…are acts done in the name of love.
TV, media, advertisements, social media, popularize the side of love that makes our fanatical minds sparkle, our dopamine rush and our hands rush to our wallets. We go as far as investing money and time to sculpt our bodies in otherwise nonsensical ways to increase the prospect of love.
This is because what controls our dopamine is what drives spending, hence demand, hence allocation of resources, hence society.
This cycle of incentives we find ourselves in is why we are prone to over-aggrandize love for more than it really is – protecting your family and raising a child.
I don’t deny that love is a very positive force — the foundations of society were built on religion, which was built on collective love for a common entity, the kind of love that never folds on itself. Love builds cycles of self-reinforcing positive behavior. Hold the door for someone behind you, and that someone will be far more likely to hold the door for the next person. Democratic-socialist countries like Denmark or Japan are built on these systems of trust and reciprocation. We’ve all experienced it, when love is present.
When love is present.
I’m a realist. The nature of the capitalistic societies like ours is that the agenda for economic growth is at odds with if not the opposite from the agenda for love.
Our perception of love is bent in whichever way that best drive spending — or grimly, which make us crave more love than we can get. This is what leads to the unpopular side of love.
Just as the presence of love builds kindness and empathy, the absence of it builds hatred and revenge.
In other words, hatred is born to protect love.
The very same cycles of goodness can be replaced by cycles of hate which spread like a virus until it tears apart the entirety of society.
As a generation that grew up in peacetime, wars and manslaughter seem like an almost foolish concept. Similarly, for a generation that grew up in wartime, a sharing economy including AirBnb and Uber would seem equally foolish.
The difference between stagnation and progress is whether societal demand is zero-sum or positive-sum. Although we are made to believe love is positive-sum, it is, in reality, if you calculate the integral, zero-sum.
Knowledge is positive-sum. It can never be taken away by others, and it lives securely in a meta-level higher than reality. The presence of it has created flourishing eras like the Renaissance, and the accessibility of it has been growing for all of human history. Its never a question of “whether” but “how”, which is why I believe the key to utopia is knowledge rather than love.