The RCP's current solution to the gay question

RCP leader Bob Avakian

A critical look at the homophobic positions of the "Revolutionary Communist Party" in the US since the 1970s.

Part One


Part Two

I first started writing about the American Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and its really toxic attitude to homosexuals three years ago. I meant to submit this final bit on the current RCP shortly after the last one (I guess we know why that free lancing gig didn’t work out for me hey?). I’ve been busy with many other things but the sad truth is I have actual tried to complete this piece half a dozen times only to scrap it all half way through.

The current official attitude of the RCP to homosexuals is detailed in the grandly titled “On the Position on Homosexuality in the New Draft Programme” or DP for short. This position paper was finished in 2001 and hasn’t been updated in the fifteen years since initial publication. The document is very long 34 A4 pages, but what does it actually say, well at the very end it says that homosexuals can now become members of the party. And I mean at the end it only comes up in the second to last section of the paper.

Quote:
Can homosexuals be progressive revolutionary allies and even revolutionary communists and members of the revolutionary vanguard party? The answer on both counts is yes.

So end of the story? Well if you’re an RCP member looking to defend its reputation yes it is, but the DP shows a few severe problems with this attempt to show that the party has really changed. And I’m going to briefly go over them.

The main issue is that the DP is dishonest. It doesn’t apologise for the really nasty stuff the party did to its own members before this change. Indeed it doesn’t acknowledge it even happened. The only mea culpa here is for the 1988 line on homosexuality. This is important because the 1988 line was considered a compromise line implying that its at least a little better than the previous positions. So all the DP is doing is making excuses for having a party position that in their words wasn’t correct. I eventually found copies of all the RCP positions on homosexuality (there were quite a few) thanks to a blogpost by a former RCP member who had drafted a few of them in his past. Its worth reading his account as it goes into detail about the attitude of the party leadership (AKA Bob Avakian). I’ve added the lines as an appendix at the bottom of the page.

The party’s position on the gay question and why it is imperative to solve it has gone through many permutations. In the seventies homosexuality was on the level of prostitution and drug addiction, and a bourgeois plot to enslave the masses. By 1988 the gays were supporting women’s oppression somehow. In 2001? Well according to every other section of the DP the Gays are still colluding in women’s oppression but now it’s not true of all of them. There are some gays and Bi’s who want to end all oppression and one way to tell the difference is whether or not they want to join the RCP.

Quote:
“The Party must constantly bring forward into its ranks those who dedicate themselves to the cause of the international proletarian revolution, who seriously take up the weapon of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism [MLM] and carry out the Party's line and tasks among the masses. The members the Party must attract are those whose dedication is not to narrow and personal interests, but to the historic mission of communism.”

The second to last section opens up membership of the party to homosexuals, the last section is an attempt to bury criticism of the party’s history with the LGBTQ crowd, most of the other sections though are written to try and make it look like the RCP was kinda right about the negative relationship between homosexuality and women oppression. I’m only going to quote just one example here, but I’m not kidding when I say the majority of the paragraphs in this 34 page document are like this.

Quote:
“Historically, lesbian relationships and networks have encouraged and provided support for some women to exist and function outside of traditional roles or as a safe haven from male/women relationships that have been physically or emotionally abusive. But while this may be an individual improvement for some women, it is also true that, as we pointed out in our 1988 article, the larger relations in society still get reflected in lesbian relations to one degree and in one way or another. And more fundamentally, the practice of lesbianism does not solve the overarching problem of the oppression of women as a whole, in U.S. society and throughout the world.”

This particular passage in a vacuum may seem a fairly blunt rebuttal to what’s called identity politics but the majority of the section and the rest of the DP is dedicated to reiterations on these two themes. Same sex couples are just as susceptible to societies ideology (though why this means they seem to exclusively be an obstacle to women’s liberation, rather aiding in all the other oppressions and exploitations of bourgeois society is not explained or even addressed) and that same sex couples don’t on their own represent a rejection of class based society. The last part is true, but that’s true many other things like heterosexual relationships that the RCP either has no problem with (there is no position on heterosexuality in the party’s history) or actively champions.

The repetition of this argument and the layout of the document is designed so that anyone wishing to know about the RCP’s policy on gay members has to read through its self-justification before it gets to the answer. This paper isn’t a product of self-criticism, it’s a compromise and attempt to save face. Any homosexual who attempts to join the party must do so having swallowed the party’s bizarre line that by existing as a homosexual they are probably participating in the oppression of women, and must prove themselves by forgiving the party for writing a bad article in the eighties that it still largely stands by and in general a strict adherence to party doctrines.

So in conclusion, the RCP is still homophobic, (incidentally the only time the word homophobia appears is in the title of a book cited in the footnotes) and unapologetic for its worst behaviour on this issue. It’s moved a little, but there’s merely because of the sustained opposition its received over the decades.

Appendix

From Programme And Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA (1975)

Socialist society will wipe out the decadence of capitalism in all spheres. Prostitution, drug addiction, homosexuality and other practices which bourgeois society breeds and the bourgeoisie promotes to degrade and enslave the masses of people, will be abolished. The prostitutes, drug addicts and others who are caught in these things will be re-educated to become productive members of society, with working class consciousness. The shame connected with these practices will be taken from the shoulders of these victims and the guilt will be placed where it belongs—on the bourgeoisie.
(page 43)

From New Programme And New Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (Draft for Discussion) (1980)

The twisted outgrowths of this society, such as pornography and prostitution, will be forcibly abolished right off the bat and their re-emergence will not be tolerated. As for the prostitutes and others victimized by this capitalist degeneracy, they will be given productive work, politically educated and freed from the immediate source of their oppression, while education will also be carried out broadly in society to expose capitalism as the source of this degradation and to remove the tendency to blame or look down on the victims.

As for homosexuality, this too, is a product of the decay of capitalism, especially of the increased ripping apart of the family, which is inevitably taking place under capitalist conditions, especially as it sinks into deeper crisis. In particular it stems from the distorted, oppressive man-woman relations capitalism produces. Once the proletariat is in power, no one will be discriminated against in jobs, housing and the like merely on the basis of being a homosexual. But at the same time education will be conducted throughout society on the ideology behind homosexuality and its material roots in capitalist society, and struggle will be waged to eliminate it and reform homosexuals.
(page 67)

From New Programme And New Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (1981)

The twisted outgrowths of this society, such as pornography and prostitution, will be forcibly abolished right off the bat and their re-emergence not tolerated. As for the prostitutes and others victimized by this capitalist degeneracy, they will be given productive work, politically educated and freed from the immediate source of their oppression, while education will also be carried out broadly in society to expose capitalism as the source of this degradation and to remove the tendency to blame or look down on the victims.

