Late Stage Democracy will be remembered as a superstitious time because we have prohibited ourselves from seeing the problems in our methods, therefore the actual causes of everything going wrong remain a total mystery.
When future historians pick through the ruins, they will conclude that democracy was not imposed, but was forced upward into our populations by the same impulses that creates manias, fads, and trends. People wanted an easy answer, so in groups, they settled on a lowest common denominator.
Individualism drives their need for an easy answer. They want some external force to fix everything so that they do not have to pay attention to it, and can spend less of their time on maintaining civilization. Instead of doing that necessary extra labor, they can spend more on themselves.
Consequently the symbolic nature of communications to groups is taken as literal, and it becomes a means-over-ends proposition, where in order to maintain the current thing we have rationalized as good, we will sacrifice all else, especially sacred things like culture, goal, civilization, and faith.
That produces the inverted society. Instead of thinking in ends-over-means mode, where we choose a goal and do whatever is required to achieve it, we set up methods that are beyond criticism and then rationalize whatever we are doing as “good” because it does not interrupt those.
Following the mania, fad, and trend template the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s reflected this desire to internalize fears brought on by the failure of democracy, and to blame a symbolic scapegoat instead of looking into hard realities:
More women were going to work, by choice and necessity in the wake of the women’s rights movement and as the country struggled with a recession. Conservatism and the religious right were ascendant, and both emphasized the nuclear family. Good day care was hard to find, Ms. deYoung said, and many parents felt guilt for relying on it.
And after decades of denial, the public was starting to confront the problem of sexual abuse, especially involving children. “You hook all of those things together magically and boom — you’ve got the proper fuel for a moral panic,” she said.
The spark, she said, was “Michelle Remembers,” a book by a Canadian psychologist and his former patient about her memories of child abuse at the hands of satanists. Although its lurid claims were quickly challenged, the book was a best seller. Suddenly, it seemed, terror could be lurking in any neighborhood.
The book gave people a villain to look for outside the family, said Sarah Marshall, a host of the history podcast “You’re Wrong About.”What readers heard, she said, was, “Don’t look in the mirror, the call is not coming from inside the house — the satanists are the problem.”
We could not solve these hard realities because they were tied to our ideology of equality. After the Civil War, French Revolution, and WW2, America had moved from a nation dedicated to realistic competition and become a European-style facilitative nation geared toward equality at all costs.
This meant that actual causes had to be ignore. Sexual liberation is equality, but it broke the family-centric pattern and resulted in single-parent or two-income homes that used daycare as a crutch. Loss of culture through diversity meant there was no longer a normal, leading to erratic behavior.
Certainly big bad things arose in the years after WW2. Without a dominant social order that said some behaviors were right and excluded those who actedly in ways that could be dangerous, serial killers, sexual predators, and pedophiliac molesters rose in frequency.
Without a national culture, we all became strangers to each other, and in the spirit of pluralism, tolerated and encouraged lifestyles that led away from the methods known to history to promote stability, sanity, chastity, and as a result, safety.
Satan became a symbol for this demonic behavior. Rampant sexual activity leads to a search for new highs, which can only end Marquis de Sade style in sadism, molestation, and murder. Loss of a family-centric, culture-oriented society encourages predatory outsider behavior.
With the rise of diversity and civil rights, we could no longer honestly say that we had any shared behavioral standard in common. No one even shared the same goal. People reacted only to what they perceived were immediate threats by some Hitler-like force.
Consequently politicians must survive by creating symbols for threats that conceal the actual nature of those threats, leading people to wage war against non-entities while ignoring the actual problem. The “Satanist” contingent have always played on this semiotic confusion and the paranoid fear of Satan:
In many ways, The Satanic Temple is the heir to the “New Left” of the 1960s and such figures as Abbie Hoffman and Allen Ginsberg. Events like the “exorcism” of the Pentagon in 1967 demonstrated an understanding of ritual and semiotics: The strategic use of religious symbols could change what the Pentagon represented to the public.
But the New Left also intentionally straddled the line between prank and sincerity in order to draw media attention to their cause. It is contested today what effect the New Left actually had toward the goal of ending the Vietnam War — and it is similarly unclear what effect The Satanic Temple might have on America’s political center of gravity.
When you create a symbol that induces excitement in others, whether negative or positive, this becomes a form of power. Whoever stands up and waves a pentagram around will get immediate attention, including from conservative Useful Idiots trying to make careers for themselves.
During the 1980s, it became easy for a band to gain notoriety by adopting some edgy pose of Satanism, promiscuity, or drink/drug use. The media lapdog conservatives would scream, boycott, and burn records, causing everyone else to run out and buy the album.
