Title: The Anarchist as Lover
Author: Ryan Calhoun
Topics: individualism, love
Date: September 28th, 2014
Source: https://c4ss.org/content/31995

What would it be like if everyone loved everyone else? 10 out of 10 people agree, it’d be pretty fucking great. Unfortunately we are all, at this point, human. Our capacities to embrace each and every individual as a truly beautiful and unique creature are far beyond us. We also exist within social structures which embrace the potent power of hate, separation and collectivism. In these shackles, individuals are not particular or meaningful entities. We exist only for the ends of some institution, some vague and old superstition about the horrible others. While we might never have good reason to love everyone, society ensures we will hate The Other, whoever it decrees qualifies.

The most potent force to tear down these walls which entrap us is not counter economics, propaganda by the deed, networks of solidarity, or any organizational structure. The sledgehammer to wield, to swing maddeningly, to obliterate the prisons our minds persist in is love. Radical circles must be full of lovers, wild lovers, those who love without shame or fear or consideration to rules and norms. It takes lovers, whose only permanent object of hate is the walls that separate them, limit their love, chain their ecstasy, deny them their absolute right to be in love with any and all aspects of the world around them.

We hate too often. There is no shortage of things to hate for an anarchist, but we must never allow our hate to become a defining feature of our individual insurrections and revolutionary rhetoric. Hate can help us identify the enemy, but it can never destroy them. Hate will not empty the prisons, it will not burn down the corporate office space, it will not melt down the machinery of the military-industrial complex. If we are filled with hate, we will only accomplish the destruction of our current system for another system of walls. Because what is oppression but hatred for freedom? It is raw fear, terror and misery which ensnare us all in some way. It is the true fuel of military conquest, racism, xenophobia, sexism. Without hate, systems have no way of imposing themselves on us.

We must embrace love for ourselves first. Love for yourself is not a tawdry egotism or self obsession. It is recognition of all that makes you great, of which I assure you there is an everlasting supply. Love for ourselves will allow us to more accurately discern the goodness in others, to easily identify those characteristics in line with our passions.

Love is not solidarity. Solidarity is nothing more than loyalty to the cause of a group. It isn’t love. I am told often why I should have solidarity with this group or that despite any personal connection with those involved, despite my judgment on the rightness of their actions. It is not love because love isn’t loyal. Love is infatuated, it is dedicated, it will not merely speak a word of agreement and obedience with The Cause. Lovers do not require obedience. What would you not do for those you love? Do you have to be put in line and told what to love? No, we do not need that kind of dedication to our fellows. We need angered, impassioned, unstoppable individuals guided by their connection with those around them, with those who have shown us they are worth us fighting for and along side.

How many of our friends exist behind concrete walls and barbed wire fences? The influence of love in our lives has not even truly begun until we recognize that every person is deserving of love by someone, that they are not to be treated as inherently vicious creatures who must be stamped out. You cannot have love without recognizing the dignity of those you may never know or have a reason to embrace in passionate, mutual exchange of the best in one another. Some people may not be deserving of your love, but they are deserving of freedom. They too are lovers, whoever they are. We all know what it is to be infatuated and there will always be others to share our infatuation with. But love is also random. One does not truly know when we will be gifted with another to embrace, or why we should embrace them so. Until all are free, our love is necessarily limited, and so our ability to truly control and live our lives to the fullest and most ferociously joyous is cut down before us.

Love isn’t all we need, in fact it can’t be. To love is to love for something. We must fill our lives up with reasons to love and build new institutions which allow us to discover ourselves and one another. This is no small task and it will unfortunately not come as easy as our passions arise. All the more necessity for lovers, for those that will fight for a world they can embrace with total freedom of action and conscience. We will need books, guns, fire, strategy, markets, and so many other things to do away with our oppression, which is the oppression not just of you or I, but of every living, sentient, complex individual currently living in chains.

Hate. Hate the walls around you. Hate every bit of mental furnishing put there to bind you. Hate, so that you can love in full. Love, so that we might do away with a need for undue hatred.