Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Social Manias Die Quietly

My sense is they die very quietly, slowly and tacitly. That is, they die when people stop talking about them. They do not die because people in power reverse their positions in public. Regardless of what the particular mania was, you’ll never hear any apologies or recognition from the people who went nuts. They’ll never disavow their past beliefs or actions.

Lionel Shriver is on target.


Steve said...

I lived in Pennsylvania around 1990, and the hysteria there and then was satanic cults. You couldn't watch the news without it being mentioned. Most of it was B.S. (e.g., a pentacle found on a bridge abutment; kids always know how to push adult's buttons). But some of it involved quite fantastic allegations against day care and preschool workers (e.g., hidden dungeons and magic journeys and memories of abuse uncovered by hypnosis) that would be laughed out of court today. Lives were ruined. Then we moved on. Many convictions were quietly overturned.

Michael Wade said...


I recall reading about those. They were big news for a while.