Liberation Generation: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality beyond 2000

Chapter 7

The socialist option

a socialist society would work by promoting unity and cooperation - the conditions under which prejudice would evaporate; consenting, non-abusive personal relationships would be freed of the restrictions imposed by capitalism


Don't put up with it!

WE DON'T have to put up with what we've got.

Capitalism has a vested interest in keeping division and prejudice alive because it is a system which promotes the interests of a super-rich elite at the expense of everyone else. In contrast, a socialist society would work by promoting unity and co-operation. This is because a socialist society would be run democratically by the majority, for the majority.

These are the conditions under which prejudice would evaporate. Consenting, non-abusive personal relationships would be freed of the restrictions imposed by capitalism.

For this reason. a strategy to achieve lasting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation depends on linking the day-to-day battles against anti-gay and anti-transgender discrimination to the struggle to rebuild a mass movement for socialism and achieve a socialist society.

But what will be the basis of this movement? Many different sections of society will identify with the need to change society. Yet only the working class, uniting with it other sections desiring radical change, has the collective strength required to achieve such a momentous transformation. Organised through their workplaces and communities, the working class represents the overwhelming majority in society. Working-class people may not, as yet, collectively own the factories and banks, but they can't run them without us.

This means that we need to link our struggles against discrimination to the battles facing working-class people as a whole. Direct action and lobbying are important means of highlighting issues and focussing pressure on individual MPs upon whose vote laws will change. But, they cannot substitute for taking our campaigns into the unions, workplaces and communities, showing how prejudice and discrimination prevent the unity we all need to combat the attacks on our living standards by the bosses and their government.

Through this means lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people will help unite the struggles of all oppressed sections into one struggle - to take power away from the rich and to give it to ordinary working-class people.

Society can change

IT IS possible to change the system. The collapse of seemingly immovable, all-powerful regimes, in the face of overwhelming mass movements and strikes of working-class people, stands testimony to that possibility.

The monolithic Stalinist Eastern European dictatorships during the late 1980s to early 1990s and Suharto, the Indonesian dictator of 32 years, in 1998, fell to such movements.

Unfortunately, because at the time there was no socialist organisation strong enough to take these movements forward, the potential to reorganise society along socialist lines was lost.

New mass movements will now need to be built to take society in that direction. The need for a socialist society is as great today as ever.

Through public ownership of the key monopolies that control the world's economy (Britainís economy is controlled by about 150 monopolies) and with working-class people running society democratically, production of goods and services could serve the needs of the majority rather than creating obscene wealth for a few.

A collectively run economy would flourish. The vast wealth created by society would be ploughed back to give everyone a job with decent hours and pay, and to provide good quality health and social support services available to everyone.

The economic constraints and social control that lie behind the 'moralising' about people's sexuality and personal relationships under capitalism would be lifted. Infinite possibilities for personal expression would open up. The process of clearing away generations of miseducation and prejudice could begin.

The task now is to build the means of getting there.

If you agree with the arguments contained in this pamphlet, we urge you to join this struggle. join the Socialist Party and help build a movement that can make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation a reality.



The Socialist Party lesbian, gay and bisexual group helps to co-ordinate the gay rights campaigns of the Socialist Party.

We have helped to build many campaigns over the years, including: to lift the Children's Society ban on lesbian and gay fostering/adoption; in defence of a Bradford youth worker victimised for being a lesbian; to remove a homophobic trade union official; as well as the higher profile campaigns around gay rights legal reform. We were also involved in the launch of the Equality Alliance.

We aim to promote a socialist way forward for the lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights movement.

Join the Socialist Party


What we stand for:


Lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender rights:


Racism, immigration and police:

Jobs, benefits and education:



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