• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analysis of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

Extracts from this document...


Analysis of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia Is modern politics merely part of religion, is utopia a real farce but still a true and constant goal in the world of politics? John Gray would argue so; the novel black mass is suggestive and descriptive of how the as a human race, there is a theme that has been central to Black Mass, he gives the argument a twist. He suggests that virtually all politics, is an inherently impossible feat, and therefore corrupting. Black Mass is a very detailed timeline of recent history and different movements that preceded the current politics of the world; mostly the western aspect of civilization. Also, the various political factions that shaped the world and the inherent problems behind them are chronicled, from monarchism to Nazism to soviet Leninist-Marxism and nearly everything in between. One of the most striking themes of the book is that in every description of a movement or a faction can actually be compared together by examining the nature of the groups' collective goals. The novel examines the different movements and policies, but ultimately only attempts to discredit them all by proving their 'true insanity' and apocalyptic link. The first portion of the novel is a quantification of the death and origins of utopianism, from how for as long as humans have been around, there has been the idea of a perfect world. ...read more.


Thirdly, John Gray viciously attacks the use of present social pseudo-paradigms, which give way to governments lying about the past to gain power by fear rather than terror. In current times, a very relevant example of disinformation is "the notion that Islam lies outside 'the West'" (71) which "neglects Islams positive contributions" such positive effects are that the "Islamic rulers provided shelter for persecuted Christians and Jews" (71) "in Moorish Spain" (71). In terms of paradigms, "'the West' stands for nothing fixed" (73), since "its boundaries shift with cultural changes and geo-political events." (73) The ongoing issue with the misuse of paradigms is that the former paradigm that a monarchy is the just way to govern to the modern political paradigm of "liberal democracy and human rights" (73). The entire reasoning for the attacking of Islam is biased because according to Gray the rational paradigm shift of 'the West' another group is attacked for having a different paradigm. Utopianism has come a long way from being religious then radical, then secular, and finally to mainstream. The "belief that a single economic system was coming into being throughout the world" (74) was the prominent sentiment throughout the 1980s in Western governments has given a new political ideal that resulted in neo-conservatism as embodied in leaders like Tony Blair, whose dangerous assertion: "I only know what I believe" (93), leaves much to be desired in terms of factuality and rationalism. ...read more.


"Any country can achieve democracy, and any can lose it" (170), is the current situation of America, where in attempting to spread American-style democracy, it has compromised its' own from within. Wherever America sets its foot attempting to spread its' 'utopia', it leaves in its wake "another failed state" (182), since this phenomenon is ongoing and "the apocalypse failed to arrive, [and] history went on as before but with an added dash of blood" (183); which is merely a "symptom of a mentality" (183) promoted by modern utopians. At the end of the novel and the end of modern history, it seems that no matter how utopia is spread or implemented, there is always a problem that ends in great bloodshed, indifferent and delusional paradigms, even 'pseudo-truths' that 'the Western world' now so steadfastly believes. Gray is very crafty in showing the underlying trends of destruction involved in the history of the realisation of political ideals. Whether 'faith-based' or 'science-based' directives are followed, a similar result follows suit. As shown, the blind acceptance of utopian ideas is corrupting in nature. But so, too, can be the blind rejection of Utopianism. After all what could be more corrupting than accepting as inevitable problems that may occur in the attempt the task of creating an impossible utopian society. For this, Gray uses the history to show that living within your means and within reality is essential to the survival of a seemingly just society, and also that history repeats itself. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Word Count: 1487 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. TOK - French Headscarf Ban - This law has not only affected faiths within ...

    separation between the people that believe in the ban and the people that do not. Thus, the government's belief that the ban will create a united society a fallacy as it is a hasty generalization, meaning it is an invalid pattern of reasoning, as religion is also a way of brining people together.

  2. Science and Religion; Fact or Fiction

    At least, I think so. Because the thing is things are constantly changing. You can't place fixed labels on things that are constantly changing because with change we gain new information about them and we expand our knowledge concerning the results. I mentioned this earlier.

  1. How does the current of a cell affect the percentage change in mass of ...

    Turn on the power supply (6V) and then place the two copper strips in the Copper (II) Sulfate solution. Simultaneously start the stop watch. Make sure you record the current from the ammeter. This would be the current for 6V.

  2. work based project

    Though White and McCollam, (1999) suggest that "providing written information in advance to the person interviewed can be useful, as people may be apprehensive and not able to absorb what they are told face to face". I had a statement written at the beginning of the questionnaires when I sent

  1. Why punish with the death penalty?

    Essentially it still maintains the idea of vengeance. If somebody commits something ?evil? or ?bad? they deserve, they ought to be punished. This ?ought? is what distinguishes it from common revenge. In that case we do it because of a personal reason, retribution happens because of this bigger scheme which is ethics.

  2. Hebraism and Hellenism by Matthew Arnold. Applying Arnold's analysis to modern day America.

    This quote pertains to Arnold's elaboration of the difference between the two, ?never go against the best light you have, take care that your light not be darkness?(5,1,2). God is the best light that Abraham has because of this he will follow him blindly never once making sure that God should be followed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work