The present is filled with catastrophe and apocalypticism. A certain phrase has been deployed and redeployed in summarising the condition we find ourselves in: it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. While this phrase is typically used to crystallise capitalist realism, the idea that there is no alternative to capitalism, it also distils another truth: the end of the world has become the very air that we breathe.
As compelling as the discourse on apocalypticism might be it makes one fundamental mistake: it colludes with the very sense of impending catastrophe that it is usually trying to critique or to use as a means to mobilise a political movement. In what follows, I want to discussthe relation between catastrophe and apocalypse, and to look at what it would mean to shift the emphasis on the terms. I don’t mean to restate that catastrophe and apocalypse mean different things for its own sake but rather to emphasise that from the perspective of a postnihilist praxis we are neither catastrophic nor apocalyptic but living within the time of catastrophe as post-apocalyptic survivors. Read More