Pity, Hate, Resentment, and the Left
Keywords:Hate, affect, political emotions, Chantal Mouffe
This intervention argues that our understanding of negative emotions is underdeveloped due to the urge to expel negativity from the personal and political spheres. By invoking the antagonism of Chantal Mouffe’s philosophy, the article provides a conceptual grounding of pity, hate, and resentment by explaining these emotions based on whether the person feeling them sees the other as inferior, equal, or superior. For the Left, the intervention argues, a better understanding of these emotions will help people think through their own antagonisms, to counter accusations that all Left opposition is mere resentment, and to promote solidarity. Finally, the article seeks to hold open a space for a hatred that is neither pathologised nor eradicated.