In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, St Paul the Apostle talks of love (or charity), as a value that is above hope and faith, and says that “love is kind…envies not, deals not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeks not its own, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth.”
Although all this sounds marvellous, is it possible to apply all these virtues in our relations with our neighbours, in the whole of our social and societal life? In our attitude to nature – if we love venison, do we love the deer? Can we apply them in our attitude towards ourselves? Can we identify ourselves with our state, country, class, sex and gender, and is this identification the same as or close to love? Love is a relation, it always involves the other, even when it is about ourselves. The sea in which the fish of our social and societal relations swims is called capitalism, and its most recent version is neoliberalism that “tends to translate the whole of human actions into the domain of the market”. Slavko Kulic discusses neoliberalism as social Darwinism, which extirpates ethics from thinking and behaviour and threatens liberty and democracy. If we turn these abstractions into everyday terms and if we are a worker who has not got his pay packet several months while the bank enforcing loan repayments, can we at the same time not seek our own and rejoice in the truth? If we work in a place where for the sake of productivity we can’t go to the toilet and wear adult diapers into which we have to crap and piss, can we at the same time bear all and hope for the better? Hasn’t he who has driven us to crap into our pants excluded us from the field of humanity, haven’t we become just a bare machine for the sake of his profit?
Can we love ourselves and other people if we are not people at all? And if we want to get our humanity back, isn’t this inimical to the interests of profit and the profit seeker? Can we get back our repudiated humanity differently if we do repudiate the humanity of the profiteer? Employers, as they like calling themselves, often think they are the benefactors of their workers, the ones who feed them. If they do feed them, and at the same time ask them to crap into their pants, isn’t it the worker’s first duty to bite the hand that feeds them and spit into the bowl from which they eat?
Isn’t hatred for the oppressor a sign of regained health and love for oneself, for our neighbours, for justice and freedom. The previous sentence might sound dubious, but I left out the question mark for the answer seems self-intelligible, and I hope it is going to become effective again.
Sometimes hatred is the first act of love.
Technical associate: Ivan Goldin
Special thanks to: Nenad Stipanić and Forestry Senj