Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Green Anarchist Project on Freedom and Love

by Mae Bee , 2004, in Sexyouality: Challening the Culture of Monogamy. Godhaven Ink.

This piece is not advocating another option, another 'choice' of relating for couples. It is rather a recognition that our 'common project' - the abolition of all power relations - includes the abolition of coercive/closed relationships. these are those relationships with fixed stature, those relationships with rules or permanent contracts. these relationships cannot really be part of a free society. and just as with other coercive relations at odds with our freedom they must be confronted by all who seek such freedom and communities...

to accept coercive relations as well as free ones is as full of folly as hoping industrial societies, or societies with governments, can exist alongside nature based ones. if my love is free, but yours is not then scarcity is created. to say i am at liberty to not possess land but you are at liberty to possess land is ludicrous. fortunately, your possession relies on my compliance with it, and as anarchists we do not accept your ownership and possession.if we believe love should be freely given from desire than we cannot respect the culture of love-as-commodity-lover-as-possession...

this means that for me to not act on my desiring in loving who i will when i will, is to be complicit in a system of coercion, of control and of ownership that i am opposed to. no, i do not and cannot, accept the rules of 'your' relationship. in a free society we will not be asking for the consent of one person to sleep with another anymore than we would ask a father for the 'right' to marry his daughter. and here and now, we can also live that out. to 'respect' restrictive relationships is to uphold them.

would it be so controversial to call a war on monogamy? to seduce the lovers of the possessive? could we help those trapped by their timid jealousies to grow into freedom by 'stealing' kisses from those forbidden lips in front of their terrified eyes? if this shocks or offends you perhaps you should ask yourself why.

rule relationships, and the acceptance of them, betrays an internalised hierarchy. the relationship of a couple is of greater value and worth than others in the community. it would be equally unrealistic and undesirable to hope for everyone to feel as much love and connection with every single one of their community - down that path lies formalised and institutionalised groups or other coercive ways of relating which are just as damaging as rule relationships and coupledom.

community is more than one and it is more than two also. to create self-governing, self-sufficient small communities there cannot be the tyranny of individualism or of coupledom. to create wild and anarchistic communities we must also forsake the idea of sacrificing individual desires for the sake of the community. we have been so programmed by the megamachine that it is hard to imagine such a world where cooperation rather than competition does not elicit us as without. even harder to imagine is a world where we are free to take our pleasures and our desires openly. but if these are the communities we are in the process of creating then we must be honest and open and challenging. these communities will not prosper by shying from conflict but rather by not fearing it.

an argument often given by those who do not necessarily preach coercive relationships but are restricted by the ideology is this:it is reasonable for A to not kiss B in front of is reasonable because A cares for C as much as she does for B.A does not want to upset C.

nobody wants to upset those we care for. but if we restrict or inhibit our own desires for the false peace of not upsetting others, then we are left in a passionately deficit world. what then if C was upset because A and B were both female and C’s masculinity was threatened by queer sex? or if C was upset because A was black and B was white and C’s security as a black man was upset by mixed race love?

as radicals we would inevitably say the lovers should challenge homophobia and racism, that the onus is on C to deal with his feelings. and rightly so. homophobia and racism are internalised and damaging dynamics of control and power that must be challenged. so are rule relationships.would you kiss B in front of C if C would be upset?!

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