[Marxism] Re: Gay Discussion on Marxmail

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Mon Oct 24 07:28:45 MDT 2005

[This is not substantially different from my earlier post, but since it 
is short, I feel justified in some small improvements that are 
important to me.]

 >There is a hurricane hitting Cuba right now, and Cuba is giving 
humanity some powerful lessons on how to fight such disasters. Cuba is 
offering aid to Mexico and has sent it to Pakistan. It previously 
offered aid to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Alas, 
none of this is of any interest to those for whom gay issues are the 
most important ones facing humanity. --Walter Lippmann

This issue of sexual identity is of importance to at least the 5% 
(possibly more) of the world’s population that is oppressed by 
homophobia. It is also important for the 95% who need to more fully 
understand homophobia and to learn to combat it in themselves and in 

Think how important sexual identity, practice, fantasies and human 
relations are to those who are not gay. Think about how much more 
intense this must be for those who are ostracized, trivialized, and 
oppressed because their sexual orientation is wrapped up in the 
divisions that capitalism generates both spontaneously and through 

There is an old expression, one that I think Trotsky used, that 
reactions are varied regarding warmth, but we all act the same when we 
stick our fingers in a hot flame (certain mystics excepted of course). 
As much as we are concerned with the terrible damage to Mexico, the 
effects of Katrina, and the earthquake in Pakistan, that does not mean 
that issues that underlie and are intimately woven into the oppression 
of capitalism can be put aside. In other words, discussion of the 
divisions and prejudices created by capitalism, whether of class, sex, 
race, or sexual orientation, are legitimate and ongoing issues not be 
pushed aside.

It perhaps should also be noted that this is a discussion list that has 
legitimacy whatever else is going on. Should one say that Lenin was 
wasting time writing Materialism and Empirio-Criticism? What did that 
have to do with the fight for the Russian Revolution?

Invidious comparisons, such as the one implied by Walter, must be 

Brian Shannon

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