Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire days sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. ‘The devil made me do it.’ I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them.
Neil Gaiman, Season of Mists (The Sandman #4)
I saw the following tweet a few weeks ago which had been generated by an account run by a bot:
10 Reasons Lucifer Is My Anti-Fascist Role Model
— Bot Takes (@bottest_takes) 26 de diciembre de 2018
I knew I had the topic of my next blog post. Let’s face it: we’ve had enough of the figure of Lucifer (and that of Satan, as well) being used as a synonym of evil. There is such a one-sided portrayal of Lucifer as a monster – which I guess he can be, if the circumstances require it -, as this dark and creepy figure that always stands for danger, fear, and damnation. Such a one-dimensional, trivial, and over-simplifying way to portray an entity that has had so much impact on the world. In comparison, the figure of the christian ‘God’ never receives the same treatment, which is preposterous given that there are so many instances mentioned in the Bible in which he is so not the benevolent, kind, and good-tempered figure that Hollywood and christians have been selling to society for centuries. But I’m drifting…Let’s focus on our subject, Lucifer, who is far more influential, honest, and truly relevant that that guy.
Lucifer is a latin name which the romans applied to the planet Venus, and it means ‘the light bringer’, i.e. the morning star. It is thought that the assignment of this name to the christian ‘devil’ was the product of a semantic confusion, but I believe that every mistake or misshap implies an underlying motivation. Why demonize the bringing of light? I guess when you’re building the foundations of a religion that completely relies on dogma and concealment, it makes perfect sense. For romans, Lucifer was a rather minor and somewhat obscure proto-deity figure, a herald of dawn. What early christian ideologists did was create a mash-up of this concept, incorporating misconstrued elements of both Judaism and middle-eastern beliefs, thus concocting a persona that embodied everything they considered ‘alien’ and contrary to the purposes of their own religion. They were so successful in their endeavours that the most accepted and popular notion of Lucifer – or Satan, if you will – is that of darkness and evil.
Ideas and concepts matter. It is crucial to trace back the origins of every notion we currently hold as ‘true’ or ‘generalised’ in order to tear down the ideological structures of old and make room for the new, the current, and the true.
Lucifer became a cautionary tale for what could happen if anyone dared question ‘God’ or disobey his rules. If anyone thought themselves better than anyone else, or better than ‘God’, they made themselves candidates for exile and damnation. Their souls would lose their beauty and be sent to a place of darkness and suffering. And oh, the tortures and punishments they would have to endure while still on Earth! Enter the ‘holy’ Inquisition and its assorted catalog of torments…The mere thought of it makes the blood boil and the skin crawl. No other religion or institution has ever accomplished a creation as deadly and depraved. As for the protestant vertients of christianism, they too had their part: let’s not forget their multiple witch hunts throughout Europe and the U.S. which are responsible of the murder of thousands of innocents, mostly (of course) women. All because they refused to follow arbitrary, patriarchal rules. All because they dared think for themselves.
Why then, do I view Lucifer as an anti-fascist icon? And what do organized religions, such as christianism or catholicism, have to do with fascism. Well…everything.
Fascism is so much more than an ‘exalted’ sense of nationalism. It extends to many areas, i.e. it’s not only represented or exercised in politics and government, but also in organized religion, in many subtle yet pervasive ways. Fascism didn’t ‘die’ with the end of WWII – it is very much alive. Unsurprisingly, Lucifer possesses every single quality opossed to fascism. Let’s review a list of some of fascism’s most evident characteristics, as well as the ways in which Lucifer stands clearly against them:
- Requires absolute allegiance or submission to one ruling figure, group, or notion. This can be a person (a dictator), a belief, or a group.
- Lucifer asks for no exclusivity. He is the ultimate figure of rebellion and questioning. He appeals to the intelligence and resources of those who believe in him. He is not a shepherd: he is the wolf who infiltrates the herd for his own interests. He never hides his intentions from those who see him as what he is.
- Strength lies in belonging to the group and acting according to the will of the group. Individuality is never allowed or tolerated.
- Lucifer belongs to no group. He encourages individuality and enforces free will. He values individual intelligence over physical strength. You don’t have to join any church to worship Lucifer. You don’t even have to worship him. His most beloved are those who are most different to the rest.
- Heavy use of propaganda praising itself, and attacking/alienating everything or everyone that represents the opposite of its beliefs.
- Lucifer doesn’t advertise himself. When he is represented by those who love him, it is out of sincere love and inspiration. Every piece of knowledge, art, or creative manifestation of Lucifer is never intended to persuade, convince, or sell the idea of Lucifer: beauty and truth are always at the core, however dark, however light, a celebration of difference, weirdness, uniqueness, performed by the outlaws and outcasts.
- Forbids beliefs, practices, objects, etc. that don’t fall within its guidelines.
- Lucifer has no rules and no guidelines. His relationship with those of us who love him doesn’t have to follow any specific rite, process, or accept any dogma. Truth is something that is built and transformed every second, through our own understanding. You can worship whatever, whoever, and however you wish.
- Enforces its prevalence through guilt, fear, and punishment.
- Lucifer never enforces: he guides. He presents you with knowledge and wisdom and lets you have final say. Pleasure is Lucifer’s path. The outcomes of every choice we make are our sole responsibility. We are the ones who shape our own fears and therefore we are the only ones who can vanquish them, and every punishment we feel we endure is a punishment we are inflicting upon ourselves. It is therefore possible to live a life without guilt, without fear, and without punishment, for we are the ones who decide to do so.
- Its main ‘leader’ is always male, and his right to power is never questioned for it’s seen as ‘divine’ or ‘natural’.
- While I have been using the masculine pronoun for the sake of clarity on this piece, Lucifer incorporates both feminine and masculine characteristics. He reflects humanity’s own nuances and (im)balances. There are no natural, undisputed ‘leaders’ when you walk with Lucifer: every one of us is the boss of their own existence.
- Supression of freedom.
- A life in the path of Lucifer is a life of enjoyment, satisfaction, pleasure, and complete liberty. We are free to determine our actions, our choices, and every other aspect of our lives. Lucifer IS freedom itself.
For all of the above, Lucifer (or Satan: I prefer to use the latter, as it’s even more formidable and mighty in its ability to induce discomfort in those who have maligned him for so long) is my ultimate anti-fascist icon. The true evil and the real darkness is the one bestowed upon the world by those who seek to gain power and control others for their personal profit. Lucifer celebrates our nature and shows us the possibilities we have, as individuals, to accomplish anything and everything we wish to achieve. There is no ‘god’ standing between us and what is rightfully ours: divinity.