As for homosexuality, this too, is perpetuated and fostered by the decay of capitalism, especially as it sinks into deeper crisis. This is particularly the case because of the distorted, oppressive man-woman relations capitalism promotes. Once the proletariat is in power, no one will be discriminated against in jobs, housing and the like merely on the basis of being a homosexual. But at the same time education will be conducted throughout society on the ideology behind homosexuality and its material roots in exploiting society, and struggle will be waged to eliminate it and reform homosexuals.
(page 77)

On the Question of Homosexuality and the Emancipation of Women (1988)
A sixteen page article from Issue #56 of Revolution Magazine that became the RCP's position on homosexuality until 2001. The article was and still is described by the RCP as a compromise, it ditched most of the old arguments for the hostility of the party, and made the claim that homosexuality was an obstacle to the liberation of women the main plank. This is still the main part of the RCP's current position on Homosexuality.

Posted By

Reddebrek
Aug 21 2016 18:50

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jesuithitsquad
Aug 22 2016 05:33

So, it's definitely a downer how many groups and individuals had/have shit ideas about LGBTQ issues, but this

Quote:
Prostitution, drug addiction, homosexuality and other practices which bourgeois society breeds and the bourgeoisie promotes to degrade and enslave the masses of people, will be abolished. The prostitutes, drug addicts and others who are caught in these things will be re-educated to become productive members of society, with working class consciousness. The shame connected with these practices will be taken from the shoulders of these victims and the guilt will be placed where it belongs—on the bourgeoisie.

could've been written by any conservative religious group only by replacing bourgeoisie with Satan and working class consciousness with Salvation.

Khawaga
Aug 22 2016 15:46

Back in Norway, in the early 90s when I first got involved with politics, these sorts of views were not uncommon among some on the authoritarian left. Homosexuality, "deviant sexual acts" (bdsm), prostitution, drug use etc. were all seen as bourgeois diseases that would simply disappear come communism. I doubt, however, that such views are that common any more.

Steven.
Aug 22 2016 17:20

Terrible stuff. Anyone know how many members the RCP has nowadays?

Reddebrek
Aug 22 2016 18:08

Thank you for the comments, its good finally get this finished, some of the early drafts were over 30 pages long because I wanted to be thorough and virtually every paragraph has something questionable in it. For example it equates homosexuality with pederasty not once but twice. And those are the only examples of "same sex tolerant societies" the paper mentions, and the only concrete examples, of any of its assertions. The rest of the time it talks about the gays it does so in a vague series of stereotypes, about cruising.

The RCP's attitudes to homosexuality were fairly typical at the time of the groups founding in 1973. Their first anti gay publication quotes Mao on the subject, and the American SWP openly banned homosexuals from being members. The Sparts did allow gays to be members and had a paper commitment to Gay rights, but you couldn't be both openly gay and openly a member of the party at the same time. Party members could say attend a Gay demonstration but couldn't identify themselves as party members and vice versa.

What makes the RCP different from most of the others, is that it maintained this hostility for so long, and to the present day. They've officially removed the ban, but if you read the entire paper, they've done it in such a way that leaves them plenty of room to continue to exclude gays from joining. And their negative tone has changed from an absolute ALL Gays and Lesbians, to MOST, and the way you prove your one of the good ones is to make yourself an unquestioning tool of the party.

Tart
Aug 22 2016 18:34

In the 80s Militant under junior Lenin Ted Grant had the "disease of capitalism" position. I was involved in a campaign to get local authorities to include lbgt in their equal opportunities employment policies. Tommy Sheridan would always force a gay Militant member to speak against us. He knew that the man did not agree with the line but this was a test of loyalty. A large group of their membership disagreed with granddad Grant and it was seen a vulnerability that other sects could exploit and cause splits and steal members. When Grant died they changed their position very quickly- and without any pretence of an explanation.
After a Labour Party Young Socialists meeting a group of Militant thugs attempted to queer bash me and a friend- we got away and to my amusement I met two of the perpetrators when I was out on the piss with the wildest of my mates a month or so later- we never beat them up (not my style) but we followed them from bar to bar taunting them.
I guess if you trawl the bottom of Bolshevik pond you may still find some such prehistoric creatures still lurking in the slime today.

redsdisease
Aug 22 2016 19:45
Reddebrek wrote:
The Sparts did allow gays to be members and had a paper commitment to Gay rights, but you couldn't be both openly gay and openly a member of the party at the same time. Party members could say attend a Gay demonstration but couldn't identify themselves as party members and vice versa.

Huh, I was under the impression that they had been one of the few 70s left groups to openly organize in the gay movement. I thought it was sort of their only redeeming factor.

Reddebrek
Aug 22 2016 20:28
redsdisease wrote:
Reddebrek wrote:
The Sparts did allow gays to be members and had a paper commitment to Gay rights, but you couldn't be both openly gay and openly a member of the party at the same time. Party members could say attend a Gay demonstration but couldn't identify themselves as party members and vice versa.

Huh, I was under the impression that they had been one of the few 70s left groups to openly organize in the gay movement. I thought it was sort of their only redeeming factor.

So did I at first, but ex members from the period said the party had what was called "the closet rule"

Quote:
Further, they had a rule for their membership called “the closet rule,” whereby gay Spartacist members were forbidden to publicly identify themselves as gay. “Disciplined communists do not risk victimization for their extra-political conduct, for instance public avowal of homosexuality” was how the SL described this monstrous rule in a 1977 issue of their press.

Thats from the last chapter in the red closet, by a gay ex member of several Troskyist groups including the Sparts.

Entdinglichung
Aug 23 2016 06:17

a collection of texts on the issue from the US ML scene: https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-8/index.htm#gl

Marx-Trek
Aug 23 2016 13:01

I am not a RCP member, I don't have any specific insight into the daily workings of the RCP, and I am not aware of the most recent official party line (past the early 2000's Draft).

However, I am aware of their history, the RCP's recent moving away and acknowledging of their homophobic past, and having seen members openly support and partake in struggles fighting back against homophobia and trans-discrimination. At least on a local level. Having been around and "co-organized" on a community level with RCP members and RCP associates, I can say that these RCP members and associates openly support and continue to fight along side people no matter their sexuality or gender-ing identity.

