Friday, January 21, 2005

Preliminary Expectorata

If you are going to follow the command to "Love your enemy," you first have to decide what the command means. What is "love," and how is it made active? What does it mean to claim "your"? And who, or what, is an "enemy"? Is the distinction dependent solely on you, or is it up to "them" as well?

And before you get that far, you have to grasp the paradox, firmly, despite the ontological thorns: if you "love" your enemy, are "they" still your "enemy"? Is it possible to conceive of "love" as an activity directed toward any person, and retain for that person the concept of "enemy"? Your enemy is not transformed by your hate. Surely George Bush or Dick Cheney couldn't care less what I think about them. Would my love transform them?

Or does it only affect me?

Is love, or hate, about securing the boundaries? Or is it about holding to the center?

In the spirit of Josh Marshall, we will obviously have much more to say about this. But hopefully, we'll actually get it said.

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