Wednesday, May 15, 2013

LGBTQ supporters protest S F Pride Board's shunning Bradley Manning

I went to a protest last night in San Francisco.  The event was organized by members of the LGBTQ community and supporters demanding that the board that organizes Gay Pride reinstate Bradley Manning as San Francisco Pride Grand Marshal.  This is a significant event in San Francisco. Manning is the young soldier who is in prison facing life for releasing the US diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Manning is also gay.  The speakers also condemned the increasing corporate influence in the SF Pride event and the control of it by wealthy members, basically the capitalist class, of their community.

There were maybe 60 or 70  people there including some members of the military. I managed to video some of the speakers at the open mike but missed one speaker who gave some interesting history about this movement, of which I am not so familiar. I spoke to him at the end.


Glenn Stehle said...


Thank you for this.

I think what you are seeing here are the fault lines developing between the LGBT 1% and the LGBT 99%. It is a microcosm of what is happening everywhere, not just in the US, and not just in the LGBT sub-group, but in the macrocosm of the world.

The LGBT 1% of course does not represent the interests and desires of the LGBT 99%, but the interests and desires of the transnational 1%. Its loyalties do not lie with the LGBT 99%, but with the 1% of the world.

The public face of the transnational 1%, the one which we see, are the supranational corporations, with those in finance, energy, big Pharm, big Ag and the armaments industry being some of the standouts. The US national security state, the state's instruments of violence -- the police and the military -- are the long arm of the transnational 1%. The security state increasingly serves no interests except those of the 1%, despite all the propaganda emanating from the 1% to the contrary, and despite the fact that the 99% bears much of the burden, both in blood and treasure, to maintain it.

Those who have served as soldiers for the national security state seem to react to it in two very differnt ways: they either love it or they hate it. The German movie Napola gives a tragic father vs. son portrayal of the different psychological makeups which inform the two opposing views. It's available on the internet here:

Just as is the case in the larger political community, the 1% has seized the levers of power in the LGBT community. The 1% has turned this power against the 99%, and we are beginning to see resentment grow as more of the rank and file become aware of this betrayal.

The old ways of looking at politics -- the left vs the right, liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican -- have become meaningless. The political organization of the 1% is what Peter Skerry calls "elite-network," which has managed to infiltrate every nook and cranny of mainstream politics.

As Skerry explains in Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority, the lifeblood of elite-network politics are the torrents of money which flow into it not from within political districts that the politicians represent, but from without, from the elite-network. "Network" refers to the structural dimension of this style of politics, Skerry explains, and "Elite" refers to the clique's exclusivity and weak community ties, "in contrast to the relative social diversity and community base of both friends-and-neighbors and organization politics."

As Skerry goes on to explain, friends-and-neighbors and organization politics are anathema to elite-network politicians, and elite-network politicians will do everything in their power to destroy the competing forms of political organization.

Glenn Stehle said...

I think a fairly accurate and complete picture of what the 1% has wrought on the home front as it has seized the levers of political power (which began in earnest in 1978 with Jimmy Carter, but Reagan and every president since have certainly taken the ball and ran with it) can be summed up with three graphs:

1) The explosion in private debt:

2) The explosion in the prison population (it takes a lot of police oppression to keep the proles in line as they are being crushed):

3) The growing gap between real hourly compensation for production/nonsupervisory workers and productivity, 1948–2011

These of course do not speak to what has happened to our foreign policy, which has also experienced transformative changes as it, but most especially our energy policy, has been militarized.