Thoughts on Love, Relationships and the Structure of Revolution

I’ve been thinking a lot about love this weekend. Partially because it was Maria and Scott’s wedding (congratulations!), which I performed at. And partially for personal reasons.

Love is something which is quite important to me, both personally and politically. Genet’s Prisoner of Love was very influential on me. So, I wanted to share with you a few of my rough notes on love and revolution.

Love, in fact, has the same structure as revolution. Unrequited love is revolutionary – it demands that the world fit a prescription. But the revolution is won only by those who are willing to sell it out – by those who compromise and institute some of the genuine values of the revolution into a state bureaucracy, because only the professional revolutionary wants to fight all the time. And the lover, the lover needs to institute his or her love into a relationship which is not a pure fidelity but a living organism. This organism is in the first case a ritualization of interactions between two people and has a social reality. In a secondary case, we might say that the child of lovers and the formation of a family extends the concretization, and this why a couples words ring a Hegelian tune when they say “look out there our love is walking”. But just as a revolution which does no turning is but a failed revolt, a love which does no loving, which does not bring the emotional anticipation of the fall into a structure which transformers and preserves the feelings, is but an empty carcass, a grand painting of a non existent prize. A foolish aspiration. And on this basis we can call unrequited love not only tragic, but pathetic.

Luckily, love, unlike revolution, is much easier to achieve – and more importantly, a failed love just means passing onto the next attempt, taking another chance. True Revolutionary love transcends the needs of a specific time and place, and is able to hold in itself at a single time the contradictory thoughts which are absolute commitment to the cause/person, and willingness to transform the demand or cause in order to better pursue the struggle for justice and for love. This is not then absolute commitment to a specific person, or a specific cause, but rather commitment to persons and causes in general, and to continue to pursue the next revolution, the next love, until concrete gains are achieved – until the world is made slightly more tolerable. And then in the love the revolutionary may take leisure, because no one can struggle all of the time.

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