Whatever one may say, hate is not the opposite of love, as there is a huge difference between disliking (which is the real opposite of loving) and hating. Few people really hate: we love or dislike, but we rarely venture into that extreme and devastating emotion that is hate. To better understand hatred, we should rather contrast it with the most virulent form of love: passionate love. Hatred and love-passion have this in common that they are extremely powerful, uncontrollable, overwhelming, and energy-consuming feelings. These two feelings are indomitable and often lead to destructive behavior. But, unlike amorous passion which, as a rule, fades and fades over time, hatred feeds on itself, stirs up and spreads.
In Malaise in civilization, Freud affirms that aggressiveness is an innate impulse in man that civilization must repress since this destructive force represents a threat for the community. For its own survival, society must regulate, deflect, sublimate, even eliminate aggressive impulses in order to avoid conflicts between humans. In a half-serious, half-sarcastic way, Freud takes the Christian maxim “Love your neighbor” and translates it as “Love your enemy” because, without civilizational work, which undermines the death instincts, my neighbor would be my enemy.
Like most humans, I believe I have mastered my aggression. In fact, in my personal life, I’ve never really hated someone, anyway, not to the point of wanting to see them disappear. There are, of course, people I don’t like but I try to run away from them in order to maintain my psychological balance. Like many people, I have neither the time nor the energy to consume myself in hate. However…
“Reading the newspaper is the realistic morning prayer,” said Hegel, and I do it daily. I, who do not have easy hatred, have come to feel a hatred that rots my existence. I am not accusing the newspapers but the news and social networks which allow threatening individuals to multiply their impact. Now I hate supremacists, I hate conspirators, and I hate the President of the United States. I hate all those people who seem to suffer from “oppositional defiant disorder”, a psychological concept that defines someone who doesn’t control their anger, who opposes everything, who is resentful and vindictive. The rhetoric of the far right, the conspirators and Trump is willfully misinformed, dangerous and tears America apart. These people are a calamity. But I also hate them for the hatred they’ve created in me.
The offspring of the Ku Klux Klan, Christian fundamentalists and conspirators (all openly or implicitly endorsed by opportunist Trump) spread toxic sentiments. Their hatred engenders ours and nourishes it on a daily basis. This is because we are sensitive and porous.
Some develop a breastplate that allows them to stoically follow the news. I am unfortunately not of this caliber. The news reaches me. The daily reading of the facts and gestures of the American extreme right instilled in me a feeling that I abhor: the hatred, that which I feel in front of them.
If hatred is a painful feeling to experience, it is even more distressing to express it for the simple reason that apart from the supporters of the far right who scream their hatred at the world, most of us feel shame in the face of the hatred that inhabits us. Hatred is an ugly feeling. Everywhere I hear people claiming to hate the far right and Trump; they say it in private but would not say it in a public forum.
Trump tests positive for Covid, well, I’m glad I did. May he finally endure the anguish and pain that more than 8,000,000 of his fellow citizens tested positive, and of which more than 210,000 died! For the good of Americans, I wished him a severe form of Covid, something that physically shakes him, that makes him think, that makes him more sane and more human. But, refractory to science, Trump also seems to be resistant to the virus. When he says he is doing well, I am sorry and I rage. How his inconsistent words and attitudes must shock Americans with the virus, those who cannot receive the VIP care he has received and still receives. Many have suffered, are suffering and will suffer from the Covid, others have died and will die in the months to come, without having the means to pay for a medical consultation. And he, triumphant, urges Americans not to fear this virus. It is simply odious and contemptible.
Right now, I hate American news and I hate my hate.