2020-05-27 – Once you label someone the enemy, there’s a big temptation to take positions that are opposite of the enemy’s positions, regardless of what those positions are. We do it. They do it.
This happens not just with the label “enemy.” You might label someone “stupid” or “racist” or “elitist” or “libtard” or “in-law.” Those labels, too, are sufficient to start playing the opposite game. You start doing things aftselakhis.
Aftselakhis is a Yiddish word that is sometimes translated as “out of spite.” But it’s really untranslatable and should probably come into the English language as it is. I don’t know how you’ll pronounce it, but the guttural kh in the middle is essential, because, when you are acting aftselakhis, you want to spit on the other person.
Even if that spreads COVID-19.
Especially if it spreads COVID-19.
When you are acting aftselakhis, you are acting specifically to annoy or upset someone. The payoff is in the upset. It doesn’t matter if the action is self-destructive (or other destructive). If it is upsetting, you win. And you never get tired of winning.
Aftselakhis (what would the noun form be? Aftselakhis-ness?) is the driving force in American politics. We do things to hurt the other, even if we hurt ourselves in the process.
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