…and the lords of lies held illimitable dominion over all.
The 21st century Western elite are liars. All of them. This is a judgment I render with absolute certainty. The precise delineation between those who intentionally lie and those who are gulled into false beliefs is arguable, but the result is the same: a thick fog of lies that suffocates intellectual thought and demonizes lovers of truth. Occasionally, a barbed tentacle lashes out from the mist, like the enshrouded alien creatures in the Stephen King movie, and decapitates the brave soul who ventures forth unarmored, in pursuit of discovery. Those watching from behind the barricades have their cowed submission reinforced.
A regime of lies has a life cycle, and it rests on the simple psychological calculus that a strident offense will always overrun a complacent defense. The cementing of the regime proceeds in stages.
Stage 1: A cadre of liars — outsiders and axe-grinders, often — feel kinship with their lies. They believe their own lies. This is how it must start. Much like the master seducer must believe his own irresistibility to win over whole townships of women.
Stage 2: Truth is subverted when trivial nuance is stretched into universal truth.
Stage 3: The motives and character of those who cling bitterly to accepted truths are denigrated.
Stage 4: Common sense is slandered as reflexive primitiveness.
Stage 5: Appeals to emotion, targeted first at women and the morally child-like, then at weaker men, muscle out accessible logic and undefined intuition.
Stage 6: Sophistry with an intellectual veneer is marshaled in service of the foundational lies. Fools are duped.
Stage 7: The ring of lies expands slowly but inexorably outward, encompassing ever-greater whoppers, until a mass suspension of disbelief is achieved.
Stage 8: Fused with the circulatory system of lies great and small, the masses embrace self-delusion and assist in the accommodation of their own viral infection. The alternative would be ego death, which is a pain too great for most.
Stage 9: The liars, having recruited similarly aggrieved acolytes into loose alliances and having sufficiently numbed the populace, ascend to stations where banishment of heretics is possible, and begin the process of purifying their ranks.
Stage 10: Fear marches in lockstep with status whoring, the twin powerhouse Guns of Navarone that keep enemies of the narrative safely penned.
Final stage: Complacency returns to enfeeble the once-aggressors. Weak points erupt along multiple fault lines in the fortress walls. The mentally enslaved shield their eyes from shards of sunlight, and grow restless with questions and illumination. Apathy becomes shame becomes resentment becomes white hot hatred. Vengeance, the second most powerful human emotion after love, strains at its shackles, threatening a blitzkrieg that would consume the regime in hellfire.
Like Smaug, The Lords of Lies rule this epoch smugly atop their pile of riches, wielding unfathomable power. But their plunder is ill-gotten, and easily recaptured. Every tyranny has its soft underbelly, its gem-less fleshy port to the charred beating heart within. Find it, and drive your spear to the hilt. They deserve nothing less.