Though this is largely anecdotal evidence, I have discussed the new RCP draft that addresses homosexuality with RCP members, it seems to be an old position that is shamefully recognized as having had the wrong position by RCP members, and something the RCP wants to move past and get on the right side of the struggle without much more discussion on it. I don't think you will get much an apology or a down on bended knee self lashing from any RCP member, not their style.

As the article linked above, here is the new official and long winded RCP position on sexuality which pretty much admits they had a strange view and have since changed position (perhaps an even stranger manner in which to change a position);

http://revcom.us/margorp/homosexuality.htm

There is a long history within many leftist groups, with a history stretching back past the 1990s, that have some fucked up analysis hidden in their closets. Not to defend the old RCP position, no defense at all, but the old position has given way to a new RCP position and the actions of its members, some members at least, shows that the RCP no longer upholds those old phobic views. Since the RCP is a very top-down organization, I would imagine if local RCP activists are openly criticizing their old position, it has been handed down from above and been OKed by the leadership.

I think that the more general critique of the RCP is always more fitting, rather than getting deep into the weeds of their ideology, or rehashing the old position since a new position has come into existence.

The RCP is a rigid classic Leninist party, with Avakian at the top, the ideological leader, which makes all members more or less ideologically subservient to whatever Avakian's position currently is (homophobic or otherwise). This throwback to Stalin and Mao's "cult of personality" manner of running a communist party is what is generally wrong with the RCP or any communist party/organization still running with the "Lenin-Stalin-Maoist" model. It's a dated concept and allows for dated ideology and political positions to remain entrenched within a party/organization well past any debatable relevance (party organization, not views on sexuality). The position that Avakian tends to take on issues comes from oracle like reading of old books and conjuring by Avakain.

The RCP seems to have shifted on their old position and adopted a new position on sexuality and gender identity, and good for them. Welcome to the 20th century (now in the 21st century).

As for the number of members, the RCP is a classic 1960/70s throwback with cadres and tight-lipped members not discussing the party size. There tends to be no open discussion of membership or party size, which is basically the standard position taken by any half-serious organization. But like most Leninist organizations with their roots in the 1960/70s, their relevance and size tend to vary depending on what current world political events and protest movements are occurring in the US and Europe. Like any other communist/socialist alphabet named organization, the RCP tends to exist in American college towns and big cities. I would imagine a few hundred people across the entire US and interested associates making up the bulk of the RCP's people on the ground, the RCP is at least a few thousand strong. Rumor has it, the RCP membership process is very lengthy and requires years of dedicated organizing with and for the RCP. The thing that makes the RCP relevant in the last few decades is their organizing around police brutality within the October 22 Coalition, being active and co-organizing across "race lines," and having some celebrity-pop-culture leftist academics associated with and supporting the RCP's organizing efforts.

I cannot remember if the RCP or the even more interesting Workers World Party were behind ANSWER coalition, but the RCP was popular during the Bush "Regime" Administration with the Not in My Name and Stop the Bush Regime national anti-war protest campaign. Again, the RCP's crown jewel, and rightly so, of achievement is the national October 22 Coalition against Police Brutality. The RCP seems to have always had a pretty solid presence in New York and Los Angeles. Unlike other American college town socialist organizations, the RCP seems to keep their political action in the streets rather than trying to attract college students, yet college students tend to be attracted to the RCP as well.

Also, I would imagine that the RCP's membership size has shrunk in the last two decades because recently, the RCP purged membership over the ideological split regarding the Maoist rebellion in Nepal. The RCP cleverly "opened a forum to discuss ideology, leadership, and Nepal" within the party and associates, and once strong positions were established, the non-Avakian factions were purged. The KASAMA project that aligned itself with the Maoists in Nepal and agreed with the loosing up on rigid ideological positions represented the re-organization of the purged ex-RCP membership and associates. Local ex-RCP associates who were viewed as supports of the Nine Letters critical of Avakian were blacklisted and pretty much ignored as counter-revolutionaries by local RCP members and associates. Sad, yet brilliant, never thought I would witness, from the outside, a communist party conspire against its own members in a manner harking back to the 1920/30s.

You will generally see RCP members either co-organizing or present at local anti-police brutality demonstrations or the big issue protest movement demonstrations selling the paper and trying to find new associates. As irrelevant as they are, they are committed, and still around due to passion and its members genuine want for revolution. Just not "our" revolution but their own.

Reddebrek
Aug 23 2016 14:07

I'm sorry Max but I don't believe you've actually read what I've written, which is generally bad form especially so when you're going to spend time replying at length.

Quote:
Though this is largely anecdotal evidence, I have discussed the new RCP draft that addresses homosexuality with RCP members, it seems to be an old position that is shamefully recognized as having had the wrong position by RCP members, and something the RCP wants to move past and get on the right side of the struggle without much more discussion on it. I don't think you will get much an apology or a down on bended knee self lashing from any RCP member, not their style.

???????? Yes and neither is it being honest, to reiterate the RCP has actively targeted and abused its own members over this policy, many of whom were vulnerable teens. They have never admitted that this happened or made even a token effort to account for it. Indeed they have been so silent on this that as far as I or anyone else knows it may still be occurring.

The most they admit to is publishing some "Incorrect" and "outdated" articles on the subject, and they don't even admit to the existence of all the articles they did publish on the subject. This is an obvious attempt by a damaged organisation to misrepresent its own history for those who don't already know it, and give its members something to use as a shield when they get flak.

The party will never get past its toxic history while still playing the denial game. I'm not asking them to self flagelate, I'm asking them to show their sincerity if they want others to believe them. You seem rather keen to make excuses for an organisation covering up an abuse scandal.

Quote:
The RCP seems to have shifted on their old position and adopted a new position on sexuality and gender identity, and good for them. Welcome to the 20th century (now in the 21st century).

See right here, if you think the current position is worthy of praise then you either haven't read the thing or are just as guilty of very wonky ideas on the subject yourself. I find the entire paper to be still quite offensive in its assumptions and riddled with self justifications.I can't help but notice that every time someone like you cites the DP as a positive development they do so incredibly vaguely.

Marx-Trek
Aug 23 2016 15:29

I am sorry if I came off in the manner, well the manner in which you seem to have picked up from my comment. Not my intention to present myself in such a manner attributed to my post. The RCP like most older socialist/communist organizations have many fucked up views lurking in their past and present, and to attack such organizations on single issue after single issue is not my preferred way in attacking/debating such organizations.

