"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 15, 2010

Identity Captured by the Liberal State

It saddens me that the liberal state has captured most of the elements of society best suited to changing its structure, to striking at its root because they live outside of it. Women, minorities, homosexuals, proletarians - competing for pieces of the identity pie, competing for access to a state whose operators serve the interests of capital, which means exploitation. Which means suffering.

The American liberal state depends upon the destruction of the human ecosystem, in all its manifestations. It has a purpose: the protection of the persons and property of the wealthy, and those who serve them. It will protect social tolerances only so long as it can afford to do so.

When it no longer can, it no longer will.

Full stop.

And where it never has had to, its managers always back repressive regimes. Wash, rinse, repeat: the liberal state can afford to extend a few chairs of power to domestic women, gays, blacks, latinos because its war machine grinds up the bodies of women, gays, blacks, latinos and proletarians outside its borders, using proxy native tyrannies to do so.

Elena Kagan will sit on the Supreme Court because the repressive Saudi Arabia guarantees relatively cheap oil to and for the preservation of the liberal American State which protects its power.

Condie Rice sits on corporate boards, and ran the Secretariat of the State Department, because she helped Chevron/Texaco break the backs and livelihoods of Nigerian women.

John Berry holds office in a state that gives material support to the murderers of homosexuals in Uganda, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia...

...back to finding ways to mitigate this bone crusher of a headache.


"A man whose same-sex 'marriage' has become a symbol of the struggle for gay rights in Africa has vowed to become a martyr rather than give in to homophobia, campaigners say. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and his partner Steven Monjeza are facing a possible 14 years in prison with hard labour after becoming the first gay couple in Malawi to declare their commitment in a public ceremony .

Peter Tatchell, the veteran British gay rights campaigner, has maintained contact with the pair at the maximum security Chichiri prison in Blantyre as they prepare to stand trial next week.

Tatchell told the Guardian he received a defiant message from Chimbalanga that said: 'I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless.'

Tatchell, of the rights group Outrage!, also quoted Monjeza – who is described as thin and weak with jaundiced eyes – as saying: 'We have come a long way and even if our family relatives are not happy, I will never stop loving Tiwonge.'

Chimbalanga, 20, and Monjeza, 26, made history when they committed to marriage at a symbolic ceremony last December – the first same-sex couple to do so in the southern African state, where homosexual acts are illegal.

Two days later, the couple were arrested at their home. Facing taunts and jeers, Chimbalanga, wearing a woman's blouse, and Monjeza appeared in court to answer three charges of unnatural practices between males and gross indecency. They were denied bail, supposedly for their own safety, and have been forced to endure dire conditions in jail.

The couple are due back in court on Tuesday, when magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa will deliver his verdict. Angry residents and relatives from Machinjiri township, on the outskirts of Blantyre, say they will not allow them to return home if they are set free.

'They have given this township a bad name,' said Maikolo Phiri, a local vendor.

Zione Monjeza, an aunt of Monjeza, said: 'We as a family have been terribly embarrassed to be associated with this gay thing. It's a curse and a big shame. We will chase them away if they are freed.'

Nchiteni Monjeza, Monjeza's uncle, said: 'I won't drop a tear if they are jailed – they deserve it.'

But for others, the couple are social revolutionaries in this impoverished, landlocked nation that usually makes headlines only when someone like Madonna flies in..."


Scroll down to the sections entitled "Foreign Relations," "US-Malawian Relations" and "USAID" at the State Department link, here. I cannot copy and paste the relevant text, for some reason.

See also:

Military Police Training in Malawi


US report on the same

h/t Update HuffPo


Ethan said...

Speaking as a pretty-much gay American man, it's frequently amazed me how closed-off the mainstream "gay rights" movement is. Gay marriage is the ultimate achievement, with no thought given to either the fact that marriage (while fine for the individual couple) is in aggregate a part of the liberal power structure, or that without a broader underpinning of respect for humanity marriage rights really don't mean much.

Black people, poor people, transgendered people, flamboyant men, dykey women, anyone whose sexual tastes or self-presentation don't essentially match up in a one-to-one homo analog to standard hetero pairings in the white WASPy middle-to-upper-class world, one or two of these people might be allowed into a group photo from time to time, but their concerns will never be addressed, and will always be pushed off the table when they conflict with the holy grail of acceptance at Starbucks.

Class-based analysis? Don't make me laugh.

Jack Crow said...


At my last position I had several gay employees, male and female. More than anywhere in my working or managerial career, in fact.

[The part of New England where I live (an hour or so north of Boston) doesn't really have a large gay community, so the one gay club has become the unifying community, drawing in pretty much all of the gay people who are comfortable gathering together as homosexuals.]

That dynamic definitely played out amongst them, with the really flamboyant man treated as a pariah, and with him subsequently taking to alcoholic self-medication.

I don't know their motives, but it seemed like his exclusion served as a sign to the straight people that they could "police their own."

I don't have a lot of experience in socially marginalized groups (being of American Indian and sephardic heritage is no bar to inclusion; in fact, quite the opposite, giving recent social trends) - so I'm loathe to draw conclusions.

Do you think it's a matter of weighing out, on whatever number of levels, the benefits of assimilation, versus the cost to be borne by not assimilating?

Is this what underpins most of the capture of marginal groups within the liberal state, since the liberal state is itself assimilationist?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



JM said...

Third parties, however, have also befriended the Saudi elites:


So it's not just a "liberal" thing.

Jack Crow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack Crow said...


I'm not discussing political parties so much as the liberal state itself. Sometimes social and economic conservatives capture the state, sometimes it's political liberals.

But the state itself is still a liberal state, embedded entirely within the traditions of Locke, the Enlightenment, assimilation and the the language of rights.

By comparison, Saudia Arabia, Russia, China and Brazil are not liberal states, regardless of reformist tendencies or parties seeking representation within them.

JM said...

It really would be a liberal state if we actually gave minorities more rights as opposed to simply appointing them, no? Or are we supposed to see these rights as simple priveliges? You also may be surprised at a few groups if you look beyond the HRC too.

Jack Crow said...

The liberal state is not co-identical with only your conception of liberalism, JM.