Savage, Barbaric Rituals
Less than an hour from now, about 10 miles from my apartment, High Officials of the United States Government and their Vassals from the State of California, as advised by the High Priests of Law will put to death, in public view, one Stanley "Tookie" Williams.
What is this if not ritual sacrifice? It serves no practical purpose. It doesn't deter crime. It disproportionately kills black people. Innocent people wind up on Death Row all the time. I mean, have Americans stopped killing each other yet?
So why are we the only "civilized" nation that still executes it's citizens? Is it because we are an inherently barbaric and bloodthirsty people?
Or is it because politicians have figured out it's a great tool to get elected? Fears stoked by nightly news stories about Rampaging Negroes, don't worry: The "Tough on Crime" Politician will protect you. The Politician will satisfy your induced craving for vengeance.
The best propaganda, like the best marketing, appeals directly to humans' emotions and their most primitive instincts. What are Americans to do, when opposition politicians are too timid to oppose Capital Punishment? When death penalty activists are squelched and marginalized by Corporate Media opinion crafters?
Konservative Kool-Aid is an appeal to the emotions, not to the Logos. Do you feel afraid? Do you feel angry? How does knowing a "criminal" will be killed at a certain time make you feel? A little squemish, perhaps, it's pretty intense. But what a rush, eh? Don't you feel stronger now?
Ritual Sacrifice does serve a practical purpose, actually. It serves to reinforce support for the Ruling Elites from the Populace. Behold the awesome and terrible power of your rulers!
Ritual Sacrifice is surprisingly effective, even though it has no direct benefit to the Populace itself. It's a carefully crafted fantasy, justified by precedent and authority, just as carefully crafted.
Aztecs waged "flower wars" to capture prisoners for sacrifices they called nextlaualli, "debt payment to the gods" so that the sun could survive each cycle of 52 years. Every 52 years a special "new fire ceremony" occurred. All fires were extinguished, and in the middle of the night a sacrifice was made. They then waited for dawn. If the Sun appeared, it meant that the sacrifices for this cycle had been enough.
The sun will rise again tomorrow. I pledge allegiance to Tlatoque SchwartzenFucker.