Love: A Bourgeois Fabrication
Love is an euphemism for the desire to fuck.
The so-called sexual revolution of the 1960s
did no more than move us into new prisons
in which we are both prisoner and guard.
We no longer refer to our “girlfriend” or our “husband”,
preferring to talk of “partners”, as if they might one
day be merged or even taken over. Yet we imagine we’ve
banished the idea of marriage as a business contract.
We think we’ve purged ourselves of the poetic fantasy of love
as a wrenching, redeeming force. Yet we expect our partners
to be all-round lovers, confidants, managers, secretaries, friends.
The result is not less but more pressure on the idea
of the couple. So much so that we now conceive of it
as a self-determining republic, an arena of privacy.
While we still want both to love and to be loved, we also want our independence.
Hence the oxymoron par excellence of free love How can love, which attaches, be compatible with freedom, which separates?
At best this is have-your-cake-and-eat-it childishness; at worst the hypocrisy of those for whom relativism has become a kind of right-on absolute.
Although I’ve always been on the left, I’ve never fallen for the masochist platitudes of post-1968 progressive liberals. For example, multiculturalism is the racism of the anti-racist. My ironic tone and paradoxical style are labelled as reactionary cynicism.
Sexual freedom, in the name of which young people revolted in the 1960s, has become less liberated and more standardised. The traditional bourgeois family unit is domestic imprisonment. Marriage is a confidence trick, where one’s excessive hopes are dashed by a mixture of servitude and cruelty.
To be married for a long time is absolutely no proof that the institution is a success. It just mean or imply a prolongation of ‘the agonies of bitterness and disappointment. As for children, we love them so that some day they will abandon us.
The future will be a world of solitary souls who form their relationships exclusively online, through social media. Our supposed new-wave freedoms have brought new burdens and rules without wiping out the old rules, emotions, desires, and arrangements.
We still have the couple, marriage, jealousy, the demand for fidelity, the war between being faithful and having affairs. It’s no wonder that love, sex and relationships today are confusing, fucked-up and full of contradictions.