Monday 5 February 2024

Last days of Atlantis...

John Martin's The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - Not our fate

I find that thoughts of the the last days of "Atlantis" - especially of Tolkien's Numenor - come to my mind more and more often: visions of a vast society crumbling and rotting - while its citizens are oscillate between vague obliviousness, and a smug-spiteful-cowardly-passive-aggression that seems (in my imagination) to be distinctive and causal of civilizational decadence and corruption. 

Almost everywhere, there seems to be a lethal mixture of ignorance and bland idiocy, with pettiness and prideful inversion. People claim to be unaware of the important things that have happened and are happening, yet when they hear about such things almost instantly forget them; and unerringly focus on some minute irrelevance. 

If even some brief understanding of the scale and depth of lethal threats is able to form itself mentally; like as not people will instantly and stubbornly take the wrong side, grasp the wrong end of the stick, advocate some action that is counter-productive and indeed suicidal. 

What is most striking is that - from all the above - it seems certain that when collapse commences and continues; there will prevail a grossly false belief in the reasons; combined with an absolute failure to take responsibility for self-blinding, supporting evil assumptions and concepts, and for sustaining and amplifying the underlying causes of destruction. 

This is Atlantis because a great civilization had become so greatly evil such that it has turned-against itself in self-hatred, and engineered its own destruction. 

Yet all this is hidden, and the situation is robbed of grandeur, nobility and tragedy, by the depth and scale of dishonesty. 

The culture of lies, untruths and deliberate misleading is so prevalent, habitual, and vehemently defended and coerced; that Atlantis is ignorant of its own nature, and of what it is doing to itself. 

Even as Atlantis engages in systematic suicide, it is consumed by resentment. 

Even as it inflicts suffering and terror on itself, it seeks to shirk responsibility and to blame others 

Even as it despairs at the purposelessness and meaninglessness of its fundamental beliefs and aspirations - it scorns and persecutes all attempts to diagnose or cure the sickness.  

Thereby the sins of Atlantis sins are compounded. 

TS Eliot: This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a whimper.

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