I enjoy stories like The Lottery and The Hunger Games because they remind me of Nietzsche’s insight, “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.” British band XTC wrote Sacrificial Bonfire using the theme on their outstanding Skylarking album.
“Fire!” they cried, so evil must die; and yields are good, so men pull back hoods and smile.
The scapegoat blood spilled, spittled and grilled; it crackled and spat and children grew fat on the meat.
Change must be earnt, sacrificial bonfire must burn; burn up the old, ring in the new.
Assembled on high, silhouette against the sky; the smoke prayed and pranced and sparks did their dance in the wind.
Shadows wore thin with less and less skin, and the clothes that were draped was all that told man from ape.
Change must be earnt, sacrificial bonfire must reign; reign over good, banish the bad.