||Seen through the Marxist class approach, the essence of our epoch lies in the struggle of the working-class against the class of exploiters; the proletariat pitted against global capital. This struggle will result in the overthrow of capitalism and in the victory of new type of sociality - to the victory of communism. Hence, the main question needs to be formulated as follows: which place does love occupy in this struggle? Which role can it play? Here, it is necessary to avoid two extremes. The first is the hippie's "revolution through love". We will love one another and call upon the others to love, and soon or later, the world will change beyond recognition.
The other extreme lies in "revolutionary rigorism": "How dare you to speak of beautiful schmaltz like love, when the vampire of capitalism is sucking us dry day by day..." etc.
How it is possible to describe what is in between these two extremes?
First, one should never forget that the fighters for communism were not inspired by a hatred for the past as much they were driven by a love for the future. Though this balance has been subject to historical variation, though any communard can be guided by hatred, we should not hate but understand and change, laughingly leaving behind the leaden nastiness of capitalism.
Second, our confidence in victory is based not upon dreams and moral conviction (even if it also finds its sources here). Instead, it is based on scientific analysis and strict calculation, which have already been confirmed through centuries of struggle. Capitalism is pregnant with communism; the logic of capitalism carries the seeds of its own destruction. Capitalism's own economic laws aggravate its immanent contradictions. Sooner or later, these contradiction will become irreconcilable. With its own flesh and blood, capitalism feeds the huge entirety of a social class that will one day overthrow the empire of hard cash and easy money.
This means that communism is already present in the world. For now, it only exists as the vague dream of the many and the strict knowledge of the more acute. (When the energy and force of the many enters into a union with the intellectual sharpness and conviction of the firmest, coming together in the form of democratically organized mass working-class organizations with precise political programs - we shall finally prevail.)
And everyone - literally every one of us - can see communism here and now, in its immediate proximity. To do so, it is enough to simply fall in love.
I do not want to describe what lovers feel; this is not my present goal. But the most important thing consists in the following: will anyone really try to dispute the fact that we find ourselves in a completely different world, once we have fallen in love? A world without enmity, without dictatorship. The world based on tremulous and sincere care for the other, cooperating on the basis of equal in rights, in respect for the other's personality, in a world based on kindness, freedom, and beauty. Certainly, all these words sound wildly naive and sentimental. But, at the risk of repeating myself, anyone who has been in love for at least half an hour in heir life will agree. These words describe the state of love.
Yes, "love is strange". Frequently, its lofty feelings toward the other are quickly replaced by a form of relating that is far from lofty. The problem is that this idealized image of love is inevitably touched and soiled by the nastiness of the social order that surrounds us. You might answer that "love" is actually a courtly construct, invented by the Romantics during the early 19th century or the Troubadours of the late Middle Ages. And indeed, this is something we should speak about at greater length.
But nobody can deny that each of us can reach communism today, here and now, for half an hour, for an hour, for a day, for years. And anybody will ever be able to convince me that this "communism for two" is doomed to remain nothing more than a rare flash of love's flame in the eternal capitalist night. Combining justice with the desire to give to best to the other, freedom with the desire to hear and understand the person closest to you, we must spread this form of relating to society at large.
Because no matter what you say, our world is not only progressing technically; progress is also spiritual. Humanity is moving forward. Nothing can stop this movement. Something is booming, knocking, revolving underfoot, making its way from the deep to daylight, something so huge that its breath rumbles as an infra-frequency, much like the indistinct roar of an approaching mass of water from a broken dam, like the first tremors of an earthquakes, still weak and barely perceptible. If you are capable of feeling these infra-tremor of something massive, you will raise your head and open your ears, asking what exactly is knocking at our door. For me, this is Love and Communism, two things of whose deep connection I am firmly convinced. For me, this is the rumble of history in its tectonic outbreaks toward Communism: "Almost every insoluble problem hides the path to its solution - the path to history" (G. Lukacz. History and Class Consciousness).
But there is no reason to get cheesy and schmaltzy. It is not love - even the strongest love of all - but class-struggle that makes history. And certainty in victory does not mean slackness - quite on the contrary. Our path to society's future is paved with hard work and tragic trials. Yet along this road, love will not only be a promise of the future but our foothold in the everyday.
Translation: David Riff
First published in: What is to be done? A newspaper for engaged creativity. #5.
Ревность, память, наслаждение: расторгнутые помолвки Кьеркегора
Модус «Отец» и модус «внешнее» в романе А. Белого «Петербург».
Положение вещей, которое будет.
Пошли пузыри. Краткий очерк истории русского философского постмодернизма.
«Правовое бессознательное»: русская правовая картина мира.
Подводная лодка из слоновой кости.
Марксизм и музыка. Предисловие к предисловию.
Self-made subject of art.
An ivory submarine: contemporary art, Russian post-modernism and
Love and communism
Луи Альтюссер: возвращение из изгнания