This file is an excerpt from The Book of Darkness, an official work of the Ordo Templi Satanis, P.O. Box 1093, Atwater, CA 95301. It is copyright 1991. All persons are hereby given permission to make copies and/or distribute this excerpt, so long as in so doing the contents of this work is not altered in any way, including this paragraph.
Any philosophy must, as a matter of course, at least imply a code of moral ethics for its followers to espouse. Satanism, as a philosophy and as a religion, can do no differently. However, the nature of that moral code will seem entirely alien to those who have been raised on the ages-old idea of a “good versus evil” world view. All of the major world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism) are rooted in moral absolutism. That is, there is a definite and objective set of behaviors which are “right” and which are “wrong” for an individual to practice. The differences between these religions come to the fore when the exact nature of those behaviors is defined, as well as the latitude afforded the individual in regards to a choice between them.
For example, Christianity is very specific in its list of moral behaviours which it considers right and wrong (exemplified in the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament strictures), and is equally specific regarding the consequences of failing to observe “right” behaviour (cast into the lake of eternal fire, etc.). Buddhism, on the other hand, still recognizes a set of behaviours which are right and wrong, but says that the individual is given full freedom of choice… but is expected to choose the correct behaviours. There is no punishment in Buddhism for choosing wrong behaviours, other than being once again incarnated on the Earth. It is significant to realize that all of the rewards and punishments offered by religion are mythic. Their existences are, by their very nature, impossible to prove. However, they are designed to play upon the gullibilities and fears of the Masses, and in this way something which may not actually exist at all has a definite impact upon the real and observable world (by means of modifying the behaviours of the people of the world).
Satanism, too, offers a list of do’s and don’t's, codified in several places, including The Satanic Bible. However, Satanism does not presume to cajole its adherents with either vague promises of eternal reward for good behaviour or veiled threats of eternal punishment for bad behavior. Rather, the Satanist is encouraged to look upon every action in a unique light, and weigh the consequences of the various possible decisions. In this sense, Satanism offers a very relative (rather than absolute) moral code. To the Satanist, morality means doing what is best for yourself.
Note that this is not the wholly self-centred, selfish, and myopic world view that some would like to portray. By following this code, Satanists are not encouraged to go out and steal, lie,cheat, and murder merely for the slightest material or emotional gain. Rather, the Satanist is encouraged to look at the consequences of his actions in a cold and rational light. He must take into account not only the short-term gains which are possible from a given action, but also the long-term ramifications which follow any decision. The Satanist must be wholly logical in determining his actions; there can be no other factors to be taken into account in making the determination.
This attitude stems from the Satanists’ reverence of intellectual freedom. By following the path of the intellect, rather than blindly obeying the Will of another (or even succumbing to his own emotional dictates), the Satanist forges for himself a path of true morality; doing what is best for himself. No creature can be expected to do anything less than that.
This runs contrary to the current conventional wisdom that self-sacrifice is, in some way, noble in and of itself. True, there are instances where self-sacrifice (either material or psychic) is the most reasonable course to take. But under no circumstances would the Satanist (or any other rational being, for that matter) undertake a self-sacrifice unless the benefits to be gained eventually outweighed the cost of the self-sacrifice. In such instances, the sacrifice can be considered more to be an investment.
This egalitarian attitude, which states that self-sacrifice is a worthwhile action for its own sake, has been incorporated into Western society at every level over the last few decades. When this nation was founded, it was founded on the idea that every individual was responsible for himself; this rugged individualism and self-reliance was the cornerstone upon which our nation was built. Now, however, the idea has been introduced that somehow each person is owed a living– food, shelter, and even luxuries–merely because that person is a citizen. This has been expressed socially in the prevalence of begging in major metropolitan areas. It has been expressed politically in the entire welfare and taxation system which has been in place since before World War Two.
Prior to the introduction of the New Deal and, later, the Great Society, charity was the province of the private sector. If an individual wanted to give money to a particular charity (be it a soup kitchen, an individual beggar, or whatever), then that individual could make a conscious, informed decision to do so. Whole organizations were set up to facilitate the transfer of funds derived from these self-sacrificial urges, such as the Salvation Army, and various religious groups.
