In a rather “classy” move, Kvond reposted a post I deleted yesterday over at his blog and has proceeded to engage in armchair psychoanalysis about the nature of my hatreds. I suppose I might as well post the short diary again, since he’s posted it at his blog:

First, users who reduce others to vehicles of their own jouissance or enjoyment. I don’t care whether it is the sadistic serial killer that reduces the other person to their flesh (Dexter excepted), evacuating their own subjectivity, turning them into a vehicle for their own jouissance, or the child predator, the politician who cynically manipulates his flock evoking religion or nationalism, or Bernie Madoff, or the player. They’re all equivalent as far as I’m concerned. There is something horrifying in this evacuation of subjectivity.

Second, the creatures of ressentiment who seem to delight in tearing others down, in finding ways to torture them, who have orgies of hate together when they get ignored seeing themselves as victims rather than being the assholes that they are. Racists, jilted white men, insecure nationalists, misogynists and homophobes, trolls, Christianists and religious zealots of all sorts that are convinced they’re victims, gossips, etc., etc., etc. All of them stink with the stench of ressentiment, filled with a hatred of all that is affirmative and great, doing all they can to tear these things down. In all these cases they seem obsessed with tearing down others in the spirit of revenge for their own unrealized and unactualized desires, functioning as police to those that would do what they dream of doing but are too fearful to pursue.

I took the post down because of the reference to trolls and because I did not care to have a repeat of arguments over trolls and what constitutes trollishness. It is very “classy” for Kvond to copy a post I deleted a half an hour before he wrote it and post it on his blog, but such is the nature of the internet. That said, I find it rather bizarre to see someone criticizing hatred of those who either use other people up for their own enjoyment, as in the case of the serial killer who leaves nothing behind but the broken body of his victim or Bernie Madoff who destroyed the lives of hundreds of people, or hating those who delight in promoting the misery and suffering of others as in the case of the nationalist that gets his kicks persecuting the immigrant, or the misogynist, racist, and homophobe who gets his kicks persecuting others and making them miserable.

As Nietzsche argued in his analysis of ressentiment, these are all people who find their self-worth not through some affirmative difference of their own, but by bringing others down either literally or figuratively through words. This strikes me as the essence of the troll. The troll himself has nothing to offer, but finds his own sense of self-value in tearing others down who have the courage to try to develop something or who take a stand on something. In the thread over at Frames/Sing, Alexei– who is anything but a troll, i.e., critique and trollishness are not the same –suggests that I misunderstand the concept of ressentiment as hatred is one of the quintessential examples of ressentiment. However, this paints the issue with two broad a brush. Nietzsche, at least in Deleuze’s analysis, distinguishes between two types of negation. On the one hand, there is the negation involved in ressentiment where one negates in the other that which they lack but desire as a way of affirming themselves. For example, the misogynist’s hatred of women often arises from the manner in which he discerns her as having sexual power over him and as seeing himself the object of rejection by her. On the other hand, argues Deleuze, there is negation borne of a prior affirmation of oneself. In this connection, Nietzsche gives the example of the warrior that has contempt for the weak because of an affirmation of his own qualities of strength, prowess in battle, etc. This second form of negation arises from an affirmation of ones own affirmative difference. We might, for example, think of the composer that has contempt for pop music as a result of the affirmation of his own music. At any rate, I am thoroughly baffled as to why Kvond would want to defend all those sad souls that gnash their teeth at others, striving to make the lives of these others miserable, drawing self-worth only from the way in which they make these others cower through brute force, politics, or rhetoric. I am not sure why Kvond has this strange obsession with me, but he certainly seems to be expending a lot of energy writing about me.

UDPATE [5:01PM July 6th]: A few have taken me to task for my reference to warriors in this recent post. Kvond, for example, writes:

At least now, as Larval Subjects has been somewhat forced into reposting his hatreds, and owning up to them a bit, others can decide the appropriateness of Larval Subject’s “warrior class” contempt for the weak, no doubt not even a psychoanalytic source for his hatred of trolls and others, as he apparently sees himself as something of a contemptuous positive “warrior”…

“[a] warrior that has contempt for the weak because of an affirmation of his own qualities of strength, prowess in battle”

As for Larval Subject’s mystification why…

“At any rate, I am thoroughly baffled as to why Kvond would want to defend all those sad soles that gnash their teeth at others, striving to make the lives of these others miserable, drawing self-worth only from the way in which they make these others cower through brute force, politics, or rhetoric”

Where Larval Subjects sees the “gnashing of teeth” of so many condemned, weak souls, attempting to draw down his greatness, I see only interested parties, each with their own “projects”, some of which we will mix with well, some less so. I do not see, or try not to see essentialized types, and I do not when I can, engage in hatred.

I received a similar criticism offline. The first thing to note is that Kvond quotes me out of context by neglecting to quote the full passage. I do not endorse the warrior as a model, but cite Nietzsche’s example of the warrior from the first essay of the Genealogy. Someone else, Alexei, had argued that Nietzsche does not give an account of negation coming from a place of affirmation, and I cited this as evidence to the contrary. Nietzsche complicates this significantly in his genealogy, but nonetheless holds that negations can be based on affirmation. This should have been clear, I think, from my reference to the composer immediately following reference to the example of the warrior. I am similarly quoted out of context with regard to the statement about those that “gnash their teeth”. What Kvond neglects to mention is that the pathetic souls I am referring to are rabid nationalists, homophobes, misogynists, racists, etc… Namely all of those who seem to take delight in causing misery to and in hurting others. I fail to see why these should be hatreds one is ashamed of owning up to. I continue to find it baffling as to why Kvond or the person who wrote me offline would want to defend such people. Is this really where we’ve arrived with the project of critique?

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