marxists & gay liberation

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Tue Apr 23 22:43:54 MDT 1996

At 11:46 PM 4/23/96 -0400, Roberto  DelaCruz  wrote:

1.I haven't followed this thread too closely, but wasn't it Lenin who said
>that "a communist is expected to devote greater attention to the tasks of
>tomorrow, and not of yesterday".  I know relatively little about the
>issue of how Lenin and Stalin and the CPSU made policy on gay liberation,
>I suspect industrialization and the rise of fascism were the big worry.
2. So,as someone who upholds Stalin and Mao, I'd think that a future
>revolutionary policy would have to address the issue of gay liberation in
>its program.  I imagine such a program would be based on the needs of the
>people and concrete social and political conditions, not by modeling it
>on events that occured 60 years ago in a culture substantially different
>from our own.

3. Arguing that repression of homosexuality and socialist realism is proof
>of Stalin's counter-revolution is like saying that the "sexual
>revolution" of the 1960s is proof America underwent a revolution.
>Imperialism doesn't seem any softer now that sexual matters are more
>open.  If anything, it seems to have hightened the trend towards extreme
>individualism in American culture.

1. If industrialisation (?!?!!) and fear of fascism influenced Stalin what I
wonder influenced Hitler who at exactly the same time did the same as
Stalin? Now if that is too long ago or too difficult to  think about try a
more recent one.  What has influenced Donna Violeta to criminalise
homosexuality in Nicaragua since her electoral success in 1990?

Is it also fear of industrialisation and fasicism or could it  actually be
fear of revolution that motivated all three worthies?

2.  I welcome your remark that despite being a maoist and a stalinist you
believe that a revolutionary movement should address the question of "gay
liberation".  How do you think this might be done?  And what do you mean by
"not modelling it on events that  occurred 60 years ago."?

We first need to understand that the Bolsheviks decriminalised homosexuality
and legalised abortion.  They also supported a wide variety of modern
progressive causes.  That was 70 years ago, but their ideas have not been
eclipsed.  It is BTW extremly un marxist to say that because something
happened 60 or even 600 years ago it is not relevant.  That my friend is
bourgeois thought.  But if you will hang  out with Maoists you will pick
this kind of thing up.

3.  How does you argument follow here? I am afraid you are unwilling to give
an honest estimate of the full extent of the revolution that the Bolsheviks
accomplished.  I  can understand that coming from a bourgeois and come to
think of it I can understand that coming from one who "upholds Mao and
Stalin" whatever that means.

Let me repeat when the Bolsheviks seized power they implemented a
progressive program that had been fought for and argued for by the best
socialist minds for over 80 years.  It operated in the fields of culture,
education, sexuality etc. No Bolshevik wouold ever have thought to question
or attack the values of  Havelock Ellis, Edwards Carpenter or Magnus
Hershfeld.  Their program on sexuality was in fact very influenced by these
men. This program was destroyed by Stalin.

we do need to update it in detail but not in spirit.  But the Maoists and
Stalinists are not even willing to acknowledge its existence.  That is the
sticking point between us.


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