Capitalism has really deeply ingrained the scarcity mentality into and plagued our notions of humanity.
Most people don’t realize the system implies we are an indiscriminately greedy species and that competition is the source of all innovation, production, and most preposterously, wellbeing.
We are exceptionally social creatures and in reality, it’s the societies we build, upon the altruism and mutualism deep in our hearts, that have lead us to prosperity as a species.
The world is not a zero sum game. We can all live off of the planet, we can all be comfortable, we can all be happy, if we believed in the possibility, and built the systems for it. The abundance mentality is our salvation, but feudalism and oppression has been normalized for centuries, and we have since lost the plot
I think none of us want communities to rise or fall dependent on the whims of the very rich. I think we would rather be involved in each other’s lives, and that what stops us most often is fear. We fear that the work of many hands will obscure the beloved outline of our individual selves. But perhaps this self you’ve been treasuring so long is in fact the work of many hands. Speaking personally, I owe so much to the hard work of my parents, the education and healthcare systems in my country, to the love and care of my friends.
Zadie Smith at The New School commencement exercises. 23 May 2014, Madison Square Garden, NYC.
I am more and more convinced that true revolutionaries must perceive the revolution, because of its creative and liberating nature, as an act of love. For me, the revolution, which is not possible without a theory of revolution — and therefore of science — is not irreconcilable with love. On the contrary: the revolution is made by people to achieve their humanization. What, indeed, is the deeper motive which moves individuals to become revolutionaries, but the dehumanization of people? The distortion imposed on the word “love” by the capitalist world cannot prevent the revolution from being essentially loving in character, nor can it prevent the revolutionaries from affirming their love of life. Guevara (while admitting the “risk of seeming ridiculous”) was not afraid to affirm it. “Let me say, with the risk of appearing ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love. It is impossible to think of an authentic revolutionary without this quality.”
Paulo Freire | Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968)
"Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause—the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love. Only by abolishing the situation of oppression is it possible to restore the love which that situation made impossible."
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
The absence of a sustained focus on love in progressive circles arises from a collective failure to acknowledge the needs of the spirit and an overdetermined emphasis on material concerns. Without love, our efforts to liberate ourselves and our world community from oppression and exploitation are doomed. As long as we refuse to address fully the place of love in struggles for liberation we will not be able to create a culture of conversion where there is a mass turning away from an ethic of domination.
∆ excerpt from “Love as the Practice of Freedom” by bell hooks
Principles in development for Liberated Relationships:
Radical honesty: No omissions, no white lies, no projections. Ask the questions you really want answered, speak your truth, and let the relationship build inside all that reality. Just a note from experience, the small lies can be the hardest tot shop telling. "No I don't want to get on the phone right now, can we just text?"; "I'm busy catching up on my reality TV show"; "Real cow milk ice cream"; or "I know I said I didn't want to ___, but now I do." However, the more you practice this, the more you will find yourself spending your waking hours in the ways you want to, the ways that honor the miracle of your existence, which was not given to you to waste in polite avoidance of hurting people's feelings. You will find that you can be honest and kind, you can be honest and compassionate.
Acknowledge the dynamics, then keep growing. Have an understanding on the front end of the race, class, gender, ability, geographic, and other power dynamics that exist between you. And also remember that there are constructs. Be in the complexity of living inside these constructs while evolving between them through relationship.
Relinquish Frankenstein. You are not creating people to be with, or work with, some idealized individuals made of perfect parts of personality that you discovered on your life journey. You are meeting individuals with their own full lives behind and ahead of them. Stop trying to make and fix others, and instead be curious about what they have made of themselves.