Crowds who commit evil  - those deeds which people recognise with horror and indignation, as intolerable to the commonsense humaneness of their times - I call "The beast".
I define the Beast as what is lived by its witnesses, because the measure of inhumanity is man, the measure of all things human. Measured, weighted, counted and explained "objectively", beastliness is reduced to "just facts", with no moral significance and feelings lost. Therefore, do not turn to science to understand horror.
The beast negates the civilised human condition achieved by its age.
The rousers of the beast are not the beast itself, the crowd or the individual gone barbaric but those who tease and wake up the beast in other people. They may look like poets, leaders, thinkers and preachers, talented, charismatic and with a big smile on their face. When I describe the beast rising I cannot avoid considering both inciters and the corrupted. Add to this the natural, born beasts and the social or technology driven social organisation causing inhumanity to flourish.
Beastliness, universally proven to destroy everybody's good life and happiness and observed in History to end badly, is certainly an Antipode of wisdom. Wisdom - by definition - is a permanent struggle of civilisation with the beast. Therefore it is grave neglect of wisdom not to understand the beast and its teasers and not to learn how to fight it.
The incidental beast
In the dual nature of a person, part of the individual comes from the past and seems to be animal.
Our genes persist from the ancestral animal, ferocious without qualm, born to survive, devour and proliferate; this root is inevitable and vital in our body and psyche but normally tamed and sublimated by education.
The additional, uniquely human part of cruelty is an eclosion of our very human Mind when depraved downwards into beastly cruelty in spite of being aware of its deeds. This time the tiger lost innocence; atrocity, no more excused by nature's blindness, is aware and wilful, armed and amplified with civilisation’s means of thinking and action, consciously transgressing its values and borders. This happens when cultured people chose to be beasts by sheer hubris or with the excuse of "higher purpose".
The ferocious individuals who act as instigators and occasionally as leaders manifest in the world, are a minority, alas the anonymous potential beast ready to serve them are legion, as proven by history. Without those numerous followers, the inciters would remain mere bursting pustules of wickedness.
The passive potential accomplice to beastliness is a normal individual inobservable in a gregarious multitude; this creature is, I assume, the descendant of the weaker herd or pack animal, accomplice to the leading beast by unquestioned followership. These are people callously indifferent, flatly insensitive to other people's pain and degradation driven by self-interest only. The humble mob follower is not only ready to neglect, not only ready to assist by cowardice. Such mob also enjoys Schadenfreude - the joy to observe somebody else's loss and harming. This gent has the stomach to participate in the lynching and tearing apart of victims and is ready to feed on it, to loot and profit on it like jackals and gorillas, under pretext that "everybody is doing it", "this is how it is", or even "we must follow the law".
In times of war, disorder, lawlessness or oppression, the passive beasts will come forth and enrol in masses to do the detail of the bloody jobs and, because of their number, they were in the past and will be in the future overwhelmingly more effective than the initiators. The potential beasts are hidden into anonymity, modesty and diffusion of responsibility. The passive beasts will of course "only follow their superior's orders." Loyally. The skies protect us from finding out how many such passive beasts are available among our contemporaries and neighbours!
The collective beast
From time to time, the individual beasts active and passive - find favorable conditions to multiply and congregate into collective evil - the Great Beast. Aggregation amplifies beastliness turning it into "new social order" or "new man".
Beyond the individual evildoers, beyond the atrocity of one or another freak, my main concern in this text, is the emergence of such congregation, the Collective Beast always ready to return among us and make history lapse back. Here comes again the avatar and inheritor of the crushing authoritarianism of chiefdoms, hordes, tyrannies, absolute kingdoms, dictatorships, religious wars, inquisitions, lynching mobs, brain-washing sects, police-states and "revolutionary" terrors.
Worse, as I observe recently, the beast does ont come only from a barbarian past, it also has its visionaries and industrialists who invite it to come from the future. A whole new techno-scientific religion lures humanity shamelessly into denying our own species and forsaking itself in exchange of promisses from perfect, rational, clean "Trans-humanity" "post-humanity", and the like. My signs of the beast are probably insufficient to expose these new depravers.
Beastliness is contagious. It spreads from one to many, feeding on the functioning of multitude in uncertainty and in critical situations or enthused by some grand idea turned evil while explaining everything and solving all problems in simple terms. I believe that whatever truth, whatever noble ideal or creed, when it turns unique and exclusive, becomes evil.
