Naming the Demon: An Exercise In Political Exorcism

V. Caine

“A true name is a name of a thing or being that expresses, or is somehow identical with, its true nature. The notion that language, or some specific sacred language, refers to things by their true names has been central to philosophical study as well as various traditions of magic, religious invocation and mysticism (mantras) since antiquity.”

ignorance is not strengthThis theme has occurred throughout history in the form of myths, esoteric teachings, folklore, and even popular fiction. It is a belief which has defied history, and indeed, has survived much longer than even beliefs in demons. But whilst the demons have been exorcised and buried in the recesses of history as a belief no longer befitting of ‘modern man’, has the power of language also expired too? Perhaps so given the collapse of literary ability demonstrated once again by ‘modern man’, where best-selling books are those composed for children: Harry Potter, Twilight, Minecraft Guides and ultimately…colouring books for adults – books where not even a single word is written!

But I digress – enough of the folly of ‘modern man’, who remains illiterate at a time when knowledge surrounds him everywhere in the form of technology. He knows not the power of words, except in the form of brief political slogans – small mantras and evocative formulas conjured by the greatest magi of the modern world – marketing and advertising consultants. These arcane creatures are never seen outside of the media they inhabit, and their work is everywhere. The three-four word political mantras they construct program all into obeisance, after all, if everything is repeated enough, it becomes true does it not? The Word is the representation of the Will.

Is it not also telling that many politicians rely upon naught except a speech composed by the very same person who wrote the speech last year for their own political opponent? Behind every marionette, there is always a puppeteer.

However  it is incomprehensible to the average voter and this is why: Your rulers believe you are vacuous, dull, and tediously stupid. Every politician in your country believes you are a half-wit, a stupendously dumb cretin incapable of retaining a thought in your decrepit cranium longer than a goldfish. And yet each day, you pledge support to this wo/man your better, your superior, someone who does not even credit you with the capacity for normal conversation. Your leaders do not care about you, you are an expandable non-persona, fit only for indoctrination through programming, and nothing more than an ink mark on a ballot paper.

It is well known that all advertising and propaganda has to be dumbed down to the level of the dumbest person who is likely to be present. Henceforth all big words are removed, all agendas undefined, all policies removed, until only that three-four-word political slogan remains, repeated ad nausuem until the even the biggest imbecile and most incompetent voter has it forever emblazed in his failing memory.

“Axe the tax”. “Jobs and Growth”. “Make America Great”. “Change We Need”. “War is Peace”. “Freedom is Slavery”. “Ignorance is Strength”. Longer slogans such as “Continuity and Innovation” are failures because of the use of too many syllables.

All these are meaningless mantras designed for one purpose only: indoctrination. But they are effective because like a real mantra, they operate on the principle of repetition. The more it is repeated, the more it is remembered, the more it is remembered, the more it is believed until finally its result is achieved: an individual is elected, independently of his actual policies which remain unknown and independent of his capability to explain how his slogan will actually be achieved. This is the Achilles Heel of democracy; that it elects candidates who have a concealed agenda, or even worse, no agenda at all save malign narcissism.

Can this Demon ever be named, or is the horror it conceals simply too strong for modern men to endure? In older times, to name a force was to remove its power, and break its control over another.

But what if the Demon is the modern man himself – and that all his limitations were self-imposed? Would this horror of self-realization be even more unbearable than Nietzsche’s demon, the foul Spirit of Gravity? Dear reader, they are one and the same. Siamese Twins with a single body and one will always accompany the other.

Both are merely modern man himself; doomed to repeat the same moment for all eternity, and doomed to conduct every election in the same fashion, only to complain about ineffectual politicians in retrospect. Sadly, until voters learn to use critical thinking instead of swallowing up three-word slogans that subjugate them into obedience, there will be no great leaders, and there will be no solutions to problems which plague countries all around the world. There will only ever be the same idea in various forms and incarnations – a leader who believes you incapable of understanding a statement with more than four words aka a gullible idiot.

Get thee behind me Demonocracy! The power of Philosophy compels you!


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