Hatred and the YouTube Shooting

Hatred and the YouTube Shooting

In the aftermath of the YouTube shooting, I decided to tune in to Stefan Molyneux for the first time in a few months, and I felt like I was having bits of In Defense of Hatred read back to me:

In scrolling through the website, you can see… I hate to say obsession because the mistreatment of animals is a horrifying thing to see, but people people people: manage and control your exposure to horrors. Look, you can spend all day scrolling through the internet and finding the most appalling and horrifying behavior against whatever you treasure, whatever you hold dear, everything will be insulted, and violated, and tortured, in video after video, if you want to pursue it.

You have to, have to, have to manage your exposure to horrors in this world. As Nietzsche said, if you look too long into the abyss, remember, the abyss also looks into you. Do not chase monsters to the point where you become a monster. Do not overexpose yourself to horror, it will mess up — in my opinion — it will mess your mind. You have to manage it, you have to control, you have to manage your exposure.

We want to oppose evil because virtue and goodness are so beautiful. You understand? We want to fix ugliness because we love beauty, but if all you do is stare at ugliness you lose sight of the beauty that’s actually the motivating force behind what it is that you do.

From the book:

You only have so much time to give attention to things, and you can only love, cherish, improve, and protect that at which you direct your attention. If hating something draws away all your attention, you will functionally cease to love anything. It is in this manner that hatred, while at once an expression of love, can also overtake and override the very love that drives it.

Like Achilles, we can spend all our energy justifying our rage, only to find that we haven’t spent any energy enjoying and building anything that we love. Fruitless hatred, and hate that ignores love, can ultimately become as soul-killing and self-defeating as an unwillingness to hate.

I suppose it is now time to reveal one of my ulterior motives for writing In Defense of Hatred, one which I have shared with a few friends, but which I have generally kept hidden.

Ultra-nationalism is on the rise, in Europe and in the United States, especially within “Generation Z,” affectionately referred to as “Generation Zyklon” by those in far-right circles. And there is a lot of hate in this surging tidal wave. SJWs who think they are opposing fascism have no idea what’s coming, or how they themselves helped create this wave of nationalism.

I myself am a nationalist, but the ultra-nationalist strain of consciousness that puts the nation above family, above God, and above the individual, truly is a pathological and dangerous idea, and one that genuinely scares me. The catch is that the would-be ultra-nationalists are right to oppose the forces we are dealing with: a modern iteration of Marxist progressivism, a kind of soulless capitalism derived from a materialistic, scientific, worldview which seeks to commodify and commercialize everything, and of course, militant Islam.

In the end, the ultra-nationalists may be necessary, as they are in many cases the only people who seem sufficiently cognizant of what is at stake. Nevertheless, they pose an enormous danger in their own right, to the survival of others and to ourselves. The Roman king after Romulus, Numa Pompilius, had to go to extraordinary roundabout lengths to distract his new population from warring themselves to death, and the ultra-nationalist tendency to expand and conquer as an expression of vitality (really, an attempt to conjure desired vitality) holds the same danger.

It is what defeated Hitler, after all.

In Defense of Hatred is first and foremost a justification of hatred, but it is also a constraint around hatred. I hope that to the degree that it resonates with ultra-nationalists — or with rabid animal-rights activist vegan bodybuilders — it also checks the pathologies that can arise from excess hatred, which are extremely likely when the proverbial pendulum is on the back-swing from the multicultural day-dreams that have dominated our collective moral consciousness for the last several decades.

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