Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

the case for hate...

Look, I don't know whether hate is good/bad, right/wrong, better/worse. OK? If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I've been grappling with the distinction between anger and hate because I've been told that anger can sometimes be acceptable but that hate is never acceptable. But let's put that aside for the moment and contemplate upon the following case for hate from Life of Riley:
I can’t help it, I’m still stuck with the same passions I had way back when…when I discovered what capitalism was –and still is, because any number of reforms won’t change it much at all. Essentially it is still the same as it was I first came to hate it.

So that’s my word of advice: you gotta hate and hate passionately. That’s the knack. You have to have something festering inside you, a driving hatred that won’t flinch otherwise all the ideals in the world aren’t worth a brass razoo.

Sorry, but that's how it is.

Maybe you’re shocked. “I can’t do that! I’m not like that.” Then more’s the pity. If you can’t hate the systematic slaughter of the people of Iraq for the sake of a few more cheaper barrels of oil then I must ask you to take your misery elsewhere for the company it craves.

Peace on earth? Goodwill to all men? No thanks. Bring the troops home and I may consider it.
Ok, let's have your feedback. Don't be backward in coming forward now, you hear?


Blogger BigBob said...

The problem with hate as the defining protest emotion is how easily it is turned against you.

Take the last two election campaigns - plenty of hate for the two incumbents, yet that hate only seemed to fuel their campaigns.

Indeed, I think the level of emotion shown by their opponents galvanised support for them from the uncommitted.

Instead of highlighting who were the actual extremists, we on the Left allowed ourselves to be painted that way because of our overt hatred.

What we have to learn is that the other side are the masters of hate politics and that while the mainstream media and corporate world are enamoured of them, we can never win by the route of hate.

December 16, 2004 9:59 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yes Bob, but I sort of get where Dave is coming from in his "rage against the machine". I still can't put my finger on when sonething is anger as opposed to when something is hate, but either way, I think the imprtant bit is how you allow that emotion to influence your actions and judgement.

In trying to ba pacifist but at the same time being anger-driven I ovten find that my way of expressing myself is very aggressive, but I fear that if I lost my anger I would become complacent. So it's like "maintain the rage" but learn to talk and act sanely. A bit like tightrope walking really...

December 16, 2004 11:46 AM  
Blogger BigBob said...

It is a matter of self control. You need the anger, but you can't let it blind you or make you rise to the bait provided.

It is a bloody difficult line to walk, and I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to veering off it from time to time.

But who wants to become just a Left leaning image of the neo-cons?

December 16, 2004 2:02 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

In order to make a value judgement like good/bad or right/wrong, I think it all depends on what it is that you "hate" and what your perspective is. For example, hatred of a group of people based on uninformed sterotypes about their race would be "bad" in most people's perspective. On the other hand, hatred of a group of people that was terrorizing you based on your race would probably be justified in the eyes of most people, even if it isn't "good". However, I think that the people who say hate is always "bad" and "wrong" and should never be expressed are really guilty of "hate" themselves. Because basically, they hate hate, if that makes any sense. If it doesn't, please excuse me...last week of the semester crunch may be getting to my brain. :)

December 16, 2004 4:36 PM  
Blogger Link said...

I don't think there'd be a human alive who hasn't felt anger in some form. Its pretty easy for anger to feel like 'hate' -both are emotions and both are seen as 'negative' or at best overpowering sorts of emotions. Nobody feels good harbouring feelings of hatred. I knew a girl once who 'hated me' with a passion. I very quickly realised that the only person she was damaging with her feelings of hatred, was herself. Once you fall into the grip of a strong emotion, rationality usually flies out the door. Sometimes the energy of an emotion actually does do some good, but mostly I think on a personal note, its far better to be able to be able to 'step aside' from strong negative emotions, when you can, and see that they're not the totality of your being, only one part. A dispassionate stance, probably more closely approximates the truth of a situation. I'm like you Gerry angry as hell over so many things, but does it do me, personally, any good? No not really - not at all in fact.

December 16, 2004 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate as we all know is a self-destructive emotion. Anger can be a self-destructive emotion but it's one we can control. Anger feeds desire and desire feeds justification. Hatred feeds nothing, surpassing justification, leaving only a void. For example, I for one am angry at the Howard Government for it's short-sightedness and self-limited will. I don't hate John Howard. That would be pointless. I find a certain pity exists in my being for him. I'm angry at the governments policies, or lack thereof, but I don't hate said policies because I know that in three years time I get a chance to change them.

It's a matter of degrees and knowing when the tipping point has been reached.

December 16, 2004 10:00 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

It's all a matter of language innit. Depends how you define each. The lack of consensus is more about the definition of the words than the concepts themselves.

To me, anger can be righteous and justified and is a powerful force for change. Whereas hate is a blind, bitter, vindictive product of anger, which takes no account of reason or rational thought. It's like prejudice, fully-formed and set in stone to the extent where it can't allow new information in. Anger is a fighting spirit which still retains enough flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. This gives it a power hate can never have.

Hence violence motivated by prejudice of any kind is called a "hate crime", because it's based on blind hate, not any kind of justifiable anger.

Er, but that's just me. Other people may interpret the word 'hate' differently.

December 17, 2004 12:28 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Link, thanks for dropping in, I killed your duplicated comment so I hope you don't mind. It's just housekeeping.

