This book works to uncover the logic of hatred, to understand how this affect manifests itself historically in persecution and terror apparatuses. More than a historical genealogy of persecution, The Logic of Hatred shows what phenomenology can offer to historical understanding. Focusing on the witch-hunts waged in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, the first part of the book analyzes the techniques instigators used to designate and annihilate their targets: the search for diabolical stigma, the confession of “truth” extracted by torture, the constitution of an absolute Enemy through the suggestion of conspiracy, of a world turned upside-down, or the figure of Satan.
Rogozinski locates one of the origins of the witch-hunt in the anguish that popular uprisings arouse in dominant classes. The second part of the book extends the investigation to related phenomena, such as the extermination of lepers in the Middle Ages and the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. By studying these historical experiences and marking their differences and similarities, this book shows the passage from exclusion to persecution and how revolts of the oppressed can let themselves be transformed and captured by persecutory politics. The analyses presented thus shed light on conspiracy theory and the terror apparatuses of our time.