Mob justice but at an unthinkable scale thanks to global platforms. The crowd here is a massive online userbase wreaking justice upon a target.
LIL INTERNET: I also wonder, what does it say when society is obsessed with expressing signals of morality? Are there times in history where this has happened before? The 1980s there's a witch hunt. Again, the witch trials, I guess, the most obvious or the Inquisition, probably two were in that state again, and that’s what’s scaring me.
Carly Busta: It usually happens when there’s some kind of social change. Richard Beck in his 2015 book We Believe the Children (about the moral panics in the US in the early 1980s)—in his analysis [the ’80s moral panic] had to do with women leaving the home and joining the workforce, and there being a structural family shift around who cares for the child. Remember those daycare centers in the early-80s? (I do because I was that age then), but they were not these official spaces. They weren't schools. Sometimes they were in churches, but they were like in people's family rooms, or they were in kind of strange spaces. Famously, you know, Julian, you talked about this for a second on the last podcast where you [explained how the social workers would] go to a child and say, like, “Did Mrs. Perry do something bad to you?” And the kids are like, “No.” and the [social worker] is like, “Didn't Mrs. Perry do something bad to you? I think she did.”
LI: [The kids] only know that they get positive reinforcement every time they say something bad did happen. [And then the social worker says], “that's very good.” Right?
CB: I wonder what the long tail impact was on the children who were instrumentalized
LI: I read about this, and apparently they actually feel very confused about that time now [looking back] as adults. Some of the people that were accused, for their own sanity, started thinking like, well, something happened there. But I didn't have anything to do with it. But something happened there. This is why this is all so scary. And then also, you know, in this Trump Nevada rally indoors, Trump called for the death penalty for anyone who murders a police officer. And he had to stop speaking for a good while because the crowd was screaming, roaring, cheering, like grunting like animals that horrifying sort of chant like, frat boy grunt… just like this blood lust, this vengeance like just spilling over en masse, right? I mean, I am personally against any capital punishment. [Executing] someone who's a murderer, I can see how you'd rationalize it, but just the mass outpouring [of rage], the longest cheer of the whole speech [at Trump] suggesting an execution right… something is going on in society right now. Where there's this obsession with morally signaling and this bloodlust, this vengeance.