On Our Love To Hate

Wilhelm Reich is said to have asked a troubling question when he enquired, “Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it was their salvation?” This question is sharp and incisive. It is question about our desire.  We may rephrase it: ‘why do men desire servitude as though it was their salvation?’ The great Buddha also examined the role of desire in human suffering and discovered his eight fold path to overcome all sufferings and attain nirvana. Human desire is studied by Freudian Psychoanalysis. The twentieth century French thinker like Jacques Lacan also paid in-depth attention to desire and revolutionized psychoanalysis.  Here let us examine how desire is at work in our country. We do not just chase a desire but are products desire. This means we are both agents as well as products of our desire. Given the socio-political situation in our country, we may say that maybe we have come to tolerate / desire a condition of our servitude. Unfortunately, we have come to enjoy our servitude and think that it is our salvation. When we begin examining these issues we are entering into what Deleuze and Gauttari have called Schizoanalysis. Schizoanalysis is trying to answer the question, ‘what is the nature of desire such that it is possible that we could have a situation in which men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it was their salvation?’

Like the Frankfurt school that rose in Germany in the early years of fascism had an explicit purpose of trying to understand why things were going the way they were (whence the murderous hatred of Jews and sudden love of authority), we to seem to have arrived into a condition that is calling us to raise similar questions. We too seem to love to hate the demonized other as well as like to be under an authoritarian control.  We are in the middle of this unbecoming love for authority and love to hate. We love the authority that seems to have become a symbol of this hate. Maybe we are in the middle of a condition that makes us thrive on hate. Fortunately, Deleuze and Gautari invite us to begin schizoanalysis in the middle. They call us to start in the middle not because it is the best place to start as though we had a choice. But because we have no choice, it becomes the only place to start. The condition of our love of hared is a product of our desire as well as is actively feeding and producing our desire. Our desire is nurtured, transmitted and triggered mainly through social codes. Social codes are an assemblage of beliefs, rituals, myths, taboos etc. these codes work both symbolically and economically. Schizoanalysis studies the economics of these codes with greater attention. Economically, it distributes debts (privilages) and obligations across our society.  

The social codes can carry any meanings but those meaning that reinforce and trigger desire stay sanctioned.  We may view the social codes as forms.  They do not have any special content. This means meanings organising social life are products of our desire. That is, social codes carry a particular content pushed by our desire. Hence, the way social codes get encoded and decoded can assist us to analyse the desire that is chased by our society. Thus, we have the saffron flags, trishuls, slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, rituals violence through Gaurakshaks and other militant right wing forces, hate speeches, the victory marches and demonstrations that have come to become the main stay of the social code of our society. They carry our desire as Indians today.  To the extent that we participate in these ritual enactments, we validate and legitimate ourselves as authentic nationalists. Those that do not participate in these aggressive rituals automatically become anti-nationals. Thus, the condition of hate is nurtured, nourished, maintained, and triggered by the way these social codes get encoded and decoded in our society. These social codes nurture and trigger all desire. Unfortunately, our love to hate is being nourished by the manner these social codes distributes debts and obligations in our society. Indeed, we have become Schizos (split persons) who keep schizolizing (splitting) our society. Thus, we invest in the desire that has brought about the condition of our love to hate of a demonised other. This demonised other is mainly a minority, tribal, dalits or women.  

Some among us have are willing to forget the compassionate tolerant ethos of our civilisation and have embraced violence to safeguard and protect the so called Hindu culture and faith. This is why the social code that encoded tolerance and wellbeing of all is slowly abandoned and hate ridden violence is on the rise. How do we recover and reclaim our lost tradition of compassion? Deleuze and Gauttari calls us to become anti-Oedipus (fight Freud’s Oedipus complex). It simply means we have to rebel against that which poses of as the law of the father in our society.  The culture of hate and intolerance has become the law of the father to us today. To reclaim our lost tradition of compassion, we will have to become unfaithful to the fake law of father that has captivated us.  Do we have the courage to say no to the Hindutva forces? If we are ready for this challenge, we will become anti-Oedipus. Above all we have to understand how our desire is manipulated and how we mindless have come to accept monstrous acts of hate as noble and patriotic. Maybe if we understand that our desire becomes productive and is nurtured and nourished by the reigning social code, we will be able of resist it. Otherwise the reigning social code will become normative and we will think that is normal and natural to hate and even kill to uphold what is positioned as authentic Indian culture. We will fail to understand that in the very act of violent recovery of Hindu/ Indian culture we murder the ethos of peace, compassion and wellbeing of all. That is why it is time that we understand that Hinduism and Indian culture is really in danger and has to be protected from the violent Hindutva forces.  It pains to see how in the very act of act of violent recovery of Hinduism, we seem to have lost its very essence. 

 

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao