Skip to main content

The Rhetorical Satisfactions of Hate Speech

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Fomenting Political Violence

Part of the book series: Studies in the Psychosocial ((STIP))

Abstract

In this chapter I explore the phenomenon of ‘hate speech,’ understood as a rhetorical practice whereby aggressive hostility is directed at others. Drawing upon Jacques Lacan’s account of the tension between the imaginary and symbolic registers of subjectivity, I present political speech as a means to sublimate violence. Political controversies enact confrontations between rivals who seek to diminish the integrity of their opponent’s self-image. Speaking hatefully is thus a familiar dimension of most political contests. Yet it can also become a refusal of any symbolic mediation with one’s opponent. Lacan describes this type of hate as ‘a passion of being.’ I employ the example of the controversy over antisemitism in the British Labour Party after 2015 to illustrate this variety of hateful speech.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James Martin .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Martin, J. (2018). The Rhetorical Satisfactions of Hate Speech. In: Krüger, S., Figlio, K., Richards, B. (eds) Fomenting Political Violence. Studies in the Psychosocial. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97505-4_7

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics