Love and the Little Line

Essay Excerpt

We do not yet know love, or how to love, in Michael Hardt’s instructive reading of Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. This unknown love is an organ for Marx because it promises—with the Aufhebung of property and the possibility of a different mobilization of Hegelian critique—to overcome alienation and connect us, as organs can, to the world. That is, against the pitfalls of abstraction one cultivates the organs, an effort toward the simultaneous realization of one’s objective being as and subjective attachment to the world. Love promises such a realization because it may enable relations that are “directly social.”  The directness of such relations is that which may emancipate us from the indifference, as Hardt frames it, of modes of abstraction, abstraction through money, the wrong idealism, or love as we too easily lay claim to it. The last, the abstraction of love and passionate attachment, is perhaps something like Anthony Giddens’ “pure relationship” (1992), a different kind of promise against which Hardt offers an anticipatory politics of love. (p. 692)

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Faculty Profile at the University of Berkeley

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