In the Twentieth Century the philosophers called the Great Beast totalitarianism or totalism - the complete, all-embracing hold of an exclusive ideology and movement over all the aspects of life of an entire society. This form of government embodies, I think, the unleashed will to bully and to overpower which, in the name and with the help of some monolithic, simplifying doctrine, whichever comes handy, turns masses of people from ends, from persons, from agents, into means and objects, spare-parts used and abused and soon corrupted themselves, accomplices to intolerable wrongdoing.
The unique and defining feature of the totalitarian beast of beasts is its consequence: not only it does but moreover it makes do evil; it accomplishes not only frightening wrong to its victims (as ferocious criminals do) but also depraves everybody – whole nations - into taking part in evil as a way of life.
Indeed, totalitarianism which achieves to dehumanise entire social bodies, whole nations, not only the wrongdoers but even their victims, is radical badness.
While crushing its targets with oppression, harm, torture and death, the big beast attains the ultimate madness; it turns the sufferers and the perpetrators alike into inhuman beings: pulls them back from persons into animals or “progresses” them into pawns, robots and raw material for new barbarianism not yet imagined.
Essentially, totalitarian evil degrades the human condition of its times. It is an enemy of Humanity.
In pursuit of some unique idea, as a means towards its Utopian ideal, totalitarianism destroys purposefully and callously the human being, transgresses its standards, negates its basic values, its culture and its civilisation achieved in millenniums of slow progress.
The solitary individual beast longing for domination and rape slumbers in each of us, hopefully jailed under layers of civilisation. It hides behind and among other basic animal instincts and drives which we sublimated, socialised and redirected in urbane ways.
It waits ready to leap, from down there in the dark regions of human nature, beneath good and evil; or, it burgeons out of the nightmarish, unfettered complications of the imagining mind.
I do not conceive to reduce dehumanisation to an unique biological root. The incitement to persons' inhumanity may also come from outside, from high above, from fundamentalist developments of religions, from culture, from ideologies, techno-scientific detachment or technology progress which lost humanity. Recently I judge that it is produced by unintended "systemic" consequences of uncontrolled technology, driven by uncontrolled financial gain. This millennium will offer plenty of material to study technology out of local or national control which seems to be allowed to take totalitarian control of our lives.
Indeed, the beast may come not only from barbarian fanaticism but also from ideas of prey and machine-like ways of life let lose among us.
The universal Beast
To persecute, to generate fear, the pleasure to hit, to hurt, to torture, the need and enjoyment to bend, to make people do things, to turn them into things (and soon spare-parts), to rape, to kill or at least to bully, to terrorize, to humiliate, to force, to cripple, to dispossess, to plunder, to laminate people equal or to keep them unequal, are - sadly - generic human drives. Such transgressive urges of the doctrinaires and of mobs, have no religion, race or ideology.
The root as I proposed, is always the same; I believe that this torment of humanity is, at least initially, a fact, biology, omnipresent, normal - behaving like a species of predators; normal for the beast, beastly for Man. For, while I claim that no one shall be held guilty for being born an animal, with a beast inside, there being no guilt either in our most shocking fantasies and thoughts, as civilised humans we are fully responsible for what we do with those animal urges.
Good, common people loathe the beast and would not let it loose; bad ones long secretly to do to others what they hate to be done unto them but, in normal times, hide such drives under a fig-leaf of hypocrisy for shame and fear of punishment.
The occasional burst of subhuman barbarism through the veneer of civilisation, seizing a moment of panic or of anarchy, appears to us civilised citizens of historic nations as irrational, sick, unexplained by duress or overwhelming cause; it must come from the ancestral vital readiness to overpower and devour, now degenerated into harm for harm's sake. This is not a mere hostile disposition or the drive we all have, to lash out, to defend or to take revenge in response to frustration or someone abusing us gravely; it is the unprovoked predatory urge to do what is well known and intuitively agreed in the present culture to be intolerable or horrible.
As for the deliberate supra-animal, the intellectual beast considering itself beyond good and evil, its surge is worse; its hubris comes from cultivated idle hands, armed and amplified with true knowledge, theory, absolute ideas, power, wealth, wide vision and mighty technology. It emerges when thinking people feel entitled to disconnect from simple human concern.
The prophet, the philosopher, the scientist, the inventor, the politician, the captain of industry, the law maker may fall to this aberration for the sake of some unique idea, of some unique truth. This, as I see it, is made possible by rational thought's and intelligence's capability to become divorced from common sense, gone callous and wild, alien to the living, abstract, scornful of the biases, emotions and weaknesses of the human. Under the mask of pure reason, unbiased science, creativity, pure faith, utopia and social vision, this "purity", "progress" of "higher cause" justifies to free oneself from "mere" humanist morals, to give oneself licence to instigate and commit evil.
