Gays and the Barnesites

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Nov 19 12:21:37 MST 2002


Stuart Lawrence wrote:
> On the topic of Trotskyist tendencies' shortcomings on gay issues: as
> recently as 1992, the US SWP made a big deal over "what is Buchananism, and
> how to fight it," portraying an incipient fascist movement while totally
> ignoring the prominent, openly homophobic message of the Republican,
> evangelical
> Christian right-wing. The disconnect between Buchanan's rhetoric and what
> the Barnesites were saying about it struck me as impossible to understand
> except as a reflection of the group's inability to present a radical
> critique of "family values" as appropriated by social conservatives, perhaps
> because of its own homophobic culture. Maybe others on the list can comment
> on this from a better-informed perspective.


Good point Stuart.  I think this has always been a difficult one for the
US SWP and things have gotten worse since they became a cult around
Barnes.  It's interesting you mention 1992 coz I think that was the year
they attacked a sex education programme in high schools in New York.
They claimed that it encouraged young people to experiment with gay sex
- shock! horror! - and that a 'proletarian' attitude was to encourage
sexual responsibility and not 'promiscuity'.

I thought that revealed how, for all their years 'in industry', they are
just totally disconnected from real workers and the lives of real
workers.  That attitude is not at all genuinely proletarian - it is
Victorian petty-bourgeois morality.  Of course, it is also totally reactionary.

Philip Ferguson

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