[Marxism] Capitalism's embrace of homosexuality, diversity

Philip Ferguson philipferguson8 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 22:07:47 MST 2016


"All that is solid melts into air" - Marx & Engels, 1848

It's easy to overlook the profundity of a statement like that above.  For
many leftists of the radicalisation of the late 60s and early 70s (I came
at the very end of that period), I think it was quite common to believe
that capitalism wouldn't budge on a lot of stuff.  It would take a social
revolution for a whole bunch of jobs to open to women, for legal equality
for gay people, etc and that there would never be much of a middle class in
terms of oppressed racialised minorities and so on.

Yet capitalism, which once seemed to be holding the line firmly on many of
these things, has proven far more adaptable.  Pretty much everything has
been up for negotiation and incorporation except for the continuing
exploitation of labour-power by capital.  (Well, it has been up for
negotiation, but not any significant change.)

In the last few days a few TV shows I've been watching have reinforced just
how much has changed.

For instance, I'm usually at home during lunchtime and I've started
watching a longtime British drama series - I wouldn't call it a soap
because the british 'soaps' are nothing like the US ones.  This one is
called 'Emmerdale'; in NZ, it shows after the midday news, while in Britain
it's on in the early evening.  It's set in a wee English village in
Yorkshire.

There are at least four major male gay characters in it, along with sundry
boyfriends.  It only has one street, a few houses; apart from the Welsh
village in 'Little Britain', it must be the gayest village in Britain.

Last night, Sunday night, I watched a new British police series, set in
Brighton and called 'Cuffs'.  The two major characters are a black straight
cop (with a gay teenage son) and a white gay rookie cop.  I've only seen
one episode, but I got the impression that one of the younger female black
cops is gay too.  The police are portrayed as being very, very pro-diverse
and as in the front line of the battle against 'homophobia' in society
(it's the proles, apparently, who are the homophobes and the repressive
apparatus of the bourgeois state that is the font of liberal tolerance.

These changes are not cosmetic.  There has been a major shift within
capitalist economy and bourgeois society more widely.  On the one hand,
it's good that significant sectors of society are much less oppressed; but
none of it has weakened capitalism.  Liberalism has, to a large extent, won
the cultural war and capital has won the economic war (hands down).  The
'crooked places' have been smoothed down and the system has been
strengthened by being more socially liberal.

These are trends which Redline blog, and our preceding print publications,
have put a lot of emphasis on dealing with.

Alan Turing and the changes in bourgeois ideology:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/alan-turing-capitalism-and-the-changes-in-bourgeois-ideology/

Marriage equality now a safe issue:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/marriage-equality-now-a-safe-issue/

Same-sex marriage - basic justice, but no threat to the system:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/same-sex-marriage-basic-justice-but-no-threat-to-the-system/

Same-sex marriage - an alternative gay liberation viewpoint:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/same-sex-marriage-an-alternative-gay-liberation-viewpoint/

The same-sex marriage referendum in the south of Ireland:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/irish-society-and-politics-and-the-referendum-on-gay-marriage/

Respect for diversity: NZ capitalism's necessary ideology today:
https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/respect-for-diversity-modern-nz-capitalisms-necessaryby-ideology/



More information about the Marxism mailing list