Abstract

In his writings on satire, the Marxist literary critic Georg Lukács argued that hatred could function as an anticapitalist affect. Hatred, he believed, equips the committed author with a set of traits—certainty, lucidity, endurance, and pitilessness—that are eminently useful for exposing and destroying a fundamentally criminal socioeconomic system. Contrary to the contemporary anxiety about hatred (hate speech, hate crimes), Lukács wanted to mobilize the affect for revolutionary ends. Yet he also admitted that hatred tends to grow in conditions of powerlessness, dependence, and frustration. As a consequence, Lukács could not unite the cool passion of hatred with the position of a confident revolutionary.

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