Love Constitutes Social Bonds: Mapping Michael Hardt’s Conception of Love

Project Title: Love Constitutes Social Bonds: Mapping Michael Hardt’s Conception of Love    (subject to change.:-))




Drawing out an idea map of Michael Hardt’s Conception of Love, based on Commonwealth and two lectures of him, as :

  1. 1. Michael Hardt on The Politics of Love and Evil

2.Michael Hardt. For Love or Money. 2011



  1. 1.Academic one:

The Break-Up: Hardt and Negri’s Politics of Love

2. Interview

No One is Sovereign in Love: A Conversation Between Lauren Berlant and Michael Hardt – Heather Davis & Paige Sarlin

3. Some supplementary  reading:

On Love (Again): Hardt/Negri and D.H. Lawrence

Love and Other Catastrophes: Tolstoy’s Systems Theory of Love 




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1 thought on “Love Constitutes Social Bonds: Mapping Michael Hardt’s Conception of Love”

  1. I haven’t the time to explore the complete set of deep references here. But offer the following commentary…

    Hardt’s “political notion of love” recalibrates our concept of love into that of bonds. His concentration on the dichotomy between love and money, recalls some of the theories of George Simmel’s Philosophy of Money, who theorizes money as social, relational and ultimately political. By positing love as unity, Hardt agrees with Hannah Arendt that love is apolitical and anti-political in her terms, yet invents a political form of love extending across social scales, operating in multiplicity through encounters between differences (citing Nietzsche’s Zaruthustra), and is transformative towards difference due to risk.

    This is a huge research project: psychoanlysis, theology, poetry.

    Refuting confining love to the family or couple (confined there by psychoanalysis), refusing the transcendent (of theological love), and the community (Hardt invokes queer writers and writers of color such as bell hooks) [ Note: bell hooks is worth reading], Hardt turns toward Marx in order to redefine the question of money & love as a polarity between having and being. Money “distorting the mediums of exchange…” contradicts itself by being indifferent to the particulars of what it purchases. Love in contrast reasserts trust, operative uniqueness. It socially organizes. Hardt challenges Marx’s depiction of money as exchange, and then identifies how Marx applies the same principles of exchange to unrequited love.

    Society are in a sense networks. Communities are subnetworks: tightly intertwined complex systems. Exploring how these social orientations configure human reality, knotting each of us into a dense set of reciprocal exchange is a deep question with multiple resonant potential insights.

    Hardt’s political theory posits a new form of love that empowers relations reconfigured beyond materialism. I am skeptical about the capacity to reconfigure the human capacity to love with strictly conceptual methodologies: the networks of our evolutionary bodies demarcate a tight deterministic boundary on the capacity of logic to re-engineer intimacy.

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