Saturday, January 22, 2011

Harry Hay's Writings: Touch Points for Today's Queer Liberation Movement

Activist, author, teacher, and visionary, Harry Hay is an American original. Through eight decades of living he has witnessed—and left his mark on—some of the most significant social and cultural movements of the twentieth century, from avant garde theater and film-making to trade unionism and Marxism, Native American revivalism, and New Age spirituality. But of all the movements he has witnessed and participated in, it is his role in launching Gay liberation that has earned him a permanent place in history.

By now the story of the early Mattachine movement should be well known—how in 1948 in Los Angeles Harry Hay began pursuing “a vision-quest more important than life,” as he once described it—the formation of an organization of homosexuals for homosexuals. It had began as a wild idea spun out at a Gay party on a summer night. Hay had just come from signing a petition on behalf of the third party candidacy of Henry Wallace. It was the eve of the cold war and Wallace represented for progressives a bright spot on the political horizon. As the party-goers discussed the election, Hay suddenly had the idea that homosexuals might organize themselves and lobby for a plank in Wallace’s platform calling for reform of sex laws. Others brought up objections, but Hay found answers for them all. That night he wrote up a prospectus for an organization devoted to the welfare of Gay people—“Bachelors’ Anonymous.” The next morning, however, a few phone calls quickly revealed that he was the only one of the party-goers serious about undertaking such a project.

Two more years would pass before he found another Gay man who would join him, Rudi Gernreich, and several months more before these two, now lovers, found three more and launched the Mattachine movement. They named the organization after a traditional European folk dance called les Mattachines, performed in Renaissance France by fraternities of clerics (i.e., unmarried men), called sociétés joyeuses, whose public performances satirized the rich, powerful, high, and holy. The Mattachine movement, launched in the midst of the anti-Communist, anti-homosexual hysteria of the post-war era, would involve, in three short years, an estimated five thousand homosexuals in California, while its name, carrying the promise of freedom, spread throughout the United States and the world. When a Mattachine discussion group decided to start ONE magazine in 1953, the organization was able to provide an initial mailing list of some three thousand names. By that time, Mattachine had successfully challenged in court the vice squad entrapment of one of its members—in those days an ever-present danger in the lives of Gay men. . . .

Before there could be a social movement of homosexuals, regardless of the presence of the necessary social conditions, someone had to think about homosexuals and homosexuality in a new way. Harry Hay was one of the first to do so. How he made that breakthrough is a story that will unfold in the course of this collection. For now, it is important to stress that this breakthrough was and had to be visionary in nature, not merely political. Considering the stigma of homosexuality in those years, only the passion of “a vision-quest more important than life” could make it possible for one man with a new idea to inspire others to adopt it. That’s what Hay did in 1950 and what he continues to do to this day—inspiring us with his enthusiasm for being Gay, with his golden visions of the goodness, rightness, and beauty of that way of being. These visions are the heart and core of what the Gay movement is about.

As this collection reveals, Hay has remained relevant decade after decade without repudiating any of his past. Rather, he has managed to absorb each new wave of cultural and political change, wrestling with it mightily to synthesize the new and the old, and then announcing the results to the world. Hay’s thinking has grown by accretion. What might seem a series of agonizing ruptures—between politics and art, or Marxism and spirituality—Hay has experienced as organic growth, albeit slow and sometimes painful. And, too, part of Hay’s personal dynamism comes from the way he embodies contradictions. He is an opera queen who has mastered Marxist dialectics; a farm hand who could rein in a team of horses with one hand and today never fails to appear in public without a string of fake pearls; a radical Gay separatist who has never stopped working in coalitions with non-Gays; a well-mannered scion of middle-class Edwardians and an in-your-face activist; an indefatigable organizer who relishes the solitude of the night, reading, writing, thinking, and surfing channels on TV.

Harry Hay is the Lesbian/Gay movement’s living Malcolm X—the unassimilable radical who returns in every generation to inspire those young-at-heart unwilling to accept indignities that their elders have learned to accommodate. He was there at the beginning, in 1948, talking about homosexuals as a cultural minority; he was there in the sixties urging stodgy homophiles to make room for Gay liberation; he was there in the seventies challenging a new wave of Gay assimilationists with radical faerie vision; he was there in the eighties, speaking to the Gay masses in New York’s Central Park on the twentieth anniversary of Stonewall, wearing a camouflage skirt over a pair of blue jeans. Hay always raises the stakes one more notch, challenging us to demand more, chiding us for seeking the approval of heterosexuals at the expense of our integrity. He is the Gay movement’s antidote to complacency.

Isn’t it time we paid more attention to what this visionary has to say? . . .

—from the Preface by Will Roscoe

Bachelors Anonymous

Should we be considered individuals or be considered a group?

Mattachine Documents: Missions and Purposes, Discussion Groups, Your Rights in Case of Arrest

“We, these elders, have become the real enemies of unity”

"Our goal is total liberation"

Through the Gay Window, 1970-1980

Prabhat Patnaik, "Notes on Contemporary Imperialism"

Prabhat Patnaik, "Notes on Contemporary Imperialism"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The American Way of Immigration: The Example of Kern County

The American Way of Immigration:  The Example of Kern County

The anti-immigrant punks always whine "if only they'd just go through the legal process..."  The problem is the "legal process" doesn't exist.  The immigration system as a whole is designed to turn immigrants into a second class group without rights that corporations can use as a counter to lower the wages and benefits of all working people, both documented and undocumented.  Immigration policy has never been about "making people into citizens."  Immigration policy has always and continues to begin with the question "Who can we attack and how so that we can make more money for the rich in this country?"

