Saturday, 9 May 2009

Carnival of Socialism



When I agreed to Phil’s request to do this Carnival of Socialism , I thought, “What on Earth shall I put into it?” My first thought was to just do a roundup of current blogs, but I thought that would be a bit tedious for me to write and for you to read. So I thought, instead, it would be better to pick a theme, and then see what various bloggers had to say on it. Question what theme? In a recent discussion with a regular contributor to my blog, I found the answer – Sex!

For some reason the Left seems always to have had a problem with sex in recent decades, a problem that earlier socialists and feminists, certainly don’t seem to have suffered from. Its probably, a bit like racism. Afraid of saying the wrong thing or being accused of being racist, people on the Left have often shied away from the necessary discussion of important issues. Similarly, afraid of being called sexist, or having impure thoughts, their seems to have been a similar tendency in regards sex, and even as my contributor demonstrated a retreat into Victorian moralism.

The dilemma was illustrated to me 25 years ago when I was a Stoke City Councillor. One of the Committees I sat on was called the “Law and Parliamentary Committee”, which had responsibility amongst other things, for licensing the sex shops that were just beginning to be set up. I have to say that some of the most illuminating information I had come across in relation to sex was provided to me at that time, by a succession of Church groups who bombarded me with mail including photocopies of all sorts of adverts for dildos and vibrators from the aforementioned shops, in an attempt to mobilise the good Christian people of the area to oppose such a den of iniquity in their midst.



In fact, compared to the sex education Phil says he got at school, the information we received at school was non-existent. The only thing I remember was for some reason the Music Teacher showed us some films about fish, we didn’t even get to see rabbits shagging. Its, perhaps amazing, that I can’t remember any of the girls at the school getting pregnant, but then it wasn’t as though even without the officially sanctioned education we were completely ignorant. I remember learning all you needed to know from a friend of mine when we were about 13. Going round to his house during one school summer holidays he was explaining why he was in some discomfort from the teeth marks one of the girls in the class had left in his dick. A female maths teacher in the school was also a bit of a ‘biker chick’, and delighted in telling the class in a very suggestive voice that her favourite bird was the Shag. I seem to recall she had to leave.

Anyway, when the vote came for licensing the sex shop I found no reason to vote against it. As far, as I was concerned if women found anything they were selling offensive, or exploitative they could picket the shop, and I’d support the picket, but apart from that I saw no reason why I should censor other people’s sexual behaviour.

That was fine until some time later on another committee there was a proposal to subsidise the holding of the Miss Stoke on Trent Contest. As far as I was concerned, opposing censorship by the State was one thing, but actually giving support to an event that specifically portrayed women as sexual objects to be leered at by a bunch of old men, was completely different. I voted against it, and almost immediately, started getting anonymous and threatening phone calls, my wife even got a load of hassle at work. Part of the reason given for the huge opposition that arose was the excuse that the event raised a lot of money that was given to local charities. That was a load of bunk, but even if it wasn’t it wouldn’t have been a justification.

Of course, what it did lead to was a load of Puritanical Right-Wing Labour Councillors attacking me on the basis of voting against a beauty contest, whilst not opposing the licensing of a sex shop. That I think sums up the dilemma I mentioned at the beginning. On the one hand we oppose sexual as much as any other kind of exploitation, but we are not Puritans, nor Moralists, and our job is not to dictate to people what kind of sexual behaviour is acceptable, and what is not.

So, I thought this was a good opportunity to see what various Left bloggers have to say about Sex in the hope that it might open up the discussion. After all according to some survey I saw a while ago people on the left are supposed to make the best lovers because of our tendency to be more open to new ideas, and generally more adventurous attitudes. And who am I to disagree with that?

Running a search on “sex”, on Phil’s blog I found quite a good selection of posts ranging from a fairly recent blog dealing with the question of Paedophilia as viewed through the always interesting prism of Louis Theroux, to Phil’s terrible attempts to tell us that he only went in to Ann Summers to buy a Birthday Card!!!!!

Phil

For those who prefer their sex not straight a similar search at Afemanistview provides a wealth of information, including quite a good set of reviews of the recent TV series, “Sex Education Show v Pornography”.

Another example of the dilemma, and self-censorship I was talking about above is given by Action Without Theory , who talking about a meeting at Manchester University, asks,

“I was wondering whether we live in a climate where organising for a man to speak to students about sex would be considered inappropriate.”

There is an interesting post about male and female prostitution Air Pollution at Air Pollution’s blog.

Over at Anglonoelnatter there is a discussion of the supposed moral breakdown that we are supposed to be experiencing.




Always willing to give a plug to those who bash the Daily Mail, this selection from the Angry Mob looks at a number of Mail stories and its campaign for moral rectitude.

On the theme of censorship Benjamin Solah has a number of good pieces starting with a look at Amazon’s decision to withdraw a number of books from sales ranks, search listings and the store’s bestseller lists, including some LGBT books, which it classified as “adult”. He has quite a number of other interesting posts dealing with various forms of sexism, and sex and religion.

