An online essay also has some provoking details about Ahriman: The Advent of Ahriman: An Essay on the Deep Forces behind the World-Crisis (Posted May 1997 by Robert S. Mason; Last revised August 18, 2007.)discusses Ahriman's influence on the western world in depth. I say the 'western world' especially since Ahriman's influence deals with promoting materialism and narrow-mindedness in political and economic life. Although there is much in the article which I do not personally agree with, I still feel it is significant in that it raises an alternative view to many of the ills spreading in present socio-cultural life. I will quote from the article at length, which begins with the following outline:
In the social-cultural sphere, Ahriman's influence is apparent everywhere, especially strong and growing stronger throughout the Twentieth Century. Chief among the Ahrimanic trends are:
* Antagonistic nationalism based on ethnicity. (Moderate folk-nationalism was a progressive principle in the past, but ethnic nationalism is retrogressive and destructive today.)
* Dogmatic party politics, engendering hatred and bitterness arising from the refusal to see other, equally valid (or invalid) points of view
* The subjugation of cultural life (e.g. medicine, education, research, criminal jurisprudence) to political and economic power
* The mechanization of the political state, bound by rigid laws everywhere, with little place for free human initiative
* In everyday life: Philistinism, tedium, and alienation, lack of interest in one's work, even in intellectual work (Ahriman wants knowledge to be devoid of warm human interest and connection, to be stored in libraries and not to live in human souls.)
* In medicine: materialistic, mechanistic (and atrocious) experimentalism and treatment, without understanding of the living human individual (The related practice of embalming corpses tends to bind the human entity to earth; this is an Ahrimanic reflection of ancient Egyptian mummification.)
* In social science: blind acceptance of statistics, and the belief that the satisfaction of economic needs by itself will secure human welfare
* In economics: the subjugation of all living and human interests to the inhuman, impersonal mechanism of profit-seeking, to the "artificial person" of the corporation (In the USA this has reached such a state that the humanizing influence of the labor movement is being obliterated, and the exigencies of "making a living", along with other destructive Ahrimanic trends, are destroying the human family -- this in the so-called "richest country in the world". (A perspicacious American folk-wisdom has coined the phrase "the Almighty Dollar".) The Ahrimanic "Mammon" is archetypally the god of "filthy lucre" and of the power of money over life, as well as of all low and dark forces; his hosts also attack the human body and soul to corrupt and destroy them.)
* In the Christian religion: narrow, simplistic interpretation of the Gospels, without appreciation for the occult wisdom needed for an approach to the deep mysteries of the Christ Being
* In literature: books inspired directly by Ahriman, works of great intelligence that further Ahriman's goals (e.g. some parts of Nietzsche's Antichrist and Ecce Homo)
* In technics: very refined developments, but directed only at satisfying animal needs, promoting human immersion in the sense-world to the exclusion of the supersensible
* In world-view: Men as animals, animals (and all living things) as mechanisms, the non-existence of soul and spirit, and the non-existence of moral reality: amoralism.
Interestingly, the article later goes on to say that:
Steiner says that the Ahrimanic incarnation will happen the West in the Third Millennium. In his nomenclature "West" means primarily Britain and English-speaking America. There is ample reason to suspect that the destined place for this event is (North) America, for the effect of the American natural environment on the human body and soul especially favors Ahrimanic tendencies. According to Steiner's insights, each of the various regions of the earth has its unique effect upon the human organism. In America the Ahrimanic influence is strong, rising from the center of the earth, carried by electromagnetism...
Later still I find it useful to see that there is a constructive side to Ahriman's influence:
...But Ahriman's incarnation need not be an evil event, as he wishes it to be. This incarnation is necessary in human and earthly evolution, and it can be turned toward the good, if mankind meets it in the right way: On the mundane level, we can remedy Ahrimanic tedium in the work-life and the intellectual life, by filling them with warm, Luciferic enthusiasm, by finding what is interesting in them, by getting ourselves interested in objective, impersonal facts and processes. On the psychological level, we can remedy Luciferic subjectivity and fiery emotionalism by observing ourselves coolly, as we would an external natural process...
...The fundamental principle in this, the Consciousness Soul Epoch, is the emergence in the Man of conscious, individualized, independent thinking.
Significant then is the implication that these times can also be turned towards stimulating our own psychic growth and evolution towards higher conscious awareness. In times of turbulence then, there are opportunities for dynamic and accelerated growth. This, surely, is the direction of our focus and efforts?