"Stoop, Romans, stoop, And let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords: Then walk we forth, even to the market-place, And waving our red weapons o'er our heads, Let's all cry, 'Peace, freedom, and liberty!'"
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 1, lines 105-110
"It is idealists who create political terror; they are free from all desire for bloodshedding; but to them the lives of men and women are accidents; the lives of ideals are the true realities; and, arnmed with an abstract principle and a suspicion, they perform deeds which are at once beautiful and hideous..."
- Edward Dowden
Britain’s homosexual activists were once content simply to lobby against the criminalizing of homosexual acts. Their latest agenda, however, is to force their moral viewpoints (or more accurately, their immorality) on the rest of us.
Under new laws that are coming this week, it will be a civil offence for a Muslim printer who is asked to print a promotion for homosexual sex to refuse, or for Christian conference centre to turn down bookings from a Lesbian society, or for a Jewish website designer to object, on moral grounds, to creating a website facilitating homosexual dating services.[i]
If these regulations pass, they will give statutory force to Government’s growing eagerness to function as guardian, not simply of law and order, but also of the ideologies and thought-life of its citizenry. Such eagerness was made patently obvious last year when New Labour tried to push through legislation, known as the Religious Hatred Bill, which would have made it an offence to criticise different religious truth-claims.
It was this tendency to police beliefs that Dr. N. T. Wright, the Bishop of Durham, lambasted in an address to the House of Lords on 9 February, 2006. The bishop referred to a new class of ‘thought crimes’ which “have to do, not with actions but with ideas and beliefs.” He said: "People in my diocese have told me that they are now afraid to speak their minds in the pub on some major contemporary issues for fear of being reported, investigated, and perhaps charged…. The word for such a state of affairs is ‘tyranny’: sudden moral climate change, enforced by thought police."[ii]
Perhaps the greatest irony is not that Government is trying to police our thoughts, but that the engineers behind this agenda are the very activists who claim to promote a ‘live and let live’ tolerance: namely, the homosexual lobby. I hope to show in this article, however, that this is not the first time when the rhetoric of tolerance has been used as a cover for creeping totalitarianism, nor is it the first time when the banner of ‘equal rights’ conceals an agenda amounting to little more than ‘government by the few for the few.’
I will be arguing that the militant homosexualism we are witnessing today has its philosophical pedigree in the twin polls of Marxism and Fascism.[iii] By understanding the confluence of ideas that have produced what I will call ‘homo-fascism’[iv], we are in a better position to adequately meet the challenges facing our society today.
MARXISM AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT
Marxism had its origins in the 18th century ‘Enlightenment.’ On the surface, the Enlightenment seemed very pro-human. Champions of ‘Enlightenment’ advocated liberty, equality, justice and human rights while being highly critical of the intolerance and persecution that, though exaggerated, were present in much of 18th century Europe.
However, because of their prior philosophical commitment to an ego-centric rather than a Theo-centric worldview, 18th century humanists were unable to ground ethical values in anything more stable than utilitarianism or a flimsy appeal to what was ‘self-evident.’ Those who championed human rights and liberty as free-standing values unhinged from any transcendent ethical framework, necessarily planted a self-destruct mechanism in the very values they sought to uphold. Thus, when the barrowed capital of the Judeo-Christian worldview ran out, liberty quickly unloosed itself from responsibility; human rights deteriorated into competition for rights; morality was reduced to cold utilitarianism[v]; Christian charity was replaced by its empty parody, tolerance, while tolerance itself becomes little more than licence.[vi]
This began to happen as early as the late 18th century, when the French Revolution justified mass murder and thought police under the banner of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.’ It is more than a little revealing that the secular ‘humanism’ of the Enlightenment inevitably led to the anti-humanism of the guillotine.
Marxism took things one step further, extending the scientific materialism and anti-spirituality of the Enlightenment to its logical consequence, thus reducing the working masses to one great utilitarian machine.
