Hate is an easy emotion to create. All you have to do is demonise a specific group, for example, another race, another religion, another skin colour… So easy, so easy. Then add a media that has little independence, is 24 hours a day, and is owned by those who gain from this demonisation and what do you have??? A movement. A movement that says it will help ‘Joe’ and ‘Jo-Ann’ deal with the issues that face them on a day to day basis. Issues such as zero hour contracts; job insecurity; low pay; a perceived inequity in treatment; an economic and political elite that appears to ignore those outside their circle. The movement is based on resentment, in many cases justified, and anger. Not a good recipe for rational political discourse I would suggest.
Invariably these movements are led by a demagogue. These leaders play to the uncertainties and fears of many and say they have all the answers, be that preventing a certain faith-based belief system from entering the country or using force rather than diplomacy to deal with an argument with another country. (That such a strategy has been used in the past and failed is ignored.) You have a great mix for chaos. It’s also a great mix for an author.
As an independent author I can look around the world, (thank you, Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, et al), and say to myself, ‘Well, think about that in the next book.‘ The problem is that if I write it as it actually happened, many would say, ‘That’s so far-fetched.’ For example, a blustering demagogue stating that he will build a wall to keep out a race and have that race’s government pay for it. Really? And yet it is believed.
The Sylvern in my books are fighting the Shadow who play to such fears, real and imagined. Their human allies, whom the Shadow refer to dismissively as ‘Blands’, use all the ‘tools’ of the trade, controlled media, acceptance of so-called truths that bear no close inspection and so on. So great to write about but not so great when you see where it can lead in real life. History has many examples. Unfortunately…
So, as an observer of the human psyche, I find it fascinating that hate is so easy to create. The problem is, what does that leader do about the disappointment that arises when their followers see them with the feet of clay they surely have? That’s when the leaders realise they have unleashed a tiger and are unable to let go the tail.
And that’s how an author can really go to town on a plot.
‘Never leave anyone behind…’