The following discussion is a basic presumption that evil is not an entity but rather a perspective created by the powers in authority to maintain control of the community. The book's basic proposition is that evil happens when four factors converge:
1. Binary thinking (i.e., "us versus them")
2. Control of information
3. Simplistic solutions to complex situations
4. Power over behavior
The book further proposes that the two basic genetic predispositions of humankind-love and curiosity-are often threatening to authority. It also reviews and deconstructs ideas and beliefs often taken for granted in our Western culture, analyzing from historical and contemporaneous contexts situations where evil has materialized. Finally, it demonstrates how the same macrocultural factors can bring about evil as an unintended consequence of education, religion, and psychotherapeutic practice.
By offering postmodern practices as an alternative to modernism, this book attempts to demonstrate how modernism is stultified and unable to bring about new possibilities in a rapidly changing world.