By John Gray

Attention-grabbing, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass seems on the historical and sleek faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, yet at what price?

During the final century international politics used to be formed by means of Utopian initiatives. Pursuing a dream of a global with no evil, robust states waged struggle and practised terror on an unparalleled scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, whole societies have been destroyed.

Utopian ideologies rejected conventional faiths and claimed to be dependent in technology. They have been really secular types of the parable of Apocalypse–the trust in a world-changing occasion that brings historical past, with all its conflicts, to an finish. The conflict in Iraq was once the final of those makes an attempt at making a secular Utopia, promising a brand new period of democracy and generating blood-soaked anarchy and an rising theocracy instead.

John Gray’s robust and scary new ebook argues that the dying of Utopia doesn't suggest peace. as a substitute it portends the resurgence of historical myths, now in overtly fundamentalist types. Obscurely combined with geo-political struggles for the regulate of typical assets, apocalyptic faith has back as a big strength in international conflict.

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Christianity injected the belief that human history is a teleological process. The Greek word telos means ‘end’, a word that in English means both the terminus of a process and the goal or purpose that a process can serve. In thinking of history in teleological terms, Christians believed it had an end in both senses: history had a pre-determined purpose, and when that was achieved it would come to a close. Secular thinkers such as Marx and Fukuyama inherited this teleology, which underpins their talk of ‘the end of history’.

In early 1534, after converting large numbers of preachers, nuns and laypeople, the Anabaptists carried out their first armed uprising and seized control of Münster’s town hall and marketplace. The city became an Anabaptist stronghold, with Lutherans fleeing while Anabaptists from nearby towns flocked in. It was announced that the rest of the Earth would be destroyed before Easter, but Münster would be saved to become the New Jerusalem. Catholics and Lutherans were expelled while those who remained were rebaptised in the town square.

Contents Acknowledgements 1 The Death of Utopia 2 Enlightenment and Terror in the Twentieth Century 3 Utopia Enters the Mainstream 4 The Americanization of the Apocalypse 5 Armed Missionaries 6 Post-Apocalypse Notes Acknowledgements Many people have helped me in writing this book. Norman Cohn gave me the immese benefit of his conversation, and I could not have developed the interpretation of modern politics and religion presented here without it. Conversations with Bryan Appleyard, Robert Colls, Michael Lind, Adam Phillips and Paul Schütze have entered into the book in many ways.

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