Comment on 'Hate Speech'
It’s not a real thing (hear me out)
11/16/18, 6:36 pm EST
By John Corry, photo from Atlanta Jewish Times
Warning: This is strictly speculative. Main contention: the concept ‘hate’, while an obviously very real thing, is not applicable to the concept ‘speech’ in the sense that they imply different thought processes, and that to argue otherwise is to actually degrade the concept of hate, or the ‘seriousness’ that is ‘hate’, into something more resembling mere rhetoric or simplicity, rather than the actual ‘state-of-being’, or whatever, which the concept is meant to represent.
“Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order to obtain that which they think is good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good,” Aristotle, ‘Politics’, translated by Benjamin Jowett
“Hate is rooted in fear, and the only cure for fear–hate–is love.” MLK Jr.
Hate speech is a thing.
It is a thing, most directly, in the sense that people can think with hate, or with a hateful bias, and then export those thoughts through words.
It is a thing that people act with hate, even live solely through hate, with nothing else dictating their perceptions of the world at all.
And it is a thing in the sense that people are hateful (duh).
But it is not a thing, in itself, as it relates to the concept of speech.
‘Hate speech’ is not a thing.
That Aristotle quote was not supposed to say too much; just a starting point. Plato also assumed something very similar (it’s almost what his whole philosophy is based on), and I would argue that Machiavelli also had such an assumption, only so strong that he didn’t really know what to do with it, given his interest in the concept of power and how that works. I get that a lot of people claim that because some of these ancient philosophers were ‘racist’ and ‘misogynistic’ and because they owned slaves that they shouldn’t be listened to, but our civilization is based just around their vices as it is their pros, so that’s redundant. They were there, that happened, we can ignore them and expect about the same result as if we were to ignore a cancer diagnosis. And just because Plato was idiotic in his thoughts on women doesn’t make his cave allegory any less potent.
That’s missing the point in any conversation about anything other than how TERRIBLE people are (because nobody’s ever figured that one out before). Aristotle, and Plato and most philosophers since (at least subconsciously), all assumed that people act and think in a way congruent with what they find to be ‘good’, which they defined as an ‘understanding’ which s conscious. There was no debate over whether what someone considered ‘good’ was actually ‘bad’; it was assumed that that’s a possibility: what that person, who is doing bad, thinks is good, is actually not good, it is bad. It’s a misunderstanding inherent in the subconscious conscious/subconscious combination. It goes deep, this mistaking what is bad for what is good, because ‘what is good’ is the inherent dictator when it comes to every moral question I, or you, or anyone may have. We all do what we think is good. If what we’re doing is not good, it’s because our understanding is skewed. Unless you’re the Joker, to which I say that there aren’t actually that many of those people (kind of the point of those movies (or at least one of them)).
In other words, it’s a state of ‘being’, not simple enough to be justly assumed by what someone says, or even does, as ‘full-action’ (all of the actions a person makes throughout her life, which are quite a lot) involves too many events to be quantified by only one action or event (or tweet).
Not only that, but if there is any merit to the understanding that love is something ‘more than words’ #Extreme #Pornograffiti #Nuno, ‘evil’, ‘fear’ and ‘hate’ are no different, as ‘love’ can be considered as just a much more complex understanding of the concept ‘good’, just as ‘hate’, ‘fear’ and ‘evil’ are more complex understandings of ‘bad’. I define hate as something in between evil and fear; it’s the primary fuel for evil, and is primarily fueled by fear–
Which is why ‘hate speech’ is not a real thing.
Speech is the conflagration of spoken words meant to represent what one is thinking. What one is thinking can never be fully put into words (hence the potency of metaphor), let alone the context through which ‘thinking’ is made possible: ‘being’. “Being and time determine each other reciprocally, but in such a manner that neither can the former–Being–be addressed as something temporal nor can the latter–time–be addressed as a being.” –Martin Heidegger, author of Being and Time (recommended for more on that). 'Thinking’ is a combination of the inherently individual thought process we know as ‘reason’ with the assumption of the existence of other individuals also equally opportune to use this faculty. It can be ‘represented’ in many ways, ‘speech’ is one, metaphor is another, so is argument, ‘art’, and dialectic. Given what we know about the nature of consciousness (that it exists in space and time, and that it thinks), thinking is also a state of being, or at least has something directly to do with conscious-being–
Which makes ‘speech’ simply too simple to be directly attached to any more complex indictment on consciousness.
