out that Mandelson's sexuality is
> irrelevant to his performance as a minister - especially one who has to
> have an opinion on Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy Manchester United. In
> the 'Sunday Times' of 15 Aprill the Tory shadow chancellor, whose gay
> brother died in 1993 of Aids-gave the view of " . . . a classic,
> buttoned-up, middle class Brit". Did he disapprove of his brother's
> "It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality.
> It's like disapproving of rain."
> What are we to think, when the Let-It-All-Hang-Out 'Sun' agrees with a
> buttoned-up Tory? Perhaps times have changed enough to put the issue of
> sexuality into its proper place, so that the millions of people who buy
> the 'Sun' and the millions who support Tories and Labour no longer
> think it is relevant to how they vote. One thing which is absolutely
> clear in the history of capitalism is that the personal
> characteristics, preferences and sexuality of its leaders have no
> bearing on how they run the system. The notion that personalities
> affect politics is part of the deception which persuades people that
> capitalism is not a society which must operate against their interests.
> It is time that all politicians were outed. It is time to winkle them
> out of the closet in which they conceal the fact that they stand for a
> social system which can't help but produce a mountain of human
> misery-of fear, destruction, neglect, disease . . . It is time for the
> workers to think in terms, not just of the "liberation" of a group of
> us but of our whole class.
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