There’s a common lie among our species that goes along something like this; people, despite their flaws, are mostly good.
The exact opposite is true. Most people are unbearably average; in their looks, interactions with others, their general sense of decency- everything about them is just above or below average. Nothing to be applauded or condemned.
This silence is arguably worse than the latter, because a condemnation demands change, it demands retribution and justice. But there is no change in silence. There is no justice and we shall remain ignorant, in that very silence.
There are a good few among us, but they are a few. The reason being that actively going out of your way to be a good person is physically exhausting. To be kind in the face of adversity and to smile while the world scolds is heavier on the soul than it ought to be. That said, goodness is often misinterpreted as naivety and others do their best to tarnish it, intentionally or unintentionally. It’s exhausting being good.
But it’s also exhausting being evil. Now I’m not talking about being bad, being a prick is easy. Yelling at the cashier for a minor mistake is easy, beating the shit out of your kid or dog because you have pent up rage is easy. But afterwards most people feel bad. Most people are misguided or have moments of failure or doubt that lead them to being assholes.
Most people posses what we refer to as a moral compass; an individuals ability to determine what is right and wrong and act accordingly. This compass is built from hand but takes a while to get up and running correctly. So as a kid your parents would establish the basic rules of the household and of society as a whole. But of course the kids falter because they’re idiots that don’t know any better and thus can be very cruel to each other.
Most of these kids will grow up to be average, some of them will regret their previous actions and that will help influence their moral compass. Some kids never learn this, if anything they get worse with age. Mostly it’s the fault of the parents but occasionally the empathy receptors in the brain are shut down so they have no feeling of remorse for their actions.
So their moral compass is completely fucked, right from the get go. They’re more likely to commit crimes, particularly those of a violent nature.
But those of us that have a decent moral compass will falter from time to time. Maybe it’s due to the way each of us developed our own compasses, sometimes a persons compass will tell them they’re doing right when in actuality they’re doing wrong or likewise they refuse to do something right because they feel that it’s wrong. Our own experiences tell us what is right and what is wrong.
Then of course there is outside influences on the individual. Like how a wire with an electric current flowing through it will confuse the compass for the earths magnetic field and thus it will follow the direction of the current- hence corrupting the compass. The same can be said for temptations; such as the seven deadly sins.
Myth’s help us understand the world better and to understand the futility of man, you need the Seven Deadly sins. These sins act as behavioural influencers upon an individual. It’s how you turn two best friends into bitter enemies- make them lust after the same person. How you turn a Socialist into a Tory- give them the rights to a corporation and Greed will do the rest.
Gluttony leads to excessive consumption of food or media and the instalment of entitlement-that’s why you’ll get fan boy’s sending abuse to the cast of a movie they didn’t like, because they feel like they own it. Envy of course will lead to people growing agitated as to what they lack and what others have- kind of like how Kevin Hart’s best friend filmed him having sex and then tried to sell the tape- because envy of his friend’s success had turned him cruel.
Often times these lapses in moral judgement will be met with guilt upon rekindling with your corrected compass and you will carry said guilt with you on your path up until you either forget it or have the ability to set it down. But sometimes these people never find their way back, their compass has been fixed by these outside influences and thus they have been corrupted.
They may be corrupted by Lust, Greed, Anger, Gluttony, Pride, Sloth or Envy. Sometimes several different sins at once.
But the problem with evil, or more precisely the problem with committing evil acts, is that for the most part society will not tolerate such behaviour. To cross this boundary will either result in a prosecution, condemnation or death- and if they cannot touch you, you shall be shunned. Your very existence will not be tolerated.
Some people feel comforted by the idea of an afterlife, not only because it guarantees purpose or a place after death, but it also offers retribution. For those who escape justice in this lifetime, rest assured it’ll find you in the next.
So to be evil, to go out of your way to hurt people, it isn’t easy. It’s kind of like in a single moment you sell your soul and somewhere down the line something is gonna come back up to collect. To be evil, or to be evil without consequence, you need a system in place that both protects you and encourages said evil deeds.
So, how do you be evil?
Well it’s quite difficult, really. First you need to understand power structures and human nature. The basics like how when you obtain power most of your resources will be dedicated to maintaining it, fighting off rivals and accumulating more power. It’s both an enthralling and exhausting position.
