Another kind of love

We need to recover the material and political sense of love, a love as strong as death.

Den Didenko

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. Christianity and Judaism, for example, both conceive love as a political act that constructs the multitude. Love means precisely that our expansive encounters and continuous collaborations bring us joy.

There is really nothing necessarily metaphysical about the Christian and Judaic love of God: both God’s love of humanity and humanity’s love of God are expressed and incarnated in the common material political project of the multitude.

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, 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.

—Hardt and Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire