Going Dark: Why Nothing Makes Sense

Dave Troy
6 min readMay 23, 2022


The dark follows the light.

Over the last few weeks, it feels as though we are being pulled into a realm where up is down and wrong is right. That’s because that’s actually happening.

We’re leaving the realm where things make sense. Some say this has been underway for years now. But most people would agree, this process has been accelerating recently.

The “normal” world that we’ve inhabited since the end of World War II — one filled with institutions, the rule of law, compromise, business reality, elections and politics, fragile though it is — has been gradually and then suddenly supplanted by a world governed by the exercise of raw power.

What rules when progress, science, and law are replaced by power? Darkness, and the occult. Instrumentalism—using language and actions because they work. One doesn’t need to believe in occult spiritual practice to understand this; rather, in this context it’s important to understand occultism as a lower layer of power that remains when civilization is stripped away. The occult reigns supreme in the absence of institutions.

A Quick Tour of the Darkness

  • Putin’s War. All those predicting that Putin wouldn’t invade Ukraine because it wasn’t “rational” neglected to understand his existential dread at the possibility of losing power, and his stark understanding that the only way he could do that —indeed the only way he had ever done it—was to invoke the dark forces of cult religion. This power, rooted in Russian Orthodoxy and Eurasianism, has meant doing obscene things that achieve effects. Nothing, not nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, is outside consideration if they achieve desired effects. The NATO alliance has become stronger for now; will that be true in the case of a nuclear strike of a specific design?
  • Traditionalism. Never before has the Supreme Court taken away a right it had previously granted. We seem now to be moving backwards. 100 years of progress for women has been halted; between the Roe decision, baby formula shortages, non-stop attacks on women, and metastatic misogyny, there is a welling tide of traditionalism accelerating the subjugation of women. Battles over “Great Replacement Theory” (which is an ancient idea) and “Critical Race Theory” serve to tear down institutions, as people die from the conflict.
  • Elon Musk. Nothing Elon Musk is doing makes any real business sense for Tesla, Twitter, or SpaceX, and we shouldn’t try to evaluate it that way. It’s clear he’s dropped out of the realm of the rational and into a deeper mission — indeed his own “Mission”—which is centered on making humans an interplanetary species. Musk has become a master of “manifesting” realities he wishes to inhabit. He intends to use Twitter to drive network effects to manifest the reality he wants. That is a fundamentally occult idea, but it comes in conflict with governments, rules, and institutions. So he’s seeking to eliminate them, starting with the SEC.
  • SEC and the Fifth Circuit. On May 18, the 5th Circuit court ruled 2–1 that the Securities and Exchange Commission has no Constitutional authority to adjudicate its own rule enforcement actions. Many people have read this as a refutation of the ability of the SEC to even make rules at all. Congress has the exclusive right to draft laws, and some argue that right cannot be delegated to federal agencies. Since the New Deal, courts have broadly upheld the sensible idea that that authority can be delegated to career specialists within government. The most recent case, Jarkesy & Patriot28 LLC vs. Securities and Exchange Commission, was brought by a Tea Party activist. The judges that decided the case are connected to the Federalist Society. When this goes to the Supreme Court, as it surely will, what will the Federalist Society judges there do? This case could lead the way to the dismantling of all federal agencies, from the IRS, SEC, and EPA, to the FCC and FDA. Again—backwards, and into the darkness.
  • Elections. Every effort is being made to dismantle elections and remove power from voters. There are people documenting this in excruciating detail, and I won’t bother to recap it all here, but everything from local, state, and federal elections are at risk. We cannot necessarily count on elections even taking place, much less being able to achieve the outcomes we seek. The very notion of peaceful transfer of power is presently at risk, and we should act like it.
  • Dark MAGA and Civil War. Increasingly, we’re hearing calls for “civil war” (from Trump and Flynn) and for “dark MAGA to take command” (from the “defeated” Madison Cawthorn). We should not give charlatans more credit than due, but the fact is that these bad actors are tapping into some dark cultural forces. All three are “out of power” and yet wielding tremendous cultural power with their adherents. See how that works? Does one need to be “in office” in order to drive us all to the dark side? Steve Bannon doesn’t think so. And Elon Musk and Andrew Yang suggest that we must end the “two party system” now. And… do what?
  • Imminent Civil Unrest and Energy Price Spikes. I don’t know whether we’ll have unrest soon or not, and indeed I hope we do not. But some banks are explicitly preparing for the possibility. The Byline Times says, “Global banks and investment firms are bracing themselves for an ‘unprecedented’ upsurge in civil unrest in the US, UK and Europe as energy and food price spikes are set to drive costs of living to astronomical levels.” Most of the inflation we are experiencing can be attributed to energy companies that have spiked their prices because they can. And they stand to benefit from global unrest — it will usher in the unbridled fascism and anarchocapitalism oil and gas interests have craved for decades. This is the raw exercise of power to try to overthrow governments and institutions, and it serves Putin’s interests perfectly as well.

There is nothing new about occultism affecting world affairs. The Nazis used it to great effect; Nancy Reagan (not elected, BTW) famously consulted an astrologer, and advised her husband; the founder of JPL, Jack Parsons, was an acolyte of Aleister Crowley.

I’m not suggesting that we either abandon hope or that we adopt occultism or mysticism as some kind of counter. No, indeed, we simply need to understand that we have left the realm of the rational and are operating at a deeper, more primal level.

We can call it out loudly, and we can stop wasting time pretending it can be easily countered with institutional constraints and norms.

Neither the January 6 hearings, nor quarterly earnings, nor SEC enforcement actions, nor laws, nor elections, are likely to have the kinds of effects we might hope they will, because those are all things that operate in the realm of institutions, rules, and reason.

When the fascist international is ready and willing to engage in chaos magick to achieve its goals, we should not be surprised when institutions fail to curb their progress. That’s because institutions are not designed to respond to such things. They are the antithesis, a kind of Manichean light against the dark of the occult.

So at the very least, we need to understand why things no longer make sense. It’s because we’re explicitly and increasingly leaving the realm of the sensible and rational and delving into a darker realm of raw power — even as we arguably began on this path some time ago.

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Dave Troy

Investigative journalist addressing threats to democracy. Public speaker, writer, podcaster. @davetroy on Twitter. See davetroy.com for contact info.