Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | March 7, 2015

ReLOVEution

ReLOVEution Reversal

The ReLOVEution meme has been getting around lately, but hardly anyone says much about it. It’s become a gel point in my thinking — a great twist on an old term suggesting new possibilities. I think people like the idea that someone figured out how to find “love” in “revolt”, but there’s more to it than that.

Love is revolt. Maybe not in a perfect world; but in this authority-dominated one, love must mutiny. In this one, authority forces love into corners of territory conquered by violating love: exploitation, competition, and profit — especially profit that competes to aggravate and leverage fears for survival. The mentally deficient who rule this world think that love is a game, a weakness. Boy, are they in for a surprise.

In this world, simply making love a top priority makes it revolutionary. Authorities take any challenge to their privileged status as a step towards revolt, and they won’t stand down for anything less. We rarely confront them. Even when they abuse their power, we have qualms about taking action. Like Scilla Elworthy asked in a recent TED talk, “How do we deal with a bully without becoming a thug in return?” Buckets of giant marshmallow love won’t work. Bullies and tyrants don’t smother easily — they instead burn you and your confections. Fighting fire with fire doesn’t work, either. We whose heads aren’t stuck in a World War or even more antiquated mentality know that.

Nonviolent resistance shows some promise but, being a form of protest, it has three Achilles’ heels:

  • Protest recognizes and thereby endorses the standing and power of authorities, which keeps the imbalance of power intact instead of upsetting it.
  • Protest challenges specific authorities, but does not question authority itself. The best it can do is effect a change of guards to a more sympathetic set, leaving the potential for authoritarian abuse intact, even leaving abusive systems intact. In fact, that’s all most people hope for.
  • Protest appeals to the conscience and sense of fairness of people who prove time and again to have neither. Authorities change behavior when leaving it unchanged would reflect negatively on them and interfere with their agendas — not because protest served to alter their intentions or agendas.

Resistance of any kind shows disagreement, but it also shows that we share basic beliefs with those we resist. We don’t fight over the last piece of pie unless we agree it’s worth fighting over.

Jesus, the master revolutionary, prefaced his famous “turn the other cheek” saying with an amazing, “Do not resist evil people.” Authorities bastardized that to mean you can’t stop evil people without becoming evil yourself. Bullshit. They convinced us of that because of their keen interest in grooming sheeple for shearing and slaughter. We fell for it because we understand so little about love. Love does not mean non-resistance, because love knows that nothing resistance-worthy opposes us. It sees through the illusions of power that fool us into resisting. Turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, giving coat as well as shirt are examples of turning tables — flipping the very basis for the situation, taking game-changing control of the narrative instead of playing into the bullshit playbooks that bastards try to foist on us.

ReLOVEution is reversal, not resistance.

A mother standing up to her child’s attacker doesn’t resist the attacker — she denies him. She shuts him down. The attacker has no right and no standing. There is no basis for dialog. There is no common ground on which to struggle and no valid claim to struggle over. She makes clear in no uncertain terms that he simply will not, without even an “or else.” Denied. She overcomes him. At that point, she isn’t concerned about principle or appearance or repercussions or even whether she’ll succeed. Her utter lack of question is exactly why she overcomes.

Love does what’s necessary. Doing whatever is necessary for our beloved’s welfare is love. Other concerns are irrelevant. And before love acts, it decides something momentous: it will unconditionally, unilaterally, necessarily secure that welfare. No question. No doubt. No negotiation. No compromise. Raw, intimidating, unyielding will: This is how it’s gonna be. Period.

Frederick Douglass described his own unconditional, unilateral emancipation:

Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment—from whence came the spirit I don’t know—I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose. He held on to me, and I to him. My resistance was so entirely unexpected that Covey seemed taken all aback. He trembled like a leaf.

This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free. The gratification afforded by the triumph was a full compensation for whatever else might follow, even death itself. He only can understand the deep satisfaction which I experienced, who has himself repelled by force the bloody arm of slavery.[1]

Douglass did not resist evil. The instant he resolved to fight, evil was overcome. All that remained was to express his freedom physically. The fight didn’t win Douglass his freedom. In fact, he remained a slave for five more years. His stark resolve regardless of “whatever else might follow, even death itself,” was his liberation in mind and in spirit — in other words, in truth. Likewise, before slavery was “abolished”, it was repudiated in millions of very personal, unequivocal confrontations. Abolition was official recognition that further support of the despicable institution was now impossible. And force was never off the table. How could it be, seeing it’s the native language of bullies and tyrants? Communication requires a shared tongue, but it doesn’t prove like minds. What we say defines us only if it expresses what we are. Speaking the language of bullies to deny and shut them down does not make us thugs.

