Chapter 61 of Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future ends with an interesting analysis of why many of the richest are choosing global destruction over change.
The name for this response comes from Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung, which ends with the old gods of the pre-Christian Norse mythology destroying the world as they die, in a final murderous and suicidal auto-da-fé.
The Götterdämmrung Syndrome, as with most violent pathologies, is more often seen in men than women. It is often interpreted as an example of narcissistic rage. Those who feel it are usually privileged and entitled, and they become extremely angry when their privileges and sense of entitlement are being taken away. If then their choice gets reduced to admitting they are in error or destroying the world, a reduction they often feel to be the case, the obvious choice for them is to destroy the world; for they cannot admit they have ever erred.
Even the night sky frightens the narcissist, as presenting impossible-to-deny evidence of a world exterior to the self. Narcissists therefore tend to stay indoors, live in ideas, and demand compliance and assent from everyone they come in contact with, who are all regarded as servants, or ghosts. And as death approaches, they do their best to destroy as much of the world as they can.
Yes, it sounds like *rump, but it also sounds like Hitler and the fundies and so many more.
Turns out the sound of apocalypse is French Horns.
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