My home town is a perfect example of how "immigration policy" in the US works.  In the 30s and 40s, unemployed farmers and other workers migrated to Kern County, CA to look for work in the Depression, the "Okies" of the Grapes of Wrath.  My own family came over from Kansas in the early 60s.  Those migrants were treated like human trash, dirty, filthy pigs who were coming over to steal from the people "already here".  This allowed the big farm operators to keep conditions in the field barely above slavery and make huge profits.

Kern County is a huge agricultural center in the US.  You can go to any store in Washington and find produce from the farms around my grandma's house.  Your beautiful baby carrots could have been picked by a 50-year old man who spent 8 hours hunched over in a field in 100-degree summer weather with no access to drinking fountains and he might even be lucky enough to have been “accidently” sprayed with pesticides from a plane, meaning he and his fellow farmworkers, men and women, adults and children, once again “get to” strip naked and be decontaminated in a makeshift Hazmat station.

Immigration doesn’t change; human beings move.  The only thing that changes is the location from which people move and the reasons.  When Okies stopped coming, Big Business looked to Mexico for cheap labor.  After the war to “save the world from fascism,” Big Business was so eager to get back to the business of squeezing profits out of workers that they told the US government to create a program to “import” cheap labor from Mexico, the bracero program, rather than employ native born workers (who might demand fair wages and working conditions).  That program was and continues to be a goldmine for the rich. Today, it’s the immigrants from Mexico who are treated like human trash, dirty, filthy pigs who come over to steal from the people “already here.”  And this time it’s the children and grandchildren of the Okies who are encouraged to see and treat the latest migrants as their own families were treated.  And Big Business smiles all the way to the bank.

Despite the “debate” in Congress about “comprehensive immigration reform” (really, it’s just a debate about how miserable Congress can make the lives of immigrants so that Big Business can maintain its standard of low wages and low benefits and thereby make more profits),  there’s no real impetus to change things.  The status quo  works out great for Big Business:  immigrants are scared (and therefore won’t complain when they’re mistreated), native born workers follow the lead of right wing talk radio and TV talking heads (usually the only media they have access to), and the money keeps rolling in for Big Business while everyone here on the ground suffers.  It’s an irony of the capitalist system that the immigrant workers who are “stealing” from the system are now paying into the Social Security system (from which they will never receive benefits) of the Okies who were also “stealing” from the system, while many of the children and grandchildren of those same Okies aren’t working at all in today’s recession.  The system is in a stalemate and WE are the ones to break the stalemate and push for a solution that benefits US instead of a “compromise” in which we give up everything and Big Business gives up nothing.  The example of the fate of the Sensenbrenner Bill shows the power we have when we refuse to accept the limits set before us by our enemies AND by our so-called allies in organizations all too willing to give up everything to make our enemies smile:  when the bigots threaten to turn every undocumented worker and anyone who "helped" them into criminals, millions of undocumented workers went on what was effectively a limited general strike and STOPPED THE BILL DEAD IN ITS TRACKS, MAKING OUR DEMANDS A PART OF THE DEBATE.

The ruling class has never hesitated turn to immigrants to fill the ranks of the US military war machine at the same time as they incite racism and xenophobia against them.  My own father couldn’t afford to go to Bakersfield College and so he served time in Vietnam in the late 60s.  Today, they dangle the prize of citizenship named “The Dream Act” before immigrants desperate for a chance for their children and their families.

The solution:  activists need to intervene in the debate.  Politicians are not our “allies” in this struggle; they are opponents and they need to be treated as such.  Activists need to win immigrant and native born workers to the idea that they should work together against the real enemy:  Big Business.  Native born workers should not be fighting against immigrant workers for the crumbs that Big Business tosses to us.  We should be fighting alongside immigrant workers against Big Business for the whole damn loaf.

If you really want a solid understanding of the history of immigration and immigration policy in the western United States, especially if you're in or from Kern County, check out No One is Illegal:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Harry Hay's Writings: Through the Gay Window, 1970-1980

Through the Gay Window, 1970-1980

Hay’s speculations concerning the biological basis of homosexuality did not lead him to make sweeping pronouncements lumping together every instance of it in world history or explaining individual behaviors by reference to genes instead of social context. Rather, his new ideas concerning the origins of homosexuality actually freed him to approach Gay liberation in increasingly spiritual terms. With the stigma of an origin in deviation, accident, or moral failure removed, anchored in the conviction that homosexuality exists because it serves humanity, Hay began to explore the deepest levels of the meaning of being Gay, returning to the questions he first posed in Mattachine:  who are we? where do we come from? what are we for?

This change in Hay's approach was apparent in the essay in the previous section, "The Homosexual's Responsibility to the Community" (pp. 162-66). It is even more pronounced in his 1970 address to the Western Homophile Conference, which followsHay declares that "we are a Minority of common Spirituality," and he draws specific parallels between Gay oppression and that of women and racial minorities. He also uses for the first time the concept of the "Gay window," later supplanted by "Gay consciousness." Clearly, Hay had absorbed the influences of the 1960s and made them his own - but instead of the Age of Aquarius, his call was for the Community of Free Spirits and Gay liberation was its avatar.

