"I have suggested several possible reasons for the socialist use of Satan. To summarize:

1) Revolutionaries’ partly ironic appropriation of Satan ridiculed the conservative view of the radical and subversive as de facto demonic."

[Thread 1/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"2) Satanist counter-readings of the Bible — where the Devil becomes a noble rebel and, in Genesis 3 a chronicle of humankind’s liberation from slavery to God — served to
undermine the authority of Christianity."

[Thread 2/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"4) Satan is a colorful figure that helps make the exposition of abstract political ideas easier to grasp and digest."

[Thread 3/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"5) Satanism provoked the bourgeoisie and the Church, and probably instilled fear in some opponents (even those who did not believe in God would have been likely to find the figure of Satan discomforting)."

[Thread 4/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"6) Satanic shock tactics could work as a way to startle the reader into paying attention.

7) The Church had used Satan as a symbol of things they deemed sinful, and thus he became a logical choice of patron for those who would celebrate these things as innocent pleasures."

"8) Socialists grew up in a Christian culture and may have used religious symbols like Satan out of habit or because of a longing for the power of religious myth, which was lacking in atheist socialism."

[Thread 6/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"9) The language of Christian myth was familiar to the socialist audience and therefore rhetorically convenient to use."

[Thread 7/9]
@PerFaxneld "The Devil is Red"
"..the above are fairly plausible explanations, but not all will apply to each individual socialist writer & current. Hence, though some general suggestions can indeed be made, it is difficult to distill an all-encompassing explanation for why Satan became such a popular symbol."
Excerpt from "The Devil is Red: Socialist Satanism in the Nineteenth Century"

By @PerFaxneld

Department of the History of Religions,
Stockholm University - Stockholm, Sweden

[End Thread 9/9]

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