Were Militant (now SP) homophobic?

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Steven.
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Jan 31 2006 19:16
Were Militant (now SP) homophobic?

In Metro today a letter from a Liberal Party guy said Militant in liverpool shouted over megaphones "Don't vote for queers - remember you're working class"

Any truth in that?

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Feb 1 2006 11:51

In the 80's Militant did take the arguement up, that homosexuality was a middle class thing, ala Oscar Wilde and others.

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oisleep
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Feb 1 2006 12:30

nigel irritable will be along to clarify this hopefully

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Lazy Riser
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Feb 1 2006 12:33

Hi

Quote:
Class Wars stickers of Bush and Blair fucking did play on homophobia

Perhaps it was homo-erotic shock art like Openly Classist's.

I think you're right revol68, someone from CW should account for their homophobia, not to mention pandering to the “anti-war” movement and reactionary conflation of sex with exploitation and corruption.

LR

knightrose
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Feb 1 2006 19:34

I remember in the 70s a friend of mine in the WRP had to hide his gayness. It was looked down on by Healey and co as being bourgeois.

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Feb 1 2006 20:03

Yeah I know maoist groups in the US see it as "bourgeois" perversion. The main one the RCP may have taken that back now...

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Feb 1 2006 20:08

Hi

Do some groups think that scat or transvestism are perverse? Bridgewater Autonomous Marxists wrote a white paper on it once. I can’t find my copy, has anyone got one?

Love

LR

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Feb 2 2006 17:09
John. wrote:
Yeah I know maoist groups in the US see it as "bourgeois" perversion. The main one the RCP may have taken that back now...

They did. Though lesbians were not as bad because it's a natural reaction to patriarchy (naturally).

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Feb 2 2006 18:35
Jack wrote:
Did they actually, or is that just a lefty rumour?

As far as I know, while they were never that hot on 'liberation campaigns', they were definatly not actively homophobic - altho I'm sure some of their members may have been.

Fair do's Jack, Ive been a Trot, so I have baggage and Ive been through the dogmatic mill, and since Im not old enough to have been politically engaged then, Im left on 'hand-me downs' but its arguement Ive heard first hand from people who witnessed it. If thats slurs then so be it, but a google comes up with a few bits

Ian Donovan wrote:
And on the subject of homophobia, I am old enough to remember the vicious ‘queer’ and ‘lezzie’ baiting that was once the lot of activists from other left tendencies that fought for gay rights at Labour Party Young Socialists events in the 1970s and 80s, when Militant dominated that movement. In truth, Militant were among the last ‘left’ Neanderthals to be forced to recognise the justice of gay rights.
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Feb 2 2006 19:32

Hi

Quote:
Though lesbians were not as bad because it's a natural reaction to patriarchy (naturally).

And also because they are hot.

Love

LR

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Feb 2 2006 21:51
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
Though lesbians were not as bad because it's a natural reaction to patriarchy (naturally).

And also because they are hot.

Love

LR

I don't get the attraction of lesbians. What's exciting about women who categorically won't sleep with you? (of course this would make me respect them if it was a reasoned choice smile)

Unless you don't really believe in lesbians and think a nice big cock will soon see 'em straight. Which isn't a very enlightened position.

Gregasaurus
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Feb 2 2006 22:27

Having previously been a member of the SP and having discussed this before. Militant, as they did with everything saw any campaigning against homophobia and for gay rights was seen as a 'distraction from (what they saw as) the class struggle' They also apparantly held the view that homosexuality was a perversion of capitalism that would disappear once their socialist state was formed. They clearly don't hold this view anymore, but the arguments about various different 'distractions' etc. are still there.

petey
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Feb 3 2006 13:13
Lazy Riser wrote:
And also because they are hot.

once, but not any more. they were really hot in the 70s, around the time i was 15. coincidence? twisted

Divisive Cottonwood
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Feb 3 2006 13:54

During the demise of Militant and its rebirth as the Socialist Party, they, apparently, used Ted Grant's sexuality as means of forcing him out - piss off or we'll out you. All's fair in love and politics, apparently.

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Feb 4 2006 01:09
Gregasaurus wrote:
They clearly don't hold this view anymore, but the arguments about various different 'distractions' etc. are still there.

But arguments about various distractions are correct - animal rights, summit hopping, lifestylism.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 4 2006 01:53

Ted Grant is straight????

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Feb 9 2006 18:43
Gregasaurus wrote:
Having previously been a member of the SP and having discussed this before. Militant, as they did with everything saw any campaigning against homophobia and for gay rights was seen as a 'distraction from (what they saw as) the class struggle' They also apparantly held the view that homosexuality was a perversion of capitalism that would disappear once their socialist state was formed. They clearly don't hold this view anymore, but the arguments about various different 'distractions' etc. are still there.

Classic workerism, sounds like the SP I know.

redtwister
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Feb 9 2006 21:29
John. wrote:
Yeah I know maoist groups in the US see it as "bourgeois" perversion. The main one the RCP may have taken that back now...

Most of the Trots are pretty gay friendly, actually. Lutte Ouvriere's sister group Spark being a notable exception, viewing it as bourgeois decadence. The Spartacist League are pretty Revol-friendly: pro-porn, pro-gay, pro-NAMBLA (not that any of the three exactly have anything to do with each other IMO, but the Sparts think they do.)

