Standing midst the flames like wolves’ tongues surrounded by shattered lives, the sun sets in the East this time, a dark orange pallor casting its sickly shadow over dreams once offered. “It’s a republic if you can keep it…”
It is early autumn and helicopters are circling the UC Berkeley campus as I write this. I can see them from my window. The tut-tut-tut of their propellers punctuate my thoughts. A few days ago, I rode my bike up to the university to use the library, and had to navigate through a swarm of media and security workers. An Alt Right speech was scheduled on campus that evening, but it was still several hours away. There were no protestors yet, but cable news teams were already milling all over the place, setting up their equipment, preparing their spins.
Moral panic is a sociological phenomena in which individuals or groups are persecuted within a larger social group. These panics are precipitated by the presence of several key ingredients: social order, fear of that social order being threatened, and the existence of taboos—unnameable things which members of the group cannot address without experiencing fear.