HATE IS THE PREVAILING EMOTION of man. In greater or lesser quantities, people hate all their lives. Freud believed that mankind is inherently destructive and love is mostly fake; he called humanity a “gang of murderers.” Karl Menninger, the most prominent of United States psychiatrists, considers hatred so integral a part of everyone's character that “in the end each man kills himself in his own selected way, fast or slow, soon or late.”
Humanistic ethics differ. They hold that man is naturally good and loving and ascribe the hatred observed in cradles to unavoidable thwarting, by the mother, of a baby's unreasonable need for continuous love. Hate, by this definition, is a form of selfpreservation, since the baby is reacting to a threat to his true self, his essential lovablencss.
In either case, hatred gets the personality development moving. Without hate, humans would languish all their lives in a warm stupor of passive contentment; without hate, they would need no companion but mother. Juggling hate and love, toddlers rapidly learn it is discreet to hide the hate. Few adults hate openly, many believe they don't hate at all. What mankind hates most of all is hatred.
The most common disguise is to pretend that your own hatred is merely the justified return of someone else’s, a process known to psychiatrists as projection. The ideal subject for this invention is a stranger, which gives rise to the kind of hallucinationhatred that simplifies life for generals, munition manufacturers and rabble-rousers.
Historians have long been intrigued by the frequency with which hysterical paranoics, some of them obviously insane, are able to sway entire countries into the mass paranoia that festers rapidly into war, each citizen convinced that he is hated and threatened by citizens of another country. Psychiatrists explain that the kernel of hate in everyone makes it easy to lead entire populations to madness. There is within us all a demented savage who likes to kill.
“In the end,” writes Karl Stern, Montreal's illustrious psychiatrist-writer, “hatred becomes a strange bond of union.” It’s even a happy bond; neurotics feel much better when hate can be called patriotism and displayed openly.
Mental hospitals all over Europe, South America and North America have noticed that paranoics, whose most notable symptom is their belief that somebody, somewhere, hates them, name four primary sources of their imagined persecution: Jews. Freemasons, Communists and the Catholic Church. Interestingly, the same selection favored by lunatics is also prominent in the hate platforms of some current radicalRight political groups. Some targets, on the other hand, are devised from materials at hand. In the southern United States, poor whites are weirdly comforted by hating Negroes, just as the Germans beaten in World War 1 were able to recoup their damaged pride by means of anti-Semitism.
The late Carl G. Jung was convinced that the only solution to individual hatred lies in a personal inspection of one's own behavior. and honest acknowledgement of the evil discovered therein. The goal is not to wipe out hatred, w hich is impossible, but to hate correctly. Healthy hate—what Erich Fromm calls "reactive hate"—is based on a respect for life and it acts whenever life is abused. Decency could not exist without this kind of hate.
The wrong kind of hate, irrational hate, most often stems from a mood of revenge and few people are mature enough to be without some of it. It has its genesis in infancy, when even the most attentive, loving mother arouses hatred in her infant when she doesn't feed him the instant he is hungry. Later, he hates the rest of his family for diverting his mother’s attention from him.
His hate comes out in destructiveness w ith toys and in biting and pinching, which the Freudians claim is intended murder. For this reason the smallest baby knows hate is wrong — not as an ethical distinction but because when carried to its logical conclusion. the death of the mother, it will jeopardize the baby's existence.
He needs objects to hate without this internal. guilt-producing conflict. Unpopular teachers and playmates serve this function, providing targets that are guilt-free because his group approves hating them. Such a heavy investment of hate needs a balance of relatively pure love, by which psychiatrists explain the rapture pre-adolescents feel toward their idols.
The push and pull between love and hate in childhood grows up into what will be the moral code of the adult. A healthy conscience. one not unrealistically laden with ideas of sin and unworthiness, depends on which direction hate takes. It mustn't turn inward, to self-hate; children denied all outlets for hate evolve heavy puritanical consciences, which arc magnificent hating •instruments. Hate must be used up. Children, for instance, literally can run hate off, punishing their bodies w'ith exhaustion and their enemies with defeat. Team games provide splendid, group-endorsed hate regulators. With development, children permitted hate will have an emerging identification with goodness: little boys cheer the good guys and little girls play nurse.
Later, teenagers almost invariably make an unholy mess of their loving and hating.