These groups act like politicians and re-create themselves thought out history and movements to appeal to "their" audience. Yes, there are fucked up views and strange, and yes offensive, views held by the RCP and organizations like it, but I argue that these organizations are fucked up due to their ideology, theory, and methodology, not due to single-issue fucked up-ness.

I am no defender of the RCP, I think their program and organization is bogus, but the local membership and individuals I have come into contact with, seem very "comfortable" with organizing with and for issues of gender and sexuality without any problem. These same people tend to simply state and re-state the simple slogans as any other radical organizations currently involved in the whatever current sexual or gender identity protest movements.

I don't organize with the RCP, they happen to be around like groups tend to be around events and local events that transpire, so its more happenstance than active participation. There is a singlemindedness of the organization, but as individuals, there is always cracks and a tendency of simplification on the local level by its members. All I am saying is that the local RCP members tend to behave and organize as any other organization on such issues and I see no real difference.

And yes, I think the RCP is "worthy of praise," to come from a strange Stalinist view that homosexuality is but a decadent bourgeois perversion to the long winded response that rambles on in the 2001 Draft that "OK's" a multitude of sexuality.

However, I think that the RCP or Avakian's strange "marxist" manner in reaching such a conclusion is very strange indeed. After all, the folly of such a view is the belief that every single issue has to be analyzed through the lens of "marxist analysis" and "class perspective" rather than acknowledging that class and Marxism plays a role in understanding but cannot define or completely understand all social, political, and economic interactions between people. Hence, my dislike for the RCP.

I agree with you but think, and wanted wanted to expand on "the real problem" with the RCP, and that is its manner of existing and organizing in general, not its past and current view on homosexuality or any other singular issue.

Again, I get that this article is specifically addressing a single issue and its history, and I agree with your ultimate conclusion.

My biggest concern with these types of organizations is their strange manner in coming up with any and all their conclusions. I admit, I like it when local members either justifiably ignore the strange conclusion of their leadership, ignore leadership, or simply act locally rather than act based on the centralized leader's direction (living contradictions within the organization, which expose the contradictions of their own views supposedly held).

And for the record, my own "wonky ideas" on sexuality and gender have shifted throughout my life. I used to uphold the old anarchist-feminist-radical-lesbian-separatist view that viewed queeer-theory and transgender identities as a liberal threat to radical leftist feminism. Today, however, haven seen the mistake and fucked up conclusions of my radical mentors, I have significantly changed my position.

That position being, queer or trans or whatever sexuality and whatever identity you subscribe to, feel, believe, want to be, born, or creative, its all good, I do not need a lengthy theoretical breakdown or perspective telling me what to think about other people. Peoples' identity are their own, and more power to them. Identity is about feeling as yourself, comfortable, and safe, not about convincing anyone about the new hip-theory of liberation.

Do you think that the RCP's view on homosexuality is their biggest problem or the manner in which they come to a conclusion on homosexuality or any issue for that matter?

Reddebrek
Aug 29 2016 00:43

@Max Trek,

If I may give you some advice, if you are not actively interested in defending something, or coming across as you are, then you shouldn't start talking about things that are very different to subject of criticism but you think are positive in your opening comment. Unless you can show that the two are linked in some way (meaning the con was needed for the pro) what your doing is a form of distraction. People who actively shill for something do this all the time to deflect criticism of their organisation and it's usually a give away that the person doing is purely motivated by a desire for damage control. I'm sorry I've seen multiple occasions were a group or party was imploding only for these types of comments crawl out of the woodwork. I accept that this is not your intention, but that is how your first comment comes across.

Quote:
The RCP like most older socialist/communist organizations have many fucked up views lurking in their past and present, and to attack such organizations on single issue after single issue is not my preferred way in attacking/debating such organizations.

Okay? your under no obligation to follow me and I find your implication that I should follow your way kinda insulting. I think a complete overview of an issue or organisation is perfectly valid but if you can't look at specific examples and practical lessons on occasion then your ultimately limited yourself. I also find that kind of approach to be rather callous and dismissive of people and their actual experiences. I also find this in especially poor taste when it involves a case of actual harm or potential harm. I find a mixed approach works best depending on the specific case.

Also I hate to be the one to point this out but are you really living up to your principles here? Your saying you prefer a total approach to an organisation, and yet your giving them praise on a specific issue. By debating with me here and trying to give a contrary view your also lurking in the weeds. Which is it Max? Big picture or nitty gritty? If attacking an organisation on a single issue is flawed then surely that's true of defence on a point by point basis? You keep saying your not defending the RCP, but then you follow it up with words in defence of the RCP, you can qualifiy it all you want but that is what your doing. And not just in general either, your specifically defending their position on homosexuality

Quote:
All I am saying is that the local RCP members tend to behave and organize as any other organization on such issues and I see no real difference.

Here's a bit of trivia for you, back when the RCP was still committed to putting gays in camps, the party cells would sometimes organise and join up with groups that included Gay and Lesbian organisations. The practice was stopped because word got out about the RCP's views and their members were no longer welcome.

Also I don't really see your point, your saying rank and file members aren't homophobic, but you also concede that these members are loyal to the leadership that is. How does that help your point? I'm sure there are cops who don't agree with every law on the book but still carry out their orders. If we were discussing some decentralised affinity group coalition you might have a point, but this is a dominated and highly uniform organisation we're talking about.

I'm sorry Max, but having read your follow up comment I can only conclude that you didn't actually read the Draft Position because you don't actually say that you did and your praise is simply unfounded.

Quote:
However, I think that the RCP or Avakian's strange "marxist" manner in reaching such a conclusion is very strange indeed. After all, the folly of such a view is the belief that every single issue has to be analyzed through the lens of "marxist analysis" and "class perspective" rather than acknowledging that class and Marxism plays a role in understanding but cannot define or completely understand all social, political, and economic interactions between people. Hence, my dislike for the RCP.

This ^ here is simply taking the RCP at its word. It doesn't actually subject homosexuality to class based analysis. It simply says it does and dresses it up with trite phrases about Bourgeois culture. When talking about pederasty (thus equating the practice with homosexuality) in Athens the DP spends more words describing the age gaps between male sexual partners (or victim and assaulter) then it does about the social divisions, of Athenian society. If you were to apply a class based analysis to homosexuality, all you'd find is that homosexuality is a cross class phenomenon and that societies tended to be more tolerant of those in the higher orders, then amongst the masses, just as they were with every other social taboo and transgression.

