[Marxism] Right-wing fundamentalism and imperialism in the U.S. (was Re: gay oppression)

Jose G. Perez elgusanorojo at bellsouth.net
Tue Apr 27 18:55:26 MDT 2004


Just a couple of words on the issue of Gay oppression. I am not as
entirely convinced that it has disappeared or is rapidly disappearing in
the other advanced capitalist countries as some other folks.

But be that as it may, it certainly has not and isn't about to disappear
in the United States.

I don't think it is mostly a question of what the U.S. has inherited
ideologically from Europe's feudal past (the Engels quote offered here),
but much more a question of the imperialist present. 

The facts is that the "imperialists with a human face" need a red-meat,
militaristic, send-the-marines imperialism in the United States to
survive. For the imperialist system as a world system to hold together,
you have to have someone willing to "take up the white man's burden."
Britain was the major player for a long time, but it proved too much of
a burden. I guess what could be considered to have been Germany's and
Japan's bid to play that role (at least in their separate "spheres of
influence") was found wanting in World War II, and the U.S. ruling
class, after having been historically quite isolationist (the U.S. Army
before World War II was a few tens of thousands of troops), decisively
adopted the new U.S. role.

The United States ruling class cannot simply and peacefully break away
from militarism and a whole ultrareactionary ideological overlay that
goes with it; it can't simply create a completely *different* one. The
mounting series of blatant contradictions to modern notions of democracy
and human rights to be found in the United States are historically
determined, the ruling class can't simply wake up tomorrow and replace
right-wing Christian fundamentalism with ALL its values -- sexism,
racism, homophobia, know-nothingism and everything else-- with right
wing ancestor worship or some other ideology. 

There is a *reason* the United States doesn't have at least nominally
democratic elections for President; why its bicameral legislature
features a much more powerful upper house elected on an outrageously
undemocratic territorial basis; why it has the death penalty; why even
today, in 2004, in Georgia, you find top state officials seriously
proposing to ban even the word "evolution" from the schools. And why you
find that NASA scientists have been gagged by Bush administration
political appointees from discussing climate change in connection with
"The Day After Tomorrow," a $125 million Hollywood disaster film about
climate change leading to a sudden ice age that opens at the end of May
(see the NY Times for the complete story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/25/national/25MOVI.html ).

"Right wing Christian fundamentalism" --for lack of a better term-- is
what the capitalists have to work with, and they are stuck with it. And
for that reason, yes, I believe gay liberation does present a very real
and significant "counter hegemonic" threat to the U.S. ruling class, and
most especially in the ideological domain.

José





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