IN ALL OF US THERE'S A DEMENTED SAVAGE WHO LIKES TO KILL
Engrossed as they are with crushes and a dawning skill for friendship, they have no place to put their hate but back on their parents, a normal technique of maturing that is never received gracefully. Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein once commented. “There are children who can keep love and admiration for their parents through this stage, but it isn’t very common." The level of internal hate with which a child will have to deal throughout his life is established before he is two and depends entirely on the amount of affection he receives as a baby.
Unloved babies can experience total hatred. An important experiment in Detroit in 1946 dealt with a group of boys about ten years old who had been disliked by their parents and love-starved from birth. The boys, confirmed criminals and vicious as jungle animals, are described in a remarkable book. Children Who Hate, by Fritz Redl and David Wineman who supervised them for nineteen months in a residence supported by the Junior League.
“No one, not parents, brothers, neighbors. uncles, friends, cousins took any interest in them,” wrote the authors. “This whole vacuum in adult relationship potentialities cannot possibly be overestimated in terms of how' impoverished these children felt or how much hatred and suspicion they had toward the adult w'orld.”
The normal child who is frustrated in something he wants, such as going to a movie, feels a quick welling-up of hatred. It subsides as he remembers other activities which he enjoyed and begins to organize a substitute recreation. The hate-children had no such recall: every frustration resulted in a terrifying, blood vengeance tantrum. Most pathetically of all, they were zestful and adroit at handling the hate of adults but alarmed and upset when confronted by the strangeness of affection.
Hate in normal people can be used up safely in a multitude of ways, some of them surprising. It is contentious whether watching violence on television and movies and in sports that feature mayhem is a hate-reliever or a stimulant. Some psychologists feel that mild doses of physical roughness are harmless. even beneficial, while history and serious experiments in recent years tend to demonstrate that sadism breeds sadism in the observer.
Most forms of play, however, are hate outlets, even quiet games. Bridge is considered aggressive by psychiatrists and Karl Menninger calls poker a fighting game. It has been said that chess was devised
by the Buddhists as a substitute for war.
William James believed that work is also a moral equivalent for war. At work, he said, a man is pitted against a force which must be battled and mastered, whether he is a stevedore, comedian, salesman or bookkeeper. The housewife who attacks cleaning vigorously is also using up hate by turning it on dirt and disorder: frantically tidy women are demonstrating more hate than they can handle.
One theory of hate, the Freudian one. maintains that mankind’s goodness stems from his conscience’s need to atone for the hatred inside. It accounts for the particularly severe standards of the oldest children in a family; because of their hatred and jealousy of younger brothers and sisters, they are drawn to careers in medicine or teaching. where they can compensate by tending humanity lovingly.
Freud wrote: “It is interesting to learn that the existence of strong ‘bad’ impulses in infancy is often the actual condition for an unmistakable inclination toward ‘good’ in the adult person. Those who have as children been the most pronounced egoists may well become the most helpful and selfsacrificing members of the community; most of our sentimentalists, friends of humanity, champions of animals have been evolved from little sadists and animal-tormentors.”
Many modern psychiatrists believe that Freud was wrong about hate and that this makes him wrong about a lot of other things. The Scot. Ian D. Suttie, complained in The Origins of Love and Hate. “Freudian theory is based on hate. Freud's own childish rage and despair find expression in antifeminism. the subjection of love to sex, the acclamation of hate and aggression as universal—a complete social pessimism.” Milder dissenters conclude that Freud was half right: good behavior stems in part from a sublimation of personal evil: the other part can be ascribed to a genuine quality of goodness.
But fewpeople are able to handle all their hate without harming themselves and others, since goodness isn't plentiful. Those with more hate than love in their nature sometimes conceal the disparity by a show' of loving kindness. They pretend a warm, generous attachment to someone, which on the slightest provocation rips apart to show the underlying hatred. People who kill the one they love, as Elizabeth I did the Earl of Essex and Henry II did Thomas à Becket, are displaying the ultimate in hate with love. The genocida! Adolf Eichmann also fits this grotesque category — in his youth he was attracted strongly to Judaism, relished Jewish food, had many Jewish friends and learned much of the language.
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IUMANÍTY IS A GANG IF MURDERERS, SAID REUD. PEOPLE HATE
HATE from paye 25
Law, education, religion, love: are they all disguises for hate?
Psychiatrists advise “lovers” who intermittently engage in destructive, violent argument to make a definite separation in order to avoid becoming brutal or having a guilt-imposed breakdown.