Bent Society had quite a few good posts, including this one on advertising and prostitution.

A roundup of news stories affecting trans people is given over at Bird of Paradox , while Blood and Treasure I think strikes a correct note in a story about Kink.com being given a subsidy by California, when he comments,

“The actual scandal here is that subsidies went to a company which should be able to turn a perfectly good profit without state aid, while being required to meet payrolls and tax bills. Union recognition should be required too.”

Bob Piper has quite a lot of short comments dealing with the question of hypocrisy by mainstream politicians when it comes to matters of getting caught with their trousers down.

An interesting discussion about the term “sexy” is given by Capitalismbad . Additionally, there are some good posts about the question of rape. Othering Rapists .

“(This in turn feeds into a meme where straight sex is a necessary social glue - an "investment" in the future of society, as it were - whereas gay sex is seen as a purely "consumption commodity", a frivolous luxury. The Protestant work ethic has much more in common with the Protestant sex ethic than we might have thought.)”

Comments, Chaos Marxism in a post titled, “Mistargeting”.

Chicken Yoghurt has a spread of topics covering every part of the body politic.

In a post entitled “Fucking With Kant”, I’m assuming this could be some kind of pun, Considerphlebas gives a penetrating philosophical discourse on intercourse.
Coventry Green Voice have some good posts dealing with sexual health, as well as questions relating to prostitution. There is also a good little short post about Tory hypocrisy over lap dancing.



Cruella-Blog also has a wide range of posts dealing with many aspects of sex, especially the way it is dealt with in the media.

Culture Sluts has a post based on a post from stroppyblog about what the left get up to in bed. As they say, and as part of the reason for choosing this topic, “So what does this tell us? Firstly that lefties, who tend to have a theory on pretty much everything, have no unified approach to sex. In my experience most left-wing bloggers, who are generally male, tend to avoid or fudge the subject. It does however come up quite regularly on Splintered Sunrise and A Very Public Sociologist, and Madam Miaow can be also very funny when she deals with the subject.”

I’m not sure that I agree with the statement “The survey also tells us that a lot of people- presumably men, as they are primary users of porn- are hypocrites, in that they use porn even though they think it degrades women.”, because there seems to be a lot of evidence that women use porn quite a lot too. For example, Cambridge Women’s Porn Co-op .

The Daily Quail has a number of humorous posts, including one that has discovered a survey that found pornography is rude, and another story about Homosexual Ducks in a Polish Zoo.

daisydeadair has a number of interesting posts, including one asking the question Can Comics Be Pornography to which with a picture of Homer Simpson attached to it, you are almost bound to say no.

Dave Ostler over at Dave’s Part has a good selection, in particular his post Capitalism and the Commoditisation of Heterosexuality which he begins with,

“BACK when I used to frequent strip joints,”

Just, to put my own oar in on the discussion on this topic. A few years ago, I used to do some training at my Kung Fu club with a woman who was a Lap Dancer. I have to say that she was far from the image of someone who was oppressed or exploited. She was extremely confident at both a personal level, and when it came to sparring. She was intelligent, and saw her job as being just that a job like any other, except as she said, she was very well paid for the hours she put in, and for her, the martial arts training was just part of an overall fitness regime she saw as being part of the training she needed to do her job professionally.

Directionless Bones has a number of posts on Sexual Political Philosophy, and on Sexual Politics .

This story caught my eye.

“I find this story utterly baffling. A man has "sex" with a bicycle, ok so far, so normal, though I quibble over the phrasing (was the bicycle a willing partner? courted with flowers and candlelit meals? roughly seduced?). Anyway he does this in the privacy of his locked hotel room, then a pair of nosey-parkers use a masterkey to force their way into his room, catch him in flagrante delicto, then "extremely shocked" inform the hotel manager, who in turn informs the police.”

Given by Dolphinarium . But, this story covered a lot of the ground here

If you want a comprehensive round-up of the treatment of sex by the tabloids then Enemies of Reason have a wide selection.

Charlie Mc Menamin has a bit of a chuckle at the way the credit crunch is affecting bankers sex lives.

I found that Fat man on a Keyboard has some very posts looking at sex and hypocrisy.

Over at Feminist SF there are a number of posts that include discussion of sex within Sci-Fi.

Feministing had a range of posts, including one providing “Agony Aunt” advice.

Fetch Me My Axe had probably more material on the subject than most, and some of it quite funny.

I’ve noticed many blogs concentrating on what the media have to say, and 5 Chinese Crackers again looks at hypocrisy in the treatment of sex by the papers.
Generation Y has a number of posts on sex and sexuality with a Latin twist.

Issues such as Sikhism and Homosexuality, and Sex Before Marriage, are just a few of the topics covered by get There Stepping .

In The Unkindest Cut Grimmer Up North looks at Genital Mutilation and “The perfect Vagina”.

I had to quote this from HarpyMarx because I had the misfortune to see this Jeremy Kyle bloke on a TV in the gym the other week, and was intending to write something similar.

