As we have seen, “love” to a leftist is a kind of passive-aggressive manipulation. On the knuckles of the other fist smashing into your face is tattooed the word “hate”. How does hate factor in?
The ideology of Karl Marx was not emotional. And Marx wasn’t concerned with the mob, the horde, the lumpenproletariat or the violent and desperate. His concern lay with industrial workers, who at his time were fairly skilled, more so than in the 20th century. They were middle-class by today’s standards.
The idea of explosive rage as the motor of revolution was the product of other minds. In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens portrayed the rage and bloodlust as the regrettable but understandable result of centuries of oppression. Mark Twain expressed similar sentiments at some point, as did Victor Hugo, who was not a communist, but more of a reformer in the spirit of Dickens. The idea of abandoning all sense of limits, of using the most extreme measures came to its first full expression in Lenin, but he seems to have gotten a lot of this attitude from Sergey Nechayev.
Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia entry on Nechayev which captures the central problem of dealing with leftism-
“However Nechayev’s suspicion of his comrades had grown even greater, and he began stealing letters and private papers with which to blackmail Bakunin and his fellow exiles, should the need arise. He enlisted the help of Herzen’s daughter Natalie. Bakunin rebuked Nechayev upon discovery of his duplicity: “Lies, cunning [and] entanglement [are] a necessary and marvelous means for demoralising and destroying the enemy, though certainly not a useful means of obtaining and attracting new friends”. Although Bakunin continued to defend the young radical he called “my tiger cub”, he began warning friends about his behaviour.”
The idea that a tool can and will be used only for one purpose, and not another, is dangerously naive. The goal of leftism is control, through subversion, and if that doesn’t work, murder. The idea that these tools will be off limits to other leftists of good intentions requires a great deal more faith in human nature than anybody who doesn’t believe in the Easter Bunny ought to have. It is Orwell’s objection, and his only objection, to Stalinism. Orwell was not against communists killing people, on the contrary he was all for it. He was against communists killing other communists. Orwell made the mistake of running afoul of communists on communist-controlled territory, and came with a hair’s breadth of dying.
Communists on non-communist controlled territory mostly just settled for subversion, which was highly effective anyway. A great deal of what we think of as New Deal liberalism is the product of communist front organizations. Communists were perfectly capable of carrying out assassinations in other countries though; Moldbug credits them with Gen. George Patton and possibly Joseph McCarthy. I would include Orwell himself as a suspicious case.
But all this is an aside. Leftism follows a pattern of coming to power under apparently innocuous aims and methods, for reform and improvement, and then unleashing its full fury when it holds all the power. This is true of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and America in the late 60’s.
The most obvious purpose of hate is to terrify people into submission. Frightened people are easily manipulated into doing what they are told will make them safe. The other side of the coin is the people experiencing the hate.
Hate and rage powerful but dangerous forces; people who actually exercise power generally avoid even anger, not out of moral proscription but because remaining calm and focused is a prerequisite for doing almost anything. The people really pulling the strings don’t feel these emotions. The sacrificial revolutionary of Nechayev is just that, a sacrifice. He isn’t around to enjoy his limousine, his spacious flat and his dacha. The puppet master is; he is the producer and impresario of a drama, a rather dull and predictable drama that always ends in exactly the same way.
Aristotle, in Poetics, used the term “catharsis” to describe the emotional experience of the audience of a play. The word was a medical term at that time that meant “cleansing” or “purging”. The goal of the dramatist was to have the audience experience intense emotions and then resolve them. Violence is cathartic in this sense. The enraged person acts on his emotions and releases them. He feels relief and calm.
In a revolutionary society, rage and hatred is built up against the targeted classes, initially the bourgeoisie and the rich. They are eliminated, and a new society, full of hope and promise, (as the leaders promise) dawns. Things don’t go as promised, so new enemies have to be found. In the Soviet Union the kulaks weren’t targeted until 1929, years after the regime was well-established. Having “purged” society- an actual term directly related to catharsis is found here- society can return to the renewed pursuit of a true ideal. Again, things don’t go as promised, so new enemies are found. The show trials began in 1936. World War II provided many opportunities for the regime to target internal as well as external enemies, and another round of purges, particularly of Soviet citizens who had been on foreign soil or under foreign control, began at the end of the war. The pattern seems to be just about eight years- 1920, 1929, 1936, 1945- give or take a year.
The United States is a special case. The people in power did not want to eliminate a class of people, only control them better. The drama of revolutionary hate and violence would involve two parties- the enraged, who would experience a feeling of power while being puppets of those in power, and a sense of relief and well-being while their circumstances remained unchanged, and those tarred with guilt, who would feel a very real terror at being targeted and abused, a phony sense of guilt in being charged with crimes they did not commit and a phony sense of expiation by submitting to the demands of the puppet masters and the enraged.
The program of social control went quite rapidly from one based on “love”- the passive protests in the South up to 1965- and one based on “hate”, the riots and racial terrorism in the North starting in 1965. The period of 1954 to 1975 was a steady increase in leftist power, in two distinct phases.