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Here's a thing: stop describing fascism as Lawful Evil. It's not.

Fascism creates a society in which laws are used as a tool of oppression and control but don't apply to the oppressors, who are by the system's fundamental design outside their reach.

That's Neutral Evil. #DnD
A much more useful example of a Lawful Evil society would be (some periods of) the USSR, under which senior party officials were subjected to the exact same crushing, bureaucratic malevolence if they stepped out of line as random citizens were. #DnD
Neutral Evil looks upon laws and codes as useful tools that can be used to pursue some other purpose, like wealth, power or racial purity. If laws ever get in the way of that goal, they can be discarded just like any other broken tool. #DnD
Lawful Evil can be described as genuinely believing that laws have inherent value and meaning (and the Evil part of Lawful Evil inspires the belief that extremely draconian, oppressive laws are NECESSARY to keep society functioning, since Lawful Evil fears freedom) #DnD
Neutral Evil characters will happily take bribes if they think they can get away with it.

Lawful Evil characters won't take bribes if bribing someone in their position is illegal. In fact, they'd report them to the authorities, even if it was a close friend or acquaintance. #DnD
Neutral Evil characters would gladly narc on his neighbour for having a single hemp plant while their son is doing rails of coke.

Lawful Evil characters would turn their own son in for smoking a joint, knowing he'll be put in prison under brutal conditions for 15 years. #DnD
Lawful Evil is the belief that people are violent, selfish and fundamentally degenerate, so they need to be strictly controlled for their own good.

Neutral Evil will ACT like they believe that when it benefits them, but they don't. THEY don't need or want to be controlled. #DnD
If Lawful Evil believes in something and Neutral Evil doesn't believe in anything, what's Chaotic Evil?

Chaotic Evil believes in nothing.

"But Vex, isn't that the same as not believing in anything?"

No. Chaotic Evil doesn't NOT believe anything, it BELIEVES IN NOTHING. #DnD
It is an active belief, of a sort. It's not merely not having an ideal, it is actively having the ideal of not having ideals. It's a rejection of the idea of... ideas.

"Nothing means anything. No ideology holds any value because value doesn't exist. Heck everything." #DnD
There's not really a good real world example of a Chaotic Evil society because that concept is, to some extent, an oxymoron. You can't really have a society of people who don't believe in society, that believe no action, concept or object has purpose or value. #DnD
In Order of the Stick's strip "Lesson Planar," it explains that the Outer Planes are thoughts that were so powerful they became places. I love most of these, but I think they got Hades (Pure Neutral Evil) and the Abyss (Pure Chaotic Evil) the wrong way round. #DnD
The way you get ahead as a Lawful Evil character is by being better at understanding your complex draconian laws than other people. You wrap yourself in codes and strictures too byzantine and complicated for anyone but you to understand. But anyone can do the same to you. #DnD
Neutral Evil characters are happy with the first part, but don't like the idea of that last part. They need SOME structure, of course, otherwise who would they judge themselves in relation to? But never a structure that doesn't explicitly and niigh-exclusively benefit them. #DnD
Chaotic Evil characters don't really... care about judging themselves in relation to something, because nothing means anything anyway. Since all methods of judgement are arbitrary, all judgements are inherently meaningless. Who cares if that guy's rich? Money is an illusion. #DnD
It is difficult to make a Chaotic Evil character that is:

a. genuinely interesting
b. genuinely Chaotic Evil

Like, they've done it maybe once in cinematic history, and yeah, it's precisely the one you're thinking of #DnD
It's really easy to make an uninteresting Chaotic Evil character. That's just the guy who cackles madly while stuff burns to the ground. That's Chaotic Evil, sure, but it's not really a compelling or engaging character arc.

Ironically it's also this guy. #DnD
It's also tragically easy to make an interesting character who's... NOT REALLY Chaotic Evil, and I'd say that even with Heath Ledger's Joker, they managed to edge dangerously close to - and stay with me here - a truly bizarre form of Lawful Evil. #DnD
Heath Ledger's Joker... does actually believe in a few things? He's sort of appealing to a hidden structure, as pitiless, amoral and anarchic as it is, that he genuinely believes the world works by.

He has ideas about how the world works and how people "should" act. #DnD
Now, his complete rejection of anything genuine, positive or meaningful does manage to save him from the "philosophically complex Nihilist bad guy who actually just turns out to be Lawful or Neutral Evil" but he's notable by his rarity. Heath Ledger Jokers are HARD TO DO. #DnD
The saving grace of Heath Ledger's Joker, the one that does truly make him Chaotic Evil, is that he genuinely doesn't understand why his plan fails. He truly can't understand why one boat wouldn't blow the other up. It just doesn't make sense to him at all. #DnD
A Neutral Evil character can abstractly understand altruism and self-sacrifice; they just think it's some bizarre ploy people do to look good. Giving to charity? Publicity stunt. Throwing yourself on a grenade to save your children? Ensuring your genetic lineage continues. #DnD
Chaotic Evil characters GENUINELY CANNOT FATHOM how any abstract ideal could hold so much meaning and value to a person that they'd disadvantage themselves in order to live up to it. That's such an alien thought to them that it's literally unthinkable. #DnD
Meanwhile a Lawful Evil character is laughing at both of them. "Of course altruism and self-sacrifice exist, you dummies! Societies work together to create stability! That's why everyone altruistically sacrifices 90% of their earnings to me, because that's the law." #DnD
Neutral Evil characters can act like they care about law and structure, but Chaotic Evil characters can't. They instinctively rebel against even pretending. The only act they believe is truly genuine is maintaining a constant state of absolute rejection. #DnD
The other truly accurate depiction of Chaotic Evil is the Cult of Rakdos from #MTG.

"All the other guilds are idiots! Your beliefs are a lie! I'm going to set us both on fire, and laugh while you scream, because your pain isn't real to me, and neither is mine!" #DnD
"Heck all your restrictions on art! EVERYTHING I do is art and YOU👏🏽CAN'T👏🏽TELL👏🏽ME👏🏽IT'S👏🏽NOT! I show the world what I see through my eyes better than you ever could! I'm not afraid to make you bleed for my performance 'cause I'm just as happy to bleed for it myself!" #MTG #DnD
"Are you not entertained?!



Now THAT'S some Grade A+ Chaotic Evil. #MTG #DND
So I'm glad they divorced the Paladin class from the alignment and deity system, such that you can now have Lawful Evil or Chaotic Good Paladins. That adds a lot to the game.

But I still fundamentally don't believe you can have a Chaotic Evil Paladin. #DnD
The Paladin is about swearing an oath that you believe in so strongly it literally gives you magical powers.

The very idea of that is so antithetical to Chaotic Evil that I don't believe it could happen. They don't believe in oaths. Heck, they don't believe in BELIEFS. #DnD
Think about it: the only meaningful oath a Chaotic Evil character could swear is about rejection. "I will never let myself act like anything is meaningful."

But you're automatically breaking that oath merely by swearing it, since you then have to act like it's meaningful. #DnD
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