The "sleep of reason" may beget monsters but clarity of faith and reason fully awake, when freed of being humane, can do even worse.
The primary individual transgressor has occasions to incite, especially in isolated or in large anonymous groups, wherever identity and responsibility are masked, diluted or split.
Any serious crisis, or disorder - a crash, penury or danger, offers an accidental occasion for civilisation to lapse, a pretext for the predisposed wicked to hit and for good people to become a horde, at least for an instant. Mostly, it is a shameful irrational incident, or an individual crime:
Just give occasion for a crowd to form, put a spark of disorder or panic to it to inflame it into a mob and the beast bursts free. Or, to learn from Milgram , divide the crowd into individuals like - I hate to say - you and me unawares, let an ethic-free truth-seeking scientist dressed in white say: "do it, it is normal, everybody does, I take responsibility for you!" and the passive beast in you very probably complies, ready to torture; or take a healthy normal boy, institute him jail-man, as Zimbardo  did, put two straps on his shoulder, give him orders to "Go! Go! Go!" and Lucifer is ready to do the job of "Live and let die!" Even cheaper, give a crowded stadium plenty to drink and you will see.
The rousers of the collective beast
However, the best post-industrial recipe to produce the quiet gestation and return of the Beast in our History is to fatten and divide nations into lonely, sub-educated, frustrated employees and consumers, to unemployables, to circus-game audiences and to broadcast enhanced stupidity as a way of living until we all became disenchanted, blasé and indifferent to everybody else's suffering. Let greed and envy and hypocrisy rule. Promote fake news and alternative truth. Confuse reality with virtual games. Show them that others will have more forever and there is no hope, that words, books and governments are unreliable, that everything goes. Add to this fanatic faith division. Overcrowd them in large cities. Accellerate everything. Cultivate immediate pleasure and fear. Keep people anonymous, humiliated and insecure. Show them atrocity daily until they don't feel anything, until it doesn't mean to the children more than buzzing of flies above corpses seen on screens.
Alas, that Beast does not need accident or natural catastrophe to awaken; human mind and pen and action, cynical politics, cultivated religious intolerance, greed of global finance unleashed, voracious supra-national business can be more devastating than the pestilence, the flood, the fire and the quake.
Culturally and politically, when the single thought and absolute truth of some seductive doctrine whose time feigns to have come gives some reason made simple and a flag of purpose to ruthless leaders, evil sprouts, flourishes, spreads, prevails and finally turns banal  and becomes everyday life. Those are the risers of the Collective Beast.
I asked myself what or who, besides grand catastrophe, in teasing out the beast in communities of people; ideas gone feral or wicked personalities who made it to power? On reflection, both; single-minded grand ideas - utopias abstract, absolute, exclusive and not human - provide the matches, fools play with them.
From time to time, authentic creative geniuses devoid of wisdom feed the beast; enthusiastic doctrine makers would prophesy some unique ultimate: uncompromising Truth, Justice, Equality, Freedom, Prosperity, Enterprise, Wealth, Democracy, Spirit, God, Compassion, Nature, Beauty. All the highest ideals.
Tragically, anything exalted, meant to elevate humanity to a better life, turns, when made absolute, exclusive and simple, into ready-to-use immoderation and torture-rack. Such sublime visions and radical choices, blind to human nature, common sense and human reality, summon without fail violence and oppression. Writes Montaigne: "They want to get out of themselves and escape from the man. That is madness: instead of changing into angels, they change into beasts..." 
Bad people will soon amplify and apply those extremes or pervert the ideals. Intelligent people turned stupid will take delusion for visionary light. Finally, bandits, will misinterpret, add fuel and set the fires to exploit occasion. The rest, masses of people who fail to mind their own best interest, provide the woods to catch the flame and burn themselves alive.
The visionaries who create our pure ideals fly high, they do not seem to know how to make their oversized ideas fool-proof by including some humane moderation. They take too little time to imagine side-effects and consequences of neglecting human nature and the commonsense of real life.
Hasty prophets make angels fall; the future giants will have to learn the practical art of protecting their vision from the shapeless pygmies walking in the mist  and the bandits waiting in ambush to corrupt them. Particularly, they need to moderate and protect their good intention from that hateful kind of zealots who claim to serve the good but in fact only irritate and provoke the opposite by means of offense and pestering.
Philosophers need lawyers to provide their last words against mischief. Maybe the great ideas should also be created with strict usage instructions, warning of doubt, mapping of limits, an expiry date and a self renewal mechanism that would keep them "falsifiable" and sane.
