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The utility of hatred — 2 Comments

  1. Interesting passage.
    I dispute one part of it – the object of hatred does not actually have to exist. It may once have done (though even then – perhaps not) but need not survive not remain a useful scapegoat.
    I remember working in Poland and realising how strong the feeling was amongst some people that the Jews were to blame for the country’s ills. Those would be the same Jews who had been almost wiped out or expelled by war, holocaust, the Nazis and then some Poles. Just goes to show, even being exterminated does not let you off the hook decades into the future.

  2. I knew an English woman in Dublin, dead now, but who had lived in Ireland most of her life, who was charming and pleasant most of the time but who could come out with absurd ant-Semitic remarks – despite knowing no Jews.

    The imagined enemy is much more malleable – as in Orwell’s ‘1984’ – he can be shaped according to the nature of one’s prejudice.

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