Hell the section that's supposed to directly establish the connection between homosexuality and class society Patriarchy, Male Right and Cultural Norms and Attitudes Regarding Homosexuality in Class Society admit that heterosexuality is the norm in class society, and both examples it gives for societies tolerant of homosexuality, Athens, and Tribe in Papua New Guinea (no they don't say which one), involve heterosexual relationships. And yet heterosexuality has never received as much attention or condemnation.

Quote:
And yes, I think the RCP is "worthy of praise," to come from a strange Stalinist view that homosexuality is but a decadent bourgeois perversion to the long winded response that rambles on in the 2001 Draft that "OK's" a multitude of sexuality.

Yes except it doesn't "Okay" anything mcuh. The DP makes it clear that it believes homosexuals are submerged in reactionary baggage, and inadvertently support the oppression of women. It also attacks any form of Queer self organisation separate from the RCP as a form of identity politics. This means that the only "okaying" is for totally committed revolutionary Queers, and the only ones totally committed to the Revolution are those who wish to join the RCP, that's isn't much of an improvement. I've made this point in the text and in my previous reply and you seem to be ignoring it.

You also seem to be ignoring the history of abuse the RCP carried out on its own members. I hope I'm wrong and you just don't see the links, but I find your repeated absence of comment on this rather worrying.

Oh and it adopts a `wait and see` stance on transexuality which is better then some, but not actual agreement. And in the section titled Homosexuality and Socialism and Communism the RCP can't even stop itself from hoping that the possibility of homosexuality dying out.

" What will sexual practices be like in the future and will homosexuality still exist throughout socialism and communism?

Who knows? A clear answer to that question will have to wait for a more complete scientific understanding of all the factors that go into forming a person's sexual orientation, and also for the accumulating experience of socialism to reveal what effects all the radical transformations of traditional social relations and corresponding ideas will have on how people relate to each other, including in terms of sexual attraction, love, the basis for personal and intimate ties, and so on. "

Now this ^ is long winded and vague extract is important. If homosexuality did die out under socialism, then that would mean that yes it was really a symptom of bourgeois decadence all along, so that means that if the RCP is still mulling over this as a possibility then they're still holding to the oldest line, even though the sentences after ward try to give the opposite impression.

Oh and the rest of that section commits the RCP and its "proletarian state" to correct deviant relationships. And apart from opposing rape, the language used is very vague and open to extreme interpretation.

Quote:
That position being, queer or trans or whatever sexuality and whatever identity you subscribe to, feel, believe, want to be, born, or creative, its all good, I do not need a lengthy theoretical breakdown or perspective telling me what to think about other people. Peoples' identity are their own, and more power to them. Identity is about feeling as yourself, comfortable, and safe, not about convincing anyone about the new hip-theory of liberation.

Here's another tip Max, try not to use `whatever` in a sentence on this subject. It doesn't make you seem enlightened, it comes across as if you can't really be bothered and wish to ignore the whole thing.

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Do you think that the RCP's view on homosexuality is their biggest problem

No, and nothing I've said would give that impression, its a problem, and one that responses like yours Max are honestly speaking perpetuating.

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or the manner in which they come to a conclusion on homosexuality or any issue for that matter?

Both actually, I honestly don't see what the point is here. Why must this be a cleanly defined either/or? What's the analytical absolutism?

Marx-Trek
Sep 12 2016 06:57

@Reddebrek

Fair points and admit I stand corrected. Again, I apologize for the manner and in the spirit I wrote.

My position seems to have been lost and I think even ill placed within this thread (though I originally saw a connection). After reading this article and remembering my conversations, in disagreement, with local RCP members and "affiliates" concerning identity politics, sexuality, and sexual orientation, and any and all other social categories of distinction that are politicized, I still remain confused why these socially lived and discussed categories of peoples are always so heightened for criticism within such groups as the RCP and glorified within identity-centric organizations. Simultaneously, from the side of the "identity politics" organizations, I remain equally confused as to why it is that a social identity always seems to become the icon of freedom, as the embodiment of total oppression, and so as if this specific identity were to be liberated then all issues and continuous struggles would suddenly end. It is this theoretical choosing of sides that becomes the issue for me, not which position is more correct (in the spirit of being honest, I obviously think the RCP line on most things and in particular concerning homosexuality is incorrect and I actively tell people not to get involved with the RCP. Believe you me, there is no closeted support for the RCP whatsoever).

I am not intending to distract or to hide the RCP's views, both current and old on homosexuality, but yes I stand corrected and apologize for coming off in such a manner. I described my attitude rather than writing what I wanted to convey. I apologize.

The RCP is flawed based on their very dated view of the world and cult like organizing around the ideas of one man. Again, it was my intention to address what I find troubling in discussing any other social identity, other than class, when making an analysis of class society and class oppression. The RCP and groups like it attempt to draw in class analysis into everything and anything in order to make any sense of their own position. Here I will openly deviate from what I think is your general position on the RCP and contrast it with, I believe that the method the RCP chooses to discuss homosexuality within such a pseudo-marxist and pseudo-scientific (for lack of a words) framework lends itself to some rather questionably stated conclusions on their fellow human beings and their lived social-sexual reality. Also, I think that the RCP's view points and conclusions are as much fucked up as they are imaginative. It only takes a second to counter the RCP's view and pseudo-scientific conclusion by pointing out that a spectrum of sexuality and spectrum of identity have existed within human beings since the dawn of humanity and will continue to exist beyond the fall of capitalism. Yet, in a post-capitalist society many social identities will change and people will begin to live and interact with each other in completely different ways. After having had long long conversations with RCP members specifically on the future of homosexuality in a post-capitalist society the theoretical conclusion is in itself not phobic but rather an attempt to deal with nature vs. nurture.

As for the nature vs. nurture debate concerning sexuality and identity, perhaps looking at contemporary time in the inverse shows both the power and weakness of the nurture side in the debate concerning sexuality and identity. If we both agree that we live in a hetero-normative patriarchal and racist society that heightens wealthy hetero whiteness, then we see how strong such a view is both taught and believed even among homosexuals. Homosexuals who are taught by society they are other, some attempt to not be other, yet ultimately can no longer live the nurtured lie and instead live as they are naturally intended to live (this is positive).