We do need bold, generous ideals and boundless new dreams to advance. We are made of dreams. What intrigues me is how to know when an idea is enlightening - a beam of light to illuminate our way in this world - and when it throws the light into our eyes to blind us, when it tips into yet another pretext for evildoers to take over and to rage.
The tipping point and the signal of alarm may be when the wonderful idea becomes more important than the people.
I do not know; at this time I would concede that the harm comes, sometimes, in the perverted application. Some will always manage to twist the highest ideals meant to work for man, into big hammers: universal, unique, absolute remedies finally serving something else, divine or political, but not human; those heavenly ideas become thus ripe to be taken over by unscrupulous leaders with beastly drives who will put them in quick and dirty practice.
With bad faith or short-sighted intelligence (that is stupidity in the long run) you can work the opposite from anything; just take it literally and amplify it to absurdity. Or while denouncing rightly a hateful extreme, propose that the opposite extreme is goodness. We know from Aristotle how wrong this is. It may be sufficient to exaggerate with zeal. Strangely, the most sacred ideas of humanity seem easiest to deprave into radical exaggeration or perverse consequences, probably because they are so pure, so naive, so abstract, so otherworldly... so inhuman. Poor application is insufficient excuse though; the original flaw is still in the tragic blunder and onesidedness of the original idea.
The arsonists are easy to find. Bad and stupid people, as I observed, do not need grand dangerous ideas; they have ways to misunderstand and alter any idea, particularly the excellent ones. The individual beast needs only a pretext to move and take over, a flag to wave, a vehicle to ride, empowerment to act. Omnipresent little local beasts manage locally to twist generous universal concepts into perverse simplifications and one-stop remedies; those simplifications spread irresistibly helped by the immense downwards dragging force of compliant stupidity and weakness. The passive beasts among us interpret and apply anything falling into their hands with such methods and means that will, without fail, rouse the same ancestral violence, oppression, envy, falsity, hate, unfreedom, and misery in some new version. Every time they grab some little power, the little beasts pave the road to heaven in such ways that it ends up in hell.
Is then becoming beasts again an irresistibly returning tendency of human nature and society?
To do something against it, observe the new beast growing
Before doing all the harm, the bigger collective beast process, the systemic one, progresses insidiously, disguised. The monster project for a New World, A New Order, a New Man, Superman, Post-man, a New Planet, comes from honourable parents, is born into the new generations as a lively, charming baby full of noble promise, rising against obvious injustice, dangers and ills; who could speak against it?
There is always a new generation of suckers to fall for a reduced, simple, unifying one-idea to be applied with a firm hand.
The new remedy-to-all-problems begins beautiful, young, full of passion. It makes things simple. The Pied Pipers of Hamelin seem beyond suspicion, some of them are even honestly unaware of what they bring ito the world;
the solutions are twisted with elegance to cut corners but they address real problems of humanity. This makes them vital.
The thinkers and dreamers who conceived them are honourable and honest, have clean hands and seemingly pure, even self-denying intentions. This makes them credible.
Following them, the new leaders who propagate the new creed have energy and courage to take risk and know how to play on deep desires and fears. they are good at dealing with people. This makes them convincing.
As some of these leaders are charismatic and capable, followers are charmed and a contagious movement starts; one to lure the whole nation on yet another shiny way into dark times.
It is human to be conquered by a new self-fulfilling idea whose time seems to have come . We need hope as we need bread, water and air; when we lost hope we are ripe to follow whoever offers it.
The best of us honest people respect the noble vision and the enthusiasm, the ambitious grab the new tool to conquer power, pure-hearted idealists rush to embrace the dream with love and expectation, the discontent rally the new flag because it represents the enemy of their enemy, selfless heroes stake and sacrifice their life to let it win.
Good people who do not seem to learn from history come to trust and join the movement to build the finally fair, good, beautiful, happy world, the panacea prophets always claim to build; you may be one of the fans. My parents believed in their youth in such a beautiful one-stop dream; those intelligent people blinded into stupidity needed a few years to see the utopia turn into nightmare. Until it was too late to stop it.
The beast grows insidiously, with more or less noise, disguised among the normal nuisances of business as usual, nourished from small annoying things to big ones, tollerated from distant to close, from other people's troubles to -finally - your life. It cannot grow by itself, we all let it grow, even nourish it with our own bad vibrations and with not taking responsibility: "a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree" 
The beast needs its favourable season to prevail, its best is the winter of our discontent. The disenchantment of the working human made useless is a wonderful time for collective evil to emerge. The beast feeds on a Zeitgeist of disillusion pessimism and disrespect, when the horizon is dark with worry and heavy with suspicion, when values certainties and hopes are shaken. All sects know how to use this "unfreezing" destabilization.