Homo Ludens has some great posts on pornography.


Ian Bone has a blog about “Anarchist Speed Dating”!

Confirming, that I was not making it up in an earlier statement, Identity Check has a number of relevant posts including this one on why “Anarchists Make Better Lovers”. No doubt, however, this will provoke a debate on whether it is actually Anarchists or Marxists who are better, and whether this has to be considered within some kind of structural context. So, which is better Anarchist love-making or Marxist Love making …. There’s only one way to find out. To paraphrase Harry Hill.

There is a series of great posts on the question of legalising prostitution amongst other things at Infantile and Disorderly .

If you’re more into the mechanics than driving the car, Rough Trade has a couple of posts on human fertilisation and embryology.

For a fascinating view transgender transformation, including swimming in Stoke, visit Jenny v The World .

Tom P at Labour and Capital has a short post about a survey on people’s fears about the risk to children from paedophiles. He’s right that the stats actually mean people think the risk to kids was greater 20 years ago than ten years ago, though still less than today. I think it probably says more about people’s understanding of statistics than it does their attitudes to paedophilia.

As we approach Hay Fever season, Lay Science has some welcome news in research that suggests that the solution to nasal congestion could be masturbation!!!

Life is a Question has a number of posts on gender as well as another about a woman who was desperate for here son with Dwns Syndrome to lose his virginity.

If you have the time to read it all there is also Louis Proyect’s review of “The Homosexual in Society”.

Madam Miaow gives us a taste of her own flair for literary erotica, as well as an obituary for Betty Paige.



There are some excellent posts on the question of abstinence and chastity, and the attendant religious bigotry and hypocrisy over at Ministry of Truth

Musin and Confusin has some great posts on sex workers rights, and one about young men’s expectations suffering from watching too much porn. Time was that when you looked forward to your Sunday roast it came with Yorkshire Pud.

There are a number of posts on sex and sexuality, particularly in respect of Muslim societies in a series of posts by Not Of A Free Thinker .

Obsolete was not alone in having a post about the recent case of the teenage dad, and the issues that stand behind it.

Penny Red has a range of posts. I was going to say “including”, and pick out a couple of the best, but there is such a range that my advice is just “Go read em”.

As Republic of Teesside says, “Brace Yourselves, It’s a blog about Girls Aloud”!

A selection of more good posts over at Pink Scare.

Plattitude has a couple of good blogs for example, one on cyber sex, and another entitled “Polygamy, Oral Sex, and the Imam”.

I was glad to find a number of posts on sex here Postman Patel , because I just love that name, and would otherwise have had to have made some up just to include it.

Progressive Gold had this about old naughty cartoons.

Rachel From North London had some good posts, and I was particularly taken by two posts –you should check out – “Won't somebody please think of the perverts?” and “Poledancing slatterns and media tarts”

There are some good posts from an internationalist perspective, particularly looking at attitudes to porn, and roundups of the legal position in a number of European countries at Radical left
If you want a psycho-therapists view then this piece by Ragged Trousered Philanthropist should fit the bill.

Red Star Coven has this blog on the response to the Tarrantino film, “Death Proof”.
Skip the first two posts in this selection from Ryan McReynolds , and you get to some interesting posts on Nazis having sex with animals, and a blog about Andrea Dworkin amongst others.

Second Life left Unity has a discussion on the attitude to Pornography amongst other issues relating to sex. In addition to this post another view is given in This Post
Serge’s Fist has some great posts on Sex and the Revolution.

There should be a new Commandment instructing “Thou Shalt Have Sex”, says, Shavings Off My Mind.
Shiraz Socialist has this thoughtful, and in my view pretty much correct view on Lap Dancing.

There were a number of posts at Splintered Sunrise such as this one on the Sex Education Show.

Fancy a bit of Literary Sex? Try State Street .

The Cedar Lounge Revolution has this interesting review of Tristan Hunt’s new autobiography of Engels. For those who seek to turn Marx and Engels into some kind of automatons this quote is a useful remedy.

“It is absolutely essential that you get out of boring Brussels for once and come to Paris, and I for my part have a great desire to go carousing with you,” Friedrich Engels wrote to Karl Marx in 1846. “If I had an income of 5000 francs I would do nothing but work and amuse myself with women until I went to pieces. If there were no Frenchwomen, life wouldn’t be worth living. But so long as there are grisettes [prostitutes], well and good!””

The last Resort has this post on raising Trans Gender awareness.

You should definitely check out Un-Cooler Than Thou .

For a more Trade Union orientated view also look at Union Futures .

Unknown Conscience has a post on Polyamory.

Vulgar Marxism has a number of posts about beauty pageants.

Phew, that’s about it. I need to lie down now. If I missed you out its probably because you had nothing much to say about sex. If you did, and I missed it, I blame the search engine. You can still post a comment, and a link here.

The Next Carnival is over at The Third Estate .

13 comments:

SnowdropExplodes said...

Thanks for the link!

