Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Love and Revolution

While I was walking home from the station, I had some thoughts.

Socialists and others who can see the need to make the world a better place often take up the flag of struggles against the problems with the world today. This is a necessity in the post-end of history period we're in, where we still haven't completely won people to the argument that, despite what Thatcher said, There Is An Alternative. And it's also useful - anger is a good motivator. When people are angry, are under attack, they fight back, and through these defensive struggles they can start to see the truth about this rotten system. It's easy as an organiser to convince people to get involved in a campaign on the basis of the outrageous insufferable things that this sytem does.

But ultimately, I think we need to spend more time than we do convincing people that
another world and another kind of system is not only possible; not only necessary; not only what we need to deal with the climate disaster we are teetering on the brink of; not only something that will get rid of all of the problems with the world today - but something beautiful, something alive with potential, and the only kind of world where love and solidarity between all human beings can truly flourish.

We need to go on the offensive.

I mentioned in my last post that I think consolidating and launching the manifesto Towards a Socialist Australia is an important step forward for the left. Ultimately the importance of this is not in uniting around our critique of the system, but about developing our vision for a better Australia - one not riven by the divisions it is today, one not synonymous with abuse of refugees, indigenous people, muslims and the global south, but one in which the real Australian spirit of "a fair go" and "mateship" are given more than just lip service; in which the beauty of the land isn't lost to us in our daily movements.

That's the Australia I one day hope to live in.

"When it came to the crunch, when the lust and greed threatened everything we love//
divided they had us but fuck that man, push came to shove//
and we beat the fucking cowards back, and under a shining sun//
showed we could silence their influence, but try as they might they couldn't silence love//
cant silence love, let history shown how hard that war was won//
so we may never know how close we'd really come, how close we'd really come//

Illy - Numbers Game (the quote is from Bladerunner)

With Love and Revolution.

1 comment:

  1. I have been enjoying Al-Thawra Eyewitness and as you know I have a few things to say about love and revolution. To help appreciate that there are alternatives we need to be able to recognise that to a certain extent they already exist. Then we can actually point to “something beautiful, something alive with potential” and say, this is possible and what we want more of. As I have argued elsewhere; Today there is a renewed interest in love amongst anti-capitalists and an upsurge of experiments to unleash our positive desires for connection, for more constructive and profound relationships. Appreciating the value of love highlights the importance of moving beyond an appeal to individualistic yearnings for economic wealth or power towards collective desires for deeper and richer social connections, desires to share, to act in solidarity, to organise better lives together. To help explain our vision we can actually point to progressive social movements that generate different types of interpersonal relationships through the creation of caring spaces, openness to diversity and the organisation of communal activity. Also, our class continuously organises ways to avoid, resist and subvert efforts to capture and control us that can be hard to recognise yet exist in the capacities we exercise in our daily lives. Love is crucial for powerful class struggle, generating the solidarity, support, connections and the common activity that builds the class. These loving social relations make our lives worth living despite, against and beyond capitalism, not just after it has ended. Our loving resistance is at the heart of the crisis of capitalism, because love is something that capitalism cannot provide, instead love is created by struggling against capitalism. We are already part of an alternative community, producing non-capitalist society, as a revolution of love.