Love and revolution

… hunger and continual necessity are the greatest enemies of love.

Cervantes, Don Quixote


An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets and Silence


Love… is a quest for truth… truth in relation to something quite precise: what kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two and not one? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be.

Alain Badiou, In Praise of Love


Love is a permanent emergency state.

Slavoj Zizek, On Love as a Political Category


If we are averse to speaking of “civilisation”, the reflection that follows is an impassioned defence of the impossibility of revolution without love.  To share, as we share …

There’s no right life in a wrong world.

– Theodor Adorno

Perform. Alarm clock. Shower, toast, coffee. The news. Crisis. Bus, subway. Emails, Facebook. Perform. Work. Lunch. Crisis. Coffee. Work. Subway, bus. Cook, eat. Emails, Facebook. Perform. TV series. Beer. TV series. Bed. Perform. Love.


Cohabitation, life as a couple.

Our world is a disgusting world – a thankless world. We spend life convincing ourselves of it, and it’s true; and we chat to each other about it, we study it. “Oh look, the world is now 5.6% crueller than last week!”

Civilisation saves nothing. It advances, it consumes, it transforms everything it touches, and it touches everything. The process is total and self-referential. We are touched by it, changed by it: we sabotage the machine, the machine sabotages us.

But love?

The wheel turns. Perform. We want a full life, a real and happy life. We feel that it’s possible and we want it. We deserve it. We have a right to it. Life as a couple, romance. Intimacy with another person. The masks come off. We devote ourselves, we ally ourselves to this person, who will be there when things go badly, and when they go well. A person who will not abandon you. A person who wants what’s best for you, who really wants to know you, who knows you, who loves you as you are, sincerely.

Here, in love, everything has to be perfect. We realise we’re in love, it’s like fireworks. We go out, we have fun, it’s the best. When we fuck it’s a marathon, it’s the frequency, the amount – we break the records. The rest, the world, its shit. But love, its perfect. In a world of fakes, there are at least some honest things.

Outside, the wheel turns. The world is not getting better. Every day we are trampled; the imbeciles are kings, the sociopaths give lessons in ethics. Smog, disease, poverty. Civilisation is hungry, and it opens yet another abattoir.

During the day, it’s war. It’s horrific.

We die inside.

At night, everything has to be perfect. We pretend like nothing is wrong. Nothing’s up. Love is our solution, it’s our reward. At least we’re together. It’s not that bad. But with time the brutality of the world invades our bubble. Stress, fatigue, humiliation. Time goes by, every day is the same. We can no longer recognise ourselves. We get bored, we find ourselves ugly. We can no longer manage to perform; it’s draining.

And no-one feels alive. The other is not perfect – has never been perfect. We manipulate ourselves and each other; it’s not that bad, we have good intentions.

And it gets worse. Finally nothing is intact. Love is not what it was. We tear away from it. The dreams collapse. We no longer know who we are, we want to die.

There’s nowhere to seek refuge.

The masks and artificial world remain, another life-lesson in a game where all the rules are against you. The love of the revolt remains, and love’s revolt. Civilisation destroys everything? Let’s destroy civilisation.

The wheel does not turn in circles. We cannot perform, we can only be. Love does not obey. We only really become close through something more than words, despite machines, above the noise. Our affection, it’s like our anger. Love fights against the crazy daily rat-race and wants its death. Love is what it is, sensual and subversive under the veneer of appearances.

Together we realise that solidarity, liberty and empathy are not just words, but simply what we are… and we are the hatred of industrial society.

Together and against everything.

D’un amour chaotique.

Un amour sauvage.

(Translated for Return Fire vol.2 from the French-language anti-civilisation journal La Mauvaise Herbe, Volume 11. no2.  Our source: the anarchist library.  See also:

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