Just one query though: why are there no pictures of sexy men in the blog? Every image you've used to illustrate the theme of "sex" is a picture of a woman. Since you've linked "Uncooler than thou" I trust that you're aware of the "Fit Bloke Friday" over there, and I should think my own male lust-objects post could have been found, even if you had no ideas of your own on who might qualify as male eyecandy. On a progressive socialist blog I would have hoped for something to break the old narrative of "women are to be looked at; (het)men do the looking."

Arthur Bough said...

Snowdrop,

Thanks for commenting. Actually, the pictures were not intended for that purpose. The first four pictures were simply what came up as a block when I Googled "Rio Carnival". They were intended to convey the idea of Carnival. The last picture was taken directly from Madame Miaow's blog, and intended to simply illustrate the story linked to as she had pictures.

But, I take your point. For compensation, anyway, there is a picture of my fit body in the sidebar (lol).

A Very Public Sociologist said...

Excellent stuff, Arthur. We haven't had a sexy carnival for quite some time!

Bob said...

I best this post increases your visitor rate exponentially comrade!

Madam Miaow said...

Thanks for the mention, Boffy. I wondered who it was searching for "sex" on my blog!

Benjamin Solah said...

Nice collection of links. It's interesting seeing how many of my posts mention the word 'sex' in it.

But like Snowdrop, I found the pictures sexist, especially the last one. I would've though objectification of woman was not the domain of a socialist carnival.

BCFG said...

Boffy,

You argued against Miss Stoke on Trent but see no problem with licensing sex shops and old men leering at women in lap dancing clubs. You call this a dilema, I would call it gross hypocrisy. Lap dancers maybe confident women but then so may women entering beauty contests.
Why do you see fit to censor this type of sexual behaviour but not others? What kind of democracy is it when you and a few others get to decide such issues?

Arthur Bough said...

BCFG,

Once again you fail to read carefully, before rushing to judgment and to print. I DID NOT say that I censored the Beauty Contest. That would have meant me opposing it being held, refusing use of the facilities etc.

I did not do that, I simply refused to SUPPORT it, to provide any financial inducement for it. I did, however, say at the Council meeting, just as I have said above about supporting women were they to organise a picket of a sex shop, that I would have welcomed women picketing the contest, and would have given them my full support if they did.

That is the difference between a Marxist who believes in the self-activity of the working class, and oppressed compared to the statists who look to the bourgeois state for solutions.

BCFG said...

Boffy,

This response is typical of your Derren Brown like misdirection.

You moralise about beauty contests being events where women are sexually objectified to be leered at by “old” men, not just men but old men. You then portray a lap dancer as an athletic, fulfilled member of society, clearly inferring that lap dancing is acceptable. The hypocrisy is blatant.

To make things worse, I have the gall to critique lap dancing (not any call to ban it) and you and your sect call me a reactionary Islamist –typical of your sect’s hysterical anti-Islamism incidentally.

Arthur Bough said...

BCFG,

From your very first post your political method has been characterised by attempts to misrepresent what I have said, and even by just simply making up statements and political positions that I do not hold in order to attack them. Your initial post here simply continued in that vein. The basis of your argument was that I had acted to censor, to impose a local state ban on the holding of a beauty contest. Yet, again this accusation that formed the basis of your argument was as far removed from the truth as pretty much all the other statements and accusations you have levelled against me in previous months. A simple reading of what I said, SHOWS, that your accusation was false.

But, rather than accept that your accusation was false, and again typical of your dishonest political method, you instead seek to muddy the waters once again by changing the tack of your argument. Yet, you have the nerve of then accusing me of misdirection!!!!

But, even your attempt to then muddy the waters by changing the basis of your argument fails. You say,

”You moralise about beauty contests being events where women are sexually objectified to be leered at by “old” men, not just men but old men. You then portray a lap dancer as an athletic, fulfilled member of society, clearly inferring that lap dancing is acceptable. The hypocrisy is blatant.”My objection to a beauty contest was not at all based on any moral objection, but on the fact that by simply being about looking at women’s bodies it simply objectifies women as sex objects. The difference between you and me is that as your previous posts have demonstrated, you seek to demonise women who engage in such activities, and in the sex industry, on the basis of your own Victorian moral outlook. To the extent that women engage in beauty pageants, because they feel some pride in their appearance, physique etc. I see absolutely no grounds for criticising them, anymore than I would criticise a man or woman for entering a body building competition.

Nor, for the same reason would I seek to demonise women who become lap dancers, or even prostitutes in the way you seek to do. Your attempt to construct a contrast fails, precisely because I see no need to give my support to the establishment or running of a lap-dancing club than I did to support the holding of a beauty contest! On the contrary, my position is consistent precisely because, whilst not giving such support, I refuse to engage in the moral censure, and demonising of women that is the the fundamental aspect of your reactionary politics. I see no reason to demonise a woman who takes up employment as a lap dancer any more than a woman who takes up employment as a ballerina. And I am sure that there are those who go to watch the latter as much to ogle the bodies as to watch the dancing too.

