While we do all enter these delicate transactions with our own stuff, the nature of that stuff can differ to great degrees. And it seems that nature is the most violent when identity formation is part of that stuff. And the mechanisms of both love and hate are identical when identity is on the line, i.e. most of the time for most of the population. And the mechanisms of identity revolve around the symbolic order, the big Other.
By uttering [hate] speech, the subject seeks out the Other that would confirm his or her identity and grant his or her authority. And paradoxically, it is the addressee of this speech who plays the role of the “mediator” between the sender and the big Other: by recognizing him- or herself as the addressee of the sender’s words, he or she actually occupies the place in the symbolic structure from which the speaker receives confirmation of his or her identity and authority.
In both love and hate, we position l’objet petit a in the place of the Other. When the a has become a critical element of our identity formation (which is the nature of its existence in the first place), it is no wonder how we flip from love to hate so easily and so violently. It is our own identity that is paramount, and the human signifier of that identity will be used however necessary to maintain that identity.
Part of all of this as it relates to me is what I’ve made the objet petit a. (See also. I’m sure the connections I’m pointing out are too vague, even with the title attribute in my anchor tags.) But learning that perhaps a cojourneywoman whose identity formation has moved beyond this set of almost animal mechanizations would be…a place to start.
There’s more here. There’s always more here. I’m late for many meetings.