Manson as the Microcosm of the Convenience of Evil

Duns Scotus

Well, Charles Manson, the well-known celebrity “psycho-killer” has finally passed away. Actually, he never actually killed anyone himself, always getting his followers to do the dirty work. In many ways he was a brilliant and talented man. He certainly had plenty of charisma, and could probably have taught us all a great deal about group dynamics and PUA. But dead he is.

He will partly be remembered as someone who showed the World that the “peace n’ love” Sixties had a distinctly dark side.

However, in the plans of Cultural Marxists, like Herbert Marcuse, who were on the lookout for a substitute proletariat, that Sixties counter-culture always was supposed to have a dark side, one that could unleash dark and dangerous forces to create the “revolutionary situation” that might yet lead to utopia.


Overused 60s image

One of the key projects of the Left was to make flowers bloom from guns – to symbolically disarm the West. But, obversely, they also intended to make violence bloom from the flowers of the hippy love generation.

Along with Manson, Jim Morrison of the Doors, best channelled this Marcusean concept of revolutionary violence from the sexual liberation of the 60s. When he was a student at Florida State University in the early 60s he told his fellow students:

“I can look at a crowd. I can just look at it. It’s all, uh, very scientific, and I can diagnose the crowd psychologically. Just four of us, properly positioned, can turn the crowd around. We can cure it. We can make love to it. We can make it riot.”

Manson, of course, will be associated with his chimerical concept of “helter skelter,” of using race war not for its own ends, but for other, supposedly “greater ends,” in order to create the perfect post-apocalyptic society.

Tate and Polanski

Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski

It was to achieve this that Sharon Tate and others were murdered in ways crudely designed to throw suspicion on the Black Panthers and thus create a cycle of escalation that was to break America apart; a mad visionary insight that also found its place in Soviet destabilisation techniques of the time, and which we even saw a faint echo of in last year’s Presidential election with Russia buying ads from Twitter and Facebook to stoke identitarian stirrings from both ends of the racial divide.

But Manson, along with Morrison, were themselves destroyed by the 60s. In this sense the Revolution ate its children. The riots that Morrison spoke of starting and the revolution he sang of in songs like “Five to One,” along with Manson’s attempts to “meme” a race war into existence by murder came to nothing.

Instead, Manson became oddly “branded” by the small swastika he repeatedly inscribed on his forehead. His own declared reasons for this were rather abstruse:

“The mark on my head simulates the dead head black stamp of rejection, anti-church, falling cross, devil sign, death, terror, fear,” he was quoted as saying in 1971.

Much of the reason was obviously its shock value, its sheer pre-internet troll power. But the end result of this was that he became a caricature of evil, especially as the Holocaust Cult began to gain strength in the 80s and 90s and compressed the symbolism of the Swastika to a singularity. The Marcusean methodology behind this psy-op performance art was forgotten.

Instead Manson’s tale became strangely entwined with that of Roman Polanski, the Jewish filmmaker whose pregnant wife his followers butchered, in a strange moral equation that evoked history of the Jews in the 20th century.

In this Polanski was the microcosm, the Jews the macrocosm. Polanki’s rape and sodomising of a 13-year-old girl was the microcosmic signifier of the invasion, conquest, and dispossession of the Palestinian people at a time when the world was moving away from colonisation, with both actions supposedly “excused” by terrible sufferings in the past.

The long-standing connection between the murder of Sharon Tate and the ideas that we should cut Polanski some slack for his actions was made evident in Marina Zenovich’s 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, where she links Polanski’s childhood in Poland, where he was orphaned by the Nazis, and the brutal murder of his wife Sharon Tate and their unborn child, to his sardonic style of film making as well as his sexual habits, including those that led to the rape charges that exiled him from America.

It was in this auxiliary role that Manson became fixed, a microcosmic Hitlerian avatar causing the evil that later partly “excused” the child rape and escape of Polanski, in the same way that the horrors of the Einsatzgruppen and the concentration camps made the brutalities used to set up Israel less onerous.

In short, as with most things in our culture, Manson has been turned into a crude caricature, and subsumed, like so much else, into the greater narratives that coat our history with an opaque veneer of Manichean oversimplification.

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