The Healthiness of Hate

By John "Birdman" Bryant


Hate is good, provided only that it is directed against hateful things. --JBR Yant


Much of the material in my books will be regarded by many as vile, filthy, libelous, blasphemous, insensitive, ignorant, bigoted, racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic, anti-semitic, traitorous, pornographic and upsetting -- in a word, hateful. But while such accusations are perhaps understandable -- at least from the standpoint of the ordinary ignorant Joe -- they very much miss the point of the work of a man who is an internationally-recognized philosopher and specialist in ethics.

And what is the point being missed? Actually there are several. The first is that, ever since the development of Christianity, there has existed the belief that -- to use John Lennon's words -- "all you need is love". The problem with this attitude, however, is that love entails hate, ie, to love something is to hate its opposite. Thus, for example, when we love our family, this implies that we hate whoever or whatever would harm it or take it away from us. It is no wonder, then, why Christians are so confused: They are told to love everyone; and yet loving good people implies hating bad ones. Maybe Christian ministers need to impregnate the communion wafers they hand out to their congregations with a hefty dose of anti-schizophrenic tranquilizers.

Another important point about love which is often overlooked is that, as Einstein might have put it, love is relative: We do not either 'love' or 'not love' something, but instead have different degrees of love or hate, where love is merely the positive half of a continuum of which hate is the negative half. Thus while a man may love his mother, the very fact that he sees her only on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Mother's Day suggests that he loves his wife, with whom he spends the rest of his time, quite a bit more.

But just as hate is like love in being entailed by it, so it is also like love in needing to be expressed. However, while modern society has encouraged the expression of love, it has increasingly forbidden the expression of hate, even to the extent in many Western countries of making such expression illegal when it applies to certain favored groups or individual members of these groups. As a result, the entire Western world is now suffering from a new Puritanism of hate-repression, which not only inhibits the free exchange of ideas and permits the growth of pernicious social policies based on falsehoods which are taboo to discuss, but which also produces the psychological ill-effects of repression whose wrongness is subconsciously recognized by most men, even tho they are cowed by Official Teaching into believing that repression is not only right, but morally imperative. And even worse, the act of forbidding the expression of hatred augments that very hatred. It is as mistaken and misguided to repress hate as to repress sexuality; for the repression of either one leads inevitably to exaggeration and perversion.

In case it is not obvious, the idea that I am driving at is this: Suppression of hatred breeds hatred, while expression of hatred dissipates it. Now while this may sound paradoxical, there is actually nothing paradoxical about it at all. Indeed, the entire science of psychology was founded on the observation, made by Sigmund Freud, that suppression of emotion produces exaggerations of that emotion, while expression relieves it; and while many other things that Freud said have now been recognized as nonsense, the cited idea remains almost universally agreed upon.

Psychology, however, is not the only discipline which supports the notion that hate must be expressed; for the very fact that biological evolution has given us this emotion is clear testament to the fact that hatred, anger, and related emotions have an evolutionary purpose, and give the race an adaptive advantage. And what precisely is this advantage? Simple: When we get mad enuf, we speak up, ie, hatred is a means of inducing us to say things that our "civilized" training has forbidden us to say, provided only that our feeling about them is strong enuf. In short, hatred is an emotion which induces us to speak our minds, in spite of social inhibitions, when there are matters which urgently need to be discussed.

In light of the foregoing, it is worthwhile to point out that for many years I have maintained that the expression of hatred must be cultivated. For example, in my book The Most Powerful Idea Ever Discovered, I discussed the importance of a certain type of structured interaction known as the Synanon game as a medium for deliberately inviting the expression of hate, and thus helping to dispose of it. Again, in my book Success in Marriage - - GUARANTEED!!!, I advocated that marriage partners should share their most intimate thoughts, especially including negative feelings, as a way of significantly strengthening their marriage. And now I have written a whole slew of books which are, in a manner of speaking, full of hate, not because I want to "spread" hate, but because I want to get rid of it.

One of the crowning achievements of civilization is in training men to behave gently in situations where their emotions might otherwise cause them to behave violently. But our present society's deficiency of not also providing for the discharge of negative emotions -- and in fact of suppressing all such expression -- means that we have been turned into emotional cripples who are afraid to deviate from officially-sanctioned blandness and blindness, and yet who are often seething inside at the injustices that dare not speak their names. As a society, then, it is vital that we get our hatred out of the closet. It is vital for our mental equilibrium, vital for our social policies, and vital -- in the long run, if not the short -- for creating smoother relations among all groups, races and peoples. As I said above, one of the purposes of my books and my Birdman's Weekly Letter is to facilitate this task. This, however, is only part and parcel of a larger task, which is to educate: As one commentator remarked, a man is truly educated only if there is no idea which he finds offensive; and the fact that my writings often deal with offensive ideas means that they should prove a unique educational medium.

As should be apparent to the reader by now, much that I have written is inspired by hate. Hatred of the lies and coverups in the media. Hatred of ignorance and superstition in the populace. Hatred of dogmatic science and dogmatic religion. Hatred of hypocrisy and pretense. Hatred of fascist liberals, zombie conservatives, and too damn much government. And hatred of the fact that one man who was willing to lay it on the line -- namely, myself -- could find very few outlets for his work because he was just "too controversial".

Hate, like its counterpart love, is one of the world's greatest driving forces. This, then, means that hate is like a horse -- in its wild state it may be unmanageable, but once harnessed it can do valuable work. After all, wasn't the light bulb built on the hatred of darkness? Wasn't the medical profession built on the hatred of disease? Wasn't the auto built on the hatred of immobility? And yet in spite of the importance of hate, it continues to have a very bad press. People are negative about the negative. They hate hatred. So with a little luck, perhaps my work can have a hand in changing this attitude.

If we are to hate properly and constructively, however, there is an important pitfall which we must avoid, which is what I call the Manichaean fallacy. To paraphrase Stephen Vincent Benet, we must avoid hating the sinner when we hate the sin. I have adopted the name Manichaean fallacy to refer to the Manichaeans, who introduced the concept of the Devil into Christianity in the third century, thereby dividing the world into "good" and "evil" and thus promoting the notion that individuals fall into one or the other of these groups, rather than having some good and some bad qualities, or possessing a degree of goodness which falls somewhere between the extremes. In fact, one of the things you will notice about my writing is my reliance upon very diverse and often philosophically-opposed information sources, and the fact that I will go out of my way to praise the good things about those with whom I disagree, even if I am violently opposed to them in some respects. I believe that this policy is a special strength of mine, not merely because it gives credit where credit is due, but because it opens up new sources of information and points of view which would be unavailable to me if I relied solely on sources with which I was in agreement.

The heart runs on the crude oil of hatred just as much as on the aromatic distillate of love. Indeed, this is a lesson which seems to be conveyed by the fact that the excretory organs, which perform the vilest functions of the human body, also perform the most sublime -- the act of love.

My conclusion, then, is this: Hate is normal, hate is healthy, and hate is good for you to express -- provided, of course, that you don't get your jaw broken in the process.

Hatred, we salute you. Heil Hatred!


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