On Hatred (1847)

Carnets, Vol. 2 (Carnet No. 5, 111-114): 166-167.

— All the reformers preach charity: me, I preach hatred. Hatred is nothing other than the zeal for justice, for vengeance.

Hatred has contributed as much to the progress of the good as love…

Hatred, in the conditions of existence of man, is as necessary, as legitimate, as devotion. — It is the admission of our imperfection, the sentiment of our ugliness, the consciousness of our innate iniquity:… the reaction of our soul against its perverse inclinations and aberrations.

Hatred has its excesses, its materialism, its blindness and its outbursts, like love, like all the passions. It varies in its expressions and its [112] forms, in man and in the brutes, in the savage, the barbarian and the civilized; among the devout and the impious; in the man of the people and the rich man, etc., etc. etc.

It is still with hatred, from the point of view of opinion and conventional morality, as with love.

Everything that is said, written or taught, for or against hatred, is of no use: the same amount of hatred persists among men. So we declaim in turn against, for or about love: love remains what it is and our railing does not change its measure. To reason about love is to extinguish it, to make it insipid; to rail against it is to make it interesting. That is particularly apparent with regard to marriage, the most complete form of love. What weakens the tendency to marriage is less libertinage than avarice or poverty: we content ourselves with less love in order to have more well-being, or more variety in our amorous relationships. That is all. In Rome, marriage perished from the poverty of the proletarians, much more than from the luxury of the great: it is property that killed the family, not anything else. Everything that religion and philosophy have done to uproot the hatred of the neighbor from the heart of man has remained perfectly useless: hatred has only been denied, slandered even: negation, powerless slander. Hatred is eternal… [113]

Hatred is just or unjust, clear-sighted or blind, fortunate or unfortunate, like love. Far from thinking of destroying it, we must only dream of justifying it, limiting ourselves to sweeping it aside when it appears without motives.

We know the hatreds of a man when we know his interests, his ambitions, his rivalries, his prejudice, his mind.

We hate, involuntarily and inevitably, that which seems false, vicious and ugly to us, and consequently all that does not seem like us, that does not resemble use. — If we suppose a man so revisited with every privilege, a man skilled at seeing ugliness, vice and falseness everywhere, that man would be capable of the greatest and most universal hatred: misanthropy is the daughter of saphirisme [?].

So every man has his enemies, some people that he hates or who hate him, or whom he hates and is hated by at the same time. It is enough that all are made different from one another, that some are what we call virtuous and others vicious.

Even in the Christian, hate exists: whatever care he takes to disguise it, it is no less real. The dogma of eternal salvation, for a single mortal sin, says enough on the matter.

The omission, already noted by me, of this passion in the catalog of Fourier would alone be enough to overturn his theory.

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Independent scholar, translator and archivist.