During the years he lived in New Mexico (1970-1979), Hay found himself increasingly dissatisfied with the language and concepts available for thinking about Gay people, and he continued to experiment with both. But phrases alone were no longer enough. At a deeper level, Hay found himself struggling with the basic tenets of his political philosophy - Hegelian-derived dialectics - and the assumption that all natural and social processes were based on the agonistic interaction of pairs of opposites. This went to the core of Marxism, since Marx and Engels had constructed their theory of political economy by applying dialectics.

Hay's re-evaluation of Marxism was triggered not only by the obvious failings of the Soviet experience and the homophobia of the American Left, but also by the cumulative effect of the scientific advances of the twentieth century-especially theories such as Einstein's principle of relativity, which undermined the suppositions of Cartesian objectivity, the separation of observing subject and observed object. As Hay put it, science had learned that “Nature could not be fitted into the binary system.”  Indeed, by the 1960s, the very basis of the scientific claim to truth and authority was being questioned. In "The Hammond Report," Hay noted the trend that has "re-cast Scientific Theory as a 'mode of discourse,' in contrast to its earlier eminence as a series of given dogmatic systems of divinely revealed polarities and irreversible acceptances.”1

By the 1970s, critiques of Western knowledge, including the way in which it promoted the objectification of others and of nature were common. Indeed, everyone seemed to be seeking a language to talk about the "worldview" of Western societies and what might be its successor. Feminists talked of patriarchal consciousness.  Environmentalists and eco-feminists talked of the
"disenchantment" of nature. Social and intellectual historians revealed the unscientific core assumptions of Western science by telling its history. Hay, characteristically, took these critiques one step further. If science contradicted the assumptions of dialectics, Marxism had to change if it was to retain its claim to being the "scientific" theory of social change.2 Further, if Marxism, in relying on dialectics, fostered the consciousness of objectification – the common denominator of sexism, racism, homophobia, and social and environmental exploitation - then it was a part of the problem instead of a solution.

Indeed, the fundamental binary, the one from which all others can be shown to derive - and the most insidious of all because of its claim to being natural - is that of male and female. In any binary system of sexuality and gender, homosexuality will invariably come off looking as derivative, a deviation or an accident of heterosexual maleness and femaleness. This led Hay to conclude that Gay oppression itself was rooted in binary ideology. Further, dialectics project a world in which antagonism and competition are the natural state of affairs, and Hay had become convinced that competition was unnatural for some people, including Gays.  There had to be room for the principles of sharing and cooperation.  Hay had become convinced that such ideals were also a part of "human nature" by his observations among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, functioning examples of highly cooperative and egalitarian communities.

The breakthrough for Hay occurred when he combined the critique of binarism with his emerging sense of Gay consciousness. This occurred in April 1976, while writing a letter to a fellow Leftist. In trying to explain the inner difference he felt as a Gay child, he described how other boys seemed to consider girls merely as sex objects, to be manipulated into "giving in," and the girls, for that matter, seemed to think of the boys as objects, too.  "But HE whom I would love would be another ME-not an object but another subject." At this point, as Hay likes to say, he "had a rush of brains to the head," and the phrase "subject-SUBJECT" came to mind as the essential characteristic of the kind of relationship he had always dreamed of, while "subject-OBJECT" described the consciousness based on projecting Others - women, minorities, Gays, animals, nature, and so forth-as alien and non-human, that is, as non-subjects, as objects. At this point, Hay recalls, he pulled the letter from his typewriter and started the essay included here, "Gay Liberation: Chapter Two" (pp.202-r6).3

             Hay derives subject-SUBJECT partly from the logic of same-sex relationships. In a society founded on the inequality of genders, relations within genders tend to be where ideals of equality are developed and practiced. Hay also saw subject-SUBJECT as a product of the particular experience of growing up Queer in a heterosexual society. Not oriented toward the opposite sex in the ways our peers are, we sometimes escape indoctrination into the habit of viewing others as objects, sexual or otherwise. In our dreams, as Hay so evocatively relates, we imagine our lovers as subjects, like ourselves, supplements who inspire us, not complements who supply our sense of inner lack.

The two most important influences on Hay's concept of subject-SUBJECT were both Gay men - Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter. Whitman had made strong political, cultural, and spiritual claims for love between equals: "I say democracy infers such loving comradeship, as its most inevitable twin or counterpart, without which it will be incomplete, in vain, and incapable of perpetuating itself.'" Whitman referred to this special kind of bonding as "adhesive love," and the images he used to represent it wert: predominantly homoerotic.5 Carpenter, too, advocated the political and spiritual values of comradely love, adding to the formulation his notion of Gay people as "intermediate types."6

The essay Hay wrote in 1976 also reveals the influence of a book that had a seminal impact on the New Age movement – Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier's The Morning of the Magicians (published in French in 1960 and in English in I963). These authors weave together occult legends and recent science with a reinterpretation of the past suggesting that secret societies and esoteric knowledge have been the unseen hand in history. The book is perhaps best remembered for its exposition of the Nazi fascination with magic and the occult. Its more sensational assertions aside, the authors manage to marshal a wide range of evidence hinting at an impending watershed in human history. "It is not the first time in the history of humanity that human consciousness has had to switch to another level," they argue, using what would become one of Hay's favorite images. "In normal life we only use a tenth of our potential resources of attention, prospection, memory, intuition and co-ordination. We may well be on the point of discovering, or rediscovering, the keys that will enable us to open within ourselves doors behind which a mass of new knowledge is awaiting US."7

It was these authors' speculations on modes of consciousness that most impressed Hay. They wrote: "How does the brain normally work? It functions like an arithmetical machine-a binary machine: Yes, No, Agreed, Not agreed, True, False, J like, I don't like, Good, Bad. In the binary field our brain is unbeatable… We believe that the human brain also can, in certain circumstances, function like an analogical machine. That is to say, it should be able: (a) to assemble everything possible that can be observed about a thing; (1)) Draw up a list of constant relationships between the manifold aspects of an object; (c) Become, in a sense, the thing itself; assimilate its essence and discover everything about its future destiny."8 In "Gay Liberation: Chapter Two," Hay links this notion of analog thinking to his earlier ideas on Gay consciousness and the "Gay window" - the result is change. The vision of society that emerges from this interconnection of spirituality and politics is multicultural, cooperative, and decentralized. Rather than objectifying diverse communities as "Other," subject-SUBJECT consciousness fosters the extension of common humanity to all. Affirming the other who affirms you does not require the erasure or denial of difference.

