For my first post I figure to explain the name of this blog (which incidentally is reflected in my second post here). This image, from the good people of radicaldoula.com, captures how we must live our lives in struggle. The commitment we make toward advancing struggle comes first which is in direct and constant dialectic with our personal lives, but by no means should these contradictions be considered antagonistic. There are ways we can improve ourselves to enrich our struggle.
There’s a quote from comrade Che Guevara that is often quoted yet not typically analyzed, from “Socialism and Man in Cuba” (1965).
At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.
Generally, this seems to be taken as a sound byte – we communists love the workers – and unfortunately it is usually left off there which loses the power of Che’s words in their context. Che goes on to describe the struggle full-time revolutionaries engaged in mass revolution undergo with their personal lives, their children, their partners, and the other objects of their love. It is at once both a life of ultimate sacrifice and the richest fulfillment. While no communist in the US is currently in Che’s immediate audience given our unorganized classes, we can all locate ourselves within this reality. We must be conscious of these contradictions as we advance revolution among and with the masses.
Marx explains the difference between love in the idealist sense, and love in the real world, in “The Holy Family.” I recommend every fellow traveler give it a read.
Love is passion which terrifies the idealist social order that seeks to strip us from the material world. Love, for the worker, is active – it becomes a (the) driving force as we are stripped of our humanity, made to live like animals, as proletarians. This, to me, is the power behind our contention that all social history is the history of class struggle – we proletarians, having been alienated from every means by which we survive, have only the choice of vulgar survival or actualizing ourselves with each other in struggle as the ultimate act of love.
Revolution is the most personal act of love, and revolution begins at home.