LS: You’ve said that you’re interested currently in love as a political concept. I wondered if you could say a little bit about that, especially since in Multitude (your last book), it does come up. I was speaking with the political theorist Steve Niva who pointed out that it is very clearly there in your piece—in the beginning of the book about the golem. And then, toward the end of Multitude, a passage which reads as follows:
People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and more unrestrained conception of love.
Could you comment on that passage and on the direction your thinking has gone since then?
MH: In part it starts with a recognition that in certain political actions, in certain political demonstrations—the really good ones—you do have a feeling of something really like love. And so, it’s partly a way of trying to theorize that recognition of this feeling of…let’s call it a “collective transformation” that one experiences in certain kinds of political action. And therefore, to think about love, love which I do understand to be precisely a transformative power, something in which we come out different. And to try to think of it as a political concept. There are ways in which love has functioned as a political concept, more than it does today. Continue reading