Radical Love

first of a projected series on “Possibility”

This may be the first time that the world has got close to being united in a common hope; this despite continuance of being separated by incompatible wishes and fears; not to mention ongoing hate and conflict.

I glean from media that to many of us, the world is in a worse state today than it’s been in living memory.

Perhaps the common hope consists in little more than an end to the pandemic and return to normal.

But politics will still be rotten. Hate and fear will still continue. Who or what can lead to the promised land of our hopes and wishes? Countless solutions have been proposed, never mind what, since at least the dawn of Christianity, and doubtless other religions which I personally know less well; along with all sorts of other structures for living together.

What’s lacking is a proven demonstration of their practical possibility. None of these solutions has worked: not as we hope the Corona-virus vaccines will work.

There’s a document called Radical Love: see https://www.thealternative.org.uk/dailyalternative/2019/6/24/turkey-radical-love-strategy What do you think?

I’ve reformatted the English version and you can download it from here: http://www.ian.mulder.clara.net/books/radical-love%20letter%20format.pdf (printable on Letter paper) or  http://www.ian.mulder.clara.net/books/radical-love%20A4.pdf (printable on A4)

9 thoughts on “Radical Love”

  1. PS Just after posting the above, I was sent a link to an essay titled “A Possible Future”. The author offers some examples to ilustrate his concept of “possible”, such as the French Revolution, how it got out of control and turned out bad. In the same way, he argues, from a British perspective, the combination of Brexit and Covid-19 could destabilize us big-time. Where us, I suppose, refers mainly to those with power and money.

    In contrast, when I speak of “possible”, I mean it in the sense of “practically achievable”, something that we, i.e. humanity as a whole, can control ourselves if the Augean stable of politics can be cleansed. A Herculean task: does Radical Love offer some much-needed pointers? It worked for the ousting of Erdogan from the mayorship of Istanbul.

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  2. It did not take long for an orange fellow in a white house to stir the cauldrons of hatred. Hatred has existed, but the radical us vs them mentality of the past few years is really out of hand. Love. Moderation. Working to the common goal for the good of all seems to have gone to the depths of Hades in a hand basket at a super sonic rate. It is easy to jump on the hate bandwagon. It is much harder to love one’s neighbor. I like the article, and we need to Love and not hate.

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  3. Also, as a second thought, I am a much much much bigger fan of “small acts of love” than “radical love.”
    I’m not still not quite sure what “radical love” means, but I certainly don’t know that it has to be ‘radical.’

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  4. I enjoyed that brochure, and it’s great to see people across the world seeking ways to counteract hatred and division. I was particularly struck by the author’s remarks about sarcasm, a kind of humour that intrinsically stirs up bad feelings.

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  5. Okay, so I keep mulling over this concept of “radical love” and I don’t think I’m buying it. It seems like the sort of thing that’s perfectly tailor-made to fall into the wrong hands, ultimately twisted into serving as a cover for unlimited atrocities buried beneath several cushioning permutations of self-righteousness and self-delusion by people telling themselves “But we’re the good guys. We stand for the cause of love!” It’s just too pat of an answer.

    Maybe that’s cynical. Maybe it’s an aversion to cure-all ideologies. I just don’t trust ideologies anymore. The only thing I’m willing to believe in are modest sensible attempts at basic human decency. Anything grander than that just seems to go completely off the rails eventually.

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  6. Well I saw it quite differently. In Turkey & Syria, the unlimited atrocities are there for all to see.

    The movement in Turkey. represented by the brochure/manifesto of its oldest political party in Turkey: founded in 1920 by Kemal Ataturk whose government abolished the Ottoman caliphate.

    I don’t see the document as saying “We are the good guys” at all. Surely it’s about participation and its role in true democracy. It’s a movement of listening, and cleaning up traditional politics: specifically to oppose “Erdoganism“.

    I’m with you completely about trust in basic human decency. But how does this translate into a form of government, e.g. Democrat and Republican and their attitude toward one another? Does basic human decency embrace “love thy neighbor” or not? (Note my surrender to your spelling.)

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    1. I don’t know that it does translate. I don’t know if there’s an specific direction to go with it. But maybe that’s the point.

      I feel like we touched on this same subject somewhere a long time ago. It’s as difficult to articulate now as it was then. It’s just that there’s this certainty that seems to come over people in the throes of ideological possession, a certainty which always seems to lead them down a road where they’re rounding up the “wrong people” and doing these terrible things. And the people on the outside of the ideology end up looking on shocked and heartbroken, wondering “How did it come to this?”

      And I feel like all I can do is TRY to keep being one of those people on the outside, TRY to keep that grounded perspective on things and TRY to navigate things like a decent person, even if there is no certainty in that.

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