The public slope starts with too much unfairness, poverty, disorder and insecurity or too much intrusion and control, all exaggerations do.
A sense that something is deeply wrong gets people in the street, and in their home, irritated without knowing what to do. Misgovernment and irresponsibility inflate with interdictions, taxes, stupidity, hypocrisy, public lies – a climate of discord and a desire for something drastic to end all this. (Heavens, what an old story!) Something should be done. Someone should be held responsible. Someone else, superior, should take responsibility, tell the truth and show the courage to do whatever needs to be done. As for us we are powerless, nobody listens to us.
Things happen that should not be allowed to happen. People do not belong as they should. Incompetence and cowardice rule. Growing abuse, nagging, irritating bureaucracy and intrusive control on one hand, inequality, insecurity, unemployment, irrespect, violence, on the other hand. All this is getting people more and more irritated like an overpopulation of rats. War is inevitable, some will say, not knowing what war is. A revolution is needed... or we need to go back to our traditional values.
Do you still belong to this community? No. The erudite name of this climate is anomia - lawlessness and disinterest for the common good. The time is here for the beast!
Finally, to save us, to solve it all with a firm hand, to burst the pustule, comes the hero powered by the Beast, leading a heroic movement. When the movement takes the power the beast grows suddenly adult.
Its real face, will always be the same; a strong rule, by one alone, or by a nameless group of few in the name of the many, it does not matter. The face and the mechanics of totalitarian rule. You let it happen, even voted it coerced by urgency.
Time to pay for blindness.
You can see that the beast is prevailing again in a dark sway gaining the public place, a climate which on pretext of whatever at hand will make your life hell; in such a world, persons with freedoms, rights, identities and thoughts are like witches, they will not be suffered to live.
It all started with distant shouts, then other people who opposed the beast were hurt, not you; now the beast ends up with hands on your body. We were warned repeatedly of this typical course of events:
"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." wrote pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984).
The victorious beast will brand persons with degrading labels, reject and exclude them, turn them into numbers of less human others and time given it will enslave or kill, thousands or millions, for a word, a belief, for a colour or for their birth, for their parents, for what they do or do not do, for what they are or they are not. The Beast does not care in fact if you are or not guilty of something, it makes you guilty; everybody must fear.
With enough time to grow and to settle, the beast will give you a new world order, a silent kingdom of Khattam-Shud, a necessary way of life, yet another grey empire of cogs where everything that is not forbidden is mandatory.
Whenever it sets firm foot in a land, the beast uses up and sweeps a generation or two into the garbage-can of History; strangely, the good and the bad finish all the same. The beast ends-up torturing the entire nation (tomorrow the whole World), with no exception; even the dictators doing it are terrorized.
All this, for nothing...
The empires of totalitarianism proved to be meaningless gray zones of History, just dark spells, forgotten soon when the last participants perish of old age. I do not believe that Evolution needs such disruptions of civilisation, there are sufficient catastrophies of nature and industrial growth.
Luckily, the beast seems to die out by itself, historically speaking; it collapses when it consumed just too many lives and most of the material and moral resources of the populations infected, like fire left without wood to burn. Or so I dream.
Another age of the Beast and its almost inevitable war will be a sinister time to survive... if you do. Hopefully, I will not be there. In the best case this will mean for you decades of life, if not your entire generation and even your children, wasted; lies, betrayal, cowardice, guilt and wickedness, amidst fear, misery and indignity - you will be ashamed for having been there and suspect for having survived... if you fell by luck on the advantaged side of the gun.
There were several ages of the beast in our short past and there will be new ones, this is a promise! We are not at the end of History.
From time to time the beast found and will find new opportunity to surface and to rule. The progress of humanity gives birth to such times of atrocity, and dehumanisation once in a while and again. The human loss  and, as it seems, the conscious gravity of transgression are growing with the centuries. Growing because most cultures became aware of the wickedness. The horror of the events and oppressions did not diminish in modernity with our evolution in ethical knowledge;cruelty grew. Soon, the use of humans not only as slaves and employees but as raw material, spare parts, genetically controlled races dedicated to slavery, or simply as food for other people will be technically feasible. If you think the time of beast is over, think again! Open your eyes! What is available is always used in tragedy: "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."  Remember this future when you speak freely and video yourself carelessly while you see the growth of unlimited control technologies and the wayback memory of the great Internet machine. Interesting times lay ahead. Magnificent times for the Beast.