Modern citizens, made complacent by a lack of hot wars and the easy lives afforded by technology, craved some kind of intense stimulus, and Satan among other sources provided this emotional spark. That allowed bands to use outrage to fuel careers:
“I would never, ever have wanted to be in a band like Iron Maiden or Saxon, and I didn’t want to be commercial or sound like anyone else,” Cronos gnaws. “We wanted to create music that scared people. And we succeeded.”
Even Black Sabbath were too lightweight for Cronos: “Sabbath had these lyrics like: ‘Oh no, please God help me.’ They were asking to be saved from Satan, whereas we were saying the opposite: Satan is my friend, I drink with him, I have fun with him and I want him to be by my side. We wanted to invent something like a nightmare, something truly hideous.”
“All of the acts that dabbled in the musical black arts before Venom arrived on the scene always seemed to take a sort of Hammer horror approach, or they sang about being tormented by a wizard or whatever,” Cronos disgorges. “No one wanted to actually be the Devil. So that’s my job now – I am Satan!”
In other words, when the symbol becomes powerful, become the symbol, and use it to give people the stimulation they crave in order to advance the other aspects of the music. In the same way, the various Satanic organizations have drawn attention to themselves, but then been captured by the media.
This means that they portray whatever bogeymen they see in the conservative media, depending on conservative and then liberal media to parrot the outrage — the latter in a state of glee at the consternation of the former — so that free media attention comes their way.
As the flip side of this feedback loop, however, the Satanists become dependent on media. We have seen this before, such as how White Nationalist groups become reliant on the media attention they get for their demonstrations, and consequently do little other than demonstrate and stoke outrage.
In the same way the Satanic Panic fed off itself. Faced with a multitude of new problems, people looked for a simple cause and, since egalitarian theory offered no options, defaulted to religion. Blame Satan, and we do not have to look deep in ourselves.
We can make the same error by simply blaming reliance on religion for this type of panic. We see it at every level where people use symbolism to make scapegoats and talismans, effectively leaving the human choice to do what is sane or not out of the equation.
In other words, this phenomenon spreads far beyond religious symbolism and in fact infects all parts of modern life since modernity is dependent on symbolism, having replaced culture and organic society with a giant bureaucracy of faceless equals, much as a big city or a military uniform creates anonymity.
For example, democracy itself seems to be in a state of perpetual symbolic addiction where those who affirm equality are seen as good, and anyone else is viewed as bad or at least suspect. This creates an inequality of egalitarianism, where those who are insufficiently egalitarian are demonized.
This plays into the game theory that people use when selecting who to support. Democracies destroy those who are not egalitarian; this is “freedom” apparently. It does so by incentivizing punishment of outsiders, but this is now defined in ideological terms and not wealth or race:
Tolerant individuals do not judge based on income when deciding to donate, while intolerant individuals will assign those from the opposite income group “bad” reputations. Intolerant individuals will also judge individuals from their group as “bad” for cooperating with the opposite group.
“Inequality clearly enhances the emergence of intolerance, escalating it even without the presence of new individuals who bring these behaviors. Once intolerance begins to act, it is almost unstoppable in the presence of inequality,” said Martinez-Vaquero.
In the search for tolerance, we have become intolerant of the intolerant, which requires expanding the circle of tolerance ever-wider in order to find new scapegoats — little postmodern Satans — to use as teachable moments as we destroy them.
The Satanic Panic still exists because those committed to organized religion like to blame Satan instead of obvious unrealistic ideas like democracy, equality, individualism, diversity, sexual liberation, and socialism. A new panic has replaced with the majority and the Establishment however.
The New Satanic Panic consists of fear of realism. People want the ability to do whatever they want, but that requires removing all standards and knowledge of reality so that no one is wrong. The more we tolerate, the less we have in common and the less coherent we are.
Modernity aims to abolish reality other than the individual and his preferences, desires, judgments, feelings, and socializing. They want to cultivate anything but function because dysfunction allows only the individual and his thoughts to be in focus.
“Woke” is the newest version of Leftism (egalitarianism). It appeals to nobodies wanting to appear important, like the Satanic Panic gave voice to those who were nervous about the changes occurring to society but mostly wanted to seize some power and enact revenge.
The Fascism Panic reflects how Leftists see reality and culture. Anything which imposes standards makes hierarchy and therefore cannot be egalitarian, and since egalitarian is conjectural, this threatens the perceived legitimacy of egalitarianism itself.
Look toward a future where everyone huddles in their niches, says nothing to everyone else, but in private speaks violently and openly about the great failure of democracy. Like the Satanic Panic, it was just a trend based in symbolism and having failed, is being replaced by realism.
Tags: fascism panic, intolerance, realism, satanic panic