about feeling hate

Image: Valeria Podes
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By CARLOS HORTMANN*

Hate is an integral affect of our sociability and not something strange as ideology makes us want to believe.

I confess to the reader that I had prepared another article for that month. However, the Brazilian situation forces me to bring this reflection and also because President Lula da Silva has said several times: “I don't feel hate”.

Something important that I want to emphasize at the outset: I am not dealing or talking about feeling hatred in general or abstractly (for anyone), but about a determined and specific hatred, therefore, class hatred – as an affect and mobilizing/transforming element . Many may be astonished by my statement, but I kindly ask you to take a breath and try to continue the text.

I believe that most of us have heard the following phrase from an early age: "you can't hate because you're ugly or God doesn't like it". Such a saying points to a “Christian” cosmovision of the world present in the Brazilian social formation, however, the way in which this empty perspective of hate is instrumentalized as an ideology, in the sense of class control and domination, aims to build an imaginary that is sin, “abnormal” or bad for people to feel hatred, especially if it is for the ruling class** (monopoly bourgeois).

I would like to point out something: we live in a society where conflict is not exceptional, but the rule. I present you with two examples. The logic of the bosses is to pay lower and lower wages to workers in order to accumulate (profit) more and more, as a result of which we workers have less objective and basic living conditions. That is, we no longer have food sovereignty/security, a decent roof over which to live (without the fear of being evicted); having to choose between paying the electricity bill or buying food – last year 19 million Brazilians were hit by hunger. Another opposition is between the owners of large companies (the capitalists) and us workers who only have to sell our labor power in exchange for a salary to survive; and these owners will do everything to not lose power and control over the ownership of the means of production (of wealth in general), which is where they derive surplus value (“profits”), the result of our work. In summary, the way we produce wealth under capitalism is collective, however, the appropriation of this wealth is private – and this is a historical construction, that is, it is not something natural. I would have a lot to reflect on such antagonisms and their complexity, however, I just want to point them out, since our society is structured from various conflicts based on inequality (material/economic/social) and it is decisive to understand the reason for the hate being an integral affect of our sociability and not something strange as ideology makes us want to believe.

The ones who are really moved by hatred are the bourgeois** (owners of banks/financial market, large monopoly/transnational companies, farmers/agribusiness and the like). They hate us workers, poor, black, women, indigenous, LGBTQI+ among others, and the most visible and non-cynic expression of this hatred is Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism. The subtle difference between Bolsonarism and the ruling class is that, the latter, has in cynicism a way of concealing this class hatred, a hatred that is sometimes vocalized through some of its organic intellectuals (defenders of the “spending ceiling” for example) or parrot journalists in the great mass media (TV, Newspaper, Magazine and Youtube). Therefore, the distinction between fascist Bolsonarism and the Brazilian bourgeoisie, especially that of Faria-Lima, is one of form and not of content. The indifference of Bolsonaro, the Military and the Bourgeoisie in the face of the more than 330 deaths from Covid-19, of the millions of people unemployed and without any condition to put food on their plate is driven by a hatred against the poor working class and mostly black .

In this context, I am very saddened by what President Lula says when he says he does not feel hatred towards: those who hit President Dilma Rousseff; those who persecuted and imprisoned him (unjustly) in the dungeon of Curitiba; who “killed” (indirectly) his late partner Marisa Letícia; those who did not allow him to say goodbye to his dear brother Vavá and because of the embarrassment of going to his grandson's wake, surrounded by the apparatus of war. Comrade Lula, when you repeat this speech that sounds like music to the Brazilian bourgeoisie, you are, to a certain extent, taking away an instrument of struggle, transformation and mobilization that is important for the working class: the class hatred that mobilizes for struggle! If you say you don't feel hate, don't take away this fundamental affection in the process of forming class consciousness. Lula, the bourgeoisie hates you, you helped them accumulate money like never before and then they arrested you. You are not one of them, you belong on our side of the class struggle barricade. Post-coup Brazil in 2016 returned to the bourgeois autocracy regime and from 2018 it seems to be moving towards a neo-fascist regime. It will not be with “little peace and love” and flowers that we will defeat fascism, neoliberalism and capitalism.

They cannot take away from us the impetus to hate those who oppress and exploit us, impoverish us, destroy nature and draw blood and sweat from us, so that they (bourgeois) continue to enjoy the good life, while we are left with pauperism and barbarism. The millions of victims of covid-19 are the result of a system that systematically practices social murder: capitalism. It is enough to remember who was the first victim of covid-19 in Brazil, a maid, black and peripheral. She caught the illness from her employer who was touring Italy. What I mean is that diseases are biological, but surviving them or not is socially determined, in the sense of the material conditions we have to resist.

Comrades and companions, you need not be afraid to hate those who do harm to humanity. Hate is a “normalized” affect and constitutive of our society, but defenders of status quo They want to suppress this feeling in us, knowing that it is a mobilizing and transforming instrument, especially for those who want to build another way of life, in which our real differences can exist and economic and social inequalities are abolished: socialism towards communism .

Paraphrasing. May class hatred not embitter or sadden us, but radicalize us, mobilize us and feed us the hope that another world we can build collectively. In this world that no one dies for not having to eat; for being forced to leave home to work and being infected by covid-19; that we don't need to destroy nature in the name of profit; that women do not have to cross the street to avoid being raped and attacked by sexism; and black people can walk without the fear of being suspected targets by one of the state apparatuses that defend the interests of the ruling class: the police.

While finishing this text, I saw information that “Brazil gained 20 new billionaires in the pandemic year” (https://gq.globo.com/Lifestyle/Poder/noticia/2021/04/brasil-20-novos-bilionarios-panemia.html) in the same year that more than 50% of the population was unemployed and 19 million people were unable to eat. Let indifference and hopelessness not lead us to immobility and apathy, but let class hatred and this world of exploitation and barbarism lead us to a revolution.

** An observation. Every time I use dominant or bourgeois class I am not referring to the gentleman who has a bakery in the neighborhood or some stores in his city. In a critical dialogue I tried to establish with Stoppa (https://www.brasil247.com/blog/vacinacao-e-as-falacias-de-stoppa) I argued in the following sense: “The entrepreneur-capitalist is the one who makes a decision and impacts on the entirety of a productive segment or a country.”

* Carlos Hortmann He is a philosopher, historian and musician.

 

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