It is of course easy to name the beast of the past, the examples are notorious and generally agreed; yes, the past wars were aimless bloodshed; to sacrifice people is abomination, barbarian invasions are savage, slavery is degrading humanity, inquisition is demonic, crusades are fanaticism, witch-hunts are a shame for civilisation, burning people is atrocity, fascism is murderous, communism criminal. Electing dictators is suicidal. Exterminating nations is crime against the entire humanity. Tamerlane, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol-pot, a chaplet of similar monstrous nobodies that history may want to forget, are easy (for some) to judge in retrospect; but once, normal people were seduced by their vision and did not see the old writing on the wall the Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin Daniel understood. . The victims did not move out of the way of the crushing. We keep wondering in retrospect why so many intelligent people were so thoughtless, such fools. They were all convinced, in denial, as we all are, that it - the rule of the beast, cannot happen here...
There isn't much you can do, not even run, when evil is already normal and victorious and the One thinking is the only one admitted; at best you disguise yourself and try to live on, like a bug playing dead. Or maybe you chose to be a martyr..
If you discern the beast early enough, you may still act, with prudence, against its growth.
Opposing evil is an art of war not an art of speech. Do not be democratic or educational or reasonable with the beast. You have a better chance to use against it all the means of hostile criticism.
Maybe you can cause the beast to expose its fangs prematurely, soon enough for a majority to be repulsed; maybe you can vote against it; or you can support - with moderate illusions - the forces - not always much better - working against it; at least you will not feed the beast - nor the counter-beast opposite to it, not serve it or sacrifice your youth for its lie. If nothing works and you see the signs of some beast coming to power, you could hasten to move far away - if there is some distant shore left free - and let the wheels of history turn without you.
The real challenge is to discern and name the beast not of the past but of the future.
How then to cast the horoscope of the beast when still a baby and to make the good people see the monster that will be, in a young, healthy new movement?
Let me try to offer a provisional checklist of signs that I believe to reveal future collective evil. I will not give examples; I observed that a collection of examples is in this case a stopper for the critical reflection– passion flares up, positions are taken instinctively and thinking stops drowned in dispute. People are already flirting with one of the available beasts. I only invite you to consider the signs, to improve them, to complete them or change them and later to keep them in mind when you look at this or that ultimate solution offered or "cool" movement opening its loving arms to you.
The seven signs of the beast:
• The one true cause of all evil and also the one solution to save humanity from it. The first sign of the beast is when, again, someone sees the light and finds the one way. The beast makes reality simple; the latest peril is the ultimate danger, doom is imminent, not joining the one final solution brings the end of the world.
When you hear this - yet another end of the world prophecy by a new saviour with yet another mission to save the world, armed with a supreme silver bullet - have no doubt, darkness is on the march.
• Aversion towards the human is the second ingredient, a telling sign of what will be done to people when the movement conquers power – any variant of the man-hating belief that humankind is bad for some reason and society decadent or declining: man deserves despise, is born in sin, stupid, weak and selfish, destructive, a nuisance, vermin, cause of all ills, guilty of something, whatever that something may occasionally be.
Accordingly, the individual and the crowd cannot be trusted to be free, to chose, to vote, they must be disciplined, made to feel guilty, surveiled, "educated", closely controlled and punished; man must be overpowered, forced to behave. Humanity is a flock.
• Ideas are more important than people. Visions do not serve people, people serve ideals; the higher cause is more important than individual life and freedom. It is good and noble for people to die for ideas!
Future has precedence over present and the common good is “in the name of the people” and of the cause, above mere happiness of one or other. The People, the Party, the Movement is more important than the citizen, the person, the member, as the whole is superior to its parts.
People being less important than a Cause, ends excuse means. In this light, collateral damage is normal, sacrifice, violence, martyrs, assassination, terror, are justified to prove the worth of the cause; people are expendable means, not ends. For the later good you must live worse now. We must suffer! What counts is history, not biography. The world is seen from the abstract point of view of the Cause not from the point of view of persons.
Local compassion, happiness now, clean hands, not doing evil, are luxury. As the individual can only count and have power in the collective and the serving the Idea, individualism is bad; all people must be laminated equal and selfless. The New Man must be created anew: lonely, replaceable, powerless, devoted, submitted and ready to do whatever is ordered.
