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

Jose G. Perez elgusanorojo at bellsouth.net
Tue Apr 27 22:02:24 MDT 2004


Richard Fidler argues that "these developments [abolition of the
anti-sodomy statutes in the U.S.] don't sustain the thesis that the U.S.
ruling class is indelibly committed to gay oppression as a mainstay of
its rule. In fact, outlawing adverse discrimination against homosexuals
may well reinforce its ideological hegemony with wide layers of the
American population, because such discrimination is, I suspect,
increasingly inconsistent with public opinion. And gay marriage, while
redefining the family institution, is not exactly a frontal attack on
all those sacrosanct 'family values' so cherished in official ideology."

It is true that the United States is part of the world in the 21st
Century and can't helped but be influenced by it. However, I see no sign
that the ruling class is moving decisively, or even slowly, towards
abolishing gay oppression. On the contrary, they are and have been for a
quarter century or more on a kulturekampf to reinforce all those aspects
of the culture and ideology which results in the oppression of gays. The
plain fact is that Gay Liberation challenges bourgeois ideology, and
especially the most reactionary expression of it, quite frontally and
directly. This may not be necessarily so in theory; this may not be true
in all other countries; but in the United States, however, it does so in
fact. The explosive debate around gay marriage shows that quite
conclusively.

The reasons for this are straightforward to me and have to do with
patriarchy, gender, machismo, militarism, the family, a whole series of
social institutions and cultural attitudes that are essential to
continued bourgeois political and ideological domination of and hegemony
over U.S. society. The oppression of gays may not be absolutely
essential to maintaining some or all these things; but it is certainly
involved in maintaining them now.

Whether the U.S. ruling class could, if it wanted to, abolish the
oppression of gays and at what price isn't really a question we can or
need to answer. There is, in principle, no concession that the ruling
class can't give, including nationalization of the commanding heights of
the economy, and survive. But if it were gay oppression something
super-secondary, peripheral, not really important to capitalist
interests they certainly would have ended all forms of discrimination
against gays because as Fidler recognizes the rulers pay a significant
price for keeping it. 

José





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