Against Hate: The Semiotics of Certain Low Passions

Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez

Among all the many backwards and antiquated emotions with which we are forced to co-exist, hate stands out for its irrationality and stupidity. For the human species, it is a futile ambush, always counterproductive and degrading. Those who hate drastically lower their level of humanization, and accept a condition of mutilated social relations, and agree both tacitly and explicitly to a form of slavery that is both perverse and intense and from which there tends to be no escape. Some enjoy this very much.

To hate is, principally, a moral wound that the class struggle inflicts on us when we become disoriented and we lose sight of which side we are on, both objectively and subjectively. In hatred, we express the wave of powerlessness that pushes us to destroy everything in order to simplify the struggle by means of the worst denial. Whoever hates rigs the form of the struggle, distorting it with mirages and magic solutions. It is always easy to get drunk on hatred – and work in a confused and numbed way – although this may be both riskier and more costly.

Many distortions are produced under pressure of the class struggle if we lack a scientific and agreed upon method. Theoretical and practical fragility easily originates hate because organizational and argumentative reason are discarded in favor of a negative catharsis which, in its extreme forms is marked by stupid violence, “gut-level” syllogisms, and ethical collapses drenched in blood. This is completely futile for the human species. Some “progressive” movements defend hate, supposing it to be a uniting and mobilizing force. They are living an error of theory and practice that not only prevents them from advancing but which is also dubious because it displaces from the central position the humanistic development that allows the organization of forces to overcome hatreds with the weapons of analysis.

There are as many types of hatred as there are distortions of the method of transformation. This multiplicity is born from and reproduced in the vacuums left by ignorance and the lack of rigor in praxis at all levels and on all fronts of the struggle. Both on our side and the other. No one is exempt; whoever feels that they are the owner of objects, people or concepts as if these were booty included in their “private property” is committing an error (at times voluntarily) that will lead them to hate, sooner or later. It is an ingredient of hatred to feel that one has been robbed of some property. And there are so many mixtures of plunder, combined with worries about property that have been multiplying and deepening the complexity of the repertory of hatreds. All the pathologies of capitalism coagulate – and reveal themselves honestly -in the hatreds of the oppressor class. This is one of their clearest mirrors. It is a “refined” hate, that has been sophisticated, manipulated, and polished until it may even appear as “love for one’s neighbor” or philanthropy to calm popular uprisings. While the haters put on the mask of “good people.”

So it turns out that those who steal most hate most. They hate due to what they think they may lose, or with the mere suspicion that their property might be expropriated. They hate the expropriators, but they most hate the idea and the practice that converts what is expropriated into collective possessions. There are expert haters who have cultivated huge expanses of hatreds and tend these with zeal as if these were “new properties.” They have set up very sophisticated hatred schools. They can count on the bulk of the judicial and political system. They have religions, universities, and training facilities where they perfect class hatred; they spread it as common sense (and as identity) and they recognize the value of its use and its value as a medium of exchange in the market of social control, of monopoly of political power and of military power. It’s miserable hatred, but, truly, it’s very profitable. In the account of the bourgeoisie “hate” epochal records are covered, convenient for expropriating the labor of others. With the consent of some “experts” and their bosses, they have converted hate into a unchecked current, charged with “new classifications” where the undisguised idea rules that hate is a human condition, that humans are capable of hating even themselves and their own class – and on their own initiative. Hatred as predetermined and unplanned. Don’t let the bourgeois news convince you to hate your own people. Don’t swallow the ruling class’s hate as if it were your own.

To hate implies “disappearing” the opponent, exterminating him. Including with unknown violence. With hatred, the debate, the contest, the dispute is cancelled. The work of arguing rationally with evidence in order to convince is suppressed. The debate of criteria or experiences is suppressed and what is imposed is the abnormal individualism of “the truth is what I say it is” even though this may require violence with blows and gunfire, prison and persecution to establish it. Hate cancels equality, liberty, tolerance, and respect for the dignity and autonomy of the other. A worthy and equalitarian society is inconceivable as long as there are people producing hate and selling it as one of the biggest businesses in history. Spreading hate should be considered a Crime against Humanity.

There are victims of hate who do not return that hatred. Victims who have known how to dignify their pain without allowing it to degrade into hate. In contrast, there are spirits and struggles that serve as examples and have arisen to the praxis of battles reclaiming and defending their rights passionately, but out of danger of hate. It is essential to understand the nature of hate, its roots, causes and effects, and to combat it in all its diverse facets and its impact on the visions and behaviors deformed by the ideologies of hate and with hate – and the racists, sexists, and fundamentalists who stir it up. It is an essential central task to demolish it – in and with everything we have to use, including literature, the arts, film, and the mass media. We must call on all the front lines of decent people, and, taking up the battle, we must stop the hate speech directed at migrants and all those groups called “minorities.” We must uproot hatred toward community leaders, freedom movements, leaders of progressive or revolutionary nations. We must struggle against the hate unleashed and cultivated in social media. Stop the hate created to threaten the democratic will of the people. Uproot the hate generated to suppress legitimate dissent, free popular expression, the right to live without violence… and also demand a stop to the means of dissemination of class hatred and bourgeois violence disguised, also, as ‘freedom of expression.

In Defense of Humanity – Cuba

Translation by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America Bureau