The 20th century saw people turning away from old-style religious mythologies towards more technological mythologies. Marxism, the ubermensch, etc. were all simply updated versions of older and more primitive modes of thought. Stalin, the ex-seminarian, understood this perfectly. He rewrote Marxism so that Das Kapital became the new Bible, Lenin the new Jesus, and himself the new Saint Paul. He replaced icons of saints with pictures of Heroes of the Soviet Union and confirmation nicknacks were replaced by red Pioneer scarfs. In the end, our ape-brains look for simple stories and so all tyrants manufacture such simple tales to gull the uncritical masses.

Today we’re seeing the same thing happening again: a mindless tsunami of populism has swept the globe and we have infantile morons like Trump, Duterte, Johnson, Orban, Modi, Putin, Xi, Erdogan, et al using the same old rhetoric of us-versus-them, fear mongering, and scapegoating. It’s not difficult to see where all this will lead, in a much shorter time than most people appear to realize.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.