Screwtape Embraces The Internet
My Dear Wormwood,
Your suggestion that I "sign up" for something called "Twitter" is noted, and rejected. I gather from your rapturous description of the thing that "tweeting" is one of the ephemera through which the humans chatter with one another using their internet. Having been promoted from the front lines to a policy-making position some centuries ago, I no longer have interest in corresponding with the vermin through physical means. On the occasions when I do desire the society of humans there is no shortage of them here in Hell, where one can communicate with them in terms rather more frank than is possible on Earth.
In your enthusiasm for the nuts and bolts of the humans' technology, you seem to miss the opportunities it offers. For example, you boast that your patient, in discussing the most recent controversy occupying the humans' fleeting attention, rebuked another of the beasts in terms profane and sacrilegious, as though this was some great sin. While it is always pleasing to Our Father Below when the man utters a sacrilege, we long ago degraded their speech, particularly in America, to a level barely more articulate than the hoots and grunts of the apes from which they claim to descend.
The great sin, which your patient failed as thoroughly as you to appreciate, was that he entered the discussion in the first place. Think of it, Wormwood, at the moment your patient "clicked the upvote button" in the expectation that his demand would grant the girl a long life, he arrogated to himself that power which belongs solely to the Enemy. In his pride, the fool presumes that he is as qualified to decide the best use of the lung as a transplant surgeon, when in fact he has no medical training and his sense of ethics is limited to parroting platitudes he was taught by older parrots in his half-forgotten school days.
This misplaced pride is particularly common among the American humans. Make no mistake: The idea on which their republic was founded, that all men are born equal in the Enemy's sight, is a noxious and pestilential notion which, if the humans properly understood and followed it, would be the ruin of many of our plans. We want every man to think of himself as better or worse than his brother. If a man thinks himself his brother's superior (whether he actually is or not is of little concern to us), we can foster the pleasing sins of pride, wrath, tyranny, and at the best of times the mass murders and genocides which brought so many to Our Father's House in the last century. If he knows himself to be his brother's inferior, we may reap a crop of envy, resentment, false humility, deceit, despair, and suicide.
But as to equality, under the guidance of the Low Command we have largely nullified the meaning of the word, as the Enemy understands it. Rather than the (self-evident) truth that before the Enemy all men are fallen, and so low in His sight as to deserve none of the gifts He has given them through grace alone, in modern parlance equality is understood to mean that each man is actually the equal of his fellow. Thus the fool thinks it virtuous to blather in the company of the wise man, and the ignorant feel it an injustice when rebuked by their betters for empty-headed prattle. This trend has only accelerated since humans created the internet.
And so we come to the events of yesterday, when a herd of cattle, your patient among them, lowed so loudly at being shown a picture of a young girl denied an organ transplant that it now appears the girl will receive the cast-off lung, whether or not she was of suitable age to receive the organ, and in disregard of longstanding rules on which others of the vermin based their expectations. You can be sure that not a one of the brutes considered that in "giving" life to the object of his fancy, he was just as surely taking it from another. In the Roman colosseum, the plebs knew full well that their roars condemned Christians to death. In the modern arena, the plebs dupe themselves that their roaring is righteous.
Thanks to seeds planted long ago by the Lowerarchy, we can expect more such harvests in the future. As the number of the humans increases, their competition for finite resources will grow keener. We have taught mankind to believe that such resources should be allocated arbitrarily, to she who is most popular or to he who cries most loudly of his need, rather than according to rules, laws, or anything approaching such rationality as their little minds can muster. The so-called leaders of their societies, whom we have well in hand, will be only too happy to appease the mob.
Finally, I concur with your facile observation that it benefits our cause for the girl get her lung (the death of a child, while pleasing to the senses, does us no good since we probably cannot get her soul), but the disposition of a piece of dead tissue is of no importance in the long run. What matters is we are fast approaching the day when, by showing the humans a picture of a wounded puppy or a homeless kitten, we can provoke in them such squalls of outrage that they will abandon their laws, their morals, and their reason.
Your affectionate uncle,
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