Corraling love as a personal concept.

To most people, love is a purely personal concept, which has absolutely nothing to do with how a society should be organized. While they’ve heard of maxims like “love your enemies,” they cannot possibly understand what this actually means, because of the way we are indoctrinated to think of love as being strictly personal. In fact, even the Bible, from which people get “love your enemies,” actually says that you should help your enemy so he will suffer even more:

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Romans 12:19-20

In their view, life in society is a competition in which the strongest wins. Therefore, the only worthwhile reason to express any kind of love towards your fellow competitors is to help nudge them out of the race; using fake compassion as a weapon that one uses to bolster oneself, much like one might use fake guilt or fake powerlessness to paralyze opponents into inaction. To this kind of people, “love your enemies” can’t possibly be taken literally, because that would be an insane principle, since they believe that one can only love people romantically. What sort of an insane person would “love their enemies”?

Now, let’s look at the expression of love in the personal and relational spheres, and the expression of love in the social sphere.

Love as personal and relational:
* self-love
* self-esteem
* “romantic” love
* filial/motherly love

Love in the social:
* acceptance of others
* sharing of creativity
* compassion for people- not only those we approve of, but also those we disagree with: criminals, the poor, “terrorists,” etc.

A person indoctrinated in our society would accept the first list, but certainly not the second. Accepting others? Why should I do that when I know for a fact that people are evil? Sharing creativity? Why should I have to share with people I can’t trust? Compassion for criminals? Criminals need to be beaten down, not helped. Compassion for the poor? The poor deserve to be poor. And so on.

To us, the fact that both lists are about the same thing is not obvious, because we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that the second list actually does not exist. Love means you love yourself, you love someone else, you get married, that’s it. You might love some hobby or object, but that’s considered trivial. Every other possibility is simply impossible.

This constant delimitation of “love” is nowhere stronger than when we look at the heteronormative hatred for most forms of love. If we look at the faggots who run our society and the faggots who support them, they hate all relationships which are not heteronormative, not out of any particular consequence, but precisely because they are not heteronormative and therefore not within the margins of discourse that they have set. The love between a man and another man is not and cannot be love, not out of any specific observation of criterion, but precisely because it is not heteronormative.

In this view, love is not a natural phenomenon and a natural principle: it is a legal concept which exists as the law books and the rhetoric define it. This is extremely depressing. If people can’t recognize that a man can love another man, or that a woman can love another woman, then they can have no hope of recognizing other, more diffused forms of love, and we have no hope of being able to show them.

This is of course also part of the incapacity to introspect for most people. People who have not experienced love in their childhood cannot be expected to recognize love when they get older. What else but the accepted models of behaviour can they rely on?

Why is this so important? Because love is the only way out. Capitalism cannot be eradicated by refusing to accept people’s greed. Governments aren’t toppled by people hating them enough. Democracy isn’t broken down by voting for the right people. These methods have no known record of success, and a long, shameful record of failure. Neither can the system of things be chipped away by shoplifting or breaking windows, although these things have their time and place.

What is actually effective is the ability to free people and to display compassion towards all. What works is the law of love. But following it requires people to put themselves on the line. It’s not an easy law to follow. But by doing so we are able to create alternate methods, alternate systems, alternate lifestyles, alternate viewpoints, alternate beliefs. By creating this alternative, these safe spaces for people to exist in, these areas where the person can get used to some small degree of freedom, we are creating the future we want to see happen.

One thought on “Corraling love as a personal concept.

  1. […] discussed in the past how love has been forcibly limited to the personal and relational spheres, and reduced to ridicule and irrelevance beyond […]

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