Marxists also employed Enlightenment categories of equality and liberty, using these as the basis for its economic theory (which was supposed to bring freedom and equality to the working classes). However, as in the Reign of Terror, such ‘freedom’ resulted only in bondage. While, in one sense, both Marxism and the French Revolution were opposite of the classical liberalism of the Enlightenment, in another sense it is the logical consequence of having any ethical framework that is not grounded in God’s transcendent moral law. As Francis Schaeffer pointed out: "The humanists push for ‘freedom,’ but having no Christian consensus to contain it, that ‘freedom’ leads to chaos or to slavery under the state (or under an elite). Humanism, with its lack of any final base for values or law, always leads to chaos. It then naturally leads to some form of authoritarianism to control the chaos.”[vii] This is what we are already seeing with the emergence of so much secular intolerance in Britain (see my article Dawkins and the rise of Militant Atheism).
MARXISM AND THE HOMOSEXUAL LOBBY
The ‘gay’ rights lobby stands in this same political stream. With uncanny parallels to the French Revolutionaries and Marxists, contemporary homosexuals use the rhetoric of equality even as they promote themselves as a higher class immune to critique; they appeal to liberty even as they seek to restrict the liberty of everyone who voices dissent of their lifestyle; they speak of brotherhood, love and tolerance even as they seek to criminalize all who dissent from their totalitarian agenda. Just as the Enlightenment rhetoric of tolerance hardened into Marxist totalitarianism, so laissez-faire liberalism of the ‘60s has crystallised into the dogmatic, conformist, even bullying, ideology of the homosexual movement.
Despite these and many other striking similarities between Marxism and the ‘gay’ rights movement, the most striking parallels are more subtle.
Contemporary homosexualism, in so far as it is an arm of the multicultural or political correctness movement, represents a kind of cultural Marxism. In its classical form, Marxism used economics as a single factor explanation for all history, suggesting that society is determined by ownership of means of production. Marxism thus sought to redistribute wealth accordingly. Multiculturalism does this, not with economics, but with culture, arguing that history and society are determined by which groups have power over other groups.[viii] These groups are defined in terms of race, sex, ethnicity, and so on. Multiculturalism then tries to distribute power from the powerful to the powerless.[ix] Ironically, multiculturalism today is not about culture at all but about politics and power and about what Richard Bernstein calls the ‘dictatorship of virtue.’[x]
The ideology of multiculturalism and political correctness – which, unlike Marxism, is rarely thought through in any systematised form but is usually only felt - enables its advocates to categorise certain groups as victims in need of protection from criticism. For example, homosexuals, Muslims, ethnic minorities and the developing world are all seen as victims who must be protected from critique, and for whose sake power must be redistributed. This leads to what Tom Wright has called “the increasingly shrill and polymorphous language of ‘rights’, the glorification of victimhood which enables anyone with hurt feelings to claim moral high ground, and the invention of various ‘identities’ which demand not only protection but immunity from critique.”[xi]
The homosexual movement has capitalised on this cultural Marxism by presented itself as having victim status,[xii] and receiving the power auxiliary to that. They see their identity being forged, not through struggle of economic classes (classical Marxism) but through the struggle of sex classes (cultural Marxism). However, because this group identity hinges on there being an actual struggle to engage in, there is no limit to the amount of conflicts they will feel compelled to seek.
20th CENTURY FASCISM
Just as the homosexual rights movement owes much of its ideological pedigree to Marxism, it is equally, if not more, indebted to Fascism. Before we can appreciate this, however, we must understand some of the background to Fascism.
Fascism didn’t just pop out of nowhere when the Nazi party came to power in Germany. As Gene Edward Veith has shown in his fascinating book Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview, fascism was a philosophical ideology that already appealed to the European avant-garde before Hitler gave it concrete embodiment.
