L is for Love

As the body count rises and the lies increase, RAGE and HATRED are a natural response.

Our governments and our bosses deserve everything that’s coming their way.

The COVID crisis has underlined what we’ve always known.

The stuff that really matters isn’t a career, a bigger house, the latest phone, but the web of care, support and solidarity around us.

Perhaps the Beatles got it right… LOVE is all we need.

LOVE is so important because it acts as a counterpoint to the piling-up of commodities, money and power.

LOVE underpins our world in a way that capital can’t quite capture, no matter how hard it tries. (Think about how monstrous it would be to charge your relatives and friends for food or affection… )

Because LOVE lies at the heart of the common wealth we create, it offers an opening to a different sort of world…

We’re not talking here about the romantic ideal of “the happy couple” that is sold to us in every advert. That sort of love doesn’t make the world go round – it holds it right in place.

Nor are we talking about the generalised Christian love which seeks to flatten or obliterate all other emotions in exchange for redemption.

Instead we mean the open-ended feeling of love as potential.

It’s the buzz we get when we fall in love – the crazy notion that we could do ANYTHING and be ANYONE

Even though this love might appear to be focused on one person, it goes much further – transforming our relations with everyone around us.

Love like this is DANGEROUS – which is why so much effort is spent on forcibly yoking it to coupledom, marriage and reproduction.

Love like this is DYNAMIC – it’s a passion that takes us to new places, to new versions of ourselves.

Even in the most furious crowds, we see people’s faces TRANSFORMED by this love. It’s the JOY of feeling our shared POWER.

It’s only human to RAGE against capitalism in the aftermath of the COVID crisis.

But if we are to unfuck this world, to create new worlds, we will do so with LOVE tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and HATE on the other.


Pop culture is saturated with love songs so Crass and Public Image Ltd were running through our heads as we wrote this. The line about love and hate tattoos was lifted from The Free Association’s ‘Six impossible things before breakfast’, while Silvia Federici writes about the relation between love and the common wealth we create in ‘Feminism and the politics of the commons in an era of primitive accumulation’. And if you can ignore the heavy North American anarchist tone, carla bergman and Nick Montgomery offer a very readable introduction to Spinoza’s notion of joy in Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times.

The music on this video is Brave Timbers – Hold Onto My Words (Gareth S. Brown Remix) 2010. Used with permission.