Marx on the diminishing returns of Love
“Love is never free. There is always a price to pay for what each partner is giving or receiving.”
The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who commodified Valentine’s Day.
Love is never free. There is always a price to pay for what each partner is giving or receiving. If producers and consumers of love do not pay thoughtfulness to that reality, they will unknowingly charge what they are getting on “emotional credit card” that will eventually come due.
To recognize those costs from the very beginning and to pay that price forward will decrease the accruing costs of the relationship on the long run. That process is most easily accomplished when both partners are willing to ask themselves the following questions and share the answers with each other:
- What thoughts and feelings are you suppressing to avoid challenging the relationship? And are they heavy costs on your emotional labor?
- What sacrifices are you making that seem easy in the moment, but might not be over time? Will you be able to cover these costs on annual basis?
For example, the annual cost of Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries, and in the long run wedding costs which might lead to never ending family expenses.
- What red flags (besides the communist flag) are you seeing that might be acceptable now but you know would not work over time if you don’t face them now?
- What attitudes or behaviors in your partner bother you that you are not sharing?
For example, wasting resources.
- What other significant compromises would you need to make?
For example, realizing that you might be spending less time with your comrades.
The answers to these questions will help both partners realize what the relationship will realistically cost each of them and what they need in return to stay committed to each other.
If either partner is not able to identify and recognize these potential costs, he or she may end up unable to reconcile the debt because the debt has become too steep to reconcile.
Furthermore, if you love without evoking love in return — if through the vital expression of yourself as a loving person you fail to become a loved person, then your love is impotent, it is a misfortune. Love in some cases requires heavy emotional labor and has been greatly commodified and could simply result in diminishing returns.
To be radical is to grasp things by the root, and such economic issues dealing with love should not be disregarded. The prices must be defined and decisions have to be made accordingly.
The philosophers have only interpreted love, in various ways. The point, however, is to decommodify it.