December 17, 2004 12:38 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Thanks to all others who've commented so far, I'll hang back for a while till this thread seems to have run itself out then I'll waffle on what's been contributed thus far, ok?

December 17, 2004 12:40 PM  
Blogger Link said...

No worries Gerry, sorry about that, I was hoping you would.

December 17, 2004 6:54 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

No worries, Link, done it heaps of times myself. Bloody Blogger comments take ages to come up and in the meantime I used to fall into the trap of thinking that my comment had failed so reposted. We've all been there. :-(

December 17, 2004 7:50 PM  
Blogger Noel Chrotsky said...

It's ok to hate what is wrong. What's the alternative, love it or have no emotion about it at all? We're not robots with no feelings and we have values. Our feelings influence our actions, so it would be morally wrong and inhuman for us not to get angry and hateful about things such as injustice.

Agreed, we must use the motivating energy of hate in constructive ways, to correct the injustice and to promote positive alternatives.

Hatred of persons (as a whole) can often lead us up the creek. What we really should hate is that person's particular offensive behaviour, not the person. Most people mean they hate a particular behaviour or set of behaviours when they say they hate someone, but this is seldom obvious.

December 20, 2004 6:12 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Such a wise head on young shoulders. Anyone who likes Midinight Oil and Redgum can't be all bad. :-)

Your comment helped. Thanks for linking to this blog, Paul. I love your other blog as well. Nice parody of that OTHER blog. :-) I hope you keep working that one.

Sorry I haven't posted much of late but I seem to be having a "hiatis" or some such affliction. Maybe the fire in the belly is going out. Gawd, I hope not!

December 20, 2004 9:32 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Bloody blogger comments! Enable editing features, ya bastards!!! Now, where was I... Oh yes... I meant to say "Midnight" and "hiatus". Ok?

Seems the only way around this thing is to set up one's comments on a word processor first, spellcheck them, and then copy them across. Or maybe just proof read better...

December 20, 2004 9:37 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I was surprised that neither you nor any of your correspondents - many of whom are probably in Holy Orders - have introduced Ecclesiastes into this discussion. Perhaps I could remind you of those extraordinary verses which no doubt you will know by heart and which appear to be giving the OK for all possible human activities ..a time to die... a time to kill... a time to refrain from embracing... [what?] and so on, and including ...a time to HATE...No doubt you often turn to these words, as I do, away from the hurly-burly of modern life, to find there a touchstone of peace, and solace, and comfort.
Oh, and it says that war is OK, so that's all right,and that there is ...a time to break down which should reassure you about yourself. Do look up these wise words (Ch3, 1-8)
Funny old lot, Christians, aren't they?

December 20, 2004 11:24 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Tony, you said: "Funny old lot, Christians, aren't they?" Which reminded me... They're passing all sorts of new laws in this once free country. Some of them are heaped under the umbrella of "anti-vilifcation laws" and it may soon be an offence for which one can be dispossessed of one's assets by those who choose to take offence, if you say something bad about their religion.

I notice there is no equivalent provision for disossessing Christians (and others) of their assets if they say something bad about secularism.

The inquisition can't be far off...

December 20, 2004 11:47 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Also, Tony, I thought I had posted an earlier comment to this last one in which I thanked you for giving me a much-needed laugh. Dunno why it never made it...

Anyway, thanks.

December 20, 2004 11:53 PM  
Blogger Dave Riley said...

Gee I'm sorry that all this discussion was happening and I was off on a beach somewhere. I'm also not very ethically minded so I don't see things in that way. I guess I've got different morals and I tend to judge social and political attributes by their consequences and not by their so called moral --or ethical --weight. I don't really care about motivation only the act itself. I like the saying: the proof of the pudding is in the eating -- thats' the core relevance and nothing else matters that much. So if you "hate" and don't do anything --well there's not much to be gained is there except a whole lot of tension and self abuse? But if you 'hate" and do stuff -- well thats' all for the good. Ultimately, as Che Guevera once wrote about revolutionaries: "A Revolutionary Is Motivated By True Feelings Of Love". If you catch the Motorcycle Diaries you'll also catch how the two emotions interplay. To hate without ideals is just pure cynicism.And people who hate without acting on that hatred are dedicated cynics because they inevitably excuse their inaction by projecting that loaving onto others and also onto themselves. But I don't hate individuals nor do I advocate it as it's a pretty pointless exercise. Since I do what I think is a good idea at the time so too do they --so whats' the point of blaiming them? Even if them's John Howard. They do deeds according to certain societal prescriptions egineered historically. If John Howard didn't exist...why, the Labor Party would have to invent him. Just as the British LP got the leader it required in Blair.

December 26, 2004 11:17 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Dave, you say "I like the saying: the proof of the pudding is in the eating" Isn't that a bit like "the end justifies the means", or "whatever it takes"?

If violence and killing are ok in the pursuit of one's ideals, then I want to be allowed to get off the planet now, please sir.

Also, you say "To hate without ideals is just pure cynicism.And people who hate without acting on that hatred are dedicated cynics because they inevitably excuse their inaction by projecting that loaving onto others and also onto themselves."

That's one way to spin cynicism. Not one I share.
But I do get a better idea about how you think of hatred. It's interesting, but I'll need to think on this.

I'm still trying to find the semantic point where anger becomes hatred though. Has this been explained? Have I missed it?

December 27, 2004 12:46 PM  

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