Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Is the KKE a homophobic party? Behind the curtain of “individual rights”

By Nikos Mottas

The much-debated same-sex civil marriage bill has already been submitted to the plenary of the Greek Parliament and its voting has been scheduled for Thursday 15 February.

Apart from the liberal-conservative New Democracy government, the bill is expected to be supported by the social democratic opposition parties of Syriza and Pasok. From its side, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has firmly stated that it will vote down the proposed bill, underlying that the major aim of the law is to legalize the commercialization of surrogacy and the subsequent degradation of woman's role

Speaking of the Parliament's relevant committee, KKE MP Vivi Dagka said that the bill “legalizes the  trade of children and paves the way for the abolition of maternity's protection”. As she noted, Article 11 of the bill actually legalizes commercial surrogacy and constitutes the most extreme form of womens' exploitation, that is the commercialization of the female body, especially for the most vulnerable women.

Cde Dagka pointed out that in the name of equality and rights, the government attempts to hide the profitability of business giants within the global market of commercialization of human reproduction, which exploits the desire of couples, or individuals, to become parents.

In her speech, the KKE MP denounced the ND government which, through its tactics, provided space to racist, far-right and reactionary voices to appear as “defenders of womans' rights”, while their only concern is to defend the ultra-conservative perception of woman's role exclusively as a mother and wife. Vivi Dagka also condemned the hypocrisy of the bourgeois political system that talks about the “rights of vulnerable children” but doesn't say a word when children are victims of imperialist wars and capitalist exploitation.

The position of the KKE on the issue has been officially explained in a recent resolution issued by its Central Committee. Among others, the statement reads:

“The first and main reason for the KKE's refusal to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples, which enshrines shared parental responsibility, is the commercialization of procreation and adoption. A second, equally important and related reason is that, in practice, the articles of the bill bypass the social right of a child to the motherhood-fatherhood relation as an evolving biosocial relationship. Our Party considers that parenthood is the relationship between a parent and child, which at the individual level reflects existing social relations. The KKE's position is based on the rights of the child, i.e. the child's social need to have ties with its mother and father. This need has an objective basis: the interrelated motherhood-fatherhood relation, resulting from the complementary function of man and woman in the process of procreation. The laws that are enacted must defend this right, not undermine it.”

Indeed, the biological origins of humankind is the result of a male-female sexual relationship, which as such, is regulated by society.  Examining the issue from a dialectical-materialist point of view, the KKE asserts that the motherhood-fatherhood relation “is an exclusively human characteristic, beyond the instinctive protection that every mammal provides for its offspring. This complementary relation has a natural basis — because humans reproduce naturally — and from the very first moment it takes on a social character”.

If we go back to human history, we 'll see that in all exploitative societies, from slavery to capitalism, the codification of family relationships wasn't associated with rights concerning sexual relations. Everything that was legislated enshrined the right of man to know who his heirs are. This has been the basis of men's sexual freedom as opposed to that of women. The ceremonial or legal rights in a marriage were not determined on the basis of sexual relations or sexual orientation, but on the basis of social rights related to the reproduction of the species, the obligations and rights of parents towards their children, either as the future workforce or as members of the bourgeoisie.

The sexual orientation of every human being must be fully respected. But, after all, it is a private matter, like cohabitation. Sexual orientation or preference doesn't produce social rights. The institutionalization of civil marriage for same-sex couples is actually an extension of the institution of family to these couples thus paving the way for the commercialization of procreation and adoption, even by “ordering” customized babies that meet specific qualifications.

The preachers of “individual rights” have rushed to label the KKE as “homophobic”. They 'll do the same for this article. Rejecting commercialization of procreation and the degradation of female body isn't homophobia; it is a principled stance deriving from the study of dialectical materialism. Let us remind here that on December 2015 the KKE voted “present” when the “Cohabitation Agreement” bill for heterosexual couples was presented in the Greek Parliament. Since 2008, the Communist Party of Greece has expressed concerns about such – supposedly “progressive” - legislative initiatives, obviously not from a “homophobic” point of view but from a dialectical-materialist perspective and taking into account the formation and norms of capitalist society. 

We shall not forget that capitalism frequently uses “individual rights” in order to mislead and disorientate the working masses from the class struggle and the collective rights

Bourgeois societies formally proclaim “equality for all”, but leave completely untouchable the private property in the means of production, the relations of exploitation of man by man. The capitalist system encourages people to self-identify based on sexual orientation or any other individual characteristic, rather than their actually existing class position

Class politics must be abolished from public dialogue at all costs. Class warfare is dangerous and must be replaced by “identity politics”, so that the working class remains divided and unorganized, cannon fodder in the ongoing exploitation by monopoly capital.

The alternative is the continuous fight against any kind of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, colour, nationality or sexual orientation, inextricably incorporated in the broader class struggle against capitalist barbarism and exploitation of man by man. Real equality between people, men and women, without racial, sexual or any other discrimination, is possible only in a socialist-communist society, where social relations will undergo a radical change in all forms. 

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism.