Saturday, August 15, 2009

On the Need to Embrace Hatred


Emotions are the truest metabolic expressions of how we perceive our immediate circumstances.
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There are no good and bad emotions since spontaneous emotion is simply what we feel in response to our perceived circumstances. Emotions are the most fundamental way, as human beings, that we can experience the outside world of relations, danger, safety, threats, solidarity…
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The more a society suppresses or confines or directs emotion, the less individuals in the society have freedom of expression and self knowledge and knowledge of the world.
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So-called developed world societies, First World societies, are particularly messed up on the emotions front. In Canada, for example, hatred itself is illegal. What could be more pathological on the emotions front than to actually outlaw an emotion?
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As another example, North American mainstream culture would have us accept that sadness is to be avoided and can be suppressed by “putting on a happy face”. With the help of scientific research, we are taught that “acting as if” can produce joy.
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In addition, various North American formal and informal love cults would have us “love our enemies” and “project love into the world” as the ultimate response in the face of aggression and oppression. These cult movements promote a ninja emotional response whereby one replaces an instinctive and guttural and most fundamental emotional response to oppression with its opposite, in the belief that the emotional response will change the real outside circumstances. Whereas this may be superficially true in exploring and developing individual relations within a community of battered individuals wanting mutual support, it can only be understood as disconnected and pathological when applied to real concentrated-force power-imbalance oppression bent on exploitation and domination and steeped in class divisions. Putting the positive emotional cart before the oppression horse is a sick proposal for creating justice.
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The First World mind-fuck regarding emotions is largely due to the institutional and corporate created mental environment that blurs the oppression, thereby making it appear normal to endure the obedience and indoctrination boot camps that are school, university, and salaried work. The emotion mind-fuck is most complete in the privileged classes which are most removed from physical pain (police brutality, environmental health risks, malnutrition, etc.) and are most indoctrinated to manage others.
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This mind-fuck allows First World middle classes to participate in the military economy while sleep walking through the enforced pillaging of Third and Developing World continents, as they gobble up the manufactured narratives of “aid” and “development.” At least the right, when it is honestly expressed, more consciously chooses to pillage and dominate, with its “better them than us” ethos. The latter lower middle class ethos (used by power elites) is seated in a sense of danger that is more authentic than the middle middle class distant “let’s help them” expression of outreach (used by power elites) that translates into risk-free meaningless acts of guilt alleviation.
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This is a call to basics.
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A natural emotional response is to hate one’s oppressor. Let us respect nature at this level. We need to hate our oppressors.
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In the face of aggression, the emotion choice is primarily binary, because the self must decide rather than simply be paralyzed: One either fears and adopts submission or one is angered, owns one’s hatred, and fights back.
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It is a lie to believe that hatred of one’s oppressor, unlike the oppressor’s hatred of his victims, dehumanizes or removes one’s capacity for love. In fact the opposite is true. Hatred of the oppressor and liberation from the oppression through action generates self-respect and love for all those in solidarity against oppression.
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I have met several ex-armed-combatants, liberation fighters, who expressed authentic love and untiring devotion for their liberated communities. Indeed, self-defence and defence of one’s community are themselves expressions of love.
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It is a lie that fighting back only creates more oppression, that liberation can only install new dictators. This is not liberation. Liberation is liberation, a constant life struggle of varying intensity against all assaults to enslave, exploit, and control.
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It is pathological to advance that one cannot use force or feel hatred in defending oneself. The latter pathology is an expression of the First World emotions mind-fuck. These ideas of pseudo-pacifism carry no credibility among resistors.
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Ghandi himself wrote: “we are soldiers of nonviolence, who, if the occasion demands, will lay down their lives for it. Our nonviolence is not a mere policy of the coward. […] It is a thousand times better that we die trying to acquire the strength of arm[s]. Using physical force with courage is far superior to cowardice. At least we would have attempted to act like men.” [1]
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REFERENCES
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[1] As quoted by Norman Finkelstein (and see his reference note (88)):
http://gandhifoundation.org/2009/01/16/resolving-the-israel-palestine-conflict-what-we-can-learn-from-gandhi-by-norman-g-finkelstein/
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1 comment:

Jean Pape said...

'love' is best thought of in this situation as an extra degree of patience or contemplation of the demonized oppressor's motivations and thought process for choosing their various evil or ignorant actions. The extra olive branch is a complicating factor that disrupts the freedom to forget and omit that's naturally possessed by idealism in rhetoric, something that should be obliterated in its inproductivity.

in my view the paradigm that accounts for the strangeness of mass society is that social systems are designed and run by some devils but mostly by ignorants, and along with the experts and radicals, they share the hate-reaction tendency of all human beings in not enjoying being insulted or loving their insultors - until they learn to enjoy it at least. That's not a common path for our headstrong leaders though, so it stands: insults are less effective than detailed data-based critiques. Its possible that a bit of love and respect for their solipism will enhance this critique into a project proposal for the elite instead of a letter in blood left on the door.