Category Archives: apocalypse

Islamism is as nonsensical and malevolent as Marxism

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 21.13.10Islamism, writes Dalrymple,

is so stupid, preposterous, intellectually nugatory and appallingly catastrophic in its effects that it makes one almost nostalgic for the days of Marxism.

Almost.

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The classless society: of this earth only

At least Marxism

had a patina of rationality, and most of its adherents (in the West at any rate), while not averse to violence in the abstract, were willing to postpone the final, extremely violent apocalypse to some future date and did not believe that by blowing themselves up or cutting people’s throats they would ascend directly to the classless society or meet Marx in his pantheon.

You could be a martyr in the Marxist cause,

Richard Sorge was hanged in Japan in 1944. He became a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1964

Richard Sorge was hanged in Japan in 1944. He became a Hero of the Soviet Union in 1964

but only on the understanding that death was final. The best you could hope for was that, after the final victory of the proletarian revolution, you would have a postage stamp issued in your memory.

This does not have quite the same attraction as

an everlasting orgy in a cool desert oasis while everyone else is roasting eternally in Gehenna. (No bliss is quite complete without someone else’s agony.)

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The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

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John Martin, 1852. Oil on canvas. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Man, writes Dalrymple, is 
’the only species (as far as we know) that takes pleasure in contemplating its annihilation‘. Yet 
’the appetite for soothing banality is as great, and perhaps dialectically related to, the appetite for apocalyptic visions’.

Pessimists, despair not!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 13.26.38Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, AIDS and the Ebola virus have proved disappointing and dementia rates are falling but

there are grounds for thinking that improvement may not last. The increase in obesity and type II diabetes may reverse the trend. The fatties of today will be the dements of tomorrow. That is, of course, if no treatment is discovered in the meantime that cures type II diabetes or prevents its deleterious effects, so that people will be able to have their cake and not suffer the consequences.

On the typology of pessimists

The existential and the apocalyptic.