Gay emancipation a challenge to bourgeois hegemony?? was Re: [Marxism] The SWP, Gay Liberation and Leninism

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Mon Apr 19 23:55:11 MDT 2004

At 11:13 PM 19/04/2004 -0400, Jose wrote:

firstly Jose thank you for your very measured and lucid account of the SWP 
and its relationship to the movements. We have a lot to learn from that 
history.  But just a mere quibble  - you said:

>Gay liberation was, by its very nature (and as we are seeing today once
>again in the marriage debate) a movement with profound counter-hegemonic
>implications (as the Gramscians might say), one that is tremendously
>threatening to bourgeois ideology.

If by 'bourgeois ideology' you mean the ideology of capitalist modernity I 
am not at all sure you are correct.  I think that gay emancipation is 
anathema not to capitalists but to conservatives.  It is in the 
establishment of the Cold War alliance between capitalists and 
traditionalists that one can find the reason for gay persecution during the 
Cold War.  This was the price that the capitalists were willing to pay to 
secure  support from conservatives against the challenge of socialist 
modernity. Post cold War the need for such an alliance is not so pressing, 
so you will find instances such as the Economist coming out in favour of 
gay marriage for instance.

If gay emancipation was a total systemic threat to bourgeois ideology then 
you would not find a pro-gay marriage editorial in the Economist, surely.

None of this is to suggest that socialists should not support full rights 
for we gays of course.



Dr Gary MacLennan
Film & Television Discipline
Creative Industries Faculty
Gardens Point Campus
Brisbane 4001

More information about the Marxism mailing list