by Ramin Mazaheri
The great journalist Alexander Cockburn famously asked the question “How pure is your hate?”
I appreciate the sentiment, but it’s a line which always rubbed me the wrong way just a bit. I always thought it was treating “hate” rather religiously – purification being a routine goal of prayer, fasting, ceremony, etc.
Hate, from a religious or moral standpoint, should not be considered “pure”, or at least I don’t know of any spiritual structure which considers it positively: Nobody prays to an idol of hate.
Hate is not really that great, because at its base is sadness.
I have seen pure hate: I was at a meeting against police brutality in Paris last year. I was interviewing a young Black man whose brother had just been shot to death by the cops. He was shot in the back…of course. I’ve never seen a French cop jailed for such a crime – or any crime – and the police kill here about once a month.
The murder had only been a few months ago, and as I interviewed him he still seethed and choked with pure hatred for the police. He wanted to declare war right there on the state security apparatus/the home army – the police, who are no Revolutionary Guards like in Iran or Cuba. He wanted revolution, and he’d have made an effective leader.
He was also seemingly on the brink of howling with pure sadness – the total despair that must accompany the death of a brother in such a horribly unjust manner.
Pure hate is something which can only be applied when you are a direct victim like that, and whatever the benefits – the price to pay seems terrible.
I have never been victimized in such a manner, but you don’t need to be a direct victim to hate something in the sufficient degree.
I truly hate the police, but to call it “pure” would be denigrating my notion of purity. My hate for the unjust police force of France is intellectual, which has then gradually shaped my emotions towards them, and not the other way around.
I always thought Cockburn’s line could be improved to “How intelligent is your hate?”
It says nearly the same thing; it just takes an intellectual approach to an essentially negative emotion, which is how negative emotions should be handled.
Underneath hate is sadness, but underneath sadness there was always love first: one can’t be sad about something that one didn’t already love. And love needs to be the guiding motivation for any loyal revolutionary.
Fidel said things to this effect all the time, and he had no problem personally taking violent action against tyranny when the time came, and that time was long – 5+ years in guerrilla war and prison.
I just came from an anti-Trump rally in Paris.
Seemingly every American in Paris was there, with about 10% of the crowd being French people who wanted to show their “solidarity against the clown”.
I bet the majority of people there – with their idiot posters of “She-Ro” Hillary Clinton, their shrines to Obama, their vulgar signs trying to outdo Trump’s vulgarity (as if being crude is a revolutionary act, especially these days) – I bet they would say their hatred was “pure”.
They probably wouldn’t even question it. And, sadly, they are indeed full of hate because such Democrat Party stalwarts spend day after day talking about how much they hate the Donald and how genetically superior they are their country-cousin Trumpers.
But why? Did he overcharge them for a hotel room? Did he underpay them for trimming putting greens or regrouting gaudy bathroom fixtures? Unlike Hillary, the man hasn’t had time to do anything yet!
The breakup of Libya and Ukraine, the coup in Honduras, the attempted breakup of Syria, the support of ISIL in Iraq, the military “pivot to China”, Cold War 2.0 with Russia, thousands of civilians killed by drone assassinations…my God are Hillary and Barry’s hands dirty.
The trillion-dollar bailout of the big banks, the failure to rebuild Main Street, the phony “economic recovery”, the constant push for more “best corporation wins” free trade policies – Trump did none of this.
The record number of deportations, the systematic imprisonment and murder of people of Color, the refusal of a Black president to sincerely elevate a movement like Black Lives Matter….you see where I’m going.
I hate the US Democratic Party.
So does half of the US and much of the world, and for intelligent reasons.
Democrats should hate themselves, but they don’t. When you are at fault, yes, you feel should feel shame. Call me overly-Asiatic if you want, but that’s a positive, necessary and pure emotion.
It’s been surprising – because I am so willfully naïve – to see how everyday US Democrats have jumped on the bandwagon to blame “Russian hacking” for Hillary’s loss. I can’t believe it’s still going on – I thought for sure that was a temporary ploy. It’s obvious the media/rich/military cabal has ordered such a sustained assault, but the party cadres should know better.
But at the Trump rally there was no Democratic mea culpa. It was all “Trump is the devil”. Self-righteous hate is a very satisfying emotion, but it’s usually just empty calories and not certainly pure.
I don’t have the data because none exists, but I believe that the recent Paris anti-Trump rally set a French record in terms of the percentage of marchers who came equipped with a sign! There might have been more signs than people, LOL! I’m talking 70%-plus – it was a sea of signs, and I’ve never seen a French protest like that.
Is that the way protests are in the US now, everyone competing with the Joneses for sign space, LOL? Protests took about a 25 year Generation X hiatus in the US – from the feminist Equal Rights Amendment movement in the late 1970s until the 2nd Iraq War global demonstration in 2003 – so I’m not sure.
When a trend is so out of the norm it begs explanation, or at least a hypothesis: All those signs seemed like more classic fake-leftist “identity politics”, to me. “This is me, hear my voice, I’m an individual, don’t put me in any group, my politics defies classification, my rights, I win, you’re a bad person, blah blah blah”.
At the first anti-Trump rally/whinefest in Paris last November I saw this sign: “White, lesbian, Jewish, Ukrainian, atheist, anti-Trump”. I was surprised she left out “right-handed”, “brown-haired” and “eater of meals at least 3 times a day”.
But for all the signs it was a pretty quiet affair, despite a much larger than expected turnout of maybe 5,000 people. They were not what a protest needs to be most – loud. The 2003 Gulf War II protest was a tepid affair too.
There was a whole lotta, “Look at me, I’m marching!” Lotta selfies posted to Facebook, for sure.
