The following bits of texts were reprinted in subRosa's invitation to the Feast, in order to stimulate dialog and responses to the idea of Political Love.
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Marx defined the origin of man’s exploitation of man as man’s exploitation of woman and asserted that the most basic human exploitation lies in the division of labor between man and woman. Why didn’t he devote his life to solving the problem of this exploitation? He perceived the root of all evil but he did not treat it as such. Why not? The reason, to some extent, lies in Hegel’s writings, especially in those sections where he deals with love. Hegel being the only Western philosopher to have approached the question of love as labor. It is therefore entirely appropriate for a woman philosopher to start speaking of love. It results from the need to think and practice what Marxist theory and practice have thus far ignored, giving rise to merely piecemeal economic and cultural developments which can no longer satisfy us.
LUCE IRIGARAY, I love to you, p 19
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People today seem to be unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and more unrestrained conception of love. We need to recuperate the public and political conception of love common to premodern traditions. ...We need to recover today this material and political sense of love, a love as strong as death. This does not mean you cannot love your spouse, your mother, and your child. It only means that your love does not end there, that love serves as the basis for our political projects in common and the construction of a new society. Without this love, we are nothing.
MICHAEL HARDT AND ANTONIO NEGRI, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, p. 351–352
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Poetry speaks to the immediate wound.
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I bear equally with you
The black permanent separation.
Why are you crying? Rather give me your hand,
Promise to come again in a dream.
You and I are a mountain of grief.
You and I will never meet on this earth.
If only you could send me at midnight
A greeting through the stars.
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Love aims to close all distance. Death achieves the same end. Yet whereas love celebrates the unique, the unrepeatable: death destroys them. ... Love aims to close all distances. Yet if separation and space were annihilated neither loved one nor lover would exist. Between space and love there is the first opposition—that opposition which is contained as energy within the original act of creation.
JOHN BERGER, our faces my heart, brief as photographs, p. 90
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In the segregated South those black and white folks who struggled together for racial justice (many of whom grounded their actions not in radical politics but in religious conviction) were bound by a shared belief in the transformative power of love. Understanding that love was the antithesis of the will to dominate and subjugate, we allowed that longing to know love, to love one another, to radicalize us politically. That love was not sentimental. It did not blind us to the reality that racism was deeply systemic and that only by realizing that love in concrete political actions that might involve sacrifice, even the surrender of one’s life, would white supremacy be fundamentally challenged. We knew the sweetness of beloved community.
BELL HOOKS, Killing Rage, p. 265
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