independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Tue 12th Dec 2017 4:25am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Politics & Religion > The radical roots of LGBT liberation.
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 10/16/17 12:51am

hausofmoi7

avatar

The radical roots of LGBT liberation.

WEB Du Bois who founded the NAACP and a huge part of the civil rights movement was also naturally a socialist and later went on to join the 'communist party of America'.
The roots of liberation movements are in socialism and critique of capitalism as the root cause of oppression.
The founding of the civil rights and the LBGT movement are connected to Marxism.

Below is a look at the radical roots of the LGBT movement.

Gay liberation didn’t begin with marches and political rallies, but with a revolution in thought

https://www.google.com.au...overlooked

The historic achievement of marriage equality in the United States last year threw the 1969 Stonewall uprising back onto the public stage. In hundreds, perhaps thousands of media reports, commentators gave the world a story of gay liberation that, more often than not, began in 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people rose up in protest against a police raid on a bar. The uprising marked the start of gay liberation in the US, which reached a historic milestone in last year’s Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges legalising gay marriage. So, from Stonewall to the Supreme Court – a winning story of a marginalised people demanding their rights from the state.

Except it didn’t happen that way.

Stonewall is important, but not because it initiated the beginning of claims on state rights. In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth: the political fervour of Stonewall launched LGBT people on a much deeper, more difficult journey. They began to rethink the very meaning of political power, ideology, and the role of the government. Instead of turning toward the state for recognition, they often turned away from it. They began to transform themselves, intellectually and politically, in ways that revolutionised how they understood oppression and the meaning of governmental and economic power. Throughout the 1970s, LGBT people theorised about the benefits of socialism in books and pamphlets and critiqued capitalism in the growing newspaper and print culture. In doing so, they also began to redefine their identity and to rewrite their history.

The Toronto-based newspaper The Body Politic emerged in the 1970s as a leading international outlet for gay people to explore the meaning of liberation. With a readership spanning North America and Europe, it was driven by socialist ideas and the examples of the black civil rights and women’s movements in the US. It was an influential and dynamic publication, and also representative of the gay liberation movement.

The Body Politic was particularly interested in how the oppression of LGBT people related to society more generally and its constitutive political forces. It continued to support the fight to end discrimination. But it also had a point of view that saw the cause of oppression not simply in discriminatory laws, but in the power that the government possessed to create those laws in the first place. For example, the article ‘Strategy for Gay Liberation’ (1972) explained that ‘the aim of gay liberation is to root out the source of our oppression’; the point was not to ‘apply band-aids to a never-ending stream of casualties’.

The 1970s saw numerous socialist groups rising to educate LGBT people. Activists offered courses, workshops and reading lists on politics, ideology and society. In San Francisco in 1971, the Gay Sunshine journal republished an essay from the periodical Everywoman to educate readers about how gay liberation needed the support of the working class in order to succeed. ‘While it is important that there be an active political student movement, or an anti-war group, or a gay movement,’ the article explained, ‘these groups, by themselves, cannot change the basis of society because isolated from the power base of society they are impotent.’

The article said that these groups needed ‘the power of the working class’, arguing that the fight against homophobia would be unsuccessful unless LGBT people understood how power operated. In October 1975, the Marxist Institute in Toronto offered a course that would ‘develop from a grounding in the principles of Marxist analysis, through a survey of empirical data available, to an attempt at defining the material roots of gay oppression in class society’. LGBT activists were looking for a structural understanding of oppression, for core insights about how society works, not just reforms to existing laws.

LGBT groups inspired by the Stonewall uprising formed not just in the UK but across Europe, and emphasised socialism as the key to gay liberation

The LGBT fight for equal rights is just one bloom of an intellectual revolution brought about by the LGBT movement’s engagement with socialism. In 1975 in Los Angeles, a group called the Lavender and Red Union formed in the name of socialism and gay liberation. They proclaimed: ‘Gay Liberation is Impossible Without Socialist Revolution; Socialist Revolution is Impossible Without Gay Liberation.’ These were radicals, not reformers.

