This paper explores global trends of rising authoritarianism and the weaponisation of hate to justify policies of state violence and the crushing of resistance. Drawing parallels with the past, the paper demonstrates how such techniques of state power are not ‘new’ but are perhaps concerningly familiar – especially during times of mass uncertainty. Attention will be drawn to the socio-economic conditions that can be ‘ripe’ for (ab)use by states to redirect blame for mass human suffering towards already marginalised groups. Further, the increasing use of technology to push techniques of propaganda amid a time of state described ‘fake news’ will be discussed. The aim of the paper is to raise criminological alarm bells about the urgent need for scholars to critically consider the mass harms we are living through, as well as sharing frameworks to collectively understand atrocity and develop the tools we need to resist.