Franklin Veaux (tacit) wrote,
Franklin Veaux

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Love, love, love: where the Greeks went wrong

Everyone who's ever had a liberal arts background, and most folks who've ever spoken to someone with a liberal arts background, and some folks who've never done either but who've talked about the philosophy of polyamory for any length of time, are probably aware that the Greeks, who loved creating classification systems for things almost as much as they loved war, developed a classification system for love.

In the Greek system, there are four distinct types of love. They believed in Agape, unconditional all-encompassing love like the love of the gods for humans (presumably just before the gods kill lots of people in an earthquake or a flood or something); Eros, or passionate love, usually (but not always) sexual; Philia, or friendship love, of the sort between comrades (and later used by psychologists for sexual kinks that most folks don't have and usually that the psychologist in question doesn't quite understand); and Storge, or familial love.

It occurred to me while I was preparing to shower this morning, as such things often do, that the Greeks missed a couple of types of love in their categorization.

Now, I am aware that the Greeks were legendary for their considerable talents in sorting and labeling things, an art they developed to such an advanced degree that their philosophers even devised classification systems for people (bronze, for slaves; silver, for tradesmen and politicians; and gold, for philosophers) it is with the greatest trepidation that your humble scribe dares to suggest that the Greek taxonomy of love might in the slightest way be lacking.

However, as much respect as I hold for their considerable skills at pigeonholing (and believe me, I hold it in exactly as much respect as it so richly deserves), I feel I must point out that their system is incomplete.

So I would like to propose two additional categories of love:

Orwellos, for compulsory love that is mandated by authority, such as the love of Big Brother, the love of Kim Jong Il, and the love of various hypothetical divine entities who love you in return but will cast you into a lake of fire if you fail to love them enough, or love them in the wrong way.

Stockholmia, or the love of one's abuser, such as the love of Patty Hearst for the Symbionese Liberation Army and the love of Linux users for Linux.

There may yet be a seventh category of love, for love of people for political institutions which act against their interests, though it is not entirely clear to your humble scribe whether that's an entirely separate category of love or simply a combination of the last two.

Edit: After further consideration and consultation with zaiah, I have come to the conclusion that the love of people for politicians and political parties who act against their interests is indeed its own unique form of love, rather than being a combination of Orwellos and Stockholmia.

I would therefore like to propose a seventh type of love. Following slutbamwalla's brilliant suggestion, may I propose:

Santoros, the love that people have for politicians or political organizations who appeal to their sense of identity while simultaneously acting against those people's own interests.
Tags: humor, love
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