Veith shows that 20th century Fascism drew on 19th century Romanticism, which was itself a secular reaction to the rationalism and scientificism of the Enlightenment. The modern world, as epitomised by the Enlightenment, had left people feeling out of touch with nature and with their feelings. The answer, according to the Romantics, was a fresh assertion of the self, releasing our basic instincts, emotions and impulses to find true expression, usually in contradistinction to institutionalised conventions. Where the Enlightenment had emphasised rationalism, the Romantics emphasised subjective feelings as the key to self-fulfilment. In contrast to the Enlightenment’s suspicion of mystery and the spiritual dimension, the Romantic movement championed these things within a neo-pagan or Deist context.[xiii]
The Romantic movement was also characterised by a nostalgic longing for primitive cultures. The idea of the ‘noble savage’ evoked a supposed age of innocence prior to the sophistication of modern society, where man could live in unity with nature and himself. As Veith points out, this led the Romantics to search their own heritage, to collect folktakes and to cultivate a new nationalism based upon ethnic identity.[xiv]
20th century Fascism drew on all these elements. Like Romanticism, Fascism was a counter-Enlightenment movement. While the Enlightenment had tried to expunge spirituality from society, Fascism sought to restore it, but within a neo-pagan framework (the Third Reich was modelled on pagan Rome). Hitler’s obsessed fascination with the occult, with Norse mythology and with relics of ancient paganism would never have been tolerated by 18th century rationalists, but was welcomed by the spiritually starved and disillusioned society of post WWI Germany. Fascism also drew on the ‘noble savage’ paradigm as they
made a point of distinguishing between culture and civilisation. Culture was organic and ethnic, calling to mind the rural, agrarian life that was close to nature. Civilisation, on the other hand, was mechanical and rational, calling to mind the city with its machines and its alienation. Culture was good; civilisation was bad. Culture created a sense of ethnic identity. Civilisation, with its laws and denatured institutions, was ‘Jewish.’[xv] Fascists sought to undermine the sophisticated rationalism of Western civilization with its Enlightenment politics and its Judeo-Christian values. In its place, they sought to resurrect the more primitive and communal ideals of the pre-Christian Greeks, Romans, and Germanic tribes.[xvi]
21st CENTURY HOMO-FASCISTS
Today’s homosexual movement bares an uncanny resemblance to the above aspects of Fascist ideology. Consider that
The contemporary homosexual movement, like 20th century Fascism, is characterised by an attempt to unleash primitive urges and remove all vestige of shame.[xvii] Echoing the Romantic movement, it attempts to elevate the instincts, feelings and impulses of the self over and against institutionalised conventions – in this case, moral normatives. Alastair Hamilton’s description of fascism might equally function as a description of the homosexual movement: “Fascism, the Fascism of the intellectuals above all, had its origins in sheer rebelliousness, in an anarchistic revolt directed against the established order.”[xviii]
True to their Fascists roots, contemporary homosexuals advocate a dogmatic intolerance of dissent and are prepared to curb free speech to achieve this. What Frederick Forsyth said of political correctness could equally be said of homo-fascism: it “tolerates no dissent from its grinding uniformity, from its party-line-toeing orthodoxy. It smacks of Orwell’s 1984, or former East Germany; it has become the new fascism.”[xix]
Like Fascists, the contemporary homosexual believes he has a mandate to use the force of law against those of the ‘old school’ who oppose what he considers to be ‘inevitable progress.’[xx]
In their utopian vision, the contemporary homosexual echoes the Fascists’ desire to create the conditions “in which a civilization of leisure and sport could flourish.” [xxi]
Contemporary homo-fascism, like Nazi Fascism, is obsessed with policing language and beliefs as well as actions.[xxii] Both are totalitarian, whether implicitly or explicitly, in their political ideology, maintaining that one of the functions of Government is to be our moral tutors.[xxiii]
Contemporary homosexuals, like Fascists, present primitive or tribal cultures as being more virtuous than those contaminated by Western civilization, which is seen as inherently ‘homophobic.’ Many of them echo Jesse Jackson’s notorious chant of “Hey-hey, Ho-ho Western Civ has got to go.”
The modern homosexual movement also parallels Nazism in much of its tactical methodology. Whether consciously or not, the ‘gay’ rights movement is mimicking the strategy of Nazi propagandists, whereby society is incrementally desensitised to the offensive. Hitler was smarter then to begin by building gas chambers, just as contemporary homo-fascists don’t begin by saying that they want to criminalize all dissent. Hitler was clever enough to begin by using language that was already acceptable to the masses, just as contemporary homosexual activists clock their policies in whatever politically correct lingo is currently at hand.
