Culture and the Apocalypse


Suppressing the ideal as such and having declared war against humanism, the liberals are turning humans into beasts


The USSR’s victory over Hitler’s Germany was a triumph of the Communist idea. Eastern Europe joined the socialist bloc. In a number of Western European countries, communists became government officials. It is worth watching the movie The Little World of don Camillo filmed in 1950s in Italy in order to experience the atmosphere of that time. It depicts the life of a small Italian provincial city, which has two reputable powers: the communist mayor and the local parish priest. Their constant rivalry, arguments, and endless funny encounters, nevertheless, kept exposing the likeness of their aspirations and the spirit of camaraderie, which emerged in the mutual struggle of the Church and the Communist party against fascism.

This is why at that time in Europe, which was imbued with the spirit of victory over fascism, Austrian philosopher’s Friedrich von Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom (1944), in which both socialism and fascism were dubbed totalitarianism, was met by many with hostile bewilderment.

However, soon the public air had changed: the persecution of the Communist parties had begun, and the Soviet Union was turned from an ally and a friend into “the Evil Empire”. Von Hayek, in turn, created the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947, which united intellectuals with the purpose of combating not just totalitarianism, but any kind of collectivism: any and all social unions were declared a path towards totalitarianism! This idea was then further developed by Karl Popper, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and others. Most importantly, this idea managed to find its way into culture. Into a culture that was already deeply traumatized by its inadequacy, its inability to adequately respond to the fundamental questions that World War II had raised.

Theodor Adorno, a member of the Frankfurt School, wrote in 1966, “Auschwitz irrefutably demonstrated the failure of culture. That it could happen in the midst of all the traditions of philosophy, art and the enlightening sciences, says more than merely that these, the Spirit, was not capable of seizing and changing human beings… All culture after Auschwitz, including its urgent critique, is garbage.”

One cannot say that there was no search for an answer as to what exactly happened. Why did the “cultured” human being undergo such a horrifying transformation, allowing fascism defeat himself?

This way, American director Stanley Kubrick began to say that the human attraction to beauty coincides with violence and aggression. In his 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, a group of young criminals keeps committing violent, horrible crimes, after which they enjoy Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, calling Beethoven “Old Ludwig Van” (this device will be repeated many times later on; for example, the helicopter attack in Apocalypse Now takes place accompanied by Wagner’s music). In the end, the leader of this violent group winds up in prison, where he agrees to an experiment. The purpose of the experiment is the psychological brainwashing of the criminal in order to completely discourage him from committing crimes. But the results of the experiment stagger the scientists: the violent criminal turns into a weak creature with no willpower, incapable even of defending himself.

Public opinion was hostile towards the movie. It was immediately labelled as promoting violence; the star of the movie, Malcolm McDowell’s, acquaintances refused to greet him when they met him outside, and movie theatres refused to screen the movie. But everything was just getting started…

Such talented film directors as Stanley Kramer and Ingmar Bergman tried to get to the bottom of the nature of fascism. The senior American judge, who came to Germany to serve as the Chief Trial Judge at the Nuremberg trials, asks Germans in Kramer’s movie Judgement at Nuremberg, “You must have been aware of some of the events that were going on?”

Up until the fall of the USSR, the war on the cultural front was led with mixed results. But, alas… The fall of the Soviet Union dealt a most powerful blow against that, without which no cinematography, no art, no culture, in general, can exist: at the ideals. At humanistic ideals, of course. For understandable reasons, humanity had created no other ideal: humans as a species cannot survive if the ideal disappears; or moreover, if it is turned inside out.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to state that the fall of the USSR was interpreted as proof of the inadequacy of humanistic ideals. Von Hayek and his followers, arguing that any ideal is a road to violence, misfortune, and to catastrophe, had the last word. Connecting such horrors to the existence of ideals, von Hayek did not reveal, for some reason, what the absence of ideals leads to. It led to the transformation of cinema, and not only it, into an industry of violence and perversion.

The movie Natural Born Killers (1994), based on the screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, is a striking example of the new cinema. The movie tells of a fictional couple of serial killers, Mickey and Mallory Knox, who commit dozens of extremely violent murders, becoming world-famous.

The protagonist, Mickey, explains his behavior as follows, “A lot of people walking around out there already dead. They just need to be put out of their misery. That’s where I come in. Fate’s messenger.” After the couple gets arrested, a journalist manages to get through to them in prison in order to arrange for a live broadcast of their execution. What follows next is a bloody scene of the journalist and cameraman being taken hostage, and the viewer sees an even bloodier plot unfold, and it gets ever more bloody.

According to some researchers, showing scenes of violence in film and television increases the viewers’ aggression. There are examples of a direct correlation between the increase of violence and the number of aggressive scenes shown, which “trigger” or “launch” imitation mechanisms.

One of the most recent examples is a tragic event, which took place in Moscow on November 7, when a young lawyer (called the “pharmacy shooter” by the journalists) killed six of his co-workers. Prior to doing so, he left a message on Twitter stating that he “hates all of humanity”. Incidentally, the murderer called Natural Born Killers his favorite movie.

The over-the-top quantities of deaths, blood, and destruction on the air of any TV channel comes back to us in the form of horrible incidents and unmotivated crimes.