For Hay, Gay activism informed by spiritual values is the modern version of the community service traditionally performed by third-gender figures like the Native American Two-Spirit. But Hay stresses that his visions and ideals are a "call" - for those who hear the message in their hearts as well as their minds. A spirit quest can never be imposed, required, legislated, or prescribed, nor can matters of the spirit be reduced to political discourseBut, of course, taking ourselves seriously, inquiring into the nature of our sexuality and its deepest meaning, and loving ourselves and each other for being Gay remain crucial first steps toward liberation. Gay politics thus begins in the realm of the human spirit, and while politics can never take the place of spirituality they eventually lead us back to that realm, as we seek to find the language to express our visions of a better world.

1. Henry Hay, "The Hammond Report: A Deposition, with Subsequent Commentary on the Conspiracy of Silence anent Social Homophilia," ONE Institute Quarterly 6 (1, 2) (Winter-Spring 1963): 6-21, p. 20.
2. Of course, Hay has not been alone in seeking a mode of thought that transcends dialectics. The school of deconstructive philosophy linked to Jacques Derrida also seeks to deconstruct binaries, albeit in quite different ways.
3. Somewhat similar concepts and even terminology have been employed by other authors, before and after Hay. Martin Buber, for example, wrote of "I-Thou" relationships in I and Thou (trans. Ronald G. Smith [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1937]), and Paulo Freire gave his ideas a radical political application in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970). Hay was not aware of other usages, however, when he coined "subject-SUBJECT," and he rightly insists on the unique meaning he gives it. Subject-SUBJECT is not, for example, a synonym for "empathy," which implies one person doing something to another who remains passive, or some other version of middle-class notions of being "nice."  Subject-SUBJECT relating requires two active subjects voluntarily engaged in mutual and reciprocal communication. It cannot be exercised unilaterally.
4. Walt Whitman, The Collected Writings of Walt Whitman, vol. 9, Prose Works, 1892, vol. 2, ed. Floyd Stovall (New York: New York University Press, 1964), 414.
5. Robert K. Martin, The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979); Michael Lynch, "'Here Is Adhesiveness':  From Friendship to Homosexuality," Victorian Studies 2.9(1) (Autumn 1985): 67-96.
6. Key works by Edward Carpenter include Love's Coming of Age (1896), The Intermediate Sex (1908), and Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk (1914). In the 1970s, Hay was not alone in asserting that the particular features of relationships between individuals of the same gender could be the source of contributions to politics and/or spiritualityThis claim is implicit in many of the contributions to such important Gay liberation collections as Karla Jay and Allen Young's Out of the Closets and Len Richmond and Gary Noguera's The Gay Liberation Book, and fully developed by Arthur Evans in Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture and David Fernbach in The Spiral Path. More recently, Mark Blasius has argued that the "erotic reciprocity" of Lesbian and Gay sexuality, "in which the active partner is only competent to the extent that she or he gives pleasure and in which being the passive 'receiver' of pleasure is an active position" is the basis of a distinct Lesbian/Gay ethic (Gay and Lesbian Politics: Sexuality and the Emergence of a New Ethic [Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994], PP. 90-91).
7. Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians (1960; London: Granada, 1963), PP. 2.3, 28.
8. Ibid., p. 239.

equal to equal, sharer to sharer"

In May 1970, a few months after delivering the previous selection [Western Homophile Conference Keynote Address], Hay and Burnside moved to New Mexico. The couple was soon immersed in the local political scene, networking with Chicano activists, Native American traditionalists, nearby Lesbian collectives, and Gay students from Albuquerque. Inwardly, however, these were years of intense intellectual turmoil for Hay.  In Los Angeles, he had been swept up by the excitement of the counterculture and its ideas, from its coalition politics reminiscent of the Popular Front to its visionary, even millenarian rhetoric of a dawning New Age. He had begun using terms like "Gay window" and, in 1972, "Gay consciousness" more or less intuitively.  But what, exactly, did they refer to? What were the contents of a Gay consciousness? Now Hay sought to seriously reconcile these new ideas with his long-held Marxist convictions.

The more he thought about it the more he felt the need for a comprehensive synthesis of his ideas. Eventually this led him to question many assumptions of Marxist theory that he had previously taken for granted. In the following essay, Hay argues that the shortcomings of Marxism are due in part to its reliance on dialectics, which is a form of binary thinking based on the Cartesian separation of observer and observed, subject and object.  The next evolution in human consciousness, he concludes, will be based on "analog thinking," in which this separation is no longer presumed. In trying to find words to describe this mode of thought Hay coined the phrase "subject-SUBJECT" (not remembering that he had used a very similar phrase, "subject-to-subject," nine years earlier). The concept of subject-SUBJECT consciousness provided the synthesis Hay had been seeking, encapsulating in a single, talismanic phrase what he had been trying to convey about the worldview and the values fostered by an emotional orientation to bond with one's own gender.