In their book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s[xxiv], Kirk and Madsen, themselves influential exponents of the homosexual rights movement, revealed their master plan for orienting Western consciousness in favour of the homosexuality agenda. They do not hesitate to call their strategy “unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of psychology and advertising.”[xxv] Just as Hitler sought to bring the Aryan race to power by first presenting it as the victims of European Jewry, so Kirk and Madsen sought to bring homosexuals to power by first presenting themselves as victims.[xxvi]
[i] Reflecting on these laws, Melanie Phillips wrote that “We have therefore exchanged one deep intolerance for another. Behaviour that was once considered socially unacceptable and even illegal must now be promoted as an acceptable lifestyle choice, and anyone who disagrees is to fall foul of the law instead.” The Daily Mail, ‘A law that turns sexual tolerance into tyranny’, 19th June 2006
[ii] ‘Moral Climate Change and Freedom of Speech’, speech in the House of Lords, February 9 2006,
by the Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright.
[iii] At first, this may seem a strange statement to make since Fascism and Marxism are normally considered to be polar extremes of each other, with Marxism on the far left and Fascism on the far right. However, this understanding is largely to do the influence of Marxist scholarship, which has obscured the fact that originally Fascism and Marxist Communism were rival brands of socialism. See Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993), pp. 26-27.
[iv] Though the term ‘homo-fascism’ is as etymologically imprecise as ‘homophobic’, it adequately sums up the worldview embodied by the ‘gay’ rights agenda. It is not meant to be a term of abuse, but a term encapsulating the philosophical tradition in which the contemporary homosexual activist stands. This will be made clearer as my article proceeds.
[v] “Utilitarians decided moral issues, not by appealing to transcendent absolutes, but by studying the effect of an action upon the system. Stealing is wrong, not because the Ten Commandments say so, but because stealing interferes with the economic functioning of society. Something is good if it makes the system run more smoothly. Something is evil if it interferes with the cogs of the vast machine. Practicality becomes the sole moral criterion. If it works, it must be good.” Gene Edward Veith, Postmodern Times (Wheaton ILL: Crossway Books, 1994), pp. 33-34.
[vi] “Not even the right of political self-determination, on which the democracies so vigorously insist, is self-evident; it presupposes objective rights grounded in a transcendent moral order that secular political scientists blur. The entire corpus of human rights is today in peril, because none of the divergent contemporary philosophical theories can sustain fixed and universal rights; yet secular juridical scholars hesitate to return to a Judeo-Christian grounding for rights.” Carl Henry, Twilight of a Great Civilisation (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1988), p. 24.
[vii] Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (Pickering & Inglis Ltd., 1981), pp. 29-30. ‘To assume that man’s mind is as ultimate as God’s, and therefore to conceive of the universe as a world of chance, requires one to posit the locus of sovereignty apart from God somewhere else in a universe that is greater than both man and God. As it happens, men have posited two basic possibilities for the source of sovereignty apart from God: the individual or the state.’ Lawrence Pratt, ‘The Politics of Pragmatism: Threat to Freedom’ in Foundations of Christian Scholarship, ed. Gary North (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1976), p. 121. See also Rousas John Rushdoony, This Independent Republic (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1964), p. 15.
[viii] “The cultural Marxism of Political Correctness, like economic Marxism, has a single factor explanation of history. Economic Marxism says that all of history is determined by ownership of means of production. Cultural Marxism, or Political Correctness, says that all history is determined by power, by which groups defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over which other groups. Nothing else matters.” William Lind, ‘The Origins of Political Correctness’, address to 13th Accuracy in Academia conference, George Washington University, 10 July, 1998. See also Anthony Browne, The Retreat of Reason: Political Correctness and the corruption of public debate in modern Britain (London: Civitas, 2006).
[ix] “Multiculturalism today, however, has largely lost its ideals, given our postmodern context, and has rapidly degenerated into a search for group power. Todd Gitlin, the cultural critic, has traced out the path of this disintegration by showing that as commonalities became exhausted, differences had to be enlarged. What followed this breakdown was often not the embrace of other cultures but an ugly censoriousness towards other groups and viewpoints.” David Wells, Losing Our Virtue (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1998
[x] Ibid, p. 78. See Richard Bernstein, The Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America’s Future (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994).
[xi] N.T. Wright, ibid.
[xii] See endnote 26.
