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by  |  27-Apr-2020 17:21

If you want to slap the worst imaginable label on an organization, you call it a hate group.

Let’s set that simplistic reaction to one side for the moment, and ask a different question: what happens when people decide that some common human emotion is evil and harmful and wrong, and decide that the way to make a better world is to get rid of it?

As it turns out, we have a very good idea what happens in this case, because a first-rate example of the phenomenon finally completed its historical trajectory on the edge of living memory.

Here again, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that people a century and a quarter ago—most likely including your ancestors, dear reader, if they happened to live in the English-speaking world—saw things the other way around.

To them, hate was an ordinary emotion that most people had under certain circumstances, but sexual desire was beyond the pale: beastly, horrid, filthy, and so on through an impressive litany of unpleasant adjectives.

During its heyday, people in Britain and America loudly proclaimed exactly the same attitudes toward sex that their great-grandchildren now display toward hate.

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