This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, see our privacy statement

New Left Review I/110, July-August 1978

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

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


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.

Subscribe for just £45 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3


Hans Magnus Enzensberger, ‘Two Notes on the End of the World’, NLR I/110: £3

If you want to create a new NLR account please register here

’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’

New NLR website coming soon—click here for a preview.