Saturday, 17 May 2014
It must be a slow news day at Times Newspapers since a couple of journalists decided to cover the "Race Play" faction fight in the International Socialist Network. Although this dispute has been covered here previously, it is one of the more bizarre splits on the far-left (even for them). David Brown and Jonathon Manning write:
When Karl Marx dreamt of the socialist revolution, he failed to anticipate that it could be de-railed by the political etiquette of the bedroom.
In this case an ideological dispute over whether sexual "race play" is acceptable.
For the uninitiated race play involves a "master and slave" relationship being acted out by (usually) mixed race couples. Richard (Lenin's Tomb) Seymour ended up being accused of defending the right to be racist in bed.
Frankly what consenting adults get up to in the privacy of the bedroom is of no concern to anyone else. Over at A Very Public Sociologist, Phil BC writes in defence of Seymour:
Rightly, he defended this and other forms of sexual behaviour some might find unpalatable as something that's up to the people involved. Reasonable, but too reasonable for many on the ISN's steering committee. Such behaviour is racist, perpetuates white privilege, demeans black people. disrespects the experience of slaves held in the colonies or transported/raised on American plantations. Well, no. For those involved, it doesn't. Sexual role play is about fantasy, about fun, having a laugh and, of course, getting off. In much the same way as the millions of couples who dress up as school boys and school girls do not alibi or condone child sex abuse, so race play does not trample on a troubled and deeply sad history. Ridiculously, the ISN's view effectively means sub/dom relationships are only open to couples of the same ethnicity. And how would the ISN ever enforce their brand of sexual political hygiene? By sending in the coitus commissars?
Sums it up really. Don't like it, don't do it. Simples!
Of course the ISN was founded as result of a split in the Socialist Workers Party over what is widely alleged to be more than just a "serious break of sexual etiquette", the "Comrade delta" affair. But their Face Book spat really does show the futility of the navel gazing of the far left sects.
Can't they ever agree simply to just disagree on some things like most normal people do in their every day lives?
Meanwhile I have just finished reading Weird Love, a reprint of stories from the fifties and sixties which leads with the wonderful McCarthyite story I fell for a commie. Worth the £3.10 cover price on its own.
Published by IDW Comics, you should be able to either get one or order a copy from your local comic shop.
Just remember that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and there's nowt stranger than the far-left!