Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LGBT Culture, White Supremacy, and Communism

There is a discussion which I've just jumped into which I thought also belongs here. For the original site of the thread, click here.

Here's my comment, and I welcome respectful discussion on this and related matters (as determined by the moderator of this blog, yours truly).

A few comments to toss into the conversation.

First, in response to Linda D.’s comment above:

“[...] it is obvious to most of us that under socialism, and certainly under communism, social relations will be ruptured and go through lots of changes, in line with the necessities of building a new society.”

The question, of course, is whose new society, and is there just one? If just one, is it based and constructed on the political philosophies and practices of white europeans and their descendants? If so, this is deeply problematic, which is to say, white supremacist. See, Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior (1994), by Marimba Ani for much more on this matter.

Although not strictly on the topic of LGBT community and its future, Ward Churchill does tackle this matter rather impressively. I shall first pull the passage from the above discussion I am responding to, posted by Dave:

The issue is a line that says that it is an open question whether or not a certain group of people will “cease to exist” under socialism or communism. This is wrong, and worthy of derision and scorn.

What follows is from the book Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader (2003), page 260. I believe it can apply to some degrees to many marginalised and oppressed ethnic/cultural groups, but here he is discussing Indigenous populations/nations. I will note that I consider Ward Churchill to be a U.S. white man, as am I, but in the passage below he speaks of himself as someone directly descended from American Indian nationalities. This is beside the point, in terms of accepting his analysis of marxism-leninism, however. His work is thoroughly researched, and not only academically.

Our very right to exist in a national sense, and usually as distinct cultures as well, has instead been denied as such. Always and everywhere, marxism-leninism has assigned itself a practical priority leading directly to the incorporation, subordination, and dissolution of native societies as such. This is quite revealing, considering that the term “genocide” was coined to describe not only policies leading to the outright physical liquidation of “ethnical, racial, religious or national” aggregates, but also policies designed to bring about the dissolution, destruction, and disappearance of these “identified human groups as such,” by other means. [see note 113 in the book] Viewed this way, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that marxism-leninism is and always has been a genocidal doctrine, wherever indigenous nationalities/cultures are concerned. [see note 114 in the book]

I also want to recommend two other books to the readers and commenters here on the matter Linda D. specifically raises. One is titled Black Sexual Politics, by Patricia Hill Collins (2004) and the other is called Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism (expanded edition, 1997), by Suzanne Pharr. With those two books, and Churchill’s and Ani’s, I strongly agree with Linda D. that Dworkin’s analysis, too, is needed in this discussion.

Related concerns:

Whose LGBT culture are we talking about? Is our understanding of this culture u.s./eurocentric? Does it place the experiences of Two Spirited people and Womanist woman-centered women at the center of its theories on heterosexuality and queerness? What is our analysis of heterosexuality and its causes? Heterosexuality, not having an asocial or cross-cultural history, nor a future that is eternal, is infused with political ideology, is it not? (It sure seems that way to gay ole me!)

Do those who discuss "the LGBT community" mean white people in the middle class or those who are part of the bourgeoisie? If so, this is but a small piece of the whole of Queer experience and culture.