• Total control and the rape of privacy. The beast is obsessed to control everything and know and regulate everything for all people with no corner of privacy, no secret garden to hide and to hatch dissidence. The future Beast invites you to be transparent and to confess; it uses all available means to know everything about you, past present and future. From your fingerprints to your ADN to your dreams. It is particularly interested in the people you know, your friends, your contacts, the words you ever said or wrote, what you ever learned and everything you read , your precious private information extracted in the past century under interrogation, now harvested, mined, milked, in all innocence (your innocence) by facebooks, linkedins, googles, whom you fed voluntarily tweeting away your privacy; your "social network" will serve - when the next beast comes to power - to harass and to arrest, re-educate, cleanse, goulag, auschwitz and exterminate as needed everybody connected to you. People will be frightened to have had links to other people. In this future the Beast plans your biography and the little beasts act it out. It censors what you eat, drink, smoke, read, the way you mate, your sex, your cloth, your belongings... It needs to keep you needy, guilty, dependent, impersonal, miserable, cowardly and defensive. When the beast prosecutes you, you must prove yourself innocent, not the one who accuses you. And you must do it quickly.
It wants not only to control what you or other people say and write and do; it is not satisfied to find out what you think and regulate what you must execute; it wants to know what you could believe and think because you will have to be reformed and required to believe and think and desire “right”; when it settles in power the Beast will control and censor what you can know, establish processes and rules and regulations for what you must, so that what is not forbidden is mandatory, limit by law the words you can use, what you have, what you eat and excrete, what you think and finally what you are. What you are because who you are will be valueless by then. In the best case you will be an ant. Or a soldier. In the worst you will be prey.
• Blindness to any other point of view. It's "us or them"; belonging is defined by rejection. The delusion of persecution is a component always present in the growing totalitarian movement. The beast needs somebody to reject, an enemy, an outsider, a sinister conspiracy theory to unite the rejecting flock. It will justify later all violence as defensive and necessary.
Scapegoats are required, or enemies, some excluded people, taboos or at least some heresies to exorcise. Whoever does not howl like us is against us! A witch-hunt will do. Different is guilty, inferior, mad, it must be reduced.
The Beast does not create another political party, it launches a movement; a party wants to govern among other parties, a movement - as Hannah Arendt  observes - wants to get rid of all parties, of state, of law, of all form of accountable order; it aims to rule nations by commanding crowds, in fact it wants to master the whole world, with no competition.
Observe communication, you will know with whom you speak; it is a dialogue of the deaf. The followers of vision do not examine, dialogue or learn, nor consider deliberation, they "are for" or "are against", firmly, they believe and propagate. They do not negotiate, they "educate". To belong, you must convert, be reborn.
The beast, even young, cannot suffer relativity or respect variety of choices. It has no doubt. These people are not truth-seekers but truth-carriers. Truth is one, it's our truth of course, with one voice and no dissidence suffered. You cannot vote this unique truth. No need to explain and to convince by proof or arguments (One-truth disparages rhetoric and despises vote) it is sufficient to affirm the force of the “obvious” the force of “reality”. You can recognise the formula: "You must see that...!"or milder, "Do you believe in...?" Believe, not think. Anything diverging from the right message is bad, mistaken, false, stupid, guilty and mad. Dispute with the people under the spell of the beast is a dialogue of the deaf with the blind. The believers react to opposing truth with irritation, anger, violence. They have no tolerance for dissenters, who are punished for causing the irritation.
If you try to advance that diversity of opinion is good, a right of man, that mutual respect possible in difference, that we dispute each other to learn and we do not need to always agree, you will look as a Martian.
• Appeal to the low emotions. The rousers of the beast wave grand ideals but it happens that they usually express the lowest fears and desires of a crowd and constantly appeal to them.
When the movements of the beast disguise themselves into political parties, whatever their name and preferred subject, the resulting camps are three: the party of envy, the party of hate and the party of greed (impartial in the middle). All excite some form of the old war of all against all  from before the axial times when the sages came with the simple wise idea that you shall not do to another what you hate to be done unto you. They play on fear, envy, greed, distrust, pride, rejection and hate. They kindle intolerance, indifference, inhumanity, rejection and fanaticism. All this, to build a happy future, of course.
• The no-plan plan. What is promised is something else, the negation of the present, not a construction. It is a project without a plan to build. The true plan is to undo the present. And to seize power.
In the balance between what is wrong today and what must be done, the criticism of the present is vehement, rich and justified, but the concrete projects for the future are curiously misty, grand, missing or half-baked, there is no time for that, change is too urgent; in fact, the plan of the beast is "to be against", not a programme but a mood of hate, revenge and opposition; any description of what total victory of the new vision means concretely, is absent - first destroy, then we will see; that makes critique of the new baby idea quite difficult. As you ponder, the longer term destination - if any - proves to be otherworldly, nowhere land.
If you want to judge who these movements are consider carefully, not what they criticise but what exactly they propose and how they will do it. Ask for details.
