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foxwizard ☾

🌿 Lawful Evil

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Note: I’m not happy with this post. Felt cute, might delete later, idk. There is a large part of me that is Pissed Off with the way events are unfolding in our world. It’s rather unbecoming, and I fear I have used this spellbook as a thinly-veiled outlet for my frustration. I ought cultivate more mystique and apolomb, I know. Yet here we are.

I have been contemplating becoming a Lawful Evil wizard. I haven’t decided yet—but stay with me as I think it through. It might be that you are considering becoming Lawful Evil, too. It seems so much easier than any other alignment. A veritable “shortcut to success”. The benefits of being Lawful Evil include:

✅ power
✅ wealth
✅ status
✅ security
✅ influence
✅ optionality
—and more!

Whereas being Chaotic Good—its polar opposite—will likely get you jailed, or living in The Precariat like most artists, poets and activists.

For example, just this week the whistleblower David McBride was sentenced to almost six years in prison for exposing “credible evidence of war crimes committed by Australian forces in Afghanistan” reports the Human Rights Law Centre, “It was public interest journalism at its finest. And yet on Tuesday, the first person imprisoned in relation to Australia’s war crimes was not a war criminal, but the whistleblower.” The Australian journalist Julian Assange is also another prime example of what happens to whistleblowers; exposing war crimes saw him spend the last dozen or so years without freedom.

It’s all very much as depicted in this honest Austalien Government ad.

Maybe it’s time to side with the “winners”?

Alignment

In case you don’t know, alignment typically works on a 3x3 grid betwixt the axis of lawful to chaotic and good to evil.

The Dungeons & Dragons “alignment” categorisation of the ethical and moral perspective

Lawful is an odd word. It could mean ordered in the sense of being attuned and aligned to Deep Pattern. That would be nice. But, no: in conventional use, it mostly means being organised and rule-abiding. But the law—like wealth, status and power—is a self-reinforcing pattern. Similar to how having wealth means you can invest in better advice and negative gearing, which gets you more wealth, which allows you to invest in more wealth (etcetera), so too those who get to make the laws make laws that benefit those who get to make the laws. In Australia, we do this under the cover of a two-party system that provides folks with the illusion of choice.

Chaotic, on the other hand, is something we have been groomed to believe is “bad”. Things like: freedom and liberty for all. Yet chaos is what brings about evolution and change. And remember: only that which can change can continue. Chaos is the antidote to stasis and stagnation—yet it is not meta-stable in and of itself. But combine chaos and order and you get life.

Good is something I need to clarify. Everyone has a notion of what ‘good’ is, based upon their own limited ontology and protosynthesis. Much harm comes about from those who think they are doing good—when really their focus on what constitutes good is far too narrow (and thus creates unintended consequences and countervailing). Bruce Wayne, for example, has so much wealth that he could genuinely work to reshape the systems of inequality and oppression; conditions that give rise to crime. But instead he chooses to invest in dressing up like a bat to go beat up the mentally ill at night—which only gives rise to the “villains” that seek to fight back. This is not good. True good is the omni-win. That is: the eradication of all non-consensual dominance hierarchies, the cessation of unnecessary suffering, and nothing short of the flourishing of all life. Liberty, love, life (or something like that). Few.

Evil, though. Evil has an honesty to it, even in its duplicity. To be evil is to simply serve yourself—even if it means exploiting or harming others, or perpetuating the death of a biosphere. This is where we cave to temptation and narcissism, and serve our own satisfaction above all others. It is what capitalism grooms us to do. Externalities? Don’t worry about them! The costs are hidden away; someone else will pay. Or maybe a future generation. Doesn’t matter! Surrender to Power Laws, multipolar traps and Moloch. Focus on yourself; you and yours are what matter most. You are the special one. Don’t worry about the other; crush the part of you that cares, it will do you no good. Other the others. Paint them to be The Evil Ones. Other them all, so that you can dehumanise them and thus justify whatever you need to do in order to secure your own satisfaction.

Being good is hard

For the past seven months I’ve been ensnared in a baffling and fatiguing campaign to convince a subset of us that human rights are universal. That we should fight to defend human rights, uphold international law, and preserve democracy. Thus killing and maiming children, women, doctors, nurses, journalists, aid workers, the elderly and other civilian non-combatants in the tens of thousands is wrong. That violating international human rights laws is wrong. And that using militarised police to beat up and arrest students for protesting against genocide—the crime of all crimes—is wrong.

We should be looking to the students as inspiration. It’s all backward.

Being Lawful Good doesn’t work if the laws aren’t good.

Hence why most of my posts of late have been Chaotic Good. The systems of exploitation and oppression—the systems that have us set on a self-terminating path of utter ecocide—need to be dismantled. We must, at times, revolt—so that new and better ways might emerge.

But I wonder if this stance is blowing my cover. If anything, I’ve become less effective at infiltrating the strongholds of Moloch. It’s attracted more trolls into my life, and made social media a punish. Besides—

Being evil is easier

I’ve been told by a few friends with platform to not be political on social media, which is good Lawful Evil advice. Especially if you fit within the hegemony of patriarchal coloniser-capitalism Better to stay apolitical whilst it serves you. People just want to hear things that make them feel good, they say. It doesn’t even matter what you post anyway: just get the AI to pump out a bunch of content for you, and drip-feed that out. People aren’t paying attention—you just need to stay top of mind and to resonate with stuff they want to buy. It’s an attention economy! Audience capture? So what! Most people just want to make money anyway, so sell them ways to do that. As long as you are making bank, it’s all good. You can’t help anyone if you’re a poor. And anyway: you can donate some money to charity and launder your reputation later. Just make the money first.

I must say, it’s a compelling case. Wouldn’t life just be so much easier if we simply adopted the aesthetics of care whilst doubling down on our own self-interest.

Jokes; it’s actually harder

If you aren’t aware that you are A Pawn of Evil, then yeah—it’s easy. That’s the majority position. And it’s Why Good People Comply With Evil. But being evil sucks if you know what you’re doing. Putting yourself first at the direct and indirect expense and harm of others hurts you, whilst affirming a shittier future for you and everyone.

I don’t think any one of us can seriously larp as an actual Lawful Evil person. Not if you know you are doing it. Intellectual honesty will hobble you.

Good is better

If you have hungry neighbours, the solution is not to build higher walls—it is to help your neighbours. To live in and with and for the communities of relations you are of and from. Because we are all in this together.

“We build castle walls to keep out the enemy,” writes Oliver Burkeman. “But it’s the building of the walls that causes the enemies to spring into existence in the first place”. And, as Alan Watts writes, “The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing”.

To survive these times, we must reframe “success” as something beyond the accumulation of material possessions and the increase of vanity metrics. We must stay true to our values and—as author Margaret Killjoy writes—work to improve the world regardless of our chances of victory.

// Where to now? //

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