© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher

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Love as Imperialism -- Unpopular Opinion

Updated: Mar 23

When it comes to my philosophy on love, the term ‘imperialism’ is a term that I use instead of simply saying “foreign/external interference”. When a person intervenes in something or on someone that are beyond their control and it’s not their business, is necessarily an imperialist in my perceptive. When someone whose authority does not supposed to be on you, asks you to, let’s say, pick a different hat than what you’ve chosen to equip on your head, is showing imperialism towards you, because they wish to intervene in something which is technically beyond their reach.

Romantic relationships in general are of imperialist nature due to the deep intimacy it includes between the couple. This intimacy is so strong that it penetrates the privacy of each partner, and allegedly blurs the distinction between them, as independent and distinct individuals. This is because romantic relationships are more than just based on strong emotion, but also on possessiveness, of making your loved one “yours”, as if they are your property.

The problem I find in popular opinion is that it does not separate the relations between feeling something and creating something. In other words, feeling deep love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean that those who feel this emotion would necessarily desire to create a romantic relationship with the subject whom they love. The same logic can apply to any emotion and act: someone that makes me happy won’t necessarily be my friend, and someone whom I hate won’t necessarily become my enemy. The connection between emotion and act, if seen as necessary, is a result of the social norms attempting to limit our independent thinking.

Imagine yourself in a jewelry store finding a most beautiful necklace, placed in the center and shining with its glamour. You find this necklace very beautiful to look at. However you may be also convinced that you “must” have that necklace. This is where the line between mere emotion and imperialism is drawn: to have something that you don’t have under your authority and possession, and want it to belong to you, for you to be its owner. This is the deceptive nature of emotions: telling you that you “must” have something just because the power of emotion as you experience it is very dominant in your consciousness.

The same can be applied to human beings. Surely someone is very attractive to you; does it mean that you must own it, as in the form of having a romantic relationship with them? Why, the person can be attractive, and you can still enjoy their presence, without them to belong to you and only to you.

Romantic love is whatsoever a continuous conflict of two people trying to dominate or to be dominated by each other; an interactive dance to seek the optimal power over the loved one. The same could be in sex, where the active seek to dominate, and the passive seeks to be dominated, regardless of their gender.

It is known in psychology that humans seek in romantic relationships what they had as kids by their parents or guardians. An offspring whom their parent rejected, would continue to love their loved no matter how much they reject them, and a kid that was able to surpass their parent’s authority and make them weak, would probably seek a partner whom they could dominate and have them under their control.

Romance therefore is an attempt to return to our childhoods and to preserve a state that existed their childhood. It is a will to return to the womb that preserved them and kept them warm, and seek to repeat the experience of warmth they had. It is therefore an escapism from the Great Void, where the values, experiences and concepts which where strong in the period of childhood, are non-existent.

Indeed, a person that chooses to live with and to accept the inevitability of the Great Void and the lack of illusions and fantasy that it contains, is a person that has reached true maturity, and does not escape from the present by trying to mimic their initial experiences as children. Romance is not even necessary, as new offsprings can be born without the love of their parents, and still be loved and nurtured, by their parents.