Authored by: C. Fred Alford

Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138696310
eBook ISBN: 9781315524771
Adobe ISBN:


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Hatred, it is argued, is best seen in the functions it serves. Hate is psychic structure on the cheap, hatred organizing the psyche over time via the narrative of one’s hatreds, thus preventing psychic fragmentation. Hate gives meaning to life. Acting out our hate is a source of pleasure, that of domination and control. Finally, hate binds us in a community with others who hate, a community whose intimacy is intensified by the guilty secret that all who hate share: there is pleasure in the hatred and devaluation of others. Understanding the last point is particularly important, in that it gives those who would intervene in hate-fueled violence the chance to disclose the guilty secret and thus lessen its power. This is the best reason to understand hate: doing so may give us the power to limit its destructive power.

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