Gay Liberation: Chapter Two
Serving Social/Political Change through our Gay Window


It is important to say, at the outset, that the following is written from the Gay Masculine point of view. We fully respect the comprehension that Feminine Consciousness is quite different from Masculine Consciousness - and that Gay Feminine Consciousness may be very different indeed from Gay Masculine Consciousness.  Insofar as it is known to the writer, the Gay Women have not addressed themselves to the matters about to be discussed.  Until they do so, it would be hubristic for any Masculine writer to presume either their assent to, or their inclusion in, propositions such as the ones here being thrashed out. If our Sisters would choose to come to such Conferences as the writer hopes these remarks may engender and thrash out these new insights and intuitions with us, the outreachings and outpourings of our love shall surmount all obstacles.

            In 1878, when Engels was writing his Landmarks of Scientific Socialism, the Grand Science of Aristotelian classifications and categories, of Cartesian analysis, of Newtonian Formulae, was at last firmly ensconced within the long-sought upward-sweeping spiral unlocking the last secrets of the Universe. Objective Analysis, wholly in the control of the Experimenter as detached observer also referred to as the Dialectic or Binary perspective - in ascendance triumphantly leveled the last barriers in Physics and Chemistry to irreducibles. Great Thinkers on the Human Condition could declare with certainty that "all things in Nature will soon be knowable to Man." Within a decade the great French Chemist, Berthelot, would be able to write "from now on there is no mystery about the Universe.”1 It was regarded as established beyond all doubt that the Sun was composed of incandescent coal. Light waves were transmitted in Space through Ether. Time, Matter, and Energy were all absolutes. All events throughout the Universe occurred simultaneously. Matter consisted of a fixed number of elements, none of which could be turned into another, nor could matter be transformed into Energy.

It was a time of swelling triumph, the pre-Dawn already savoring and anticipating the inaugural of the Intellectual and Scientific Millennium. Cartesian analysis had laid everything bare. Physics thus was a subject totally exhausted - no more mysteries there. Biology, too, had revealed all its secrets. And then, suddenly, giddily, with the advent of the year 1887 - sweeping, overwhelming DISASTER!  (Great Authorities in many branches of Science would, and even today still do, go down to their graves in absolute despair - never being able to comprehend what had gone wrong.)  The Michelson-Morley experiment of that year made continued belief in the Ether impossible and in so doing also demolished forever the logical basis upon which nineteenth-century science had been built, the dependence upon models derived by "common sense," i.e., ordinary life-experience. Freud had already demonstrated that the intentioned objectivity in the social sciences of that cornerstone of nineteenth-century Absolutism, "the detached observer," was an impossibility. With the establishing of the Heisenberg "uncertainty principle," these rigid articles of the Scientific Faith - "the Detached Observer" and "Absolute Objectivity" - were driven out of the last stronghold, Physics.2 The Curies, in 1898, negated the contentions of Berthelot by demonstrating that elements do indeed transmute themselves into other elements.  Dr. Marie Curie had isolated, and thus in effect had discovered, Polonium (to be followed later by Ionium and Radium) from the element Uranium-eventually demonstrating that Radium itself breaks down into the elements Helium and Lead. Worse - for the continued relevance of the concept of the Unity of Opposites – the Curies' work consolidated Roentgen's discovery of the X-ray in 1895, and verified A. H. Becquerel's discovery of Radioactivity in Uranium in 1896. The principles involved in X-rays and in Radioactivity blasted the rock - solid certainty of the heretofore proven principles of the Conservation of Mass and the Conservation of Energy - by demonstrating the equivalence of Mass and Energy, by demonstrating the one could be transformed into the other at will.

With the Einsteinian negation of the simultaneity of Time, Newtonian Mechanics was wholly dethroned. The logics of Reason and of "Common Sense" were finally recognized as no longer valid as tools in the comprehension of Nature. In the new Physics, propositions could be both true and false: an entity could be at once continuous and discontinuous, since Light, for instance, must be accepted as both a discontinuous particle and a continuous wave.  Though our brains function in, and our languages are limited to, Binary (at best Dialectical) dimensions - by 1900 it had been once-and-for-all demonstrated that Nature could not be fitted into the Binary system which governs the workings of our brain in its normal state. Good-bye to the nineteenth-century dream that Man would one day CONQUER Nature, that Man could objectify Nature
(or anything else, for that matter) - in effect territorially seize her, bend one or more of her powers to his will out of the context in which it had been developed, manipulate her, control her. The new Physics had, in actuality, dethroned the Hetero Chauvinist Sexist Arrogant Man-god himself!

To comprehend the new data, Science has had to move from the Aristotelian-Cartesian logics of Binary-analytical-classifying objective thought to "analog" thought, from formula-type thinking in categories to modular thinking, from two-dimensional inter-processes of Dialectical thinking to three-dimensional or triangulational thinking. Whereas the BINARY, or digital, computer studying a given problem functions in terms of opposites in terms of Go/No-Go, true or false, yes or no, add or subtract, A or B, man or woman, with nothing in between according to the Aristotelian "Law of the Excluded Middle" - the ANALOG computer, in studying a given problem, essays to become the problem, by becoming a three-dimensional map or model of the problem. To further illustrate the profound difference between the two computers, whereas, in the Binary thinking process inherited from Aristotle via the Renaissance, the Researcher (under the false assumption that he could be a detached observer) objectifies the problem, finding ways and means to fit the components of the problem (bending them a little occasionally) to his manipulatable formulae of irreducible opposites, in the ANALOG thinking process the Researcher attempts to study the problem subjectively - he attempts, as the saying goes, to get inside it, to appreciate what it has to share, to respect it. The old obsolete approach was the way of arrogance, with the certainty of conquest taken for granted. The new approach is one of humility with a willingness to live in doubt.

