Future apocalypse, prophesied down the centuries, has today moved out of the entertainment sphere, out of all those disaster movies and sci-fi novels, and into the political and scientific arenas.
Twenty-first century apocalypticism, for overtly political ends, now abounds in mainstream climate change and pandemic rhetoric where even well-educated people succumb to apocalyptic paroxysms — for example, utterances about ‘global boiling’, the ‘planet on fire’, the ‘climate timebomb’ and the ‘even deadlier’ pandemics coming our way.
To ensure general acceptance of such pessimistic scenarios and maintain control of the establishment narrative, suppression of cogent alternative and ameliorating viewpoints is a must, and dissenters, whether it be in politics, media or academia, must be persecuted and/or ridiculed, with livelihoods and reputations relegated to the chopping block.
Apocalypse now — or else!
Political, scientific and technological discourse and, of course, the mainstream media, is permeated with news of abounding cataclysmic threats couched in apocalyptic jargon and communicated with almost evangelical fervour.
If wrathful angels are no longer descending from heaven as in the old days, then unidentified anomalous phenomena certainly are. NASA, in its recent release of its findings on UAP (formerly UFOs), says there’s no reason to think UFOs are alien craft, but many recent UFO reports have come from credible witnesses, and UFOs do indeed pose a threat to US airspace.
Doomsday scenarios are already mooted in science, of course, but in terms of the distant past or far future — the mass extinction including the dinosaurs 65 million years ago by meteor impact, for example, or the dying phases of the sun two or three billion years ahead. Now, though, it’s the near future that’s at stake — a much nearer future than one in which a sizeable asteroid or comet could crash into the Earth and cause global damage, the probability of which is very small, being an event which might occur once in ten million years, according to astronomers.
Yes, the eschatological imagination is as active today as ever it was in human history, although its symbolism is now created by politicised science and technocracy rather than religion or…