Each one of these seven signs could be the mark of the Beast. Could be; but several of them together are the certain sign of collective evil growing.
I hope this imperfect, certainly incomplete list is useful to start with. I keep working on it. There is no need to believe me; the real weapon against the rousers of the beast is developing your own critical spirit. You may want to watch out for the signs and decide interpretation for yourself, find your own marks to detect the rousing of the beast. Look at the crusaders of the day and check the signs. When you find symptoms I missed, please let me know, if I am still around.
Size-up the ravishing baby. When you want to judge an idea or a movement do not be deluded by how fresh, how justified or noble or inspired it looks now when it is just born and cherished by loving parents. Do not be deluded by your indignation against present badness and injustice in favour of the opposite excess. Test the infant by imagining carefully its mature total victory; amplify the idea as far as you can, imagine how it will look and what its consequences will be.
Behold the rousers of the Beast!
 Card, C., The Atrocity Paradigm, Oxford UP, 2002 defines evil by its effect, awareness and reference to the norm of an epoch, as “foreseeable intolerable harms produced by culpable wrongdoing”.
My own choice is to define evil (and many other things) in relation to the people who live them; The victims and spectators of evil deeds discern them as such by means of their feeling and intuition, validated by the common-sense of a Zeitgeist, in which those deeds present a family resemblance manifest in shared reaction of horror and indignation. I would even say that we detect evil by finding it to be inconceivable, beyond bounds. The troubling thing is that those who practice evil or participate to it on a large scale do not see it so, or they do not care to conceive it. In my mind, such intolerable harm is produced by those who do not care to consider other people as persons with identity, dignity and rights, or who abolish feeling guilty or responsible and practice instead hubris, uninhibited ferocity and indifference while doing to others what they could not suffer done unto them. Thus, I see evil as the reverse of the golden rule of mutual expectation. As you see, things get really complicated...
Meanwhile, I make things simple while we keep seeking some objective definition that will allow measurement and punishment with sounding line and scales. I chose that the common sense of what we feel is a good enough provisional “here and now, for us” means to discern evil by consensus.
 Milgram, Stanley (1963). "Behavioral Study of Obedience", Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67 (4): 371–8 and Milgram, Stanley, Obedience to Authority; An Experimental View, Harper and Collins, 1974
 The Zimbardo Stanford prison experiments and its follow-up:
Haney Craig, Banks, Curtis, Zimbardo, Philip, Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison, International Journal of Criminology and Penology 1973, 1, 69-97
Zimbardo, P. G. (1971). The power and pathology of imprisonment. Congressional Record. (Serial No. 15, October 25, 1971).
Zimbardo, Philip, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, Random House, New York, 2007
 The term banal is by Hannah Arendt, in a scandalously critical book to read absolutely: Arendt, Hannah, Eichmann in Jerusalem, A report on the banality of evil, Viking Press, New York, 1964)
 Montaigne, Essays, p 1044, Of Experience 13)
 Gibran, Kahlil, The Prophet: Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,/ But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening....
 Victor Hugo (1802-1885) : “On résiste a l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas a l’invasion des idées.” Victor Hugo, Histoire d’un Crime, Œuvres Complètes, Hetzel & cie, Paris, p.240 The famous oft-cited English paraphrase versions “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” (Also cited as “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”) commonly attributed to Hugo were never spoken or written by him. The literal English is: “One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.” cf Quote/counterquote site (with my thanks) http://www.quotecounterquote.com/search?q=Hugo
 Gibran, K., The Prophet, About crime and Punishment)
 Moglen, Eben, Snowden and the Future: Part III, Columbia Law School, November 13, 2013
This kind of information should be known, for everyone to judge what it means. Maybe the Beast is advanced already, or at least recklessness is preparing now everything the Beast will require later to rule.
 White, Matthew, Atrocitology - Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2011 This is a sobering book to read. The wars are deadlier, century after century, the loss – in war and equally in “peace time” are magnified by Nazi Fascism, Stalinian and Maoist Communism, to hundreds of millions that would make Genghis and Timur envious and compete successfully with slavery, famine, pest, leaving far behind the fall of the great empires and civilisations of the past. The monstrosity be it liberticidal, economic or genocidal, seem to have grown beyond compare, to famine, rape and extermination used as education.
 From Gurlyand's Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No. 28, 11 July, p. 521 in Donald Rayfield, Anton Chekhov: A Life, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997
 Bible, Daniel 5:25
 Arendt, Hannah, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Harcourt Brace, San Diego.., 1979
 Hobbes, Thomas -Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill, Andrew Crooke, London, 1651 chapter XXIII