Science, with the aid of its newly developed ANALOG-type technology, can and has moved forward in step with these enormous breakthroughs in perceptions of the Natural World. But the Social Sciences - Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, History,
Political Science - are all still caught up in the straitjackets of Cartesian-limited nineteenth-century thought. Every single one of these disciplines still presupposes the false illusion of the "detached observer." Every single one of these disciplines still presupposes that it can objectify its sphere of study. Every single one of these disciplines is still shackled with the limitations of traditionally inherited Binary thinking-arithmetical propositions such as plus or minus, add or subtract (electric calculators all multiply and divide as super-functions of adding or subtracting), Yes or No (mechanisms of the Binary Democratic process), Go or No-Go (if you' re not a man you're a substitute woman - what else is there?) - and analysis by classifications and categories examined by arithmetical logic and the results abstracted and then even further reduced in order to be fitted into measurable formulae (in Sociology people are reduced to formulae of behavior, and behavior in turn is further reduced by being fitted to " roles") - the exact opposite of the ANALOG thinking process of map-making, of model-making, where you keep putting in as much data as possible - not taking it out. Thus, even propositions examined dialectically in terms of fundamental opposites in processes of interrelationships - however the imagination leaps and thrusts at the barriers of consciousness to find new organic processes by which to encompass in the Humanities a parallel to the Scientific breakthroughs - are still functions of the Binary Mind.

In the above regard it must be perceived that Marx and Engels, writing and pondering considerably prior to Science's point-of-no-return confrontations of 1887-1906, and its historic qualitative leap forward from the obsolete logics of reason and "common sense," nevertheless were themselves anticipating such a leap. The tools they derived from their own "breakthrough" Theory of Historical Materialism, and their praxis of applying its hypothetical components, such as the principles of the Unity of Opposites and of the Negation of the Negation, to the political struggles of their times were then and are now precisely those exercises by which the Human Mind acquires the skills and dexterities to make the qualitative leap from Binary to Analog thinking. The one perception they were unable to experience, because they both were dead before the Heisenberg "uncertainty principle" had been arrived at, was the need to re-orient the focus of their concern from objective to subjective dimensions. So exemplary had been their integrity in testing their theories against the best scientific thinking available in their day, they would have been in the forefront of those negating the proven-to-be-obsolete competitive territoriality of deforming Nature to Man's willful control (which Lysenko, attempting to objectify Genetics to fit his Binary illusions, would attempt in their name in the 1950s - the after-effects of which the Soviet food production efforts are still suffering from).3 They would have had no difficulty in relating to the subjective respect which EMPATHY requires of all those who seek to learn how to fit into someone else's shoes - for, in illustration after illustration, this is exactly what both of them, independently, did in developing the magnificent models from which they derived the principles of Historical MaterialismAnd here, the process of model-making is identical, alike for the researcher in History or Ethology: one steeps one's self in all the observations that one's Binary functions can deliver. Then one invokes Inspiration to flash upon a model that can organize, correlate, and combine into a usable concept the chaotic mass of information gathered. This preliminary having been accomplished, one learns, through the crutch of the model and the exercise of Empathy, to become the problem (subjectively) and to feel in the very tissues of one's intuitions the generative processes that will birth the problem's resolution. Surely Engels's essay "The Mark" was the product of just such a resolution,4 while Lewis Henry Morgan's unfortunate theory of "progressive evolution" (eventually to be utterly negated by both Biology and Ethology) was not!

The way out of our comprehensional stalemate, the quagmire into which the Binary inheritances of our brain-training and our cultural superstructure have hurled us, would appear to be to find ways to activate the seven-eighths of our minds which up to now have not been made responsive to consciousness. Humanity must expand its experience from persons (subjects) thinking objectively, thinking competitively-in a nutshell, thinking opportunistically and nearly always in terms of self-advantage-to thinking subject-to-SUBJECT, equal to equal, sharer to sharer, to thinking in terms of loving-sharing. Humanity must expand its experience to thinking of another, that other, not as object-to be used, to be manipulated, to be mastered, to be consumed-but as subject, as another like him/herself, another self to be respected, to be appreciated, to be cherished.

            But might Humanity, this late in the evolutionary process, find the inspiration to so drastically alter the course of its social development?  And, if so, where might guides and mentors be located?  Interestingly enough, in this regard, we have an unexpected resource in the (even now not too well understood) findings of Charles Darwin. Natural Selection, early on in human evolution, set into the evolving whirl a small percentage of beings who appeared to counterbalance a number of prevalent characteristics of the emerging Human conformity. Humanity, thus, would be wise to finally give consideration to these deviants in their ranks - the Gays - to begin to grant them the peace and the growing space they will need to display and to further develop in communicable words and in models of activity the "gift," the singular mutation we Gays have been carrying so unfalteringly and preserving so passionately even over the centuries of despair and persecution since the Great Mother Nature breathed the first incandescent spark into our primevals. For the Gift, of course, is that ANALOG VISION through our Gay Window by which we perceive the world in Gay Consciousness IF WE WILL BUT GRASP IT, FLESH IT OUT, EXERCISE IT AFFIRMATIVELY!

