Sounds corny and overdone to talk about love in entertainment, but dammit, more media need to talk about love. But not just romantic love or an abstract humanism. We need to talk about the radical, the revolutionary power of love.
When young adult and children’s media talk about love they usually do so in the context of creating a small concise in group, family or surrogate families. That’s not what I’m talking about.
So much of the dominant ideology of our times is about fear. Thomas Hobbes, with the man as the devourer of man. Our justice system is based on fear, putting the bad apples away, instead of any reabilitation. The US immigration policy thrives on fearmongering. We manage our household finances in fear of scarcity.
For a society to be structured on something other than fear, something not as exclusionary or reactionary as fear, but something inclusive, cooperative, constructive, collective and preventive, proactive, protective such as love; it would take bold, radical transformation of how people see the world and how our institutions function. Creating and operating a society guided by love, instead of fear, demands a radical transformation of the world as we know it.
The solution to fear is separation, otherness, control, to take the threat that scares us and put it away. The solution to love is construction, forming conections, building relations. In a framework of fear we are in a relationship of opposition, competition with others, against the elements of nature, a duality like good and evil. In a framework of love, the world is not a given fact, a independent part that predates and antagonizes us, it’s a system we are a part of. The world, or history, is not something that happens to us, but something we have to write and build, we are not part of nature, we can use it an collect it’s fruits but do not have a controlling ownership of the natural world. Since we are not in opposition, a duality, there’s space for as many different voices as needed until everyone is spoken for, good vs evil is insufficient to describe the totality of the world. Yes, societies of fear and love can be the societies of capitalism and communism, respectively (although that’s not the main point I’m trying to make, we just inevitably end up here when talking about effectively creating a better world. Weird how that works ).
If hope and the love towards other people can be found in the direst of situations, after the end of the world, maybe we can hope to also build a better situation in our very dire times. If we can imagine a positive transformation inside a cynical wasteland, we can find it in ourselves to imagine a positive transformation in our reality, even if the speed, confusion and plurality of it all can lead us to become as cynical as those post-apocalyptic survivors. After the collapse of civilization, we can still choose to remember love.