Many years ago, a wise man named Rev. William J. H. Boetcker wrote these lines:
You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
I’m sure you’ve seen them before, or at least items selected from them. The good sense they express is so clear – and so irrefutable – that I can’t imagine anyone daring to differ with them. Yet the courses they deplore – i.e., the “cannots” – are in operation throughout this nation as we speak.
How did this come to pass? Mostly through the operation of envy, greed, and their principal offspring, hatred.
Hatred is an emotion our nature equips us to feel. Therefore it must have some function; there must be some condition or aspect of existence that is properly addressed by hating it. Yet Christ Himself has told us that other people are not proper targets for hatred:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [Matthew 5:43-45]
To hate is to wish harm upon the hated person or thing. It “should” be “obvious” that one man cannot reconcile himself with another if there is hatred between them. If peace exists between them, it’s superficial and cosmetic: the peace of the “demilitarized zone.” Should either side discover that it has achieved a significant advantage over the other, hostilities will commence at once.
A society riven by hatred cannot achieve an enduring state of peace and social harmony.
This is on my mind today because of a premonition. The torrent of hatreds that the Left, in its various expressions, has aimed at the Right are having an effect that was predictable from the start: normal, decent Americans have realized that the Left means to do us and our country great harm. Though the hatred comes in several sub-varieties:
- The deluded hate the sane;
- The childless hate the parents;
- The atheists hate the believers;
- The Negroes hate the Caucasians;
- The urbanites hate the non-urbanites;
- Sexual deviants hate the sexually normal;
- The welfare recipients hate the self-sufficient;
- Those of non-European heritage hate those of European heritage;
…it has the same import – and the same impact — in all cases: there’s a wish to harm, even destroy involved. Some of it has been actualized: e.g., the race riots of the previous four years. Some of it simmers just below the threshold of open violence.
That hatred immovably blocks the possibility of social harmony.
Is any of the hatred remediable? We can’t know that before it’s been remedied. However, the history of Western man suggests that the best remedy for hatred is the overwhelming defeat of those who hate. Consciousness of this is rising among normal Americans.
My premonition is that within a year or two, the mushrooming reaction of normal Americans against those who hate us will eventuate in the defeat of the Left. But if it’s a purely political victory – i.e., achieved through the ballot box – it will leave the hatreds in place. Indeed, it might make them more absolute and virulent than ever.
If that should prove to be the case, there will be no sincere reconciliation, only a cosmetic peace.
The old “diplomat’s definition” of peace is “A state of tension that falls short of open armed conflict.” It’s the best state achievable between parties that hate one another. While the hatred persists, nothing better is possible. This is a fundamental reality that cannot be wished away.
But we may expect those on the Left, after their defeat, to call for “healing,” “forgiveness,” and perhaps even “brotherhood.” In other words, “Please forget that we hate you and intend to destroy you as soon as the odds favor us.”
There have already been some indications that such appeals will arise. Remember this column? That was a straw tossed to the wind. If the totalitarians of the COVID-19 “pandemic” could induce us to let them off the hook for their campaign against individual freedom, then surely anything would be possible. The Left’s calls for “healing,” “forgiveness,” and “brotherhood” could lull us back into placidity and inattention. They could plan further strikes safe from retribution.
Do not be lulled. Remember their hatreds, for they will still be alive and in effect. Remember their many efforts to cultivate and intensify them. Until they have been expunged – and we cannot know whether it’s even possible – there can be no true peace. Certainly there can be no “brotherhood.”