              Operating with ANALOG VISION is where our Gay Potential has been all along. Each of us has exercised this function over and over, never necessarily knowing that we did so, even as our Gay Brothers have perceived magnificent overviews of their parent world from their Gay windows over the millennia (Plato's vision of his "Republic" is a case in point) never guessing that their Hetero Binary-fitted siblings couldn't even conceive of the three-dimensional models we Gays thought everybody saw. Each of us has exercised this function over and over in order to preserve the beautiful Dream in his heart while managing to move and function somewhat unnoticed and unremarked through the mazes of Hetero conformities that comprise the environs of our parent societies: 

  • Non-competitively inclined since earliest memories, nonaggressive, kicked out of the nest too young because we smelled wrong to Papa's and/or siblings' unconscious compulsions toward bio-cultural inheritances to which we do not incline, we worked hard in our heads to make models of their unconsciously inherited unexamined assumptions so that we could learn consciously the behavior role-plays they so easily and so simply took-for-granted;  
  • Seeking our alter-egos, our loves, our Golden Dreams-not as objects to be bent to our will but as subjects, as equals – equals to be respected and cherished.
         The Hetero monogamous relationship is one in which the participants, through bio-cultural inheritance, traditionally perceive each other as OBJECT. To the Hetero male, woman is primarily perceived as sex-object and then, only with increasing sophistication, as person-object. The Gay monogamous relationship is one in which the participants, through non-competitive instinctual inclinations and contrary to cultural inheritances, perceive each other as Equals and learn, usually through deeply painful trials-and-errors, to experience each other, to continuously grow, and to develop with each other, empathically - as SUBJECT. The Gay Lover's relationship is actually hindered by his cultural inheritance.  The pleiotropisms5 of his non-competitive instinctual inclinations permit him, at the beginning at least, to perceive his vision, his dream of the lover empathically as Equal and as Subject (the supreme example of ANALOG VISION-even if we don't know that we know it, and don't understand that we exercise it; learning after all is more often than not merely finding out about what we already know). But so continually are we bombarded by the Madison Avenue techniques of our social environment (the inescapable Church/Family in the olden days) that the moment we embark upon a relationship we find ourselves unconsciously objectifying one another, attempting in one way or another to dominate, to get our way, to gain or abstract sympathy-rather than to give empathy or indeed to become empathic. To dominate the beloved is to destroy the Equal!  How piercingly our Gay Brother Oscar Wilde said it in "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," "Yet each man kills the thing he loves/By each let this be heard!" Learning to live with, and to grow with, one's Equal is a long and racking process concerning which there exists neither arcane lore nor contemporary recorded experience to guide or advise. To call another into being, to continuously challenge one's self and that beloved other, into being and becoming the total exponents of that soaring growth and development each is capable of-the Love-Dream and ANALOG VISION of Equals-is what the Gay monogamous relationship is all about!

              Our Gay Window on the World affords us ANALOG VISION, a most revealing triangulational "fix" on the Hetero world folks and their tragically destructive objective relationships with each other, if we will but grasp it:

  • Thinking about thinking about being Gay and learning, as Gays, to apply Gay Consciousness to thinking is the actual model by which we teach ourselves to function with ANALOG Consciousness. This can be one of the ways by which we prepare ourselves to bring the gift of our "mutation" to the service of our Hetero brothers and sisters - no, rather to the eleventh-hour last-ditch redemption of us all. And, most significantly, as we closely examine this process we shall find ourselves learning to become proficient in the exercise of the "Unity of Opposites" and the "Negation of the Negation," and the quantifying of meta-(beyond)-Binary experiences as preparation preliminary to the qualitative leap to the new levels of perceptual dimensions now required if Society is to remain viable. 
  • Thinking about applying Gay Consciousness to the very nature of our power-potential to triangulate through our Gay Window the Heteros' traditionally objective or Binary experience has much to teach us about ANALOG modelmaking and, in time, about how to transmit that knowledge to interested Heteros. Above, we talked about how the Scientist and the Historical Materialist prepare themselves to conceive the particular model needed in a given relationship - but this was a highly disciplined Binary approach. What we invoke here is the subjectively felt experience common to the background of most Gays. Thinking about how we thought about that mysterious tingling something-golden-someday-promise (what was going to turn out to be Gay Consciousness later) suddenly reveals to us that we each made (had to make) in our heads not a two- but a THREE-dimensional model of how Hetero boys and girls seemed to relate to each other in mysterious taken-for-granted ways, in order to teach ourselves how to do likewise, so as not to be unduly victimized for our differences. To the extent that we were able to trigger the girls into responding to us in the same way as they responded to the Hetero boys, we succeeded-learning in the process more about how the Hetero Genders react to themselves and to each other than they are likely to know about themselves and about each other. (We hardly could be expected to know that such performances as ours were perfect illustrations of the world-famous Stanislavsky techniques commercialized and degraded in America by Lee Strasberg as "Method Acting.") 
          It is this Gift - this mutational potential, implicit in most Gays, of initiating and developing Modular comprehensions and then, through empathy, being able to become the modular Daemon of that comprehension in subject-to-subject relationships of equals - that Gays have to contribute to those groups who seek social change through radical alternatives. It is this triangulational vision, this seeing-a round-corners of mostly unconscious Hetero community gender-role interplays that we can offer through the gently mocking healing laughter-magicks of "Camp." Our use of self-mocking but self-loving laughter, as a corrective for error, and as a healer, may help our Hetero brothers and sisters learn the art of penetrating criticism and self-criticism as a way to help the loving-sharing society function more truly. With this Gift of being Gay, this Gift of an ANALOG, modular, triangulating vision of the world through our Gay Window when exercising Gay Consciousness with high integrity, Gay Radicals should find themselves called upon to constitute an independent, collectively self-motivated, self-disciplined caucus in every radical organization or group. The Gay Radical Caucus must be dedicated, as our Gay Brother Socrates so characterized himself long ago, as the Gay Conscious Gadflies of the radical movement. As such Gay Conscious Gad-flies, they would constantly challenge assumptions, constantly confront motivations from the standpoint of analog type, or three-dimensional value judgments, and constantly provoke re-appraisals, if not outright constant re-examinations, of basic propositions with the aim of training their Hetero fellowtravelers to make the qualitative leap to ANALOG perspectives.

