Homosexuality and capitalism: past and present

November 2023 Forums General discussion Homosexuality and capitalism: past and present

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    With the plight of homosexuals in Russia reaching an all time low, (so much for the freedoms and liberty of capitalism) I watched with interest a report by actor Simon Callow about Alan Turing, on the BBC2 program, Daily Politics, this afternoon.

    A brief bit of background info' may be helpful.

    Alan Turing was a mathematician, logistician and computer scientist. His work for the British Government during World War II was instrumental in leading to the breaking of many German codes (including the Enigma Code) with the "bombe", electromechanical deciphering machine. 

    In 1952, Turing was prosecuted for his homosexuality and opted for "chemical castration" rather than a prison sentence. He died in 1954, generally accepted as a result of suicide.

    In 2009, as a result of a public campaign, the then PM Gordon Brown, gave an official apology. Since then there has been a private members bill seeking a full pardon.

    On the Daily Politics show, Simon Callow put forward the idea that Alan Turing need not receive special attention for the criminalisation of his sexuality, rightly putting forward the idea that all those found guilty of being homosexual should be pardoned. What I found rather odd, was the suggestion he be given an honourary knighthood, presumably for his code breaking work during the war, and going somewhere to making up for his later treatment. Am I alone in thinking it a little perverse to retrospectively pardon and honour a man who contributed enormously to the British, World War II effort (socialist stance aside for now) and the development of computing, by absorbing him into the very establishment that persecuted him and probably led to his suicide in the first place?  

    I do not mean to overly criticise Simon Callow, fine actor as he is, but he is obviously stuck firmly in the honours tradition (himself having a CBE) that rewards and claims ownership of people who tow the establishment line.

    Back to Russia. Persecution of homosexuality, is nothing new, but I was wondering if the current fixation in Russia has anything to do with remnants of the old state capitalist idea that it was a bourgeois pass time? Throw in a little religion, financial insecurity and "hey presto"! A perfect recipe for, "Scapegoat Soup".   

    steve colborn

    What a cracking post. Any homosexual haters will have a hard time justifying their bigotry as will supporters of Capitalism, in trying to justify the two-faced, double standard nature, of this obscene excuse for a civilised society. Steve Colborn.


    Here’s a map showing countries by the year that they legalized homosexuality. With that I don’t think it can reasonably be argued that the development of capitalism is the development of sexual persecution. Click on the image to make it bigger.


    Capitalism is forever re-inventing the past by imposing more recent ideology on it. I find the idea that any particular type of perceived transgressor from the past should be posthumously 'pardoned' or honoured by a capitalist state as daft. Does it mean that society as a whole is more civilised? Not from our standpoint. It's still being done by a capitalist state to make some kind of statement for itself and, to my mind, is neither here nor there for socialists.Would a socialist society posthumously pardon past criminals?

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