We Are Living in a Time of Hate
But it’s more complex than that—and there’s an antidote
We live in the age of hate. We’re defined much more by what we reject than what we adore. Extreme polarization has guaranteed that nearly 50 percent of the country can hate the other nearly 50 percent of the country — and the feeling is mutual.
The Trump years have seen the unabashed rise of forces organized around a rotten core of racial hate. Our technological tools make it ever easier to weaponize antipathy. Facebook posts that generate intense emotion are much more likely to be shared than those that appeal to the cooler ends of our psyches. And we know: Intense emotion for a human being usually means hate rather than love, though it oughtn’t.
But as inexhaustible as the human capacity for hate seems to be, it also leaves us broken. It is not what we want. Hate is not what humans deeply want.
These years have been dark, but they have been lit by a groundswell of love: love for the stranger, love for the immigrant, love for those who are different from us. Never before in this country has the right to love whom we choose been as free as it is today. And many of us, most of us, will fight to keep expanding that circle. Love wins, as the saying goes, and in the end, it conquers. Or so we’re told.
This month, Medium will feature stories and essays that explore the extreme reaches of love and hate in politics, culture, technology, relationships, and more. Writers will address the subjects they adore and those they detest — and the ones they are confused by in equal measures.
We’ll also delve into the way that self-love can curdle into self-loathing and ask what psychology can tell us about our most intense emotions. We’ll find out what happens when the thing you love the most is destroying your life and how we can find it in ourselves to redeem the reprehensible.
Finally: We’ll discover whether we can still find something to love in the technology we’ve come to abide by.
It is a thin line between love and hate, and the best stories dance on that border.
Follow us all month long at LOVE/HATE.