On Hatred


gabriel conroy

Gabriel Conroy [pseudonym] is an ex-graduate student. He is happily married with no children and has about a million nieces and nephews. The views expressed by Gabriel are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of his spouse or employer.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon

    The appeal of hatred, much like the appeal of anger, is that it let’s a person feel strong, and powerful, and protected (by being able to protect themselves).

    Past the initial adrenaline rush, however, it’s all an illusion. Anger and hatred are like napalm, burns fast, burns hot, burns indiscriminately, and must be constantly refueled, and when the fuel finally runs out, you’re left with naught but devastation.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Oscar Gordon

      Thanks for the comment, Oscar.

      I should point out–not in response to your comment but in response to a possible objection I anticipate–is that I intend no particular judgment against people who choose to hate. I mean, if I think hatred is wrong, then I guess I am saying people who choose to hate are choosing to do wrong. In fact, it’s almost (always?) impossible to say something is wrong without also judging those who do that something. But I should strive not to judge. That’s hard to do, and I’ll always fail.Report

  2. Avatar Maribou

    Excellent post with which I largely agree.

    I used to agree with you that there are no uses for hatred.

    However many years of long self examination have led me to believe that hatred was as necessary to my youthful survival and eventual escape as anger was. Perhaps more so. Hatred let me preserve my sense of self against an incredible amount of battering.

    Hard to explain why but it feels quite certain these days, funnily enough perhaps easier to see it now that I have a lot less hatred inside me, that I needed it then.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Maribou

      Thanks for the comment. It gives me a lot to think about, for at least three reasons. One is that “hatred is always toxic” is kind of a cliche, or the “right answer” whenever one is talking about hatred. The second reason is that I respect your perspective.

      The third reason is that when I started out writing this post, I wasn’t prepared to say hatred is always toxic. I was more prepared to say it was like anger, something often toxic but not necessarily toxic and sometimes useful. (And I note the inconsistency that that Blake poem I cite in the image talks about “anger” and “wrath” and not about “hatred” per se…..maybe they’re instances of each other?)

      This post was prompted by another thread where a commenter said he had always despised Trump. I realized, when I read that, that I don’t despise or hate him, even though I probably should, given the values that I claim to believe in and given his actions. But I’m well aware that I despise and hate others who have done much less harm than Trump has, or perhaps who have done no real harm whatsoever, beyond the harm we all do as persons. Often it’s a choice but usually in the first instance it’s not a choice.

      That’s a long winded way of saying that maybe after reflection, I might come to agree with you.Report

  3. Avatar JoeSal

    Another excellent post.

    It is unclear to me the functional difference between long standing anger and hatred.Report

  4. Avatar gabriel conroy

    Thanks, Joe. To be honest, having read your and Maribou’s comments, I think you may be right.Report

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