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For Wilhelm Reich, sexual repression and repression in general are inseparable - for this reason, every outbreak of the fascist mentality in our political life is accompanied by attacks on the rights to contraception and abortion, a demonization of gays and lesbians, the sexualization of racial hatreds, increased calls for censorship and sexual abstinence, for the strengthening of traditional family and gender roles, and a generalized posture of macho militarism in the political class and its lackeys. In the Nazi rise to power in Germany, as in the Bush Administration today, this sexual agenda forms the underlying base of the party platform.
Reich recognized that the sexual politics of the fascists are necessary to the entire fascist program, creating in the great mass of people a terrified submission to patriarchal power. When the State becomes identified as the Fatherland (or Homeland), with the Fuehrer as its stern and heroic leader, an emotional regression occurs in many people that allows them to be easily manipulated by their fears. The early character-armoring which occurs in the authoritarian family, with its denial of the natural expression of love and sexuality, manifests itself in greed, envy, body-hatred, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and militarism, all of which are readily exploited by the fascist politician. Reich saw that as long as the natural expression of love and sexuality were denied the great mass of people, they would be easy prey for parasitic and dictatorial social relations. In his work in Germany with the Association for Proletarian Sex-Politics, Reich agitated for free birth control, free abortion, freedom of divorce, liberal sexual education, and the establishment of hostels where young people could find private rooms for sex.
Today, with fascism on the rise in the U.S., the BOP Collective believes that Reichian Sex-Pol is vital in opposing the Bush Administration and its supporters. Indeed, when Governor of California Arnold Schwarznegger can use the phrase "girlie-men" in a nationally-televised speech, we can see that the fascist variety of Sex-Pol has been energetically embraced by the Republican Party. To counter this devolutionary movement in the U.S., progressives must embrace with equal energy nothing less than a program of utopian sexual liberation. As Reich writes, "fascist mysticism is orgastic yearning, restricted by mystic distortion and inhibition of natural sexuality." In other words, beneath fascist character-armoring is a deep utopian urge for liberated orgasm, and for the liberation of all the other natural pleasures of the body.
What is Orgastic Politics?
Part of the fascist impulse is to compartmentalize all aspects of the human and non-human universe into the discrete, either/or categories through which the armored individual can define him or herself in opposition to some alien, and therefore despised, entity. Mirrored in the structure of industrial societies, this compartmentalization is called the "division of labor", i.e., some people grow up to be sanitation workers, others corporate CEOs, jobs which not only define their societal and monetary worth, but which fix their value, and expendability, as human beings. A similar hierarchical division is also called for in racial, gender, and sexual relations, where people are valued according to their usefulness in adding definition to the system of domination. The immemorial political tactic of assigning a person or group as the designated scapegoat is perfected in the modern dog-eat-dog division of labor, where it is each against each in the "survival of the fittest." Does it have to be this way? Do we need to structure our lives and societies on foundations of hatred and domination? Or is this merely a pathological turn that the species has taken in its social evolution? Can we envision societies where domination is seen as an evil? Orgastic politics is the struggle for a humanity based on the care we exhibit in acts of love.