The argument put by Shiraz Socialist is I think absolutely correct when they state,

“Firstly, it simply is not the case that there aren’t people who freely choose to work as lap dancers. It isn’t most people’s first choice of career, and indeed most of the people I know of who did, or do, it, did so in order to earn money to supplement something else – in several cases to get extra money whilst studying for a degree. Now, virtually nobody does any job through entirely free choice (I certainly don’t): we work for money to buy food, pay the rent/mortgage, educate the kids, save for a holiday or whatever else. People “with drug problems or mental health issues” are no exception to that rule, having also obviously to buy things in order to get through the year. Also, lap dancing is, for obvious reasons, not the last-ditch desperation method of earning money that, say, street prostitution is. There is then a question over choice here – and also indeed over how uniquely desperate are the situations suffered by people who become lap dancers – and also whether all of them went into the trade of a desperation any greater than that felt by people going into any other crap job.

It’s obviously the case that the UK is full of workplaces which exploit low-paid workers, and female ones in particular. Tube cleaners don’t exactly do a job which is secure and fulfilling, neither do supermarket shelf-stackers, call centre operatives, meat packers or countless thousands of others. These all have issues of bullying, workplace stress, low pay, boredom, and many other things which many of us see every day on the downside of employment relations. In that sense, lap dancing clubs really aren’t so galactically far removed from many other workplaces in the UK.

I think actually that Stavonina de Montagnac is relying to some extent on the “yuck factor” which afflicts many people when discussing the sex industry. People instinctively recoil at the sight of lap dancing clubs because they sell sex, which is somehow seen as a much more taboo commodity than cars, beer, or lawn mowers. There is no reason for this to be the case in law, and I fail to see how it would really help the more vulnerable people working in that field for the provisions contained in Jacqui Smith’s policing and crime bill (which would re-classify the clubs as “sex encounter establishments” and give councils the power to close them if they are near schools etc) to come into force. People who have serious issues will have them whether they continue to be employed as lap dancers or not – the only difference is that they will now be an unemployed person with issues. Stavonina de Montgnac was evidently fortunate enough to be able to fall back on (err) being a professional writer, however most people do not have a graduate education an alternative career option available. They need rights as work where they are. That requires lap dancing clubs to be seen in an economic rather than a moralistic context, and to be the focus of unionising drives, just like those cleaners I mentioned earlier.”
It is correct, because it sees things in class terms, and sees the solution as arising through the normal means by which issues of class oppression is resolved for a Marxist – by class struggle, through unionisation etc.

That stands in stark contrast to your moralising tone, and your willingness yet again to resort to authoritarian measures by the Capitalist State as your preferred solution, just as in the past you have looked to that state to impose bans on free movement, free speech etc, just as you look to various authoritarian and reactionary regimes rather than the working class to provide political solutions, including your support for anti-working class, reactionary figures such as Ahmedinejad. Your position is consistent, but it is consistently reactionary and authoritarian.

That came out in your chauvinistic attitude to women and to sex and sexuality, most graphically demonstrated by your demand to Llin Davies, to “shut up”, for having the temerity to challenge you.

You then come up with yet another fantastic fabrication when you state,

”To make things worse, I have the gall to critique lap dancing (not any call to ban it) and you and your sect call me a reactionary Islamist –typical of your sect’s hysterical anti-Islamism incidentally.”Of course, typical of your political dishonesty you do not specify WHICH sect it is that you are accusing me of belonging to here. Perhaps, you could enlighten us on that matter, but I doubt it, because on every previous occasion when you have been asked to provide evidence for your accusations, you have failed to do so!

BCFG said...

More rewriting of the facts and you constantly slag off the Stalinist left!

I told Llin to shut up because she said she didn’t want to get into a debate with a “reactionary moron”, so I replied that in that case she should have kept her mouth shut. How this becomes chauvinistic is a secret only your sect could explain. To top it all you twist Llin’s refusal to debate as my inability to take criticism. (I would stop replying to your articles if that were the case). This is why I call you a sect, you defend each other when you are blatantly wrong and use the same arguments, in this case male chauvinism, a connection which only demented cultists could have made.
Your hysterical anti-Islamism is another example of your sects character, I make a critique of a society that objectifies women and you claim I am criticising women, fair enough some may say, but then you and your sect extend this to become Islamism, as if every critique of society that involves women has to be connected to Islam.

You said,

“The difference between you and me is that as your previous posts have demonstrated, you seek to demonise women who engage in such activities, and in the sex industry, on the basis of your own Victorian moral outlook.”

Men can be prostitutes too, so I would say your argument here is flawed somewhat.
Anyway, I was attempting to demonise society, not women. If I say racism is bad do I demonise the human race, if I say child trafficking is bad do I demonise men etc etc etc.
As for a Victorian moral outlook, I don’t see the connection. I am not homophobic, I don’t see marriage as being important, sex is great so long as it isn’t built on exploitation and it certainly is not beyond criticism.

You said,

“To the extent that women engage in beauty pageants, because they feel some pride in their appearance, physique etc. I see absolutely no grounds for criticising them, anymore than I would criticise a man or woman for entering a body building competition.”

To feel pride in their appearance etc presupposes an audience to show that pride off to, an audience you moralistically describe as leering old men. To see nothing wrong with this pride you have to accept the “leering”.

You said,

“I see no reason to demonise a woman who takes up employment as a lap dancer any more than a woman who takes up employment as a ballerina.”

It’s got nothing to do with demonising anyone but looking at humans in society. If you can’t make distinctions between ballerina or lap dancers, how can you make any distinctions, e.g. prostitutes as opposed to nurses or workers as opposed to slaves or bourgeois as opposed to proletariat? It is interesting that Shiraz compares Lap dancers to cleaners but not to Nurses or Teachers. He places Lap dancing firmly in the bottom range of professions; he therefore takes a moral view on the profession and professions in general but he must be from your sect as you claim to agree with his position absolutely!!

You said,

“That stands in stark contrast to your moralising tone, and your willingness yet again to resort to authoritarian measures by the Capitalist State as your preferred solution, just as in the past you have looked to that state to impose bans on free movement, free speech”

You dishonest tosser. I have never said anywhere that I think the capitalist state should ban anything. I only suggest that in a socialist society Lap dancing and prostitution may see a decline, just as I would expect socialism to be less violent than capitalism. However, are you saying nothing will be banned under socialism? If not, how will these decisions be made, if so would anarchy not ensue?

On morality or to put it more accurately your uber anti-morality, why did Marx say “Philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it.” Because he recognises that without a wish to bring morality into the subject then the whole thing becomes pointless, a meaningless academic exercise.

At the moment I do not have a name for your sect, maybe the “I would be happy for my children to become prostitutes because women should not be demonised and people are not property” sect or the “Statist left are to blame for everything” sect or how about the “Let workers take over capitalist firms, operate in capitalist markets but oppose worker participation in the capitalist state” sect.

Arthur Bough said...

“I told Llin to shut up because she said she didn’t want to get into a debate with a “reactionary moron”, so I replied that in that case she should have kept her mouth shut.”

Precisely, she criticised your position, and you told her to shut up! The reason she said she saw no point in debating with you, was precisely because of your dishonest method of debate.

“How this becomes chauvinistic is a secret only your sect could explain.”

I would have thought, especially given all of your previous comments demonising women who work as lap dancers or prostitutes, your puritanical ideas in relation to pornography etc. that it was fairly obvious as to why then telling a woman to “shut up” demonstrates your chauvinistic politics. Were that not enough your failure to show any kind of concern for women or gays suffering at your friends such as Ahmedinejad and Hamas, your comment that such concern was something that was only of concern to the Left in the West, is not only confirmation of your chauvinism, but also demonstrates how it links in with your general political position of subservience to political Islam.

“To top it all you twist Llin’s refusal to debate as my inability to take criticism. (I would stop replying to your articles if that were the case). This is why I call you a sect, you defend each other when you are blatantly wrong and use the same arguments, in this case male chauvinism, a connection which only demented cultists could have made.”

Oh I see people who disagree with you are “blatantly wrong”. People who on some particular subject share similar views – no doubt you believe that Shiraz Socialist also fits into this category given the comments from their site I quoted previously, and so would all those other sites who argued a similar position - now comprise a sect!!!! If ever evidence was needed of your religious mentality, in which only you have access to the Absolute Truth, and everyone else who disagrees with you is a heretic this is it!!!

”Your hysterical anti-Islamism is another example of your sects character, I make a critique of a society that objectifies women and you claim I am criticising women, fair enough some may say, but then you and your sect extend this to become Islamism, as if every critique of society that involves women has to be connected to Islam.”

I didn’t say that. In fact, I argued that your politics are those of Stalinism. It was Llin that said she believed that despite your protestations you were a political Islamist. My argument has been that your politics are marked by a reactionary, religious zeal that replaces rational thought with irrational belief. Your critique was not of society, but of women – women as lap dancers, women as prostitutes. You sought to denigrate women employed in such roles. There is nothing hysterical in my anti-Islamism, any more than there is anything hysterical in my anti-Christianity or any other religion. It is your willingness to support such reactionary ideas that leads you to so label anyone who has the temerity to challenge that support.

“You said,”

'The difference between you and me is that as your previous posts have demonstrated, you seek to demonise women who engage in such activities, and in the sex industry, on the basis of your own Victorian moral outlook.'

Men can be prostitutes too, so I would say your argument here is flawed somewhat.”

No it isn’t. All of your comments were about WOMEN acting as lap dancers or prostitutes. You specifically spoke about people’s DAUGHTERS not sons becoming prostitutes.

”Anyway, I was attempting to demonise society, not women. If I say racism is bad do I demonise the human race, if I say child trafficking is bad do I demonise men etc etc etc.”

But that is not at all what you sought to argue. You spoke specifically about WOMEN becoming lap dancers or prostitutes. You denigrated those jobs, and those who worked in them!