As for what I call the RCP's futuristic imagination concerning sexuality and sexual identity, I have always experienced such discussions concerning sexuality and sexual identity with RCP members as an honest and frank, yet pseudo-marxist/scientific, where they seem to honestly attempt to extrapolate from Avakian's thoughts what a future society would look like and what new communistic identities and orientations would look like. We are in agreement in that the RCP's view of the future is wrong and would probably be disastrous. Nonetheless, I find the binary of RCP and identity politics both equally wrong and right concerning sexuality and sexual orientation.

I will correct myself or attempt to clarify at least, I find that the RCP line of old as homophobic and sterile, I find the new RCP line questionable and suspect, but the long and often strange manner in which RCP has formulated its new conclusion in and of itself is not totally phobic. I will let the RCP stand on its own conclusions and I gladly do not take part or talk that line.

Still, the question that the RCP seems to be grappling with is what impact capitalism has on sexuality and sexual orientation is an interesting question, though like you, I believe that the RCP is not well enough informed to converse on such an issue. Supporters of liberal democracy seem to have a more advanced understanding of sexuality and sexual orientation that the RCP.

Anyhow, the point I attempted to convey was that the RCP attempts to imagine a future and question the sexuality of today in order to understand tomorrow. The many fucked up views lurking in their past and present, as is true with many other socialist/communist/anarchist organizations is not to dismiss but was intended to highlight that many class critical oriented organizations have tended to draw conclusions through a strict and long winded theoretical exercise that has resulted in phobic conclusions, strange conclusions, and often irrelevant conclusions. A mixed approach in criticizing groups is totally valid and we both need not talk at each other over which form of critique is more or less valid, I see formulaic manner in which the RCP comes to its conclusions troubling and that the formulaic manner in which the RCP concludes on homosexuality and sexuality as part of that general problem rather than a singular issue.

Callous, no, I hope not. Impatient, probably, and I apologize. I disagree with the RCP attempting to answer every social injustice question and issue with their Avakian-ist pseudo-marxist and pseudo-scientific ramblings just as much as I am tired of identity-centric organizing that spends its time defining rather than acting. As you said, I accept that this is not your conclusion.

My own position on homosexuality does not line up with the RCP, and yes if this was the only problem that I had with the RCP's political line, it would be enough for me to not join, leave, or not support the RCP as a political party However, I disagree with many aspects of the RCP party line and do not defend them. What I do defend is their ability to change and for the Party to have a different view and not be damned for the view of the 1970s today in 2016.

As stated above, but again I will attempt to clarify again, I will not attempt to defend anything that remains homophobic within the RCP's draft. However, I do see they have changed their position and I do not find the long winded manner in coming to what appears to be an open ended conclusion as alarming as you do, due to the manner in which indoctrinated RCP members behave towards and act in solidarity with the very people the RCP draft discusses. I may be wrong, but I have concluded that their understanding of homosexuality is a mix between nature vs. nurture with a heavy does of nurture, which is a conclusion that I disagree with. Personally, I am not sure whether my own sexuality is a product of nature or nurture, and to be honest, I do not care, and I fight for a future where any one does not have to spend so much time constantly defending their own sexuality or deciding whether they are sexual due to nature or nurture.

Obviously thinking that anyone should be rounded up in camps is flat out wrong and it seems that the RCP has come to its senses as well, as you said it yourself "back when." Are you suggesting that they still retain the same old views and not follow their own new draft?

I was saying that the and have experienced that the RCP has a new strange conclusions that seems to not be phobic but is still problematic, not because of the old views of putting people in camps, but because they attempt to answer the nature vs. nurture debate.

Again, I apologize and believe my posts were more a emotional reaction and ill placed in this thread.

again, I am sorry.

Reddebrek
Sep 12 2016 22:07

I'm sorry Max I feel my initial doubts about you were correct you seem to be constantly talking at me not to me.

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After reading this article and remembering my conversations, in disagreement, with local RCP members and "affiliates" concerning identity politics, sexuality, and sexual orientation, and any and all other social categories of distinction that are politicized, I still remain confused why these socially lived and discussed categories of peoples are always so heightened for criticism within such groups as the RCP and glorified within identity-centric organizations.

Your above comment repeatedly talks about some kind of two way battle between the RCP, and an Identity politics crowd. Why? That's not really what I was talking about, but more importantly that's a false choice. You don't have to stick to either camp, there are parties like the RCP who aren't really homophobic, and their are revolutionary Queers and organisations. Its not even accurate to write off Queer liberation as identity politics. At its beginning when it was at its weakest and political immature there was a real and conscious effort to link the struggle for gay liberation to all other struggles against oppression. All movements have mild reformers, gradualists and the blinkered (how many socialist organisations can you name that outright ignored any worker not in heavy industry?) that doesn't mean they're your only options.

If you don't like identity politics then ignore identity politics groups but are sincere in your interest in learning then go and engage with the groups that are more revolutionary and class conscious.
Unless you believe like the RCP that any attempt by Queer folk to organise themselves is automatically a concession to identity politics this shouldn't be an issue in the long term.

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Again, it was my intention to address what I find troubling in discussing any other social identity, other than class, when making an analysis of class society and class oppression.

Oh, well in that case get over it. This attitude is insulting and absurd, how can you explain oppression without relation to the specifics of that oppression? This is text book workerism in its most insipid form. What your asking me and everyone else to do here is shut up about oppression and abuse,unless it can be made to match your own personal ideology. Your also being disingenuous again, there actually are plenty of class based analysis and organising within queer communities just like there is in all the others. However this analysis and organising couldn't take place without being able to account and deal with the specific and immediate problems facing those communities. Like say a political party that is organising in their are but is also openly hostile to them.

And class is a social identity is it? News to me, but then again I'm not much for identity politics.

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I will let the RCP stand on its own conclusions and I gladly do not take part or talk that line.

But you aren't doing that. Your still making a defence of the RCP, what your saying isn't what the RCP is saying. I've already shown several cases were you and it diverge so what your doing is substituting your own beliefs for theirs. Your not even substantiating any of your claims with the actual source, its either just your views or your views backed up with your impressions of others views based on conversations that aren't detailed and we weren't present for so can't possibly judge your accuracy. I'm not saying your being dishonest but you can't seriously make the claim that your letting the RCP stand on its own while putting words in its mouth.

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Yet, in a post-capitalist society many social identities will change and people will begin to live and interact with each other in completely different ways. After having had long long conversations with RCP members specifically on the future of homosexuality in a post-capitalist society the theoretical conclusion is in itself not phobic but rather an attempt to deal with nature vs. nurture.