Is hatred something which can be expressed in a just manner by mere speech? Speech is a simple way of getting your thoughts out to the world, and nobody is going to claim that things get easier when people do this. That’s why we have governments and other institutions to try to mitigate the calamity. The part in that Aristotle quote, where the state and/or political community “aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good,” is particularly useful here, as what he’s essentially saying is that without some kind of center through which people talk their thoughts, chaos ensues; and not only that but misunderstanding.
In fact, what I find the ‘hate speech’ that most people reference in determination to simply point a finger is actually the much more justified ‘stupid speech’. If anything ‘hate’ is simply ‘stupid’ before it is anything else, isn’t it? Or is it ‘bad’ first? Is it ignorant, or is it dishonest? Moreover, when somebody does or says something stupid, is it because of their race or their gender that they may being stupid? Or is it because they’re simply stupid??? Which matters more? Is there any aspect of this which may be considered, through a certain sense followed from a different dialectical path, through recognizing ourselves as an equally important third party? There is hatred and there is stupidity, but it does come down to me to define those terms, or to accept other definitions of them. And which matters more between simple people or the things which people ‘are’? Like hateful, angry, white, woman of color, or whatever else?
Hatred is embalmed in people’s psyches the same way evil is, it’s just more nuanced. Therefore the only way to battle it is through exactly what MLK Jr. thought: love. #MoreThanWords #Extreme #Nuno.
Words and arguments can only do so much: the dichotomy between hate and love is complicated. To give an example, and I get that this may be tough, but I think we’ll be okay by the end: why does the trans community put such a seemingly all-powerful emphasis on words? I understand that some piece of shit not calling you what you prefer to be called totally sucks and is what makes that person a piece of shit, we agree, but is ignoring the potency of that love-hate dynamic, and pretending, even forcing other people to believe, that it can be fully represented by abstract connection (rather than personal (I get that some people just suck, and ‘what do you do with them?’, gimme a second), or even by a law, really the way to go about changing that piece of shit’s mind? Or, more importantly, for preventing them from forming in the future? Nobody likes to be told how to think, but if they can’t recognize that nobody likes to be told how to think (or: Be), why give this person the time of day? Why should you care what they think? Especially if all it does is provoke anger or resentment? (Not to say that that’s the only reason people are ever doing this, only that any amount of provoked anger or resentment is too much). And if they raise their kids to be pieces of shit, are those kids at all likely to see through the muck? Is ‘fighting’ any more potent than ‘understanding’, so long as one remembers that no one can understand everything? Will those ‘pieces of shit kids’ have any easier of a time not being a piece of shit whilst being told that their parents are ABSOLUTE pieces of shit–because their thoughts can be quantified by their speech (which kids will always understand)–for reasons the kids don’t yet understand, or may they have easier time with the abstract ‘people’, without the identity attached, before they can possibly understand the identity?
‘Hate speech’ (or hateful speech (still an assumption that speech can be inherently ‘hateful’, as if true hate were a thing possibly understood through such simple representations), is a rhetorical term created from an ignorance of history (what thought, hate, speech, identity, and consciousness (maybe) are)), and only useful as the result of an offset of a misconceived logical predetermination of the dialectical relationships between fact and emotion, individual and society, thought and identity, etc., and which would need to be rectified in order to make any logical sense. It might exist as a ploy, or indirectly, but as it pertains to reality it does not exist in itself, now should we want it to, as that would degrade the concepts of ‘hate’ and ‘speech’, as they are, or at least make them more confusing.
Times are hard and emotions are strong, but that’s no reason to arbitrarily substitute anger and reactionary, indeed just hatred for your simple right to tell an asshole she’s an asshole.
That’s love’s job ;D.
(POSTSCRIPT: These are just my thoughts on these things right now. I feel confident enough in them to put them out there, but the primary reason for that is because I think I’ve sufficiently thought and talked them through. If you have any real disagreements, please let me know.)