Asexuality and Anti-Capitalism

I read a blog post about asexuality and psychiatry which I found interesting. This blog post is not about that (it’s worth a read though), it’s about a comment which I read:

Asexuality is pathologized because it is anti-Capitalist. Asexuality is a lack of desire; desire is what drives the economy. In particular, sexual desire really is what drives the economy, as the vast majority of things we buy are either advertised WITH sex and/or purchased in the hopes of obtaining it. As my friend mentioned, asexuals and their former friends tend to drift apart, even if they are accepted, for reasons relating to this.

Basically, being asexual is an assault on the philosophies of the market and desire, and is in turn an attack on the inner “life of spectacle” that advanced capitalism has created. This “life of spectacle” exists in the subconscious of every member of the advanced capitalist society, and when it is threatened, the person in question feels similarly threatened. Wanting sex isn’t just a basic fact of life, it is one of the basic mechanisms by which our entire economic system works. I think people, whether they are aware of it or not, are tuned in to that fact enough to sense it being challenged.

Personally, I support that challenge wholeheartedly

I find the implication that if everyone didn’t want sex (which is slightly different from being asexual, though for obvious reasons they tend to overlap) capitalism would collapse quite ridiculous. The sex part of modern capitalism as seen in advertising could be argued to be a response to the sexual revolution – but it would be just that, a response, not particularly contingent with the plasticity of capitalism. This blog post, the latter part, which I wrote earlier might with some modifications be an indication of a world where noone desires sex (or raising children).

Though desires as such might be a central part of the capitalist system, and it would stop if there were no desires, it would stop because nobody has a desire to live and, well, dies. As such, I am not sure what asexuality as a concept would offer people. It is simply an orientation: nothing more, nothing less.

Acapitalist practices create acapitalist desires. There are many things that could serve as “escape lines”, but asexuality as such isn’t one of them. We should try to make a common, a practice, regarding what is sometimes referred to as “love, sex and companionship”. I think relationship anarchy fits into this. I believe that through the mindset of relational anarchy, we can go a long way towards a new manner of living. While capital could spread its tentacles to incorporate this as well, it has a great potential nevertheless. If creating acapitalist desires is impossible, then I dare say that the revolution is doomed from the start. I would like for it to be possible.


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