It should be also mentioned how cinema rejects past heroes and how absolutely new heroes emerge. In 1969, Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci shot a movie based on the story Theme of the Traitor and the Hero by the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. The movie was called The Spider’s Stratagem. The plot centers on the story of an antifascist hero, who turns out to be a traitor. In order not to ruin the reputation of the antifascist movement, friends murder their former comrade-in-arms, having arranged everything in such a fashion, so that the blame for his murder would be on the fascists. A similar theme is spelled out in Paul Verhoeven’s movie Black Book (2006), in which an antifascist hero, a leader of a partisan unit, in the end, turns out to be a cynical traitor, who had worked for fascists throughout the whole war.

The antifascist hero, then, was discarded like garbage, for he is false to the core. But who is new hero, free of this “humanistic falsehood”? The most well-known of these new heroes is the serial killer depicted in the movie Hannibal (2001). Hannibal Lecter is loosely based on the serial killer Albert Fish. What this monster liked the most was to stalk small girls, torture them for a long time before killing them, and then devour their disfigured bodies. Anthony Hopkins, who portrayed the cannibal serial killer in Hannibal and Silence of the Lambs (1991), had only 16 minutes of screen time in the latter, but that did not prevent him from winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in that movie.

A whole separate theme in modern cinema and literature is the variety of depicted fantastic evil beings. Thousands of artificially created monsters, ghosts, living dead, and zombies plague the movies… As humanism leaves the cinema, so does the Light it is connected with. It is replaced by Darkness.

American writer Henry Thoreau wrote that “day-born gods… were not supposed to be of equal antiquity with the… night-born gods.” Who is more ancient, and thus more powerful, is a whole different question. In this case, we are not dealing with the free competition of culture and nature, light and darkness, day and night. Though even such competition would challenge all of human history. We are dealing with the conscious imposing of that which belongs to nature and the rejection of that which belongs to culture, we are dealing with an imposed Darkness and a rejected Light. With the cult of the night. And with everything that follows from such a cult.

Night becomes the primary time for entertainment. Periodically, events called Night at the Museum take place; the club culture flourishes at night; street fireworks shows and yearly Halloween celebrations featuring all kinds of evil creatures, have already become commonplace.

Liberalism let this genie out of the bottle, and now it can do nothing about it. It cannot, or it does not want to? It would seem that the US thas rating agencies that classify works of culture (movies, TV shows). These are dangerous, and these are not, or so it seems. But the point is that a population that is driven to a certain state reacts to such restrictions in quite a peculiar fashion. Meanwhile, the liberal doctrine that had banished the ideal out of culture somehow does not remove, but on the contrary, encourages scenes of fighting and blood, and nerve-rattling by horror films aired on TV. Why? Might it be because this will inevitably teach the new liberal humans everything that fascism desired to teach them? By suppressing the ideal as such, and having declared war against humanism, the liberals implement the same fascist project of turning humans into sick beasts, but in a more devious and effective manner.

Members of different Christian denominations begin to note this, and to them, such a transformation of humans into beasts means the coming of the Antichrist. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all of Russia spoke at a conference, saying that soon not just homosexual marriages will be on the agenda, but the legalization of pedophilia. He said that liberal pluralism becomes a dangerous tool, which destroys the main principles of life. “Postmodernism introduces pluralism instead of truth… Truth and lies do not exist. The line between good and evil is being erased. This is exactly what the coming of Apocalypse will be like,” said the Patriarch.

The Patriarch can be accused of bias against hostile liberals. But can the late John Paul II be accused of this? Because back in 1995, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, he stated that “the culture of death” is spreading in a “society excessively concerned with efficiency”, in which the weak are doomed to extermination.

In January 2006 his successor, Benedict XVI, also spoke during a Sunday mass about the anticulture, called it “the culture of death”, and he explained that this anticulture manifests itself “for example, in drugs, in the flight from reality to what is illusory, to a false happiness expressed in deceit, fraud, injustice and contempt for others, for solidarity, and for responsibility for the poor and the suffering; it is expressed in a sexuality that becomes sheer irresponsible enjoyment, that makes the human person into a ‘thing’.” He noted that the culture of death flourished in the Roman Empire, when Christians were murdered for the purpose of entertainment of the audience, and that it exists in contemporary society.

The head of the Catholic Church is not only concerned by the vacuum formed in the absence of faith and high meanings, and which is being rapidly filled with violence, hedonism, and perversion. According to him, “the culture of death” is “widely prevalent”, and he urges to say “no” to it. But what does it mean to say “no”? The protagonist of the French playwright Jean Anouilh said, “I am here to say no to you and to die.” But if you wish to live, it is not enough to say “no” to the horror that is approaching us. It is necessary to understand that this horror is being sent by enemies. And that war against them on the cultural front is our sacred duty that we owe to our ancestors and descendants.


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This is the translation of the article (first published in the “Essence of Time” newspaper issue 4 on November 14, 2012) by Maria Ryzhova on the culture of death. Fascism worships death and, at the same time, turns death into means of achieving its inhumane goals, from enslavement to extermination. Last time they failed, and so now they try to enter through the back door, make people accept death.

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