“To understand how love can be the central, constitutive mode and motor of politics” is philosopher Michael Hardt’s primary aim in his notebook. “The Procedures of Love” looks at love as a project with its own temporality, which involves processes of composition and decomposition. A political concept of love revives the revolutionary event and the ceremony of return, also outside the private realm. In this sense, love is examined as a phenomenon, which is intimate and social at the same time, embracing multiplicities and choreographing movements. Following Jean Genet (1910–1986), we must “open up the field” for events in a ritualized way, says Hardt, in order to introduce them and “make” them. In addition, a political connotation of the term “love” can only become effective through institutions that make the ceremonies of recurrence an experience. Ceremonies transform the temporality of events, as the recurrence of social encounter happens each time unforeseeably, despite familiar patterns.
Political philosopher and literary theorist Michael Hardt (*1960) is Professor of Literature and Italian Studies at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.