It’s Always the End of the World

 

Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse by IrenHorrors

Is anyone else here tired of the constant millennialism of everything? I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem.

There is a delightfully witty and elegantly short piece in City Journal mocking how human beings always think that they live in the worst of all possible times. It starts with mentioning how a writer in, The New York Review of Books described 2019 as ‘dystopian.’ That’s about the best set-up for an enjoyable polemic that you could hope for and David Crane doesn’t disappoint.

If you can only read one article because of Thanksgiving. Read this one.

There are 33 comments.

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  1. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    How can anyone think they live in the worst era? With all the new technology, medical breakthroughs and opportunities things are great. Being an American is also a big plus.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Things are so good that people have to go around making up problems.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly
    @Misthiocracy

    Henry Castaigne: I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem.

    Not to mention the ever-imminent collapse of the Republic due to demographic change, malicious Chinese trade practices, artificial intelligence, ideologues in the education system, media and technology oligarchies, insufficient policing of the southern border, nefarious elites working in concert with the deep state, etc.

    Not all hysterical catastrophism comes from the Left.

    • #3
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Henry Castaigne: constant millennialism of everything.

    Is this a Y2K reference?

    • #4
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Things are so good that people have to go around making up problems.

    Thank you for not using that xenophobic trope of “first world problems”.

    • #5
  6. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Henry Castaigne: There is a delightfully witty and a elegantly short piece in City Journal mocking how human beings always think that they live in the worst of all possible times

    Probably never read his Dickens.

    • #6
  7. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Henry Castaigne: I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem

    Oh I’m definitely dead. I just haven’t stopped moving yet.

    • #7
  8. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Things are so good that people have to go around making up problems.

    Thank you for not using that xenophobic trope of “first world problems”.

    I try to view all my problems through the Cold War lens. It’s not my fault I rarely have to wait in a breadline or watch as my country becomes part of a proxy war between the US and Russia.

    • #8
  9. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    But, as they say, even paranoids can have enemies. And sometimes predictions of doom are correct.

    The worst result of the regular proclamations of apocalypse is that people are induced to ignore the actual signs of a real apocalypse. How do you tell a real from a false apocalypse? Simply by the evidence. A real apocalypse has evidence to support it that simple common sense can understand.

    The apocalypse facing us is economic/financial. Our debt at all levels, both public and private, the grossly unfunded pensions, and much more, have reached levels that would be comic were not the inevitable results to be so tragic. The numbers are so outrageous that it seems to people that if these numbers haven’t caused a crisis, none ever will. This isn’t some obscure climate chart with rigged numbers. It’s simple accounting that anyone can understand. But like the guy who weighs 500 lbs, and was told back at 300 lbs that he had to lose weight or suffer the consequences, yet made it to 500 seemingly without penalty, we think debt can go on forever.

    It can’t.

     

    • #9
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Waiting for the end of the world/Dear Lord/I sincerely hope you’re coming/Cause you really started something

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne: I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem.

    Not to mention the ever-imminent collapse of the Republic due to demographic change, malicious Chinese trade practices, artificial intelligence, ideologues in the education system, media and technology oligarchies, insufficient policing of the southern border, nefarious elites working in concert with the deep state, etc.

    Not all hysterical catastrophism comes from the Left.

    Not all of it is hysterical. Most changes are gradual, but there are dreadful trends that stretch back about 50 years. Illegitimacy rates are very high and rising. Marriage is down, and declining. The birthrate is at an all-time low. The prevalence of homosexuality and trans (whatever in the world trans is) are increasing rapidly.

    Frankly, it looks much like the demographic death spiral predicted by Mark Steyn in America Alone, except that America is not immune to these problems. In fairness, Steyn noted this, in part, in his later book After America.

    • #11
  12. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    America has “hybrid vigor”, which tends to make an entity stronger and better able to survive adverse events. Has there ever in history been a country with a wider variety of ethnic groups, political philosophies, or exports than the United States of America? Has there ever been a country that has attracted more immigrants from the rest of the world? I think n0t. America should be celebrated, always, by everyone as the last, best hope ON earth, and OF Earth.

    • #12
  13. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):
    Not to mention the ever-imminent collapse of the Republic due to demographic change, malicious Chinese trade practices, artificial intelligence, ideologues in the education system, media and technology oligarchies, insufficient policing of the southern border, nefarious elites working in concert with the deep state, etc.

    Just remember that when we do collapse, we’re taking you with us.