Today, this idea has been corrupted. Rather than making charity an object of a personal decision, the State has taken it upon itself to oversee the collection and disbursement of money from those who have it to those who do not. Hardly any notice is taken of the individual worth of the people receiving such funds, and certainly far less notice is taken of the desires of the people from whom the money is being taken! In essence, the profits and produce of that section of society which actually contributes to the nation are being stripped from them without so much as a consultation. The beneficiaries of these funds are often those segments of society which are unable or (even worse) unwilling to contribute to the nation’s prosperity. They exist merely for their own sake, and their only function in the web of society seems to be to act as a weight on the more productive segments, dragging them down to the same level. In this way, the egalitarians see the fulfilment of their wildest fantasies; a world in which everyone is entirely equal on every plane; economic, social, intellectual, etc. It does not matter to these would-be do-gooders that the method they have chosen for this work does not raise the humble to the level of the lofty, but rather drags everyone down to the same, lowest common denominator.
It does not take a genius to see where this trend would eventually lead. Without the impetus of the doers of society, society as a whole must inevitably falter and wallow in a morass of mediocrity, struggling merely to maintain a level of productivity and a standard of living that was made possible only by the herculean efforts of a small segment of society to prop up the vast majority. And why would the egalitarians stop at economic and social equality? Heartened by a complete victory in that area, they could very easily continue the process into the very bodies and minds of the individuals. How could a population be truly equal, they could argue, when some individuals are smarter? Or stronger? Or faster? The imagination shudders at the Orwellian possibilities to which this road of “human equality” could lead.
What, then, would be the answer to this frightening conspiracy of mediocrity? Before it is too late, the rising tide of egalitarianism must be halted. Once more, humanity must realize a simple truth and come to terms with it; some individuals are simply better than others. In days gone by, this was taken as a given by everyone– the very idea of an aristocracy is an expression of the realization that all men are not, after all, created equal. It can be said that the American revolution (and the subsequent realignment of ideological and political power throughout the world) was a reaction to the failure of the European system of aristocracy, which had, by that time, failed to encapsulate the best and brightest of the times, but rather acted as a breaking factor on progress, entrenched and more interested in maintaining its position of power through hereditary lines than in representing the leaders of the age. The mantle of the true aristocrats had passed from the hereditary Lords of Europe to a new breed of intellectuals and innovators. The American Revolution, therefore, was not a revolt against the idea of aristocracy, but rather a revolt against the ossified institution that the old aristocracy had become. It did away with the system of European Lords to make room for a new system of American Lords, whose superiority would be witnessed not by the extent of their land holdings, but on the extent of their philosophical and mental acuity.
It is entirely in line with the Satanic idea of the questioning of old models of authority. There inevitably comes a time when institutions come to represent the very opposite of their original intention. Any organization will, given he fullness of time, come to think of itself as an end product, rather than as a mere means by which ends are achieved. When the European aristocracy became a mere vehicle for its own self-perpetuation, it lost the mandate of leadership which it held. Now, we find ourselves in a similar situation. The original ideals of the Founding Fathers have become perverted. America was originally a land wherein the individual could find his own fullest fulfillment as a person. His success or failure would rest squarely on his own shoulders. Today, however, this idea has been totally stricken from the American world-view. Today, it is the innovators, the productive, who must bear the burden for the sustenance of the unproductive, the followers.
The reason for this inversion of what, for thousands of years, was the natural order of the world is simple– the rise of egalitarianism through its chief vehicle; Christianity. When the leaders, the innovators, became entrapped by the Christian creed of egalitarianism, the failure of the American experiment to provide fulfilment of the individual was inevitable. Christianity is a fine tool for controlling the masses; it curbs their rebellious impulses and allows them to continue in the delusion that they are somehow on the same level as the natural leadership of society– this keeps their resentment and jealousy to manageable levels. However, it is hardly a philosophy for those whose task is to lead the masses; the natural aristocracy cannot be taken in by such an inversion of the natural order.