chapter  5
Far-Right Fantasy 1: The “Satanification” of America
Pages 18

As Richard Hofstadter (1963) has shown, the “paranoid style of politics,” with its “heated exaggeration,” suspiciousness, and grandiose victimhood, is longstanding American tradition. In fact, its first expression occurs in the very first years of the republic in the form of a pamphlet titled, Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies (1797). Here, liberals of the day are portrayed as libertines, godless advocates of Reason who would destroy the church and imperil female virtue.