Horowitz contra extreme homosexualism

(See follow-up to this thread, where we get at Horowitz’s actual record on homosexual “marriage.”)

Paul Nachman writes:

Horowitz sounds like echoes of you:

For these new radical theorists, the enemy is no longer a ruling class, a hegemonic race or even a dominant gender. Instead it is the sexual order of nature itself. Oppression lies in the very idea of the “normal,” the order that divides humanity into two sexes. Instead of a classless society as the redemptive future, queer theorists envisage a gender free world.

A specter is haunting America’s universities, the last refuge of the political left. It is the specter of “queer theory,” the latest of the radical identity politics that have replaced class struggle and the classic proletariat in the schema of Marxist revolution. Amidst the din and clatter of utopias crashing messily to earth, the true believers once again are burnishing the agendas of social revolution. In ivied trenches from Berkeley to Cambridge, lesbian and gay activists busily work to unveil the latest weapon in the intellectual armory of the tenured left. “Queer politics is no longer content to carve out a buffer zone for a minoritized and protected subculture,” an academic manifesto proclaims. Its goal is “to challenge the pervasive and often invisible heteronormativity of modern societies.” The same idea is explained in less obscure prose in the pages of the Village Voice: “It isn’t enough to become parallel to straights. We want to obliterate such dichotomies altogether.”

The “dichotomies” are already being obliterated in liberated zones of the popular culture. A San Francisco Chronicle reviewer describing Michael Jackson’s international video Black and White, which was seen by half a billion youngsters across the globe, waxes messianic: “The refrain in the Black and White video is ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.’ Most riveting is a computer-enhanced segment where a person changes ethnicity and sex in rapid succession….In a world threatened by racial tensions and overpopulation, the survival instinct could summon a new human, one who has no single race and who, by being … androgynous, is less subject to the procreative urge.” Commenting on this, novelist Saul Bellow observed “The idea is to clobber everything that used to be accepted as given, fixed, irremediable.” The task (in the words of the previously cited manifesto) is “to confront … modern culture with its worst nightmare, a queer planet.”

LA replies:

Horowitz’s statement is fine in itself, until you remember that he also supports homosexual “marriage.” Thus with passion and eloquence he condemns the leftist attack on “heteronormativity” and the “sexual order of nature itself,” even as he supports “marriage” between people of the same sex. Which is absurd. In his own defense, he will say that his position, of support for homosexual marriage, is not ideological but is based on the simple, humane requirement that homosexuals, who he insists have no choice about their homosexuality, not be deprived of the ability to marry like other people, while the radical left position that he opposes seeks to overthrow the order of nature itself. But if the position that marriage consists of the union of two persons of the same sex is not overthrowing the order of nature, what the hell is? And does he really imagine that to institutionalize homosexual marriage is not “to clobber everything that used to be accepted as given, fixed, irremediable.”And does he expect that a society in which homosexual “marriage” has been established will be able to hold the line against the more radical anti-heteronormativity campaign that he opposes?

His various positions are incoherent. They are held together by nothing more his desire to have the positions that he wants to have.

Also, it is very typical of Horowitz, to attack the most extreme ideological manifestations of the left, while supporting everything else on the left that falls just short of those ideological extremes.

Such is his “conservatism.”

And such “conservatism” in general will remain, until we overthrow the one-drop rule of conservatism which says that if a person opposes a couple of aspects of the left, while accepting everything else about the left, he’s a conservative.

P.S. Uh-oh, I can already sense another of Dennis Mangan’s periodic complaints about how if you disagree with Lawrence Auster about anything fundamental, Auster expels you from conservatism. Not exactly. What I say is that if you take positions that are fundamentally incompatible with conservatism, such as publicly arguing that God doesn’t exist or attacking Christianity (by which I mean, not just criticizing aspects of Christianity, but attacking and conveying a dislike of Christianity itself), or supporting homosexual marriage, or supporting socialism, then, by definition, you’re not a conservative. It’s not about “disagreeing with Lawrence Auster.” It’s about the fact that words have objective meanings. A sign of liberalism and relativism is to deny that words have objective meanings and to reduce truth to a matter of personalities.

LA continues:

As has been discussed at VFR in the past, the word conservatism is less stable and less clearly defined than the word liberalism. At the same time, the fact that the definition of conservatism has grey areas does not mean that conservatism has no definition and can be defined however one wants. For example, I think that everyone would agree that a socialist who advocates the government takeover of all private enterprise and the redistribution of wealth is, by definition, not a conservative. By the same token, I would say that an advocate of homosexual “marriage,” or an outspoken opponent of Christianity, is, by definition, not a conservative.

Oliver B. writes:

Dear Mr. Auster, you claim that David Horowitz “supports homosexual “marriage”’. But where is the evidence. I have searched both your website and the WWW, but have found nothing of the kind. The only thing I found was his insistence that there is no gay agenda, which falls short of supporting gay “marriage.” Instead I found this.

Thus I think that Horowitz is somewhat more conservative than you claim.

LA replies:

The Salon article you sent is from 1997. It was my understanding that in more recent years he changed his view and supported homosexual marriage. He told me once himself, about five years ago, that he supports it, and the Wikipedia article on him also says he supports it:

An agnostic, Horowitz has rejected what he sees as the intolerance of some Christian conservatives towards gay men and lesbians. Horowitz supports gay marriage, opposes Don’t ask, don’t tell, and believes homosexuals have a fundamental right to privacy and opposes any form of discrimination against gays and lesbians.[citation needed]

However, Wikipedia is not dispositive, since it supplies no source for that statement.

Furthermore, now that I’m looking, though the search is far from thorough, I’m not finding any articles by Horowitz in which he says that he supports it, though I thought he had. In light of my negative search results, as of this moment, I have no definite evidence that he has publicly supported homosexual marriage.

LA continues:

In the 1997 article in Salon Horowitz says he strongly supports equal respect and rights for homosexuals, and domestic partnerships, but not marriage, because

[h]omosexual relationships are not “equivalent” to heterosexual ones, any more than men are equivalent to women.

But if homosexual relationships are not equivalent to heterosexual ones, why does Horowitz support domestic partnerships for homosexuals which are virtually the same as marriage except for the word “marriage”? The reality is that once a person supports civil unions or domestic partnerships for homosexual couples, he has signed on to the principle of homosexual marriage, and is only resisting the word marriage. Ultimately he will yield on that as well.

Jonathan L. writes:

One thing that is extremely liberating about traditionalism is no longer having to answer the challenge of postmodernists and queer theorists. They are liberalism’s brats, let the liberals deal with them. (Or—to be a touch less flip …

Postmodernist: “How can you say Western society is completely liberated when it still makes distinctions, backed by force, between male and female, between sane and insane?”

Liberal: “Well, er, I, ummm…. [fighting retreat to the Unprincipled Exception].”

Traditionalist: “Who said I want a completely liberated society?”)

LA replies:

Exactly. Liberalism stands on the same ground as postmodern leftism, namely the belief in an undefined freedom as the ultimate good, and therefore cannot resist postmodern leftism on principle. Traditionalism does stand on a different ground from postmodern leftism and can resist it.

Terry Morris writes:

Extreme homosexualism? Isn’t that redundant? Kind of like “extreme Islamism.”

(I’m not challenging your choice of titles, but Horowitz’s position which limits your choices.)

LA replies:

Yes, that was my point: that Horowitz attacks an “extreme” which is not that different from the “moderate” positions he supports.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Send

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