The Communism of Love

audio title

The Communism of Love

An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value

Richard Gilman-Opalsky


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  • Love is a subject of wide—if not universal—interest.
  • A thoroughly philosophical text, but written in an accessible, literary style.
  • As its unusual title suggests, this is an uncommon book. One of very few books that treats love as a political concept, and not primarily as a romantic or sexual concept, it pushes the envelope even further to claim love as a communist emotion.
  • And, as the subtitle suggests, the book is a serious engagement with and contribution to Marxist theory, especially the idea that, under capitalism, “value” is determined not by things fulfill human needs and desires but by how much they can be exchanged for.
  • Engages with a wide variety of other writers as well, including: bell, hooks, Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, Eric Fromm, Rosa Luxemburg, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
  • Good for thematic courses in sociology, philosophy, political science, critical theory, and social psychology, especially for professors looking for a unique perspective on social relations and politics dealing with race, gender, class, and sexuality. Many philosophy and psychology programs feature courses on love as well, and it would be perfect for any of those.
  • Will appeal to activists and radicals, and students and scholars interested in philosophy, Marxism, anarchism, love, social movements, radical politics, critical theory, communism, capitalism, and political philosophy.


Richard Gilman-Opalsky:
Richard Gilman-Opalsky is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Gilman-Opalsky’s research focuses on the history of political philosophy, contemporary social theory, Marxism, capitalism, autonomist politics, critical theory, revolt, and revolution. Gilman-Opalsky is the author of five books: Specters of Revolt (2016), Precarious Communism (2014), Spectacular Capitalism (2011), Unbounded Publics (2008), and Riotous Epistemology (2019). He is co-editor of Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2018). Gilman-Opalsky has lectured widely throughout the U.S., Europe, and China and was named University Scholar 2018–2019 at the University of Illinois.