With the aid of the modular insights our Gay Windows afford us, we must - by our contributions - aid our Hetero neighborhood communities to learn to respect us precisely for our behavioral and perceptual differences from them. Once the Hetero Community groups begin to appreciate the truly greater depths of perception our triangulation, or ANALOG, vision affords them, laws and customs favoring us with Space and Freedom – within which to grow ever more expansively in Gay Consciousness and to flourish as only our true Fairy persons would have it - will take care of themselves.


Long have we carried this promise for Humanity as a secret hoard, a something-somewhere-ache-in-the-genes that the total parliament of our instincts uninterruptedly thrashed about with - seeking unconsciously (as does the Weaver Bird with the twig before the accidental twining of one twig with another has triggered cognition) the ache's fulfillment. Now that we are becoming aware of our particular Gay Window upon the World and the contributive vistas our Gay Consciousness, used with integrity, affords us through that window, it is time for Gay Liberation to re-awaken!

            Now that we are beginning to have a glimmering of how to earn for ourselves Space in which to contemplate affirmatively our particular dimensions of self-realization, IT IS TIME FOR GAY LIBERATION FAIRIES TO RECONSTITUTE THE AGE-OLD AND AGE-LESS RINGS OF THEIR FOLK RESPONSIBILITIES!

Now that we are beginning to find words and images to think about being Gay and thinking about the self-realizations we've always known about ourselves that we didn't know we knew, about that modular way we have always used to think about the Straight World that we didn't know until now was the new Scientific Way the Heteros must learn if they are to remain viable, IT IS TIME GAY LIBERATION REGENERATES ITSELF INTO THE GAY FAIRY FAMILY OF LOVING-SHARING EQUALS, each choosing of his own volition to be responsible for himself, each choosing of his own volition to be responsible to each of the others of his chosen fairy ring!

Now that we may be able to find a way to aid Hetero Alternative and Hetero Left Groups to restore the Historical-Materialist outlook for Marxism to its lead position as the Vanguard of Community-revolutionizing dynamics by liberating its ongoing historical-political insights from the dead hand of the nineteenth century's obsolete scientific outlook, IT IS TIME FOR GAY LIBERATION TO GATHER FOR COLLECTIVE REBIRTH AND RENEWAL!

Now that we are beginning to perceive how great a treasure of commonalty we share collectively at the spiritual levels of our biocultural inheritance, just below the levels of that inadequate obsolete Binary Hetero makeshift of a language we Fairies are earthbound by, IT IS TIME WE FIND NEW WAYS AND MEANS TO CONFER AND CONVOKE THE FORGING OF THE NEW LANGUAGE WE WILL NEED TO COMMUNICATE THE GLORIES OF OUR TREASURE, OUR "GIFT TO BE GAY."

P.S. We should not expect the Hetero radical masses, taken as a whole, to like us. We shall probably make them uncomfortable more often than not. We should learn how not to trigger their deeply ingrained Homophobias, which may be seen as part of their inheritance by Natural Selection, until such times as we have breathing space in which to discover suitable neutralizers. For the moment, however, we should ask only that the Hetero radicals respect the ANALOG dimensions of our Gay Conscious Integrity; we should ask only that they appreciate, and make full utilization of, our Gay Conscious contributions.

Signed "Harry and John," April 20, 1976, Circle of Loving Companions, Sanjuan Pueblo, New Mexico.

I. Quoted in Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians (1960; London: Granada, (963), pp. 10, 13.
2. Heisenberg's uncertainty or indeterminacy principle states that it is impossible to determine with complete accuracy both the position and momentum of a subatomic particle, thus converting the laws of physics into statements about relative probabilities.
3. On the Lysenko controversy, see Julian Huxley, Soviet Genetics and World Science: Lysenko and the Meaning of Heredity (London: Chano and Windus, I949).
4. Friedrich Engels, "The Mark," in Socialism Utopian and Scientific, trans. Edward Aveling (New York: International Publishers, 1935), pp. 77-93.
5. "Many, though not quite all, genetic differences produce what are known as pleiotropic, or manifold, effects; they alter two, or several, traits that do not have any obvious developmental interdependence .... If you are puzzled why natural selection has established as species characters, and even as characters of higher categories, some apparently useless morphological traits, remember that the useless traits may be parts of pleiotropic syndromes that also include less conspicuous but more vitally important components" (Theodosius Dobzhansky, "On Types, Genotypes, and the Genetic Diversity in Populations," in Genetic Diversity and Human Behavior, ed.]. N. Spuhler [Chicago: Aldine Publishing, I967], pp. 1-18, esp. p. 14).