Hello, Rick. I am presently plotting a book exploring the roots of evil, a little like your Empty Throne thumbnail. My theory is that it arises first out of trusting and being betrayed. I suppose there are other possibilities but that's the one my book will explore. I was wondering if you'd care to tell me about your theodicy?
Hi Peter. Trust and betrayal is a viable trigger for a person turning bad. From a pure-evil perspective, it has a weakness in that because it has a singular cuase, counteracting treatment from a single individual may reverse the effect.
I'm going for a wider play based on a character's needs, and an entire society's actions to make demands of him that fly in the face of those needs, demanding that he give/do for others, but never receives any of the care and attention he needs to develop positively as an individual. The wider spread of pressure means that there is no release valve to turn him back to good.
Thanks very much for engaging with me Rick. This is my first sally into the forum and from reading a few threads I can see you are often ready to share you insights with people so when I saw what you are writing about had a common theme with my next project I decided it was time to come off the sidelines.
I recognise the character type you are talking about, Rick. Actually I know someone very much like that. The person I have in mind entered the public care system at around 9 yrs, the prison system around 14 years, is an (ex?) user, is presently in a psych ward and his future is apparently inky black. He's very smart but uses his intelligence to study war and is a Hitler fan, a Holocaust Diminisher verging on a kind of Denier, a neo-fascist.
I'm aware that not all people who have passed through the care system and have had many problems in adult life are forever lost and I think, yes, that one good relationship can play a very big part in turning the sharpest corners in life but my friend the neo-Nazi has recently been reunited with a really committed person who still loves him, his sister. She persuaded him to submit himself to the psych ward voluntarily and maybe there is hope beyond the present for him, but not necessarily. Only if there's a buried spark in him will he be able to go through all he has to if his life is to change course. If he denies hope because it's too hard to hang on to I will understand why and his sis will too I am pretty sure, but he will then be a truly dangerous enemy of the society that has spent 28 years turning him into what he is becoming.
Do you know Notes of a Native Son? It's the only book I can think of at the moment that ends in unredeemed darkness because it's critique is really of American society's systemic racism. Is that the kind of trajectory you are going on? I would think that's pretty depressing and difficult. In fact I would think it might actually be down right dangerous unless there is a really powerful social justice issue driving it all.