Prosperity Marxism – Episode 16: Richard Gilman-Opalsky & The Communism of Love

In this episode Michael Pelias and Bruno Gulli speak with Richard Gilman-Opalsky about his latest book The Communism of Love: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value

Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of five previous books, including Specters of Revolt and Precarious Communism.

The Communism of Love: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value

Exploring the meanings and powers of love from ancient Greece to the present day, Richard Gilman-Opalsky argues that what is called “love” by the best thinkers who have approached the subject is in fact the beating heart of communism—understood as a way of living, not as a form of government. Along the way, he reveals with clarity that the capitalist way of assigning value to things is incapable of appreciating what humans value most. Capitalism cannot value the experiences and relationships that make our lives worth living and can only destroy love by turning it into a commodity. The Communism of Love follows the struggles of love in different contexts of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and shows how the aspiration for love is as close as we may get to a universal communist aspiration.

“In this beautifully crafted book, Richard Gilman-Opalsky persuasively uncovers and explores an ‘irreducibly antagonistic relationship of love to capitalist exchange value.’ Refusing to submit to the all-too-common reduction of love to sex, he points to the emergence of communist love during moments of uprising and resistance. In so doing, he illuminates the future of revolution.”—George Katsiaficas, activist and author of The Subversion of Politics

To get a copy of the book:

Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s website and other books: