Having previously read and reviewed Parvini’s book “The Populist Delusion”, I looked forward to doing the same with his most recent title, “The Prophets of Doom”, this time published by UK Publisher, Imprint Academic.
Parvini primarily focuses on eleven authors; nine of which are essentially prophets, while two (the still living Tainter and Turchin) are scholars who seem at least partially drowned in the utopian Scientism of postmodernity. Nevertheless, Parvini’s analysis of the work by them decidedly shows little or no fundamental difference between them and their predecessors. Except perhaps their egos, which Parvini essentially gives an intellectual ‘People’s Elbow’.
The first chapter is an eloquent and expansive introduction to the theme of the book, regarding Linear and Cyclical views on history, laying out the chapters succinctly, while detailing its essential thesis. The ensuing chapters address, analyze, dissect and digest each Prophet in turn, in a gradual march of historical analysis from earlier ones such as Giambattista Vico (Chapter Two), onto Julius Evola (Chapter 9) and through to the still-living Tainter (Chapter 11) and Turchin (Chapter 12).
Each of the Prophets should be enough in and of themselves to persuade their readers that the notion of “Progress” is a false idol, or as Oswald Spengler (Chapter Six) might call, the “cowardice of optimism.”
This runs counter to our legacy “Liberalism” regimes du jour, which posit “infinite progressivism” and a “forever-betterment” like fighting Russia for Bum-Sex in Ukraine. One might not have faulted the masses of the 1930-50s for believing in the 2020s we would be colonizing the Solar System, but had the Prophets outlined in Parvini’s book been on their radar and understood, they might have been more sober; the rampant degeneracy witnessed today would be unsurprising.
I have found in my discussions with Boomers on this topic a constant optimism towards the fate of Western Civilization, which has, in my opinion, led to the lack of resilience it faces today. Unable to muster the courage it would take to recognize the weaknesses we have allowed to fester, we have only further rotted, and now stand threadbare before the judgement of time. How can crisis after crisis be simply ignored and dismissed?
My example comes from Canada, but the reader can feel whether or not it applies to their country. Many boomers I know have not paid off their mortgages. They accumulate debt on credit cards and whatnot, and when their mortgage term comes up, they mortgage into their house appreciation value the accumulated debt. Many repeat this cycle indefinitely and I know a few who have lost everything and live very meagre lives now.
As a result, the entire economy now revolves around Boomers buying stuff on credit, and then jamming that expense into real estate. This causes an obvious affordability problem in the Canadian housing market, as young people are not really buying real estate, but instead decades of debt on top of debt of the preceding generations. That is not all of course, things are only getting worse.
I do not mean to turn this into a Canadian Housing Market Crisis discussion, but merely want to point out that Boomers cannot see the collapse coming, or ignore it because to face it would be just too painful, though we know that it must eventually end. They couldn’t elect a Caesar even if they wanted to, and they will force their poison pill upon their inheritor generations, the wisest of which will reject it or spew it up before it consumes them.
MAiD for example is of course, “infinitely good” according to progressives, despite being literal death. Though it could be argued that someone suffering through terminal cancer for months in terrible pain and no quality of life might make MAiD arguably reasonable, it is nonetheless representative of the loss of purpose for life, that has now become something unenjoyable and therefore this or that life shall be discarded, treated like any other material good or service which no longer suits purpose. Where does such thinking end? How could a civilization such as this even continue, spiritless, lacking motive for being? Ten thousand Canadians ended their lives by this method this year, many from terrible diseases, but an increasing number of people who have simply lost the will to live, including the disabled, the mentally ill, or impoverished.
That being said, understanding your place within the cycles of history can do a lot to alleviate your pain, strain, stress, and can offer us a modicum of hope in desperate times, which Parvini too mentions in his final concluding chapter, offering a microscopic white pill to help wash down a near ceaseless stream of bravely taken black pills.
Parvini has a real knack for making these authors and topics entirely accessible to regular Joes, which is a great asset to have in the Sensible Centrist™️ movement. If you are yourself a Sensible Centrist™️, add the Prophets of Doom to your collection, and read it to your teenage children, or make them read it, threaten to take away their Nintendo if they refuse; you are doing your grandchildren a favour.