Stalinism and gay liberation

Gary Maclennan g.maclennan at
Wed Nov 29 23:56:33 MST 2000


Don't you think that the vital distinction is between being citizens and
customers?  Capitalist modernity offers gay people the right to purchase
and will even come to recognize them as a valuable niche market.  It cannot
meet the Enlightenment promise of full citizenship because it will never
grant that to anyone.

This has involved a split with traditional groups who were the allies of
the capitalists during the cold war.  Then the struggle was against
socialist modernity.

the point about Stalinism is it seems to me that this too was an alliance
with traditional forces but in this instance against capitalist
modernity.  I do not think that Stalin would even have recognised the
distinction between the two modernities and even if he had grasped it he
would have come down on the side of tradition.

We have had only fleeting glimpses of what a socialist modernity would look
like and one of these glimpses was the Bolshevik decriminalisation of

It is all complicated by the fact that what we have come to know as the
"gay lifestyle" is in fact a variation in sexual behaviour very specific to
modern societies.  You are correct to be scathing about the compromises gay
people have made in their alliances with bourgeois politicians.  It simply
means that they have abandoned any notion of gay liberation being tied to
universal emancipation.



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