“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King
One morning several years ago I decided to write some thoughts in my journal about hate. I was getting a little tired of being subjected to all the “hate” talk in the media. (And this was before social media.) What follows are statements I wrote off the top of my head, brainstorm fashion. Afterwards I will comment on a few of them.
Hate is used as a tool to manipulate masses, unite people.
Hate is used by hate-mongers to move people to action.
Hate makes people feel good, can make them feel alive.
Hate makes people feel bad (for hating, for being so consumed by it.)
Hate damages the hater.
Hate damages the hated.
Hate makes us irrational, difficult to reason with.
Hate will never solve interpersonal or international problems.
Hate is a form of slavery (to which we become chained.)
Hate can be a form of addiction (which makes us feel good about ourselves by deceiving us into thinking we are better than the hated.)
Hate is a serious problem in our world today.
Hate is evil.
Hate breaks things, damages and stains.
The first statement comes straight from Eric Hoffer’s book The True Believer. This 1951 analysis of mass movements is filled with powerful insights about how men like Hitler and Stalin manipulated the masses to consolidate power. Hitler specifically used hatred of the Jews to unite the peoples in countries he conquered.
It is a scary thing to see, but it goes on today. NOW (National Organization of Women) united women through hatred of men, the KKK united whites through fear and hatred of blacks, some black groups have united people of color through hatred of whites, and some Conservative right wing groups promote fear and hatred of foreigners and liberals to keep people in their fold. (Would it really have been better dead than Red?) Communist propagandists create hatred between social classes by fostering envy among the disenfranchised.