The first three Lord Goblin novels, the already published Mere Anarchy (go buy it, now!), and the upcoming Rough Beast and The Center Cannot Hold, include antagonists that based on private militia groups. As I discuss some of the thoughts that went into creating the Lord Goblin series, I’m starting with this one because one of the criticisms leveled against an early draft of Mere Anarchy is how nasty the Christian militia members are written. I didn’t modify the behavior of the characters, though, because I low-balled the odiousness of the militia groups in the Lord Goblin novels! I felt that a realistic portrayal of the militia leaders would be seen as too broad a caricature! As ever, reality is more disturbing than fiction.
I first became aware of private militia groups as my general interest in conspiracy theory. Not in the sense that I believe that stuff, but in the sense that I find it fascinating what people will believe, and the rationalizations (hidden and unhidden) that are used to defend those beliefs. Right now, out there, all over America, tens of thousands of people belong to these private militias.