Mıke Gοgulskı on: challenging monogamy.

I always welcome input from other people on this blog. After my entry on A society based on love, a few people said they would like to hear more about my opposition to “romantic love.” I plan on doing so eventually, but Mike Gogulski (a frequent commenter on this blog) sent me his own views on the topic, so I thought you would appreciate them (I got his permission, of course).

Dear Francois,

Like I said, I think your post gets very close to something essential.

You don’t say enough, however, to know where it leads you. Let’s see if we’re talking about the same things.

[T]he three enemies of the people are monotheism, monogamy, and monotony. And if you get them on the run, you have the dominators sweating, folks. Because that means that you’re getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind. And the Gaian mind is what we’re calling the psychedelic experience. It’s an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet, and without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience, the compass of the self can be set. And that’s the idea: that we’re figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, intelligence, intelligence. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.

The words of Terrence McKenna, on the album “Spacetime Continuum with Terence McKenna – Alien Dreamtime”, to which I have not listened to in long years, even after his death a while back. But since I read your post, this filthy trinity that he mentions, monotheism, monogamy, and monotony, have echoed around my thoughts.

I used to take a lot of drugs back then. Even then, McKenna’s bullshit about the “gaian mind”, planetary consciousness, his primitivism and his millennialism were nonsense to me. Still, I saw a man from whom things could be learned.

I’ve been living polyamorously and honestly about it for nearly 10 years. Since adopting it, I have converted a handful of people, most of them women I loved or still love, to the idea that the definition of romantic love as we have been exposed to from our culture is in fact abominable. That we are expected to deny ourselves the most basic, the most intimate, the closest possible and most important aspects of ourselves when we make this diabolical “bargain” to be in love with someone.

I have seen the power of challenging this idea, again and again and again. Monogamy is not human nature. It is especially not a part of male human nature. There are powerful socio-physical-genetic motivations toward monogamy for the female, but even there the fact exists that the “rightness” of monogamy is nothing more than a social construct, founded, as most of them are, on lies.

I could go on. I suspect that having written this, though, that you will join in my heresy. If not, so be it, but enough’s been said to know. If you agree with me, though, about this, I would like to find how we might sing in concert to contribute to the destruction of an institution even more hideous than the state. If this isn’t your song as well, so be it. But you gave a hint…

Best,
Mike

Yes, I agree with you about monogamy. I have always thought that monogamy, as an enforced institution, was a way to keep people isolated and running an efficiently indoctrinating family unit. I support the emotional revolution, polyamory, anti-breeding, and any other attempts at destroying the statist model. If there’s anything I can do to help, then I’ll definitely do it.

8 thoughts on “Mıke Gοgulskı on: challenging monogamy.

  1. kentmcmanigal July 14, 2008 at 22:05

    Monogamy is a perversion. Yet it is one to which most females seem to subscribe. My opposition to it is seen as a desire to be “a cheater”. So, I have had to lie, to myself and to them, in order to try to find relationships. It doesn’t work very well; both sides become miserable.

  2. olly July 15, 2008 at 02:18

    I think it’s key to look at something that Franc has said — “enforced” monogamy is absolutely a problem, but, like anything else, there is nothing wrong with choosing to live a life of monogamy. I think it’s a bogus argument to say that “it’s not natural”, because a good portion of what we as humans do is not natural — is it truly ‘natural’ for us to walk around with ear phones connected to tiny music playing devices plugged into our ears? Is it natural to drive cars that run on a substance that we pull out of the earth and refine?

    These are all things that human progress have given
    us, and they are only a problem when they are forced, not choices. If someone were forced to live a monogamous life, then that is absolutely a problem. But monogamy as a choice? Who cares? I am happily monogamous, and I have no issue with it. It makes my life SO much simpler, makes my relationships with the people around me so much richer, etc. To put it simply, it works very well for me and is more satisfying then the times in my life when I WASN’T monogamous. I have friends who are polyamourous, and good for them, if that works then that works, I really don’t care.

    The story of humanity cannot be judged solely on biological “rights” or “wrongs”, because we are the sum of our cultural, biological, emotional, and intellectual development; in other words, we are so much more than our biology. Like anything else, the real problem here is not the concept of monogamy itself, but the unfortunate intervention of the State in the concept of monogamy; with the State comes moral valuations on what should otherwise not have anything to do with morality.