Disturbingly, hatred often masks as justice. Moral judgments are a particularly satisfying form of hatred and so arc the righteous punishments meted out by judges, teachers, clergymen and parents under the pious guise of upholding law, education, religion and character-building. Martyrs commonly evince a murderous hatred of their families, while exciting awe and wonder in the rest of the world for the depth of their love for a cause. A conspicuous case in point is that of John Brown, the abolitionist who fought slavery for twenty years while his wife and children were victims of starvation and madness, his grown sons slaughtered in battle under his command.
There are traces of real hatred in the neglect of their families by some high-principled scientists, financiers, politicians and housewife zealots.
Some kinds of humor, particularly practical jokes and the character assassination known as “ribbing,” contain a great deal of hate. Comedians are among the most desolate, grievance-full men in the entertainment business and many wits are gloomy, merciless people. Dean Swift, whose Gulliver's Travels is still the most
savage satire in English, said he only laughed twice in his life and was so consumed with hate that he urged his Irish countrymen to burn everything that came from England except the coal.
Students of theology cannot but note the strong element of hate in every religion. In some cases a separate and distinct hate object, such as the devil, is clearly established but nevertheless there is generally a sanctifying of some ceremonial killing and eating of the good God, even in the Christian religion.
All forms of flattery, in fact, are laced through with hate. The most enthusiastic fan, reveling in imitations of an idol’s mannerisms or dress, unconsciously is eager to topple the hero and take his place, a human proclivity which accounts for the prompt, certain and dramatic shift of public opinion about its leaders.
Hate against self, the mother lode of all varieties and adaptations of hate, is as heavily disguised as any of its children. It hides behind rationalizations, such as martyrdom, selfishness and over-work, and under the grinding weight of depression and feelings of inferiority. Suicides among successful people can be explained by the failure of their rationalization, whether it was popularity or perpetual motion, to continue to maintain their self-loathing egos.
Self-hate implacably seeks the death of its bearer, one way or another, through alcoholism, accident proneness, fatigue, susceptibility to disease. In Canada there are almost four deaths every day attributed officially to suicide; no one can estimate the number of suicides which seem to have been caused by accident or illness.
According to Erich Fromm, hate and destructiveness are the outcome of an unlived life. The deathlike tone of hate extends to its physical changes: it is a strangling emotion. The hate of a baby, according to psychoanalyst Joan Riviere, is painful, giving him suffocating, burning, choking sensations as a result of his screaming, stomach cramps and scalding evacuations. Adults experience the same smothering and pain with hatred, with added internal damage because they rarely scream.
There is accordingly the sensation of struggling against a clamp, which is the pressure of the adult’s need for social acceptance. A punitive wall stands against any expression of hate, causing the emotion to roil the innards instead. Mild, gentle people who suffer heart disease and calm, reserved men and women who surprise acquaintances by developing high blood pressure are believed by many doctors to be showing the symptoms of repressed hate.
“Since it is universally believed,” wrote Carl G. Jung, “that man is merely what his consciousness knows of itself, he regards himself as harmless and so adds stupidity to iniquity . . . The evil that comes to light in man and that undoubtedly dwells within him is of gigantic proportions.”
The evil must be dealt with, since currently — in the shape of nationalism and patriotism — it means to destroy the world. Throughout history, hate has been stalking the earth and calling itself love. The knights had crucifixes on their shields when they butchered Saracens and it was in the name of God that Torquemada conducted the Inquisition tortures. The late French intellectual Albert Camus fought with his church because a bishop blessed the guns of one of Franco’s firing squads. Recently a Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, noting that there is a widespread conviction that a nuclear war is required in order to preserve Christianity, has been writing urgently that such a war is, in fact, diametrically opposed to Christian ideals.
In a simpler age, men believed that hate could be defeated by love. Buddhists are taught that “hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love,” a theory shared by Spinoza who observed that since hatred feeds on the feeling that it is returned, it will wither in confusion if smiled upon. He added joyfully that men who fight hate with love will do so with pleasure and confidence “and scarcely need at all the help of fortune.”
It’s a tender philosophy, immortal because it is true, but modern psychiatrists feel it is best bolstered by awareness of one’s own hate capacity in order to ensure that the slippery, dishonest emotion won’t insinuate itself. A bizarre indication that this technique really works is contained in a study of wife murderers serving life sentences. The psychiatrist in charge of the project, McGill University’s Bruno W. Cormier, reported that the men had thought about themselves and their emotions and were “greatly changed for the better.”
Jung believed staunchly that any man who had the courage to judge his own content of hate would find less hate in the world and would be more able to love. Including even Dr. Cormier's murderers, any one who can soften his own personality fits John Dewey’s definition of virtue. “A good man,” he said, “is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.” ★