Sorry but that isn't how it works, intent (assuming you are correct) does not trump effect. You can believe in social darwinism not because you were a racist but because that was the only book you've read on the subject of anthropology and it impressed you with its authority. And you'd still be pushing a racist agenda. If the RCP speculates that homosexuality may die out in the future but doesn't think so of heterosexuality (it doesn't) and can't explain why there would be a different outcome, then yes that is homophobic. Because its pushing the idea that homosexuality is fundamentally different from heterosexuality. That is actually the Ur cause of homophobia, it is different therefore suspect.

And that's not the only example, it prominently links pederasty with homosexuality, the section on modern homosexuality in the US is full of insulting stereotypes, lesbians are frequently associated with political lesbianism a potentially dangerous thing to do given that the idea that a lesbian is choosing to be one has been the main cause for a whole host of homophobic abuse the worst of which being the practice of "corrective rape". And practically every other time homosexuality is described in the document their is an explicit connection to the oppression of women. All of these things are from the top of my head, and potentially homophobic on their own, but their combination and the absence of any positive counterpoints pushes this far beyond the boundaries of reasonableness.

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As for the nature vs. nurture debate concerning sexuality and identity, perhaps looking at contemporary time in the inverse shows both the power and weakness of the nurture side in the debate concerning sexuality and identity. If we both agree that we live in a hetero-normative patriarchal and racist society that heightens wealthy hetero whiteness, then we see how strong such a view is both taught and believed even among homosexuals. Homosexuals who are taught by society they are other, some attempt to not be other, yet ultimately can no longer live the nurtured lie and instead live as they are naturally intended to live (this is positive).

???? I'm sorry didn't you just say you were uncomfortable discussing any other social identity then class? Because it seems like your doing it now. I mean is a little consistency too much to ask?

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Anyhow, the point I attempted to convey was that the RCP attempts to imagine a future and question the sexuality of today in order to understand tomorrow. The many fucked up views lurking in their past and present, as is true with many other socialist/communist/anarchist organizations is not to dismiss

I'm sorry but I don't believe you, every single comment you've made has been explicitly dismissive, you don't say things like this

"I think that the more general critique of the RCP is always more fitting, rather than getting deep into the weeds of their ideology, or rehashing the old position since a new position has come into existence. "

"The RCP like most older socialist/communist organizations have many fucked up views lurking in their past and present, and to attack such organizations on single issue after single issue is not my preferred way in attacking/debating such organizations."

Without dismissal, at best you don't think this is worth going over because it uses a framework different from your own. But coupled with your repeated attempts to shift the topic and your unsubstantiated comments of praise I'm beginning to suspect another reason is motivating you. Seriously if you weren't trying to be dismissive then what on earth was the point of your commentary? It's not constructive, most of your objections don't really even seem to apply.

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What I do defend is their ability to change and for the Party to have a different view and not be damned for the view of the 1970s today in 2016.

I'm sorry but you're lying here Max, I'm quite explicitly criticising it for its views in 2016, you've made limited attempts to engage me on this basis before so don't start trying to mischaracterise me now. You even attempt a gotcha on me later in this comment based on this! The closest I've come to arguing that they were stuck in the 70's is where I've stated my view that the new line isn't as new as it appears. You can disagree with that all you want, but I made an argument to substantiate my view, which is more then you have done. All you do is claim they've changed but at no point do you demonstrate an example of this change. Hell your even ignorant of their past views, how then can you possibly be capable of making a knowledgeable judgement if that is the case?

Again for the third time you remain silent on the abuse the RCP meted out to its own young members as a direct result of its policies. http://libcom.org/library/out-red-closet-gay-lesbian-experiences-previou...

This is another thing you keep doing and its honestly the most abhorrent thing about your comments. You keep ignoring the RCP's actions to defend a change of wording. I've repeatedly drawn your attention to this and you remain silent. Either you haven't been bothered to read it which is bad because your trying make an argument based on ignorance, or you have read it and are ignoring it because you know you can't defend it.

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Obviously thinking that anyone should be rounded up in camps is flat out wrong and it seems that the RCP has come to its senses as well, as you said it yourself "back when." Are you suggesting that they still retain the same old views and not follow their own new draft?

If your seriously asking this question, then I don't really see the point in continuing this conversation, I don't believe you are being serious since if you were really this confused about what I'm saying I doubt you'd waste so many words.

This is not the first time you've tried to shift the conversation by asking me a question obviously not based on what I've written.

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However, I do see they have changed their position and I do not find the long winded manner in coming to what appears to be an open ended conclusion as alarming as you do,

Well of course you don't.

I hate to break it to you Max but this statement does nothing to convince me that your validation is worth seeking. On the contrary you've shown yourself to be incredibly dismissive and blinkered on this whole subject. On reflection its not surprising that you're putting so much effort into defending the honour of the RCP, which yes is what your doing despite your constant assertions to the contrary. What makes it more blatant is that while none of your claims have much weight the times you cite the RCP have a greater ring of authenticity while your references to the "other side" are vague and hollow. I notice you repeatedly talk about your discussions with RCP members, but you don't once mention discussion these views with a Queer person. .

Have you actually done that Max? Because your talking with one now, and while I haven't subjected anyone to nearly as much time dealing with the RCP as I have to myself, I have discussed bits of it with others, and the reception isn't good.

But I'll be honest I'm sure if you looked hard enough Max you could find a homosexual who does actually support the RCP's line( for all I know you could be queer yourself, though I doubt it given your commentary, you wouldn't be the first time I've encountered such behaviour) . I know for a fact that there was at least one who supported the more explicitly homophobic lines. There was a member of the RCP who was a lesbian, but she believed in the party and its vision so much that she not only repressed her own sexuality but actively took part in the abuse of other gay members to get them to do the same. That is from the red closet

And Tart has given us an example of a similar poor sod in Militant, though he at least only had to reiterate the party line in an official capacity. I assume he was free to be openly homosexual and didn't have to take part in the abuse of other gay members. Well I hope anyway.

Now lest you think me making a concession to identity politics, I don't believe that LGBTQ types automatically have the final say on... well anything really. But it does seem to me to be really poor analysis to form your opinion on this issue without consulting those directly effected. So far from what I've read this is all you supplemented with chats with party members.

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due to the manner in which indoctrinated RCP members behave towards and act in solidarity with the very people the RCP draft discusses.

