The Insidious Semantics of “Hater”

 1. The cheapest ideal is also the most oppressive tyranny

Language can be a great force of socialization, can form and express individuality, can help to develop personal thinking but also can be a coercive and terrible tool for indoctrination, brainwashing and manipulation. In our days, considering the impressive power of mass-media, whoever controls vocabulary controls the world. Whoever controls the acting of raising questions (what questions and whom to be addressed) actually he/she controls the  answers. This is the case of  how the concept of “hater” is turned into a real police of thinking. Whoever is buried under this label is considered guilty without any right to defend himself, to justify or to express any arguments. And let’s remember, the most repressive tyrannies in history began with the goal of “loving” and “protecting” innocents and acting for “justice”. We cannot number the hundreds of millions “loved” but killed by those who “loved”. Egalitarian and imposed love and justice, this is the  cheapest ideal but also the most oppressive tyranny! By the way, should we consider “hater” that person who does not agree to be raped in the name of “love” by her aggressor?

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult.” (C. S. Lewis, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” in God in the Dock, William B. Eedermans Publishing, 1970 p. 292)

2. The power of vocabulary

The Foucauldian dogma that “power or knowledge or any other reality is anything but a mere linguistic construct” is strictly imposed by those who control the social vocabulary used in our society. We assist to a hegemonic and ideological manipulation of a new purism. The old puritanism is now turned up-side down and replaced with a new puritanism. “It is not allowed to…”, the power of negatives transforms our daily language in a prison. The “hater” label is now so sticky and stigmatize exactly in the same way like the yellow badges during Nazis’s “justice” or the “anti-social elements” label thrown by communists towards those who had the courage to think differently. The public pogroms of “haters” are becoming more and more common – old barbarism in an era of “tolerance! Diversity is crushed in the new totalitarianism and individual freedom is mutilated by social conformity. “The non-violent force of the better argument” (Jürgen Habermas) is now changed with the argument of force, number, policy, etc.. A critic to the official dogma is not only an heretic but he/she is a real danger for society.

The label political correctness had turned into a powerful rhetorical stick to beat your political opponents with; a way of bringing contumely on someone you didn’t like; an effective strategy to short-circuit serious debate.” (Keith Allan, Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language, CUP, 2006, p. 94)

3. The perverse effects of language control

As past history already shown us, the imposed “social hygiene” of our times will not succeed because

Censorship and repression, whether manifest in full-blown sanctions or merely social niceties, always seem to provide fertile ground for the taboos they exist to control. During the Renaissance period, linguistic censorship in England coincided with a flourishing of linguistic subterfuge in the form of ‘dismembering oaths’ like zounds or sfoot. Sex went underground during the Victorian era, but erotic literature flourished and sexual promiscuity was rife. Today, we see the same mix of exuberance and restraint: next to public PC etiquette there is a flourishing lexicon of bigotry. Green’s collection of largely racial slurs highlights a brand new litany of abuse. Ironically, the United States of America, the land of immigrants and aliens, tops the list of abusers; American coinages make up the largest proportion of dysphemistic language in his book. Like some kind of dysphemistic worm in the euphemistic bud, offensive language always seems to thrive on social sweetness. (ibidem, p. 101)

4. High standards need strong sources

The political correct doctrine of “hater” as that person who denies/critics/not embrace the diversity is already revealed as punitive, coercive, a source of new social injustices. And this because “high standards need strong sources.” (Charles Taylor, Sources of Self. The making of the Modern Identity, Harvard University Press, 1989, p. 516)

Speaking of love, for those really interested in living love, here is the true standard offered to everyone:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

The resource to achieve/live this  kind of love should be according to this standard. And only one person in this world proved to be this source!

The ironical fact is that those who are preachers of the cheapest and most accessible love are fierceful haters of God and those who consider Him as God:

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)

First we need to recognize that everyone of us must learn how to love. We are ignorant of what a real love is. We are selfish, egoists, and haters by nature. We must resolve first our hatred directed towards to God. And there is a lot of hatred directed to God! Then we will be able to express the real love that touch and revitalize others. Only in Christ the true love is possible, no matter our differences: “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). Whatever is outside Christ is just a revenge, a totalitarianism, a supremacy of one creature against another one, a social class against another social class, a nation against another nation, a culture/club/tribe, etc. against another one, etc.


Gao Brothers, The Execution of Christ

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