Saturday, March 1, 2014

Worse Than Hate

Thinking a bit about hate and discrimination and such... You know, hate is generally a misnomer. One hates things and people that have presented specific noxious experiences, such as bad Brussels sprouts, or the G.P. who convinced the psychiatrist to blacklist you, but it is impossible to hate someone with whom you have essentially had no personal interaction of any kind whatsoever. There is a negative emotion there that prompts a person to do things that are wrong to others, sometimes things that are outright evil, but it isn't hate, and in fact, to call it hate would be to ennoble and dignify it beyond what it deserves. That which is most often referred to as hatred is generally not actually hatred, but horrifically misdirected frustration, if not simple fear of what one knows very little about. It is interesting to note that where hatred seems most deeply rooted and sincere, the one that appears to hate has very little power indeed over his or her own life circumstances, in fact, hardly more than the group that they themselves oppress. Understandably frustrated by being deprived of resources, and means of obtaining the resources, they are unable to see the mechanism by which they and the group whom they oppress are both being deprived of what they have earned and what is theirs by human birthright, too. Unable to see who owns the arm that strikes them and shakes them down for what profit can be obtained from them, all they can do is feel the slap, over and over again. The sole consolation they are given is to have someone to blame, not the same tiny collection of individuals actually responsible for creating a situation capable of choking the life even out of those best equipped and determined to endure it, but someone who has been made small enough to tear to pieces, which they proceed to do. The pleasure gained this way is animalistic, and clearly serves as an outlet for much adrenalin and stress caused by the buildup of an otherwise useless flight-or-fight instinct. It even provides the instinctive reward of having gone hunting, painfully and graphically illustrated by the results of some examples of this, namely other human beings literally torn limb from limb, and savaged even long after the point where life was mercifully extinct, as if a meal could be made of the victim. In a confused haze, with the glow of satisfied instincts still lingering, what follows could be mistaken for relief and fulfillment, except that neither of these things has been provided in reality. By having deprived someone of the pleasures of living life, they have not extended their own, nor have they enriched themselves much beyond the conceivable proceeds of robbery. The circumstances that fuelled their frustration will remain unchanged, and will give rise to more of the same. Furthermore, this diabolically brutal and effective means of distracting a group that is poor by allowing it to be slightly privileged over another group that is also poor has the bonus of distracting two sets of the chronically swindled and cheated at the same time, since it is as hard to think clearly and abstractly about resisting wrongs when one is in terror and chronic fear for one's own life to a certain extent as it is when one is allowed to imagine that one already has freedom and power over one's life and the effective means of defending oneself from exploitation. It seems to be a deceptive strategy with an indefinite shelf life. What is clearly a certainty in any case is the likelihood that somewhere, someone is giggling maliciously over what 
goes on below.

-Tanja Guven

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