I spent Saturday evening with some friends who are political in a ramshackle way; a couple of journalists, an academic, a PR guy, an American who voted for McCain, a chap who can best be described as a ‘fixer’. The centre of political gravity around the dinner table was certainly to the right yet we managed to avoid anguished discussion of Burke, Hayek, or Oakeshott. Instead one of the journalists passed out on a sofa and I ended up with a case of wind so bad I announced that I had a “bad bum”.
I wouldn’t have thought any more of this if today I hadn’t been invited to something called ‘Love on Trial’, a left wing Valentine’s Day snoozefest hosted by “a network of activists” who present “carnivalesque evenings of live entertainment and meaningful debates”. As I read the event description (reproduced below) I felt an ever greater sense of relief that I had picked up that old copy of The Road to Serfdom all those years ago.
“Following the success of last year’s ‘on Trial’ events, Mutiny presents Love on Trial – an alternative Valentine’s night out of revolutionary politics, art and performance at the avant-garde Resistance Gallery in East London.
Join us for a carnivalesque evening of live entertainment and discussion as we cross-examine the concept of love from the left, starting with speed-debating and progressing through three interactive sessions… exploring a host of themes:
**How does romantic love work as an ideology, and can we escape the singular vision of it that saturates our airwaves? What is the relation between our historically specific conception of romantic heterosexual love and late capitalism? What other kinds of love might be valuable? Do we have enough love for our public services to save them?
**How does the state institutionalise, police and teach its citizens to love? How have schools, the church and the law helped and hindered the shift towards acceptance of a greater diversity of types of love? How did we build resistance in the past and where are the points of prejudice and control we need to confront today?
**What relation do love and other emotions bear to activism? Can daring to love differently be an efficacious political act in itself? Is it possible to separate our private lives from our political acts? What might love look like after the revolution?
With live music, performance poetry, and original live theatre, it’s a political party not to be missed.
Tickets £5 on the door or a very romantic buy-1-get-1-free online in advance at http://www.jointhemutiny.org.
See you there.”
(If you dont have any recently painted surfaces you need to keep an eye on you can find the details of this depressing event here)