12 April, 2021

Allure Of The Demonic

Hate has become respectable now. But Savarkar and Jinnah had understood this maxim long ago.

Allure Of The Demonic
The nineteenth century saw two key self-corrections in Europe's intellectual culture. First, Sigmund Freud rediscovered the continuities between health and ill-health, sanity and insanity, and normality and abnormality; he insisted that human beings were not even masters of their own selves. This humanised the mentally ill and the criminal, and saw them as victims of the same forces that shaped normal persons and everyday life. What psychoanalysis did for the individual, socialist thought did for societies. It rejected conspiracy theories of political economy and declared social pathologies—individual and collective—as products of impersonal historical forces. In it there was ample scope for resistance and violence but not for hatred.

Early post-war studies of prejudice and violence—particularly the most ambitious and influential of them, the massive study of the fascist mind done by Theodor W. Adorno and his associates—inherited these traditions. They worked in a milieu where there was much tiredness with cruelty, hate and gratuitous violence. By studying the...

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