And they were not exceptional. In New York City in 1971, the Third World Gay Revolution issued the manifesto What We Want, What We Believe, which called for ‘the abolition of the institution of the bourgeois nuclear family’ and ‘a new society – a revolutionist socialist society’. Meanwhile in London, a group of lesbians formed a socialist feminist association called ‘The Lesbian Left’ and published a collection of their papers in 1977. LGBT groups inspired by the Stonewall uprising formed not just in the UK but across Europe, in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and emphasised socialism as the key to gay liberation.
This culture of reading and discussion, manifesting in newspapers and journals but also in classes and political associations, brought many LGBT people a newly sophisticated understanding of their oppression. Friedrich Engels’s Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) served as a lodestar of sorts. It taught LGBT people that the notion of the family was not a natural phenomenon existing across time and space, but rather something that developed at a particular historical moment for specific reasons. Engels argued that ancient societies were matriarchal, and each sex had equal power based on its responsibilities within the home. As time unfolded and men left agriculturally based economies to work in mills and factories, women were forced to attend to domestic responsibilities and their labour lost monetary value.

Engels argued that this was the first sign of oppression and the beginning of class division. While men gained more power as so-called breadwinners, they wanted to preserve their wealth through inheritance, which led to larger class divisions within society. Uncovering the origins of the modern family also proved to be a major insight for the contemporary women’s movement. It explained much of women’s oppression which bourgeois society presented as natural, ancient, unalterable. The history of the modern family as a structure helped LGBT people recognise how economic developments underpinned their own oppression. It also encouraged them to question forms of social organisation that, to most, seemed natural and unchangeable.

In the 1970s, a group of gay men began to meet for spaghetti dinners in New York City every Saturday night. Many of them were writers, scholars, and activists, and during these dinners they would read Engels and Karl Marx, and discuss the implications for gay liberation. Jonathan Ned Katz, a textile artist, was a member of the group. ‘I read every page of Capital and made notes about every sentence. I asked questions. I educated myself by arguing with Marx,’ he told me at his home in Greenwich Village in 2012.

Katz described coming home from the meetings feeling discombobulated from the ‘huge, amazing change’: ‘I was experiencing a change in my self-conception and conceptions of gays in a very short time.’ Growing up, he and the other members had all been taught that homosexuality was a sickness that could be treated by psychologists. Now they were beginning to realise that was not the case. Oh my God, Katz remembered thinking, was I stupid to fall for that idea that I was sick? Sitting on secondhand furniture in a crowded apartment, members of the reading group came to understand that they were not sick, but oppressed, a concept uncovered by reading Engels and Marx. To make that distinction was ‘mind-blowing’, Katz recalled. ‘I would get dizzy and have to lie down.’

The group became known as the Gay Socialist Action Project (GSAP). In it, members learned to see the structures that produced power, rather than refute line by line the pronouncements of priests and doctors who castigated homosexuality. The GSAP discovered that homophobia was less about what a priest declaimed from a pulpit and more about the priest’s power to make his claims; less about doctors labelling gay people ‘degenerates’ in medical textbooks than about the authority with which medics put forth a theory as verifiable truth. The GSAP members came to see that gay people’s alleged aberrance did not make them oppressed. It was that their oppression made them appear aberrant.


(Full article in link above)



.
[Edited 10/16/17 1:37am]
"It means finding the very human narrative of a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, non-violence, the pitfalls of acclaim as the perils of rejection" – Lesley Hazleton on the first muslim, the prophet.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 12/01/17 10:57pm

hausofmoi7

avatar

.
[Edited 12/1/17 23:10pm]
"It means finding the very human narrative of a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, non-violence, the pitfalls of acclaim as the perils of rejection" – Lesley Hazleton on the first muslim, the prophet.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 12/01/17 11:33pm

hausofmoi7

avatar

"It means finding the very human narrative of a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, non-violence, the pitfalls of acclaim as the perils of rejection" – Lesley Hazleton on the first muslim, the prophet.
 Reply w/quote - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply   New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Politics & Religion > The radical roots of LGBT liberation.