But you must remember the people that put you in power. Left forgotten they will either leave on mass or rise up to take that very power away from you. So you need plenty of resources to fulfil the needs of these people. But who the fuck wants to do that when you can keep those resources for yourself?
When you think of such power you think of a State or an Intelligence Service. So if you wanted to be Evil, you could pursue the highest role of such a state and achieve total immunity. Except there’s some issue with this. For starters such a position never guarantees immunity.
In politics rivals are everywhere, both foreign and domestic. To commit evil you need allies to protect you from such rivals. This means paying off politicians and creating alliances with other nations. During the Troubles, America couldn’t talk to the British Government about the ethical problems with the conflict because Britain was an ally during the Cold War- so if the Yanks dared talk about supposed British affairs, then they would cease their support.
These alliances allows such evil to prevail. But it’s not enough, you need the support of the people.
Now as I said before most people aren’t good or bad, most people are average or semi-decent people. So how do you get these semi decent people to enable such evil? It’s easy; Lie.
For those who want War, you preach war. For those who want peace, you preach peace. Be precise, charismatic and down to earth. Give the illusion that you are “one of them“. If you want to fix the blame of a complicated problem on a simple solution; use scapegoats. So long as they’re foreign to the target audience in either race, religion, nationality or way of life. So long as they are powerless, you can blame them.
But sometimes you will run out of scapegoats. That’s when you need to start condemning the real people of powerful, or at the very least let on to condemn such people. Not only do you need to lie, you need to tell the lie with such conviction that even you believe it. You need to aspire to what people want to believe, not what they should.
Then of course when you obtain such power, feel free to abuse it. Make corruption rampant, impoverish the people and commit a genocide- so on and so forth. But such a way of life is ultimately finite and thus most states like this are either replaced or collapse in on themselves.
So to be Evil on a National scale, is to be Evil momentarily.
There’s a saying I’ve been thinking about lately; “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” It’s true, or at least it was. Because if you can make half the people blind and the other half deaf- then the man with all his senses can fool all the people all the time.
So if you want to commit evil without repercussion indefinitely, then you require an entire different layout. The most vital rule to maintaining the ability to be evil is this; make yourself indispensable.
If you provide a service that is not only rare, but a complete necessity to persons way of life then you have opened the door to abject cruelty. It’s like being in a relationship with a person and you know damn well that without you they have nowhere to go- so you’re able to do anything you want, unchallenged and sooner or later you will begin to hurt that very person. Because you know, no matter what, they will never leave you.
If there is a drought and you posses the only well within a sixty mile radius, you can raise prices to an outrageous amount, extort people for sex- you can do whatever you like because these people will do anything for water. If you can ensure that there is little to no options, then you can ensure evil.
Why else would Delta Airlines be able to turn a high profit after that guy got the sit kicked out of him on their flight? Because American Airlines are in a state of Oligopoly, in which all the companies are owned by very few people so therefore there are very few places to turn to.
To maintain this state of evil, you must ensure that the people remain ignorant. You must ensure that education facilities are inept so more dumbfucks are able to fall for your propaganda. You must ensure that the majority of people remain unaware of your evil deeds.
It’s how Amazon is able to force their workers into terrible working conditions which result in them going on strike, but they’re still capable of making more money than ever. Because the people either are ignorant or do not care. Your services are indispensable to them, so they will put a blind eye to your activities.
Finally, to be Evil- you must not know yourself to be Evil. You must concoct a beautiful lie that you tell yourself every day. That what you say and what you do is for the betterment of humanity. That your Greed will encourage innovation, when it’s actually detrimental to progress. That your Wrath is justified so long as it maintains order, but there will never be Order in a World run by Hate.
You must convince yourself that you are the Hero of not only your story, but of everyone’s. That is the tragedy of the Villain. They’re incapable of the basic positive traits we instil upon our children; be kind, share, treat other like how you would wanted to be treated.
And while it’s true all it takes for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, it’s important to acknowledge that evil no longer resides in a man- but a corporation. Evil is a great caged beast you seek to tame- and it may let you ride upon it’s back, but only momentarily. For the beast is forever violent and forever hungry- and you are not.