|Killing the Thing We Love
by Andy Joppa
“They never will love where they ought to love,
who do not hate where they ought to hate.”
This essay may be rejected by many and, for some, will likely cause outrage. I believe; however, my philosophic meandering will clarify many of the problems we face in modern America. I know that the traditional political debates have no chance of doing that…they may slow down our degradation…but cannot end it. Only dealing with larger cultural issues offers any potential of reversing our slow-slide into oblivion. There is general agreement that the decline of civilizations is intimately related to the decay of the civilization’s moral core or guiding ideal.
I write here in defense of “hatred.” Now…now…hear me out. Not unbridled, unlimited hatred but, rather, focused, purposeful, provocative hatred; hatred that motivates, energizes and creates purposeful action. What the Hebrew Bible refers to as, “…perfect, righteous hatred.” Hatred not of a person or a people per se but, rather, hatred for actions taken that destroy the quality of human existence…and… of great civilizations.
But, sayeth the sage, isn’t it better to love and be guided by what we love?Perhaps; although that is not what the historical record would document.However, it may be asked, why do we seem to unanimously hate hatred? How did we all agree on that? Love, as with hate, is a matter of what, where, and how it is focused. If I love my group more than yours, or if I love my ideology more than yours or if I love my culture more than yours or if I love my candidate more than yours, then we will have that variation of love that has provoked many of the conflicts…and damaging hatreds…of human history. I don’t make a claim in this specific regard that hate is superior to love, only that they are merely different sides of the same coin…different edges on the same blade.
Why then do I speak in favor of “hatred?” I advocate hatred in the following types of situations and for the following reasons. I believe we hated tyranny so much we pursued freedom. I believe we hated ignorance so much we pursued education. I believe we hated abject poverty so much we pursued some degree of affluence. I believe we hated disease so much we pursued health. I believe we hated evil so much we pursued good. I could supply many other areas where I believe that what we have hated has been a provocation…the only provocation… to pursue positive ends. If hate had been absent so too would have been the motivation to act. However, many would question, wouldn’t love work just as well? Isn’t it just a lot more pleasant to love than to hate?
Herein lies my point in writing on this subject and my hope that it will have acceptable meaning. It will also explain the indifference toward essential issues that seems, so often, to dominate modern America. The problem is, once we achieved the elimination of that thing that hatred drove us to challenge, once we achieved affluence, once tyranny got shoved to the background, once survival was not an omnipresent issue, the love of that end accomplishment isn’t strong enough for us to act to preserve it. Once we have the freedom we don’t love it enough to work toward saving it; we allow the encroachment of overextended government to take it away. Once we have minimized ignorance we allow for media and political platitudes to create a different and more insidious form of ignorance. Once we achieved that relative affluence we no longer are committed to supporting economic forms that will sustain that affluence. All other areas that are driven by hatred would yield to the same analysis.
Here in America, we are “spoiled” by the presumption that all appropriate values will be sustained regardless of our indiscretions and lack of commitment to their fulfillment. We yield those hard-won values; values that were sometimes only gained by tremendous personal sacrifice and dedication. We must learn again to hate tyranny…to hate ignorance…to hate the despair of poverty…to hate the loss of personal identity…to hate that laws have no binding impact on our government. Love is not provocative enough to sustain our actions. Only hate has ever done that and only hate can help us fight the loss of values that are threatening America. Frivolity, hedonism, cynicism, narcissism, consumerism, materialism, nihilism, fatalism, fanaticism, and other negative attributes, attitudes, and behaviors dominate our population. We are being destroyed by our love of things…not our hate of things.
I recognize that we are all conditioned to “hate…hate.” However, if you tell me what a person hates then and only then can I tell you what actions that person is going to be willing to take and what values they are willing to sacrifice for and sustain. Hatred is not evil; it is a moral good. It is the proper emotion to act on when the situation requires it because it can be a powerful weapon to protect the people, places, objects, and ideas that you love, including yourself. Failing to act upon it, in fact, is a betrayal of love, and failing to feel it at all is a moral shortcoming.
What do I hate? I hate that The Constitution is ignored…I hate that we are losing our freedom…I hate that we are 20 trillion dollars in debt…I hate that the police have been turned into a punching bag for our society…I hate that we all too often turn our back on Israel…I hate that we have pitted neighbor against neighbor…I hate that Christianity is so readily assaulted while Islam gets a pass…I hate that every indiscretion of the Left is ignored while every minor flaw by the Right is magnified…I hate that our economic engine has been throttled by regulation and intrusive government bureaucracy…I hate that American exceptionalism has been rejected by many of our leaders…I hate Progressives; not as people but as dangerous ideologues…I hate that those we chose to go to Washington so seldom seem to fulfill the reasons we voted for them…Sure I hate! Don’t you? If not…why not? A civilized person hates…and hates intensely.
Edmund Burke said it best, “A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.”
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