Go to a march held by France’s police union and your eardrums will bleed. Between the firecrackers and the AC/DC it’s no wonder the government seems to capitulate to whatever they demand within 24 hours. It’s more complicated than that – such an unpopular government knows they need their Praetorian Guard – but the point is made.
What happened to all the real, political, social, non-self-centered energy? Why did all that energy dissipate so quickly when the time came to move?
Their hate was not pure. It was certainly nothing like that victim of police brutality.
That young man has become involved in Paris as a police brutality activist and he probably always will be one. Around the world the anti-Trumpers came out for one day, and now they’ll probably stay at home in front of TV news, feeling satisfied with themselves and superior to half the world.
Even though journalists always say, “If you want to know the truth about your country then read about it in the foreign media,” they’ll shudder at the thought of giving just a click to Russia Today, Press TV or even Al-Jazeera. Independent sites like The Saker – which can bask in the illustrious honor of being on the list of so-called “Russian propaganda websites” pathetically published by Washington Post – we may as well be crazed radicals on the brink of connecting the red wire to the blue wire.
The anti-Trumpers’ hate is not intelligent either.
I don’t support Donald Trump – I hated Hillary Clinton and her Democrat machine. I don’t support a disunited Europe necessarily – I hate how the European Union is a purposely unfixable system which repeatedly ignores democracy and facilitates the imperialism of poor Europe by rich Europe. I don’t hate the Euro – I hate how it has totally failed to bring the promised prosperity but has brought just the opposite. And I hate the US Democratic Party, and the people who run it, for their unforgivable crimes and they simply had to go.
I’ve always said Trump was this election’s “hope” candidate – which really sticks in the craw of the Obama apologists – but it’s sincere: I hope to have about a 3% chance that Trump will really pull back US militarism and free trade like he said.
I’m not that naïve – he could be a total fraud. However, we KNOW that Hillary was a 100% fraud and her record – so bad it defies words – proves it.
However, on Trump’s first day he actually did – and I am shocked – fulfill his promise to take the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement free trade agreement. Trump has actually done the previously unthinkable (and certainly unpronounceable/unpublishable): he has chipped away the bedrock of American imperialism and capitalism – free trade.
For those who don’t get it: Why do you think Mexico is in a huge drug war and there’s a refugee crisis? You think Guatemalan farmers could efficiently compete with Monsanto in NAFTA? They could not: small farmers across Central America were put out of business, causing a refugee crisis, while other farmers turned to the only cash crop they could compete on – drugs causing incredible violence.
This is what “free trade” is – it’s not about promoting trade, as all these countries are already in the World Trade Agreement and the US has bilateral agreements with half the countries in the TPP – it’s about promoting US corporate dominance, and corporations really have no country anymore.
Even if Hillary voters want to ignore the estimated 500,000 American jobs which would be lost due to the TPP over a decade – Trumpers got it, and I am ecstatic that they did. So is Beijing, because this Obama-led agreement was another part of his “pivot to China” – i.e. isolate, intimidate, destabilize, overthrow, install puppet.
Trump has actually delivered in an area as vitally important to the Wall Street-dominated New York Times as promoting transgender bathroom rights and bashing Russia. Of course, what matters most is what follows next – Trump could win even worse bilateral agreements with even more domination by US corporations, but maybe there will be nothing at all!
That’s why I was quite optimistic yesterday. I felt good! It’s a new day, a new president, this big blue marble keeps on spinning, etc.
Then I talked to some anti-Trump protesters and they told me how this year – so new – is guaranteed to be so lousy. And, of course, they hate that too.
Sheesh…as if they lived in the Washington-approved, Saudi-led, near-genocide that is today’s Yemen….
We all know their type of hate – impure, stupid, self-righteous, self-absorbed – is truly the main motivating factor for anyone who really believes in any mainstream Western party: they hate the other guy. They hold their nose and vote against.
I have a vote in the US and I voted for Party for Socialism and Liberation – I voted my conscience – me and about 40,000 people in a country of with 230 million eligible voters. It’s a one-round system, and I won’t play games if that’s my only chance. If it was a two-round system I’d certainly have voted for Trump without hesitation.
Because my hatred is intelligent – I know who has done the real damage over the last 8 years: mainstream, phony leftists like the Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s “bad words”? Grow up. Trump’s plans for mass deportation? Not gonna happen – gonna backfire and create a “Hispanic Power” movement which will be the next major historic push forward for everyone’s civil rights in the US: they have to come out of the shadows at some point, eh?
The rejection of TTP means that the US is finally entering a new era: The 36 years of Bush/Clinton oligarchy is finally over, and for the average person and certainly the global citizen that is definitely worth celebrating.
If you went to an anti-Trump rally when he was inaugurated – I mildly applaud you, truly. Your activism is necessary to fight Trump’s many reactionary proposals. But you are not above criticism, and you are certainly not superior to those human beings I call Trumpers. Also, political auto-critique is necessary to maintain progress, and in the horribly flagrant case of the US Democratic Party it must be made publicly.
Trump’s arrival to office ends my stumping for him. Now I’m neutral: I’ll wait and see, like any normal, objective, balanced human. One day in – one major promise already ignored. But I am not scared of Trump, and I certainly don’t hate him more than I hate the US Democratic Party he beat (in the Electoral College).
I could finish with this return to hate, but why, when I can choose something better?
Today, I put up a newly framed picture in my office: It’s a copy of Granma from January 3rd of this year, which covered the celebration of the 58th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution’s victory. I was fortunate to be there to cover it as well, and took it as a souvenir of a truly modern country full of everyday promoters of true leftism.
The one-word headline reads, “Fidelidad”.
I’ll gladly return to that again and again.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.