Friday, January 03, 2014

For Love or Money

Michael Hard's talk on political concept of love. I have to claim that it is hard to ignore that somehow this must have been in the air for a while. Of course Hard refers at the end to communities of political activists... Individualistic forms of love would be hard to combine with the study of continental philosophy anyway.

Part where Hard talks on the narcissistic form of love - at the beginning of the talk - makes me re-access my relation to the political prisoners in Russia as identity politics. As originally this started for me as an identity project, and shared opinions and class bases with imprisoned people who were involved with anti-Putin struggle. The narcissistic involvement with political prisoners, i may say.
Identity politics that is problematic and ~~~ regressive. I think of Chantall Mouffe, agonism - and bits of Adorno that fell on my ground - compulsion to dominate though conceptual identification etc etc.

Of course this claim is more complicated than it pretends to be. It exists as a kind of a paradox. My alliance to people like Pussy Riot Alexey Gaskarov, other 6 may prisoners and support of their liberation campaigns - is very much based on my connection to protest movement that flourished in Russia in 2011. Commonalities - middle class, feminism, activism, and different shared identities - common homelands Zhukovsky in case of Gaskarov.

Though I wonder if recently since my last rare appearances in Russia something changed. I wonder if those identities now work as a form of nostalgia, and narcissistic identification had shifted into former identification. So in a way this love and care for political prisoners (like I do my best to keep correspondence with some) is double sided love for someone close and very far away at the same time. I wonder if that recent distance originated though in the narcissistic love can produce a political form of love.

Also while developing my interaction with the context of political prisoners, and their condition, my personal idealistic position is being questioned. I wonder if my political critique of current Russian movements is naive in a way that it is a UK-based critique, where political condition is different -  and if that is helpful in production of distance necessary to produce a shift from this identity politics, a situation not based in sameness, but in the interaction of differences. I am accepting it despite the tendency to draw parallels between different political uprisings we have seen all over the world in 2011. The shift from identity here could also be a production of a political form of love, social connection (I would not fix its meaning). A form of love not based on the production of unification but on the love of the farthest, or love of a stranger... Something that is vital to make the movements of 2011 to proceed.

Example of a recent protests in London, where students occupied universities in solidarity with tutor's and cleaner's strikes under slogans - "students and workers unite and fight". Is that not a progress compared to Millbank movement against the increase of tuition fees that failed to create those solidarities? (But it would be claimed realised s dream of masses in silent apporval of a crash of Tory HQ.) Those political forms of love to the one who is different and had different social and economic position? but this is a local example. Thinking of Russia - sudden middle class uprising was exhausted and violently repressed. It also proved that this discharge of energy in most cases failed to produce institutionalised political forms able to represent people. Also those forms of representation were repressed if deemed effective. or are still in trouble to register their presence. However positive and progressive forms of Russian politics - recent apperance of people involved with liberal 5 December Party in London for presentation of their self-funded film about Zhanaozen (Kazakhstan) oil workers and the 2011 massacre. Or recent sudden involvement of leftist activists in resistance against violent removal of creative hipster community from cultural centre Chetvert in St Petersburg. Moves like these can be taken as indicators for the possibility of political movement with new alignments and solidarities. New forms of love to the farthest. I suppose this is the question of time.

"Rather do I advise you to flight from the neighbor and to love of the farthest!"
Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra (excerpt, part 2)