[xiii] This is not to say that the Romantic movement was all bad any more than the Enlightenment was. Just as the Enlightenment bequeathed many positive things to our culture, so did the Romantic movement, not least in the arts. However, all that was good and beautiful in the Romantic movement was necessarily unsustainable because it lacked a sufficient base. The quick acceleration into decadence is inevitable in any movement that looks no further than man for legitimisation.
[xiv] See Veith, Modern Fascism, op. cit, p. 30.
[xv] Robert Casillo, The Genealogy of Demons: Anti-Semitism, Fascism, and the Myths of Ezra Pound (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1988), pp. 75-76.
[xvi] Zeev Sternhell, “Fascist Ideology” in Walter Laqueur, ed. Fascism: A Reader’s Guide (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), p. 341.
[xvii] Fascist approach to sexuality is best seen in the art of the Third Reich, where realistic paintings and statues of naked men and women anticipate a time when there is no shame and man is in touch with his primitive drives. Hitler’s favourite sculptor, Arno Breker, said that his nudes show the ‘pure air of instinctive drives’ and depict the ‘revolutionary youth of today, which tears the veil from the body hidden in shame.’ Quoted in Veith, op. cit., p. 124. The founders of the modern sexual liberation movement had a similar goal. In his book The Sexual Revolution, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) described the means for achieving a society without any external sexual morals, “a free society” that “would not put any obstacles in the path of the gratification of the natural needs.” (Wilhelm Reich, The Sexual Revolution, trans. Theodore Wolfe, Vision Press, 1969, p.24.) The road to the sexual utopia he advocated lay in first getting rid of the shyness and embarrassment surrounding sexual matters. In particular, Reich believed that before traditional morality could be completely vanquished, a society must be achieved where people “should lose their shyness to expose…erotically important parts of their bodies.” (Ibid, p. 63)
[xviii] Alastair Hamilton, The Appeal of Fascism: A Study of Intellectuals and Fascism, 1919-1945 (New York: Macmillan, 1971), p. xx.
[xix] Frederick Forsyth, “Why political correctness is the enemy of the people’, Daily Express, 6 February, 2004.
[xx] See section 1 of this article.
[xxi] Sternhell, ibid, p. 341.
[xxii] In addition to the policies discussed in the first section of this article must be added the fact that a number of American universities have used anti-harassment policies to criminalize critical comments against homosexuality. See Dinesh D’Souza, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (New York, Free Press, 1991) and David Wells, op. cit., p. 78.
[xxiii] See Steve Doughty, “Don't impose your morality: Catholic Archbishop attacks gay rights bill”, Daily Mail, 28 November, 2006.
[xxiv] Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s (New York: Penguin, 1989)
[xxv] Kirk and Madsen, ibid, p. xxviii. Elsewhere in the same book they wrote, “We mean conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind, and will, through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media.” Ibid, p. 155.
[xxvi] “As cynical as it may seem,” Kirk and Madsen explained in their book, “AIDS gives us a chance, however brief, to establish ourselves as a victimized minority legitimately deserving of America’s special protection and care. At the same time, it generates mass hysteria of precisely the sort that has brought about public stonings and leper colonies since the Dark Ages and before….How can we maximize the sympathy and minimize the fear? How, given the horrid hand that AIDS has dealt us, can we best play it?” Ibid, p. xxvii. According to Paul E. Rondeau of Regent University, their marketing technique was to force acceptance of homosexual culture into the mainstream, to silence opposition, and ultimately to convert American society. “Desensitisation is described as inundating the public in a "continuous flood of gay-related advertising, presented in the least offensive fashion possible. If straights can't shut off the shower, they may at least eventually get used to being wet." But, the activists did not mean advertising in the usual marketing context but, rather, quite a different approach: "The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome." They add, "[S]eek desensitisation and nothing more. … If you can get [straights] to think [homosexuality] is just another thing – meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders – then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won." This planned hegemony is a variant of the type that Michael Warren describes in "Seeing Through the Media" where it "is not raw overt coercion; it is one group's covert orchestration of compliance by another group through structuring the consciousness of the second group." Paul E. Rondeau, “Selling Homosexuality to America,” Regent University Law Review, vol. 14 (2002), p. 443.
To join my mailing list, send a blank email to phillips7440 (at sign) roadrunner.com with “Blog Me” in the subject heading.