”As for a Victorian moral outlook, I don’t see the connection.”

The connection is your attitude to lap dancing and prostitution, your failure to recognise that women might choose to engage in such occupations in just the same way that they choose to engage in some other job. The connection is in your attitude previously stated in relation to pornography, or indeed stated earlier in this thread in relation to Sex Shops.

”You said,

’To the extent that women engage in beauty pageants, because they feel some pride in their appearance, physique etc. I see absolutely no grounds for criticising them, anymore than I would criticise a man or woman for entering a body building competition.’

To feel pride in their appearance etc presupposes an audience to show that pride off to, an audience you moralistically describe as leering old men. To see nothing wrong with this pride you have to accept the “leering”.”

Utter rot. Why cannot a woman just as much as a man feel pride in the way they look whether or not someone else is looking at them??? Why could it not be women who were admiring the physique etc.????

"It’s got nothing to do with demonising anyone but looking at humans in society. If you can’t make distinctions between ballerina or lap dancers, how can you make any distinctions, e.g. prostitutes as opposed to nurses or workers as opposed to slaves or bourgeois as opposed to proletariat? It is interesting that Shiraz compares Lap dancers to cleaners but not to Nurses or Teachers. He places Lap dancing firmly in the bottom range of professions; he therefore takes a moral view on the profession and professions in general but he must be from your sect as you claim to agree with his position absolutely!!”

Oh, absolutely priceless!!!!! You did not look at humans in society, only women in certain jobs that you define to be morally reprehensible. You say there are distinctions. Tell us then what objectively is the distinction between a lap dancer and a ballerina? What is the difference between a woman who works as a prostitute and a woman who works as a nurse or teacher?

You then go on to talk about cleaners being in a “bottom range of professions”. What a thoroughly elitist view to hold. Socialists do not consider cleaners to be any less valuable as workers of any different status than nurses teachers, or accountants!!! Once again your chauvinism shines through.

Then you claim that Shiraz Socialist MUST be a member of MY sect – the one you still have not named. Wonderful! That will be a very, very big surprise to Shiraz Socialist I can assure you!!!

”You said,

’That stands in stark contrast to your moralising tone, and your willingness yet again to resort to authoritarian measures by the Capitalist State as your preferred solution, just as in the past you have looked to that state to impose bans on free movement, free speech’

You dishonest tosser. I have never said anywhere that I think the capitalist state should ban anything.”

You criticised me here in your first post for NOT voting to ban a sex shop!!!! In a previous thread you gave your support for the decision of the Capitalist State to ban a right-wing Dutch politician from entering the country to give a speech!

“I only suggest that in a socialist society Lap dancing and prostitution may see a decline, just as I would expect socialism to be less violent than capitalism.”

That is NOT what you have said in post in previous threads.

“However, are you saying nothing will be banned under socialism? If not, how will these decisions be made, if so would anarchy not ensue?”

If workers in a workers democracy vote to ban certain things that will be a matter for that Workers State. As a socialist I would argue strongly within the context of any such debate AGAINST any ban that restricted individual freedoms, such as the choice of what job people chose to do, what was and was not acceptable sexual behaviour etc. The point is that this would be a WORKERS state making these decisions, whereas you look here and now to a Capitalist State to undertake such actions.

”On morality or to put it more accurately your uber anti-morality, why did Marx say ‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it.’ Because he recognises that without a wish to bring morality into the subject then the whole thing becomes pointless, a meaningless academic exercise.”

Total bollocks, for anyone who has even an elementary understanding of Marx and Marxism. Marx’s whole political method revolved around opposition to such moralising. Marx’s statement that slavery represented an advance on primitive communism was not based on some moral view that slavery was “better” than primitive communism, but a recognition of the objective, historical reality that slavery arises precisely because of the development of the productive forces, and in turn facilitates the yet further development of those forces, and of human society! His argument for socialism is not some moral quest, but the recognition that the development of the productive forces means that only a socialist society can develop those forces beyond what Capitalism has been able to do. It is why whilst feudalism was still the dominant system, Marx argued not for socialism, but for Capitalism, because it was the means by which the productive forces would be developed, and thereby create the conditions under which socialism becomes possible! Even decades later Lenin made exactly the same argument in relation to the development of Capitalism in Russia!

”At the moment I do not have a name for your sect, maybe the “I would be happy for my children to become prostitutes because women should not be demonised and people are not property” sect or the “Statist left are to blame for everything” sect or how about the “Let workers take over capitalist firms, operate in capitalist markets but oppose worker participation in the capitalist state” sect.”

If my children chose to become prostitutes out of a free choice, or as free a choice as any other worker is able to make in the choice of their occupation, then yes that would be fine by me, because I do not share your Victorian morality, in which sex is something dirty or to be ashamed of. Clearly, you oppose this position from your statement here from which we can conclude that you DO see children and women as being your property over which you should have some control and veto in their actions. I have not said the Statist Left are to blame for everything. Capitalism is to blame, but the fact remains that because of that very fact, looking to the State of the Capitalist class for solutions is quite clearly a foolish course for workers to adopt! Unfortunately, time and again you look to that State rather than the workers to provide such solutions, and indeed, you look to such states under the control of the worst kinds of reactionaries such as Ahmedinjad to provide such solutions even as those states day in day out terrorise the working class.

