[Marxism] Re: Gay emancipation

Philip Ferguson PLF13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Apr 20 22:46:33 MDT 2004

Gary wrote:
>  I think that gay emancipation is 
> anathema not to capitalists but to conservatives.  

I think this is a really good way of putting it.

Capital is interested in commodifying things.  If it can be commodified,
then sooner or later capital will embrace it.  And thus with so many
things gay.
In NZ the bourgeoisie couldn't care less what a person's sexual
orientation is, and we have gay MPs, a transgender MP (who was elected
in a rural heartland constituency, and is very popular with the Returned
Soldiers Association there), gay business people, a gay group within the
National Party.

Few establishment politicians here have come out in support of gay
marriage, but civil unions for gays is in the pipeline and is likely to
be supported by both Labour and National.

I know it is somewhat different in the US because there is this strange
situation of the most developed capitalist country in the world being
the least developed socio-cultural  society and possessing a massive
religious/conservative right.

Of course, the point might also be made that there is a difference
between formal legal equality and emancipation.

Most formal legal barriers to racial and gender equality have also been
removed in most of the imperialist countries and in a layer of Third
World countries as well.  

But *emancipation* requires something more.

In NZ, there is no longer a gay movement or a women's movement.  I mean
there is not one single ongoing campaigning organisation along those
lines.  Essentially the struggle for emancipation has been abandoned by
both yesterday's gay activists and feminists here.  'Getting on',
lifestylism and being happily (and profitably) co-opted rules!

Philip Ferguson

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