This is not a response to my point, I addressed that in my previous comment. This is not new and for such a big picture school of criticism fellow you seem wilfully ignorant of the power dynamic here. I asked you what makes this different from any other hierarchical organisation were the views of the leadership don't correspond 100% with the rank and file when that rank and file has already demonstrated its loyalty. Please stop ignoring my points Max, I'm doing you the courtesy of engaging with yours even when I don't think there relevant.

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I was saying that the and have experienced that the RCP has a new strange conclusions that seems to not be phobic but is still problematic, not because of the old views of putting people in camps, but because they attempt to answer the nature vs. nurture debate.

This part is just nonsense, not only is it a mischaracterisation of my argument, it is also a mischaracterisation of your own. This paragraph bears no relation to either of our previous comments. You have not been talking about nature vs nurture, and even if you had all it would mean is that your comments would be completely irrelevant. But assuming this is true and you badly misjudged your previous comments, it doesn't help you Max. All it would do is confirm my belief that your only real objection stems from theoretical orthodoxy. I'm describing a decades old pattern of hostility and abuse if all you've got to say is that the real problem is a faulty methodological framework, then I honestly don't know how to answer that and remain polite.

Marx-Trek
Sep 13 2016 22:51

I think we are talking in circles and you are confusing my position with my critique of the RCP position.

There are only some things from your recent response that I am really interested in addressing where you seem to confuse my position and my critique of the RCP in discussing any other social category as a social subject and conflating it with class and its impact either positive or negative on the working class. The RCP abstracts class as a social subject and attempts to form it within its own theory rather than allow class dynamics and working class lived experience as a social subject inform its theory (lesbians are not fucking each other due to Chapter One of Capital, they are simply attracted to each other and have decided to fuck, at the end of the day fucking may just be fucking).

1. The RCP like most Leninist/Maoist/Stalinist communist organizations tend to view everything their their own similar "marxist" lens where everything must flow through a simplistic dialectical-materialist class analysis that has historically resulted in some absurd conclusions on other social categories of people as social subjects, such as homosexuals. Where class, the working class, the proletariat, or the peasant class for that matter are theoretically abstracted and extracted from the the "real" world, and then such theoretical discussions and conclusions are constructed in a vacuum. As the RCP has done, as you have pointed out in your article. This is what I mean by such organizations only wanting to discuss things through a class-centric point of origin in any discussion. This is the type of theorizing and abstracting of all social categories and social subjects that I do not agree with.

2. On the other hand, discussing the impact of class composition and the impact of capitalist-socialization on all aspects of lived life of any and all social categories or social subjects is something totally different. Class composition and class dynamics effects many aspects of our lives (no real need to go any further regarding the point obviously).

I see the RCP using (1.) a whole lot more than using (2.) and to add to it, the RCP then singularly relies on Avakian's very dated world view.

However, discussing the impact of class composition on sexuality and society's "popular view" on sexual identity and sexual orientation, and then discussing future alternative social-sexual human relationships and interactions is something else, and is an interesting conversation whether it is with RCP members or anyone else for that matter.

After having read the RCP draft and discussing the position with RCP members and "affiliates," I kept asking, "well, is it not a possibility that people are attracted and sexually attracted to people differently regardless of what economic conditions are imposed?"

And so again, I will let the RCP draft and what members have said to me be their own answers and not mine.

Sure, economic conditions impact sexuality, but there is no such thing as rigid "working-class sexuality" or "working-class morality" or "working-class ethics", though it appears that the RCP and organizations like it have been and continue to search for the "working-class" social subject and to define it in order to understand their own "vanguard" subject better (which I disagree with).

To put it simply, I do not agree with your look at their past and just dismiss their current view as bullshit because of their past. Instead, my conclusion is look at their past, that is some bullshit, their current view is strange due to their methodology of getting there and I do not agree with their view on homosexuality or even heterosexuality or any sexuality for that matter because it is abstract and purely a strange theoretical exercise (that's were my nature vs. nurture comes in). Furthermore, the nature vs. nurture and identity politics comes in because that is often where the RCP takes the discussion and their way of thinking of "revolutionary subjectivity," and so again I apologize for jumping into that discussion based on my attitude, assumptions, and emotional response.

And yes, I mostly disagree with their wacky method of coming to the 2001 conclusion on homosexuality, because all it boils down to is the above (1.).

What the RCP does is almost a religious exercise, what would the truly conscious working-class person do sexuality? And in attempting to answer that question, well you will just have to reread the RCP draft to find out. I am not all that interested in their position because it is strange.

And so again, I am not defending the RCP line (I find it strange), but I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not currently actively homophobic or have an secret homophobic agenda, post-2001 because I have yet to see it, and from reading your article it appears that you have yet to discover the post-2001 homophobic smoking gun...

So yes, I find your article addressing the RU and RCP's past homophobia very interesting and quite good, but the post-2001 portion is lacking. I was interested in engaging the post-2001 segment of your article, your current thoughts, and "evidence" of RCP homophobia other than simply saying they are still homophobic.

As you said,

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This particular passage in a vacuum may seem a fairly blunt rebuttal to what’s called identity politics but the majority of the section and the rest of the DP is dedicated to reiterations on these two themes. Same sex couples are just as susceptible to societies ideology (though why this means they seem to exclusively be an obstacle to women’s liberation, rather aiding in all the other oppressions and exploitations of bourgeois society is not explained or even addressed) and that same sex couples don’t on their own represent a rejection of class based society. The last part is true, but that’s true many other things like heterosexual relationships that the RCP either has no problem with (there is no position on heterosexuality in the party’s history) or actively champions.

The repetition of this argument and the layout of the document is designed so that anyone wishing to know about the RCP’s policy on gay members has to read through its self-justification before it gets to the answer. This paper isn’t a product of self-criticism, it’s a compromise and attempt to save face. Any homosexual who attempts to join the party must do so having swallowed the party’s bizarre line that by existing as a homosexual they are probably participating in the oppression of women, and must prove themselves by forgiving the party for writing a bad article in the eighties that it still largely stands by and in general a strict adherence to party doctrines.

The RCP views identity politics, any identity that fights for the single issue of its choosing, as not doing enough and therefore will not truly be able to liberate its "identity" from oppression. Their conclusion is obvious, join the RCP and we can liberate you all, together. I think there are problems with the RCP view on "identity politics" and I see problems from the "identity politics" groups as well.

We could further discuss that perhaps the RCP "other-izes" homosexuality and therefore is homophobic or it does not "other-ize" homosexuality but instead makes long winded and strange conclusions post-2001, or we can just agree to disagree.

This is not a pissing contest but you do not need to remain polite for my benefit.