    • #13
  14. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Don’t forget Net Neutrality and Tax Cuts!

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Don’t forget Net Neutrality and Tax Cuts!

    And pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

    • #15
  16. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Well I was born in 69 so that was obviously the best year ending with 9!

    • #16
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Well I was born in 69 so that was obviously the best year ending with 9!

    Youngster.

    • #17
  18. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    More than “dystopian,” I hear “hellscape.” As in “this capitalist hellscape.” It’s usually found in a long, bleating plaint on some long-form website or a site specializing in short hot takes; it’s intended seriously and not seriously but also seriously, because Capitalism, amirite?

    The author is usually well-educated in the sense of having a credential from an expensive school, does not work in an industry that constructs anything tangible, lives in a place that A) is full of rich people, B) is hideously expensive, and C) has been governed by the left for decades. They seem to regard cool little coffee shops with exposed brick walls as something that arises organically, almost without effort, the natural state of the world; they live in small apartments densely packed, and regard this as morally superior option to a house in a flyover state, because Climate, and also because the people in the flyover state watch Fox. 

    They are presented daily with displays of luxury goods they cannot afford, and regard their existence as proof of capitalism’s moral failing – no one should be able to afford a $5,000 handbag. Although it is cute. Perhaps if Fendi is nationalized everyone can have one. It would never occur to them to move to a place that doesn’t have tall glass towers that serve as pied a terres for the international rich, because that would mean they don’t live – however poorly – in an important place. The very idea of living in a thriving, affordable Midwestern or Southern city is horrifying, because the only thing worse than living in a capitalist hellscape is living in one where people don’t think it’s a capitalist hellscape.

    • #18
  19. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    The very idea of living in a thriving, affordable Midwestern or Southern city is horrifying, because the only thing worse than living in a capitalist hellscape is living in one where people don’t think it’s a capitalist hellscape.

    I’m reminded of the Journolist type, Yglesias or someone similar who suggested that the sort of people you named should move to Madison, or Helena, or some other Progressive bastion in flyover states in order to shift elections leftward.

    I don’t think the idea got much traction but it’s actually not bad from their perspective. Of course it might be better if they moved to specific districts where they might be able to shift House or state level elections but I guess that’s a bridge too far.

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Great graphic, Henry!

    • #20
  21. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam… Coolidge
    MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam…
    @ChrisCampion

    James Lileks (View Comment):

     

    They are presented daily with displays of luxury goods they cannot afford, and regard their existence as proof of capitalism’s moral failing – no one should be able to afford a $5,000 handbag. Although it is cute. Perhaps if Fendi is nationalized everyone can have one

    This cracked me up. Can we nationalize DeLorean so I can have one of those, too?

    And perhaps also nationalize Scarlett Johannson?

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MACHO GRANDE' (aka – Chri… (View Comment):
    And perhaps also nationalize Scarlett Johannson?

    When a good is scarce in a communist/socialist/non-market system, the good goes to the highest party members first. So, if we do nationalize her, guess who won’t be partaking?

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Great graphic, Henry!

    It’s done by an artist named Irene Horrors.

    https://www.deviantart.com/irenhorrors/gallery/

    • #23
  24. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam… Coolidge
    MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam…
    @ChrisCampion

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Great graphic, Henry!

    It’s done by an artist named Irene Horrors.

    https://www.deviantart.com/irenhorrors/gallery/

    Wow! Cool stuff on her site.

    • #24
  25. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly
    @Misthiocracy

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne: I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem.

    Not to mention the ever-imminent collapse of the Republic due to demographic change, malicious Chinese trade practices, artificial intelligence, ideologues in the education system, media and technology oligarchies, insufficient policing of the southern border, nefarious elites working in concert with the deep state, etc.

    Not all hysterical catastrophism comes from the Left.

    Not all of it is hysterical. Most changes are gradual, but there are dreadful trends that stretch back about 50 years. Illegitimacy rates are very high and rising. Marriage is down, and declining. The birthrate is at an all-time low. The prevalence of homosexuality and trans (whatever in the world trans is) are increasing rapidly.

    Frankly, it looks much like the demographic death spiral predicted by Mark Steyn in America Alone, except that America is not immune to these problems. In fairness, Steyn noted this, in part, in his later book After America.

    Fair enough, but by extension could one not just as easily argue that not all catastrophic hand-wringing by the Left is necessarily hysterical?

    • #25
  26. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):
    Fair enough, but by extension could one not just as easily argue that not all catastrophic hand-wringing by the Left is necessarily hysterical?

