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New Left Review I/110, July-August 1978


Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Two Notes on the End of the World Remarks on the Spectacle

I

The apocalypse is part of our ideological baggage. It is aphrodisiac, nightmare, a commodity like any other. You can call it a metaphor for the collapse of capitalism, which as we all know has been imminent for more than a century. We come up against it in the most varied shapes and guises: as warning finger and scientific forecast, collective fiction and sectarian rallying cry, as product of the leisure industry, as superstition, as vulgar mythology, as a riddle, a kick, a joke, a projection. It is ever present, but never ‘actual’: a second reality, an image that we construct for ourselves, an incessant production of our fantasy, the catastrophe in the mind.

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