I’ll admit it right here and now: There is power in hating. I don’t agree with people who claim hatred is lack of power. But before you think this will be a post defending hatred, don’t rush it. What kind of power is it? I spent a good chunk of my life hating almost everything and everyone around me. While I never lashed out in physical violence it stayed within me. It grew within me. I built my own world of emotions connected to thought processes that I never told anyone. These were built on hatred most of the times.
I felt powerful back then. I can’t argue any other way. I was something better, the rest was not. But this power is self centred. It’s power over, not power with. Yes, people can come together and hate the same thing but this gathering happens, I would say, because they happen to hate the same thing. Not because there is any shared compassion for one another.
There are also times in which hatred is not so obvious but in fact becomes a central part of a society’s progress. As activist and philosopher Derrick Jensen puts it in regards of the culture of civilisation: ”Hatred felt long enough no longer feels like hatred. But as Economics, Science, Religion, Politics or simply the way things are”. I personally love this framing. Looking back at my own life I was so eager to not ”become one of them” (by which I mean the mainstream, the norm, the status quo) that I succumbed to hatred for it to the degree that I became exactly like the culture wants me to be. Making my choices rooted in contempt, hatred, paranoia, mistrust while still ”feeling” different. My identity was rooted in subcultures that of course were so much more true and righteous. Yet we accomplished nothing more than feeding our own egos of hatred.
There is another power: The power with rather than power over. This power is rooted in love, I would say. And it is a power that the dominant culture and most of its members fears. The power to defend who or what you love. A power you share with others. You can become a strong force of your love and compassion as your guide.
I would argue that decisions done with hatred as your driving force makes for one set of choices, and a completely different set of choices when your decisions are made with love as your driving force.
Is there ever any room for hate? Why yes there is. Hate is an emotion, after all, just as valid as any other feelings we have. The problem with hate is that so often when it drives our decisions, it’s never rooted in sane, rational thinking and ends up resulting in very poorly made judgements on a situation. Another thing is that hate is so often rooted in our own projections. Let me see if I can explain. So often people have never had any real reason to hate. What they do, and I did this myself all the time, is to hate your own projections you put onto the world around you. If I hate a Gay Man for what he has done to me, that is one thing. But if I hate him because he is a Gay Man I’m not even giving him the courtesy of being hated for who he is. Instead I hate my own projection I put on him. And I can make up any number of slurs to put onto him. What these slurs do is feed and validate my own projections.
So is there any point to this post? I’m not so sure. I however want to find a way to end by saying that you should find what you love and fight for it. If it’s women’s liberation from patriarchy – go for it; If it’s saving salmon – do it; If it’s stopping forests from being cut – do it; If it’s stopping male on male violence – go for it; If it’s a bit of this and that, well then do a little bit of this and that.
The whole world with all its life and beauty is at stake. So find what you love and fight.