[OPE-L:6765] Re: Re: change the world

From: John Holloway (johnpholloway@compuserve.com)
Date: Mon Mar 18 2002 - 10:49:45 EST

Dear Jerry,

    Thanks for your discussion of my "Love to all", with which I am very
much in agreement.

    The interesting question is then how one sees the relation between
"love" (or dignity or mutual recognition or whatever one wants to call it)
and value. Is value the negation of love? What then is the relation between
love and crisis? 

>From: "gerald_a_levy" <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
>To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
>Subject: [OPE-L:6757] Re: change the world
>Date: Sat, Mar 16, 2002, 8:56 AM

>John H ended  [6755] with the message:
>>      Love to all,
>>      John
>Well, thanks.  I send love back in the spirit described below.
>Looking back over the 6 1/2 years of OPE-L, it is rather
>remarkable how infrequently subscribers used the "L" word.
>The only person who ever ended posts in a similar fashion was
>former listmember Patrick ("Peace") Mason.
>As normally understood, political economy has no role for the
>the "L" word.  Marxists tend to view the injection of  "Love"
>into political and theoretical discourse as a surrender to a
>model of social change made popular in the 1960's by "Hippies"
>(perhaps best captured by the lyrics of  'The Beatles"  song
>"All you need is love").
>Love is _not_ all you need, but this does not mean that it has no
>role in theory and praxis.  If our object is not merely to comprehend
>the world but to *change*  it, love _must_ play a part in the process of
>change. The  next question,  though, is to ask: _what_  part must love
>play in the process of revolutionary change?
>I can not attempt to completely answer that question here but let me
>assert that the answer is linked to the essential social process of
>building  and participating in the *self-development of the working
>class* (or what Toni Negri  has labeled the "auto-valorization" of the
>working class.)
>Put (perhaps too) simply:  the struggles of workers and peasants against
>capital and the state build *communities* of resistance and struggle in
>which love has an essential role in the self-realization of community.
>Let me give an example from personal experience:
>Beginning in 1990 I became part of a community in the Lower East
>Side of Manhattan composed of squatters, homeless, peddlers, and
>activists.  We fought many battles together over issues concerning
>squatting, the homeless, police brutality, and solidarity work. Politically,
>this was a very mixed community with anarchists -- of various kinds --
>playing the largest and most vocal role.  Socially, this was overwhelmingly
>a working-class community but  had a strong "counter-cultural" edge
>(befitting the East Village and LES) with a large punk rock contingent
>of teenagers.   We were a very *militant* community  and engaged in
>many unforgettable struggles: e.g.  the struggle against the eviction of
>homeless from Tompkins Square Park and the closing of that park to
>the public; the assault by the NYPD on "Dinkinsville" (a homeless
>encampment to the East of TSP); the evictions -- over a period of
>years -- of squatter communities such as "Glass House", the 5th St.
>squat,  the 13th Street squats, and the "Dos Blocos" squat.
>Anyone who was there will _never_ forget how  at  3 AM  about 500
>cops in riot  gear assaulted the homeless encampment in TSP in  June, 1991
>and evicted them. I  know. I was there.  I was at all of the above
>struggles -- and many more. I was there when we were linked arm-and-
>arm at 13th Street when several hundred riot cops were sent  in to
>evict the squatters.  There were police snipers on all of the surrounding
>high buildings, there was a helicopter with a SWAT team hovering over
>the squats, and the City sent in a *tank* to evict.  I was there on 5th
>Street when the City laid siege to a squat there and ordered the wrecking
>ball to destroy the building when they knew a squatter was still on the
>_inside_ of the building.  I was there on 9th Street when a squat across
>from "La Plaza Cultural",  where some close friends of mine,  burned to
>the ground while the cops were laughing about it.
>In writing the above, I realize that _part_ of the process of struggle is
>_RAGE_.  But that is _only_ part -- another part is LOVE. (btw, this
>formulation is not intended to express agreement with the principles of a
>group _called_ "Love and Rage").  For when I think about those struggles
>I can not help but recall the _enormity_ of the love and caring that we
>had (and still have) for each other.  This is not accidental:  indeed it is
>a  logical consequence of building communities of struggle.  Thus, when I
>run-into someone I haven't seen for 10 years who was there, there is
>love that passes between us for we each remember the day when we
>stood next to each other  as *comrades in struggle* at TSP, or when we
>were linked arm-and-arm while the riot cops tried to evict squatters, or
>when we saw together the many times when we -- and fellow members of
>our community  -- were arrested,  assaulted,  spied-upon, and brutalized
>(and, yes, I was arrested  a number of  times myself -- and brutalized --
>in the course of these struggles.) This  *experience* of struggle creates a
>*bond of solidarity*  that is immensely  strong.  I have not removed myself
>from that  community (although it is much smaller than it used to be as we
>suffered a  series of crushing  defeats over the years) and will probably
>visit some dear friends and anarchist comrades at the "C" squat later today.
>I think, in various ways, that this recognition of love as an essential part
>of  building a revolutionary movement is  a part of the  theoretical
>projects and  praxis of Toni Negri,  Harry Cleever,  Massimo, John H,
>and Mike L but I will  let the latter 3 speak for themselves.
>Do others understand what I mean above? Do you agree?
>In solidarity, Jerry

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