Many of us don’t understand this because we see “justice” not as a matter of love but of principle, and we’re more concerned about appearances than we are with substance. Likewise with revolution.

ReLOVEution is different than revolution, undermining authority in a profoundly different way, well beyond the grasp of those who think that imposition is the essence of power. Love makes authority irrelevant, because authority is nothing but a heartless attempt to compensate for the void left by lovelessness. Only free hearts make for real power. Anything less is slavery. Love subsumes and transforms authority into something genuine that we invite, not submit to, a service offered, not imposed. For authoritarians, overruling the wills of others proves power. This is not authority, and ReLOVEution doesn’t oppose it, but instead illuminates it as a sick farce, destroying its very sense and credibility. Transparent laughingstocks have no power to wield once their idiocy becomes obvious.

Revolutions seize authority to forcibly changing how the world works whether we like it or not. They’re destructive, and their priorities are backwards. Revolutionaries agree with their enemies that control of people and material resources is paramount, that authority is key, and that changed circumstances change lives. They fight over these things without wondering if insistence on control — actually, obsession with control we could call socio-econo-political OCD — is the real problem.

ReLOVEution first reverses minds and hearts, changing how the world looks, then changing the things we see afresh to work the way we want — because, having straightened out our heads, what we want finally makes real sense. Rather than one group imposing its Utopian vision on everyone else, ReLOVEution is a collaboration of peers, each with a voice, deciding together what we want and how to achieve it. With different eyes we see different ways, and pursuing consensus fosters communality — just two reasons among many why force is unnecessary.

We’ve been so brainwashed with authoritarian memes that most of us think it’s patently ludicrous to question the need for authority. I’m going to show soon that just the opposite is true: precisely because authoritarianism rests ultimately on coercion and violence, devoid of love, an addictive substitutionary sham, it is intrinsically incoherent.

Violence induces dread that forces people into corners looking for room to love without interference. Overcoming dread is a reLOVEutionary key. Turning their own violence back on violators is another.

Authority can’t touch love. Authoritarians run away scared from the planes of heart where love moves and overwhelms resistance with its dignifying commitment of genuine care. Authority has no offense and no defense against it. That makes love fearsome. So, when violence to dignity and soul fail, authorities resort to violating bodies. With that, they declare their bankruptcy of morality, care, and competence. Murdering those who love only proves love’s overthrow of the decrepitude of those can do nothing to love, so they violate and destroy the things that love has created.

ReLOVEution provokes instinctive authoritarian resistance, even from those suffering its violations, hoping for relief; because they, too, are authoritarians who tolerate abuse and passively condone denigrating societies that inflict it. Some hide their complicity behind “how” rhetoric, as if the need for authority were obvious. Without authoritarian control, how can we avoid chaos? How can we govern without leaders? How will we deal with criminal elements? These questions don’t come from love, but from fearful self-seeking that some call “realism”.

Realism asks which way is best; but love invents new ways. Realism asks what’s possible under the circumstances; but love changes the circumstances, making what’s best possible. Realism manipulates; love creates. Realism avoids risks; love defies them. Realism often fails.

Love never fails. Even if our endeavors don’t succeed as we’d hoped, they succeed in part, proving that our love is true and our hope indomitable, that our goal of a bright future is non-negotiable, and that nothing is dearer than our loved ones we fight for.

That’s not all folks. Not by a mile.

Read more in the ReLOVEution plan at https://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/reloveution-this-be-the-plan/

Read the ReLOVEution Manifesto at:
https://reloveutionnow.wordpress.com/reloveution-manifesto/

Support the movement at ReLOVEution’s Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/ReLOVEution

Check out our blog, ReLOVEution NOW!, at:
https://reloveutionnow.wordpress.com/revloveution-now-blog/

And check out our web site ReLOVEution.org: http://reloveution.org.

We’re on Facebook, too, for discussion, brainstorming, and experimentation, ReLOVEution NOW!. Check it out and join in!

————

[1] Read the story at http://www.public-domain-content.com/books/Douglass/C11P4.shtml (back to reading…)

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