    One could, if they weren’t dead six times over like I am.

    In Wisconsin a few years back there was a debate over giving permission to open a new iron ore mine. As I understood it there were genuine arguments against it but then while watching some coverage one of the against group was talking about how an Indian tribe would be affected and called it genocide. I pretty much stopped listening after that.

    • #26
  27. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):
    Fair enough, but by extension could one not just as easily argue that not all catastrophic hand-wringing by the Left is necessarily hysterical?

    One could, if they weren’t dead six times over like I am.

    In Wisconsin a few years back there was a debate over giving permission to open a new iron ore mine. As I understood it there were genuine arguments against it but then while watching some coverage one of the against group was talking about how an Indian tribe would be affected and called it genocide. I pretty much stopped listening after that.

    I was following the Dakota pipeline that was going to be built near the Indian Reservation in Standing Rock. According to what I can remember, pipelines create way less fatalities than using trucks to transfer fuel and while there is a risk of leaks. The environmental damage is contained and unlike the BP oil well disaster, they can shut the oil off very quickly and alert the communities that might be affected. 

    But apparently making those points means I’m I want to poison indigenous peoples and take their land. Most importantly, these wild exaggerations become the mainstream lefty talking points.

    Right-wing people have their conspiracy kooks and their own versions of millennialism but it’s so much more mainstream on the left. 

    • #27
  28. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne: I’m supposed to be dead from GMOs and global warming and Trump’s tweets or this or this or that problem.

    Not to mention the ever-imminent collapse of the Republic due to demographic change, malicious Chinese trade practices, artificial intelligence, ideologues in the education system, media and technology oligarchies, insufficient policing of the southern border, nefarious elites working in concert with the deep state, etc.

    Not all hysterical catastrophism comes from the Left.

    Not all of it is hysterical. Most changes are gradual, but there are dreadful trends that stretch back about 50 years. Illegitimacy rates are very high and rising. Marriage is down, and declining. The birthrate is at an all-time low. The prevalence of homosexuality and trans (whatever in the world trans is) are increasing rapidly.

    Frankly, it looks much like the demographic death spiral predicted by Mark Steyn in America Alone, except that America is not immune to these problems. In fairness, Steyn noted this, in part, in his later book After America.

    Fair enough, but by extension could one not just as easily argue that not all catastrophic hand-wringing by the Left is necessarily hysterical?

    Of course. Every example of catastrophic hand-wringing should be evaluated on its own merits. It is relatively easy to generalize with respect to Left-wing catastrophic hand-wringing, because I can’t think of one on which they have a good point.

    I was actually responding to the overgeneralization, expressed in the OP and come some of the comments, that all catastrophic hand-wringing is necessarily hysterical. I think that much of it is, and some of it is not.

    • #28
  29. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    update #1:

    An old City Journal article tells the same story in a different from a half century ago.

    The “psychiatric evaluations” that took up the next 40 pages were in response to a question that Fact sent to the nation’s psychiatrists from a list supplied by the American Medical Association: “Do you believe Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as President of the United States?” Ruth Adams of New York replied that she saw in the GOP candidate “a strong identification with the authoritarianism of Hitler, if not identification with Hitler himself,” and other responding psychiatrists echoed that theme. “I believe Goldwater has the same pathological make-up as Hitler, Castro, Stalin and other known schizophrenic leaders,” wrote Chester M. Johnson, Jr., of Long Beach, while Philadelphia’s Paul Fink observed that, like the Führer, the Republican nominee “appeals to the unconscious sadism and hostility in the average human being.” G. Templeton, of Glen Cove, New York, warned that “if Goldwater wins the Presidency, both you and I will be among the first into the concentration camps.”

    Ain’t nothing new.

    update #2:

    My visiting family relatives are quite sure that we will run out of food and natural resources very quickly. Like in the next decade or so. Wars will erupt to acquire these resources. I discussed how free trade lets up buy resources from where they are plentiful without war and how Paul Erlich was wrong about everything. I also mentioned that before Paul Erlich there was Robert Malthus who was wrong about everything in exactly the same way. Zero effect. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

    People just believe in the end of the world.

    • #29
  30. Ammo.com Member
    Ammo.com
    @ammodotcom

    Great article suggestion and perfect for the season. We could definitely use a reallocation of our collective energies. There’s a ton of interesting and valuable problems people could be working on instead, here’s just a few: https://www.xprize.org/prizes

     

    • #30

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