The working class has no option but to operate in Capitalist markets as long as we do not have Socialism! They have to do that every day they go to work, every time they go the shops!!! The task of a Marxist is to provide them with alternatives to Capitalist ownership and the Capitalist Market, both as practical solutions here and now, and thereby demonstrating the overall solution in the future.

BCFG said...

Llin made provocative statements to me and then said she didn’t want to get into a debate but her tone and line of argument forced me to respond. Nothing chauvinistic at all, except in your demented minds.
She even criticised people looking up information on the net, as if knowledge is the gift of some elite sect, to be dispensed by that elite sect to the unwashed masses.

You said,

“Utter rot. Why cannot a woman just as much as a man feel pride in the way they look whether or not someone else is looking at them??? Why could it not be women who were admiring the physique etc.????”

What?? Why do you insist on inventing this man v woman scenario?
If someone enters a contest (man or woman) then that pride changes to something else doesn’t it?
Why do you look at this and moralise about leering old men?

You said,

“Oh, absolutely priceless!!!!! You did not look at humans in society, only women in certain jobs that you define to be morally reprehensible. You say there are distinctions. Tell us then what objectively is the distinction between a lap dancer and a ballerina? What is the difference between a woman who works as a prostitute and a woman who works as a nurse or teacher?”

I have not defined anything as morally reprehensible. You really are the most dishonest debater I have ever come across.

Anyway, to answer the latter part of your question:

Ballerinas tend to come from a different social class to Lap dancers and Prostitutes.
Ballerinas have much greater training than Lap dancers.
Ballet dancers sell their labour, Lap dancers and prostitutes sell themselves.
Lap dancing reinforces the subordination and servitude and objectification of women in a way ballet dancing does not.
Generally speaking people go to see Lap dancers and Ballerinas for very different reasons.
The social problems around Lap dancing and prostitution, e.g. Drug abuse, are much greater than with ballet dancing.
Lap dancers face more violence at work than ballet dancers.
Lap dancing and Prostitution contribute to increased violence against women, ballet dancing does not.
Lap dancing and Prostitution create a divide between men and women, Ballet dancing does not.
Lap dancing and Prostitution thrive in capitalist commodity/private property production, ballet dancing does not.
Capitalist exploitation encourages lap dancing but moralises against it, with Ballet dancing it discourages it but lauds it to the heavens.
High unemployment leads to higher numbers of prostitutes, the same cannot be said for Ballet dancing.
A struggle against Lap dancing and prostitution is a struggle against pre existing social conditions, a struggle against ballet dancing is not.
Prostitution spreads venereal diseases, ballet dancing does not.

Obviously the same arguments go for teachers and nurses.

This is not simply about having moral judgements but recognising a few facts and seeing things in a social context.

Why do you not make these important distinctions?

You said,

“You then go on to talk about cleaners being in a “bottom range of professions”.”

No you Stalinist shit bag, I pointed out that Shiraz did this, just read the context of his article!!!!!
If you read again what I said,

“he therefore takes a moral view on the profession and professions in general but he must be from your sect as you claim to agree with his position absolutely!!”

By comparing these professions in the tone and context he did he mentally compiles a moral list of professions, it’s precisely this I criticised and mocked you for agreeing with him ABSOLUTELY.
For the record, I am married to a cleaner.

Marx didn’t ditch morality, yes his academic work and method is as you describe but when interacting with people, e.g. the workers, he couched things in moral terms. He said to the worker the capitalist is exploiting you, this is a moral statement. He had no choice, this is how reality works.
Capitalism itself has a morality, this morality needs to be challenged and new moralities put in its place.

You said,

“If my children chose to become prostitutes out of a free choice, or as free a choice as any other worker is able to make in the choice of their occupation, then yes that would be fine by me”

Can we both at least agree that only a communist society could put that free choice to the test?

You said,

“Clearly, you oppose this position from your statement here from which we can conclude that you DO see children and women as being your property over which you should have some control and veto in their actions.”

Dear me. I definitely do not see women as my property, I just reject the anarchism inherent in your philosophy. Humans live in a society, people’s actions can affect everyone, how society decides to mediate all this is complicated and based on many factors, social, economic, historical etc etc.

As for children, they are different, they begin life defenceless, they need constant care and attention. Now this relationship may have become corrupted by human history and may change as society develops but property would be an incorrect way of looking at this relationship between parent and child in my opinion.

You said,

“The working class has no option but to operate in Capitalist markets as long as we do not have Socialism! They have to do that every day they go to work, every time they go the shops”

Clearly and equally clearly workers have to participate with the state. Workers cannot make decisions in isolation, they will make them collectively and how will this collective manifest itself, out of the remnants of the bourgeois state.