[Marxism] Re: Gay Discussion on Marxmail

cleon42 at yahoo.com cleon42 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 24 09:17:36 MDT 2005

--- Brian Shannon <Brian_Shannon at verizon.net> wrote:

> I have no foregone conclusion on this subject and,

I disagree, considering your vehemence in raising this strawman.

> Catastrophes happen all the time. Their interactions with capitalism
> or 
> a form of socialism are important. But there is something in the 
> excitement of that that allowed Walter to claim: stop your posts
> about 
> “Papa Ratzi” and to claim that the person writing about this believes
> that “none of this is of any interest to those for whom gay issues
> are 
> the most important ones facing humanity.”
> It is not a “gay issue”; it is a “human issue” that is part of all 
> forms of oppression. It may be more important to O’Brien or another
> not 
> because it is absolutely so, but because s/he has something special
> to 
> contribute. So when the issue comes up, it is important to discuss
> it. 
> What should O’Brien do: wait a month to write an abstract thesis on
> the 
> subject—hopefully when there is no natural catastrophe that someone
> can 
> use against him?

And here, in a nutshell, is your strawman. Again, you ignore the
portion of Walter's email that deals with the progress Cuba has made on
gay rights. Again, you trumpet this bizarre "should I wait until after
the hurricane before criticizing Cuba" bit as if Walter has somehow
suggested that you do. It's not the case, it's not even CLOSE to the
case, it's simply a strawman.

I summed up the point in my last post, and I shall do so again here:

1. Cuba has made enormous strides in gay rights.
2. That, and Cuba's current response to the hurricane, is much more
important to evaluate than some comment about the Pope.

Full stop. Anything else you put in there is purely of your own

> BTW, why did Castro invite the Pope?

Well, off the top of my head, I can think of two reasons:

1. The vast majority of Cubans are Catholic.
2. He's a powerful world leader.

> Shouldn’t he have stopped 
> absolutely everything else to help organize hurricane, flood, and 
> earthquake relief? In fact he did all of these. I assume that O’Brien
> and others do many other things as well. But if they have special 
> knowledge to contribute on this question and, yes, special
> indignation, 
> why should their comments be so denigrated?

Because that "special indignation" is largely unwarranted, and the
entire Pope episode is largely irrelevant. What IS relevant, as Walter
pointed out, is what Cuba's actually doing on the ground. Not minor
diplomatic issues--so Fidel invited the Pope. Big, fat, hairy, deal.

What IS important is the ACTUAL lives of gay Cubans. What IS important
is the ACTUAL material good that the revolution does. Not diplomatic
relations with the Pope, China, Russia, or whatever.


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