The RCP had a statement saying how homosexuals would be "re-educated" in camps after the revolution and in spite of some changes, they are still scary fuckers. Frankly, I like their policy as it was one of the few things that kept young US anarchists critical of their Stalinist bullshit wrapped in 'direct action' and 'rebel youth' posturing.

The pure Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist type were a mixed bag.

the defining feature seems to be how "workerist" your sect is and therefore how much they bow to anti-gay pressure which was presumed to be more prevelant in working class milieus.

cheers,

chris

Nick Durie
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Feb 9 2006 23:18
Quote:
Frankly, I like their policy as it was one of the few things that kept young US anarchists critical of their Stalinist bullshit wrapped in 'direct action' and 'rebel youth' posturing.

And this is a good thing? I don't understand.

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Feb 10 2006 00:18
Nick Durie wrote:
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Frankly, I like their policy as it was one of the few things that kept young US anarchists critical of their Stalinist bullshit wrapped in 'direct action' and 'rebel youth' posturing.

And this is a good thing? I don't understand.

He's saying it's the main thing that put anarchists off them. So they weren't fooled by the militant posturing. You get me? They were trying hard to recruit activistoids off the whole black bloc thing...

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Feb 11 2006 20:34
John. wrote:
Nick Durie wrote:
Quote:
Frankly, I like their policy as it was one of the few things that kept young US anarchists critical of their Stalinist bullshit wrapped in 'direct action' and 'rebel youth' posturing.

And this is a good thing? I don't understand.

He's saying it's the main thing that put anarchists off them. So they weren't fooled by the militant posturing. You get me? They were trying hard to recruit activistoids off the whole black bloc thing...

When did they stop?

As big of a leftist trainspotter as I am, particularly with the RCP, i don't know as much about this as I ought to. I'd be interested to check when they changed their policy, and if one could support a speculation that it was for recruitment purposes...

Frankly put, the US anarchist 'scene' has suffered a great 'brain drain' - our best and brightest young ones have generally been pulled into groups like the RCP, in my view not because of the greatness of the politics contained behind the 'rebel youth' posturing, but because of the dismalness that has been the essence of the US anarchist 'scene'... There is no way to develop an organizational memory or coherence that would attract some of these people. Based on who i've met it seems as though roughly 75% of the RCYB (RCP youth section) at one point identified with, or were friendly to, anarchism (meaning class struggle anarchism, not the bullshit that often claims the name). Probably a similar proportion of those who have joined within the past few years would not have, had the RCP NOT changed their policy.

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Feb 12 2006 19:52
revol68 wrote:
b) i don't know why the fuck you would think that i'm in anyway in favour of nambla or anyother pro paedo group?

IF you want to start shit with the North American Marlon Brando Lookalikes then you're a braver man than I am.

IrrationallyAngry
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Feb 17 2006 19:21

Just seen this thread:

Jack wrote:
As far as I know, while they were never that hot on 'liberation campaigns', they were definatly not actively homophobic - altho I'm sure some of their members may have been.

That's the core of it essentially.

There were no homophobic slogans. And no picking on Ted Grant over his supposed sexuality. And no wierd theoretical positions about "bourgeois perversions" or the like. But there was a lengthy insistence on effectively ignoring the issue of gay liberation, which is quite bad enough without the various lefty urban myths.

That all changed when lgbt members of the Militant organised themselves to force a change of policy and nowadays the Socialist Party LGBT group is one of the most active parts of the organisation.

If you want a glimpse of what Militant was like on the issue take a wander over to the website of the Grant/Woods group (Socialist Appeal in Britain). It's an enormous site containing their views on every subject imaginable - from a five part series on British Poet's views of the French Revolution to a pamphlet length piece on the pedagogics of Vygotsky. With one notable, glaring, exception. They seem determined to preserve every weak point of the Militant while ignoring all of its strengths.

ftony
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Feb 17 2006 19:54
Quote:
As big of a leftist trainspotter as I am, particularly with the RCP, i don't know as much about this as I ought to

if this is the same RCP, here's something i've discovered about ex-RCP peeps

http://www.libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8152

pretty loopy if you ask me

IrrationallyAngry
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Feb 17 2006 20:16
ftony wrote:
if this is the same RCP

Nope.

They are talking about an American Maoist group, obsessed with their wonderful leader Chairman Bob Avakian and up until very recently solidly anti-gay. You are talking about a British ex-Trotskyist group, descended from a 1970s split in the forerunner of the SWP, which ended up as a bunch of professional contrarians or machiavellian right wingers depending on who you ask.

petey
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Feb 17 2006 20:39
John. wrote:
Nick Durie wrote:
Quote:
Frankly, I like their policy as it was one of the few things that kept young US anarchists critical of their Stalinist bullshit wrapped in 'direct action' and 'rebel youth' posturing.

And this is a good thing? I don't understand.

He's saying it's the main thing that put anarchists off them.

exactly.

ovah heah, the RCP and the SWP are battling for the rebel youth types, with the SWP in the lead.