    I think to say that monogamy is wrong is just as limiting as those who say monogamy is right. Monogamy is neither right nor wrong: it’s a choice. I’d put monogamy on the same level as homosexuality — it works for some, and doesn’t for others, end of discussion. It’s no more a moral choice, i.e. a “right”/”wrong” choice, then which kind of toothpaste I’ll be buying at the store tomorrow.

    -olly

  3. alleee July 15, 2008 at 10:56

    If someone wishes to live in a monogamy, it’s perfectly un-perverted, as long as the other in that monogamy chooses it also. After all, because we find it wrong for ourselves, we cannot force it upon others.

  4. Mike Gogulski July 16, 2008 at 18:54

    Thanks for posting this, Francois. Looking forward to hearing your own rant on the topic.

    Agreeing with alleee, and responding to Olly:

    No, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to live monogamously. Nothing unnatural about making that choice, either.

    What I find fault with in society is the pervasive, normative belief that every sexual or romantic involvement should be conducted on the basis of an implied agreement to monogamous behavior, and that non-monogamous behavior is something akin to religious heresy. I don’t see anything natural in that belief, I feel that it’s something that is learned, transmitted and smashed into the brains of the populace by thousands of years of misguided culture.

    Alice and Bob are boyfriend and girlfriend. One day as they’re walking together, bob spots Carol walking by and lets out a low whistle, saying, “wow, she’s hot.” Alice, jealous, slaps Bob across the face and denounces him for his disloyalty in a huff. The audience applauds. (You can switch genders here with no change in effect, I did it alphabetically!)

    There are two issues in play, that I can see:

    Jealousy: I believe this is something learned and reinforced through oppressive culture. It’s tied up with the perversion of considering your mate to be your property. An ex of mine (and the one who introduced me to polyamory) once said: “When they were handing out jealousy at school, I must have been absent that day.” So was I. There are levels here; if my partner is choosing to spend her time with someone else, I may miss her, I may be disappointed, I may be upset if she breaks plans we had together. That doesn’t provide any kind of justification for the acts which are considered normally and acceptably flowing from jealousy. As an example, the reduction in severity of a murder charge in some jurisdictions of the decedent is partner to the accused and was caught in flagrante delicto with another lover is grounded in the idea that jealousy caused some kind of temporary loss of control. I wouldn’t want my anarchist dispute resolution organization accepting that defense under any circumstance.

    Loyalty: At its most extreme, the monogamistic conception of loyalty urges one to deny their partner the ability to: have sex with another person, love (erotically) another person, be attracted to another person, have an intimate bond with another person and so on and so on. This, I believe, inevitably leads to situations in which one must act dishonestly toward ones partner in order to preserve the illusion of loyalty. Having a crush on someone when you’re in a long-term relationship that’s expected to be monogamous can be psychologically devastating and damaging to the relationship, not because the attraction exists, but rather because the partner with the crush must continuously lie by suppressing his feelings and hiding them from the person to whom he is supposed to be closest. If I am to be intimate with my partner, I must be honest. If I am to have a fulfilling relationship, I must be as honest as it is possible to be, especially with regard to feelings which might come between us.

    I could go on. Am I making sense to anyone. Hello? Bueller?

  5. Francois Tremblay July 17, 2008 at 03:24

    I’m with you Mike.

  6. kentmcmanigal July 17, 2008 at 23:15

    Yes Mike, you make sense. I also realize I spoke too abruptly. Monogamy is OK if chosen. I just happen to despise it and keep having it imposed upon me by pertners who I thought were above that kind of behavior. For me, personally, it is a painful perversion that has caused extreme devastation in my personal life. And it keeps on giving.

  7. olly July 18, 2008 at 17:49

    @Mike: your analysis is spot on, and if the question put forth is: “is the EXPECTATION of monogamy valid” then the answer is no… thanks for putting that far more eloquently then I can ;)

    @Kent: makes sense, and I absolutely believe that there are many people for whom monogamy makes no sense whatsoever!

    -olly

  8. Mike Gogulski July 19, 2008 at 20:58

    Thanks, gentleman. And Kent, I don’t think you spoke abruptly at all.

    I never was attached to that great sect,
    Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
    Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
    And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
    To cold oblivion…

    Free love has this, different from gold and clay,
    That to divide is not to take away.

    –Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1821

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