Saturday, July 14, 2012

THE ROLE OF CAPITALISM IN CREATING HOMOPHOBIA

I'm a disciple of Christ first and foremost!  Actually, I'm very theologically conservative in that I believe in the virgin birth, that Jesus is God incarnate, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (if seen contextually and accurately translated), and in virtually all theological and Christological contentions that conservative theologians support.

Of course, I vehemently disagree with homophobic clergy, be they evangelical or mere haters who seek to frame their hate in the name of "Christianity."  And, it must be acknowledged, that there are many self-defined and self-deluded evangelical Christians who speak from the hateful preconceived prejudices that exist in their hearts!

However, secondarily, I am also a Marxist, save for his dismissal of God.  As much of organized religion does serve as "the opiate of the masses," and that many people create God in their own image, Marx was unfortunately correct.  He was dead wrong, however,  when he proffered that there is no God and that God is a mere fiction created by the gullible.

However, I don't want to deal with this particular issue here, but I do want to deal with the role of Capitalism that Marx correctly said "contains the seeds of its own destruction."  Some of those seeds can be seen by the fact that capitalism requires many workers to live lives of exploitation, and that exploitation has as one of its results the need for affirmation that often comes by creating one or more out-groups, constructed enemies, so that one can feel better about him/herself and feel morally superior, as well as cement in-group solidarity that hate can bring to those who are exploited.

Wealthy people can, of course, be homophobic, but that homophobia may in great part be used to influence the exploited workers to cast as the enemy groups other than those who are, in fact, exploiting them.  Workers are needed in order for capitalists to be successful, so they must be lulled into believing that they have a stake in capital property, as well as a stake in the values of the capitalists, the power elite; what better way of deflecting workers' animus against capitalists who are exploiting them than to manipulate the media, monopolize the media, to get many Straight people to think that Gay people are somehow a threat to the well-being of children, families, "our American way of life," and religion?

The capitalists, the owners of the means of production and the media, have a vested interest in having workers fighting against each other rather than direct their resentment where it should belong.  Outsourcing, diminishing of workers' salaries in proportion to the economic gains of the corporate elite must be subordinated in workers' psyches by encouraging a war of all against all, be it against Gay people, Jews, African Americans, immigrants, women, etc.

This is not to say that homophobia doesn't occur in the absence of capitalism!  It is to say that in developed countries such as in the U.S., where survival of the fittest, the hallmark of Social Darwinism without which it is impossible to understand much of the values and fabric of the U.S., and in the ideology of many workers who have no vested interest in believing this sociopathic axiom, an axiom that can be heard on a daily basis on most of talk radio, leads to the seeking out of scapegoats against whom to vent their frustrations borne of their own economic oppression.

Marx called this phenomenon, "false consciousness," where people act against their own best interests because they are misdirected by the media and other institutions ruled by the capitalists.  Homophobia is one such manifestation of false consciousness!

Let's face it, why would anyone care if two adult people of the same sex love each other?  Why would there be people making a veritable career out of condemning Gay people unless there was money to be made by doing so, and/or unless they were fearful of being Gay themselves?  Why would most churches have such animus against Gay people unless they were acting as agents of the power elite and/or were comprised of clergy many of whom are self-loathing Gay people?

When there is relative scarcity of goods and services that capitalism demands for the owners of the means of production to maximize their profits, workers become frustrated and angry, and they find all sorts of "enemies," whom they define as such, against which to direct their anger so that they can remain safer than they would if they directed their frustration against those creating their exploitation; direct their anger against groups that they feel are safe to persecute and lie about.

Now, the major scapegoats that serve to assuage the frustrations and consequent aggression of the exploited are LGBT people!

Carl Jung once said that only the tortured are torturers!  And one doesn't have to be a Marxist to understand this truth!






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5 comments:

genevieve said...

I love this post, Jerry. I'm very similar in my theology. I have taken to task those who say LGBT people are a threat to traditional marriage, the economy, that we are mentally ill.

Countries like Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Italy have seen how they have been exploited and are taking it to the streets. This need to happen in America.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, genevieve! Best wishes, Jerry.

"STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

It is absolutely true that homophobia exists in the absence of capitalism. The Communists were incredibly homophobic; early Gay convert Bayard Rustin (one of Dr. ML King's most important allies) learned the hard way. Mariela Castro's intervention in Cuba notwithstanding, I don't think they've changed much.

It would be most convenient if hetero-supremacy were tied to one ideology or other. Then by targeting that ideology, we could kill two birds with one stone; but alas, Satan is too clever! He makes sure that bigotry will attract ignorant people regardless of their political affiliation.

Jerry Maneker said...

Your point is very well taken, Stuffed Animal, but my position is that oppression and exploitation yields the need for scapegoats, the current one being LGBT people. Since I was dealing with the U.S., I used Capitalism as the culprit, but if we were in Uganda or Jamaica, another source of exploitation and oppression would have been the culprits. Clearly, happy and intact people have no need to condemn and oppress others. Best wishes, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

QUICK!!! Turn on MSNBC now!!! Pam Spaulding is being interviewed on last week’s "LGBTQ vote" !!!

Spaulding says she is one of a "handful" of black LGBT who are willing to be publicly out!!! She is a brave warrior goddess and a vision of love!!!