GILROY, GUNS, AND SATAN’S LESSON THAT MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT
On Sunday, a 19-year-old, far-right radical brought a rifle to the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, and killed three people.
Gilroy is less than 20 miles from San Jose, where many of our Bay Area Satanists live. It’s less than 50 miles from Pescadero, where several of us (myself included) were on our Satanic summer field trip that day.
Some of Tabitha’s friends were at the festival that day too, and one of our other members had to go to the crime scene after as part of her 9-5 job.
And one more thing especially disquieting thing about this attack: SF Gate reports that just beforehand, the killer—now also dead—made comments on social media about the anonymous 19th century political tract/toilet paper “Might Is Right,” by pseudonymous asshole Ragnar Redbeard.
And that brings us to the brand new, unopened can of worms that I’d much prefer to leave on the shelf forevermore.
“Might Is Right” first defiled printing presses in 1890. Rational Wiki writers refer to it as a “lengthy rant endorsing uncompromising social Darwinism.” Which is an almost pretty way of saying that it’s just another white supremacist ejaculation.
“If the all-conquering race to which we belong is not to dwindle into nothingness it is essential that the Semitic spider webs be torn out by the very root, even though the process be bloody,” Redbeard whined, complaining that religion and social science had made people weak and also *something something JEWS! froth froth froth.*
It’s all so typical as to be tiresome. Nobody agrees about Redbeard’s identity; some plucky yutzes even imagine he might have been Jack London. Others insist that the whole thing is actually a satire of nationalist fuckwits. Personally, I can cite firm consensus between myselves as not giving a shart.
The reason this mummified ode to imaginary entitlement is distastefully relevant to Satanists is that old Anton LaVey swiped huge tracts of the tract word-for-word as part of his circa 1969 Satanic Bible. Indeed, for Sixties Satanists, Redbeard’s ravings remain canonical gospel, at least in this orphaned form.
Old Anton did not, of course, bother to tell anyone where he’d grifted the lines from. A lot of critics have imagined this was because he intended to take credit for them himself—which he did via omission if nothing else.
But personally I imagine he might have just preferred people not know or question what he’d been reading in his off hours.
Of course, the light-fingered lecturer was careful not to include any of Redbeard’s expressly racist and anti-Jewish commentary, only sampling from his anti-Christian and anti-democratic expulsions.
I would call even this a cheat, though, since “Might Is Right’s” biggest qualm with Jesus and his scriptures is the messiah’s Jewish identity, simpering that “The Model Man of our forefathers was Odin, a War Lord, but our Ideal Man is a weeping, horsewhipped Jew. A Jew for a god!”
Odin was just eaten by a wolf eventually anyway, so go ahead and follow that example if you like I guess.
By the time I finish this sentence some conspiracy asshole is no doubt circulating an unreadable meme alleging that the Gilroy shooter was a Satanist and therefore also an MK Ultra mindpuppet sent by Hillary Clinton to wreck the garlic market because Thiamin protects us from chemtrails. (Or whatever the fuck.)
To my knowledge it appears that, like virtually every other domestic terrorist, he was really motivated by right-wing politics. Be that as it may, this is as good of a time as any to make a point that’s been on my mind for a while.
In short, might is not right. If anything, history has a magnifying effect on how often the mighty are wrong.
“Might is right” is a particularly mystifying—not to mention asinine—slogan for a Satanist, because a critical part of the Satan myth is that Satan is not particularly mighty, at least in the traditional sense.
When Satan wages war, he loses, and that loss defines his story. Even if we wanted to rewrite this myth for the sake of turning Satan into a traditional, toxic military hero who conquers, it would effectively erase his entire identity.
And who would want to do that anyway? As we’ve pointed out in the past, the fact that Satan loses is the single best thing going for him. Nobody should want to follow the example of a “mighty” Satan; there are boring Abrahamic gods enough who fill that warmongering role.
Satan’s fallibility is what makes him human, and therefore worthwhile. It’s also what gives us faith that he was right, as we don’t need to look much further than our own contemporary times for examples of how swiftly and surely those most justified are robbed of their successes.
The 19th century French satirist Anatole France knew this. In his 1914 Revolt of the Angels, Satan concludes “god, conquered, will become Satan; Satan, conquering, will become god. May the fates spare me this terrible lot.”
France’s devil endorses victory through compassion and personal enlightenment rather than war, counseling that “we have destroyed our tyrant if in ourselves we have destroyed ignorance and fear.”
The ignorant and the fearful can be “mighty” if they just pick up a gun, as happened in Gilroy. But the fact that anyone can do it proves that it’s not enough alone to make anyone right.