If you haven’t read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, you really should. It tells the tale of a kingdom facing ruin from a devastating plague, holding its valued citizens in relative safety within the walls of its castle. There, they eventually hold a great costume party where all are hidden behind masks. The masquerade ends with the unveiling of one of its participants: the red death itself. A modern reimagining of this classic could be framed in terms of identity politics, where each member of some “sacred” group is forced to wear a mask to appear pure to the larger mass. The coming end will be revealed once the mask falls and everyone realizes that no one actually cares about each member of the political alliance; that it was effectively a charade of deception. Forced purity and the coming ruin is the focus of this post.
Same story, different day. Every time there is an act of mass murder, the same debate always pops up. Namely, neurotypicals – used here as meaning not mentally ill – want to know how they can protect themselves from the dreaded neuroatypicals. People with mental illness are categorically seen as guaranteed time bombs waiting to go off. Are there some mentally individuals that will lash out because of disordered cognitions? Yes. Are there many more that just wish to live their lives free of the pressures of a neurotypical elite and majority? Also yes. Bad things happen to good people every day. A free society will never be able to protect themselves fully, but they can ensure that the playing field is level.
What dystopian universe exists in which human beings can merely allege wrongdoing and have another’s life ruined without any form of due process? This one. An uncivilized people waste no time in circling the waters once the prospect of blood has been raised. The elite, who believe themselves elevated because of their intelligence and power, partake in this sadistic game, wasting no time in throwing others under the bus for the promise of even the most minuscule gains. The commoner gains disproportionate power in their endeavor to bring down those unlike them through simple allegation. Finally, the actual process of law and justice is never conducted as popular opinion goes looking for victims, regardless of truth. If this doesn’t sound frightening, you must be aloof to the shifting reality of the world around us. Innocence is presumed false and guilt known to be true.
Liberal elites would like us to believe that no person is born to hate, but that bigotry is rather a learned behavior. I disagree. At some point in human history, man became woken to the fact that there were others unlike him. In our first days, we learn to associate family with non-family. Adopted children learn that their features surely did not come from their “parents.” Those without become envious of those with. So on and so forth. The second a difference is recognized between human beings, they begin to calculate the silent war that will one day grow hot. Man is not born to love; man is born to hate.
We live in a world of implicit censorship. Wrongthink is ridiculed at best and persecuted at worst. Movements like #MeToo seek to criminalize and ostracize many, when in some cases, no wrong has been done. Demographics are silenced because they are not in the in-groups of the power-elite. Nowhere is this more evident than with matters of psychology. Neurotypicals (both in the “non-antisocial” and “normal” sense) are afraid of the neurodivergent, and thus seek to silence what they fear, so that the horrors they face become without voice. By removing the fangs of the perceived enemy, there is nothing left but the will of those in power. This should be considered unacceptable, but often it is only the marginalized that truly understand the power play involved.