Thursday, November 19, 2020

UIS Professor Richard Gilman-Opalsky writes new book on “The Communism of Love”

University of Illinois Springfield Political Science Professor Richard Gilman-Opalsky has written a new book on “The Communism of Love: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value.”

According to the publisher, the book explores the meaning and power of love from Ancient Greece to the present day. Gilman-Opalsky argues that what is called “love” by the best thinkers to have approached the subject is in fact the beating heart of communism—that is, communism understood as a human yearning and way of life, not as a form of government. Along the way, Gilman-Opalsky demonstrates that the capitalist method of assigning value to things is incapable of appreciating what humans treasure most. Exchange value cannot appropriately value the experiences and relationships that make our lives worth living. Capital can only value love by turning it into a commodity, but the commodification of love destroys it.

“The Communism of Love” follows the struggles of love in different contexts of race, class, gender and sexuality, and shows how the aspiration for love is as close as we may get to a universal communist aspiration.

“In this beautifully crafted book, Richard Gilman-Opalsky persuasively uncovers and explores an ‘irreducibly antagonistic relationship of love to capitalist exchange value.’ Refusing to submit to the all-too-common reduction of love to sex, he points to the emergence of communist love during moments of uprising and resistance,” writes George Katsiaficas, author of “The Subversion of Politics,” in reviewing the book.

Gilman-Opalsky, the 2018 University Scholar award winner, is the author of five previous books, including “Specters of Revolt” and “Precarious Communism.” He earned his Ph.D. in political science from The New School for Social Research in 2006. He also earned master’s and bachelor's degrees in philosophy from The New School for Social Research and Hofstra University, respectively.

“The Communism of Love” is published by AK Press and will be released on Dec. 1, 2020. The book can be purchased on the publisher’s website at, on Amazon and from other online retailers.

For more information, contact Gilman-Opalsky at 217-206-8328 or

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