homosexuality, violence and maoism.
100423.2040 at compuserve.com
Wed Apr 24 16:58:24 MDT 1996
After pondering Gary's sorrowful reponse to my contributions
on homosexuality I think the only thing I can do is agree it was
evasive. It was evasive in that I do not think the central challenge
to be put to the PCP supporters on this l'st is whether they support or
not the banning of homosexuality in the Soviet Union in 1934.
Nor do I think that it should be taken at face value that all supporters
of Mao are automatically supporters of Stalin.
All this I have to agree with Hans Ehrbar is quite inappropriate,
however strongly Gary may feel about these issues today.
I think the challenge to be put to PCP supporters now on this l'st is
about a dogmatic and idealist attitude to violence.
But to the extent that
Gary asks about the Soviet Union in 1934, yes of course I am against the
persecution of homosexuals, and as for being a moderate Stalinist, since
Stalin is my least favourite marxist bar one, I find the term puzzling, unless
it is a Carlos catch all of Stalinism to sum up everything one does not
like, and a justification for following Trotsky.
Gary certainly seems to be in some hell on this l'st, assuming the Italian
quote was from Dante, but hell is not only other people, it is ones own
To the extent that Gary is asking us seriously to think about the persecution
of homosexuals in the Soviet Union in the 30's to understand the causes of why
it came about rather than just say it was a Bad Thing, the best I can do
is to contribute the following, which may arguably be relevant but only
I quote from Stalin's Report to the Seventeenth Congress of the CPSUB, 1934:
"We have defeated the enemies of the Party, the opportunists of all shades,
the national deviationists of all types. But remnants of their ideologies
still live in the minds of individual members of the Party, and not
infrequently they find expression. The Party must not be regarded as
something isolated from the people who surround it. It lives and works in its
environment. It is not surprising that at times, unhealthy moods undoubtedly
penetrate into the Party in our country, if only for the reason that
there still exist in town and country certain intermediary strata of the
population who represent the medium that breeds such moods."
This is in the section of "Problems of Ideological-Political Leadership".
In the section "Problems of Organisational Leadership", there is a passage
surprisingly reminiscent of the argument in favour of the Cultural Revolution
in China, about the neccessity to draw the masses of the workers into the
stuggle to purge the Party and the economic organisations of "unreliable,
unstable and demoralised elements." The last of a list of 14 tasks was
"the purging of the Party of unreliable and demoralised persons."
Getty and Manning have no heading in the index for homosexuality or even
sex, in their book on Stalinist Terror. I am not aware that the persecution of
people on sexual charges was a noted feature of the terror of the 30's.
If Gary has more details it might be relevant to share them.
What I conclude is that there was an atmosphere conducive to a witchhunt
in which evil is projected onto scapegoats. In this context homosexuals
may have got caught up in the elimination of impurities from society.
That is the nearest I can see to understanding Gary's point that
the attitude to the anti-gay law of 1934 is the touchstone to
challenge admirers of Stalin on this l'st.
Chris B, London.
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