'I would rather wait for you than believe that you are not coming at all': Revolutionary love in a post-revolutionary time

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (6):643-662 (2010)
Abstract
This article examines the return of love in contemporary critical theory. While recent attempts to make sense of a politicized concept of love have focused on its reconciliatory promise for our age, this article considers love as a discourse of edification for a frustrated political subject, one whose radical hopes have been forged in waiting. Those who want to resist the idea that the revolutionary horizon has for ever receded can be easily tempted and sometimes blindly seduced by the force of love. As an upbuilding discourse, the political appeal to love betrays a profound religiosity and a frustrated longing for transcendence, but it functions, also, to feminize political subjectivity, rendering it passive and wholly derivative of the dominant order. Marx’s attack on communist lovesickness and Beauvoir’s portrait of the grande amoureuse provide touchstones for a feminist critique of love, one that refuses its seductions without wholly dispensing with its critical and utopian dimension. Other critical theorists, notably Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, intimate how love furnishes, not the affective grounds for political practice, but the recollection of a poetics of thinking
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