The End of History

Kali Yuga : (Devanāgarī: कलियुग [kəli juɡə], lit. "age of (the male demon) Kali", or "age of vice") is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures.

The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga.

Hindus and Sikhs believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far removed as possible from God. 

Hinduism often symbolically represents morality (dharma) as a bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg.

A discourse by Markandeya in the Mahabharata identifies some of the attributes of Kali Yuga:

In relation to rulers

* Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly.

* Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.

* People will start migrating, seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.

In human relationships

* Avarice and wrath will be common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other.

* Ignorance of dharma will occur.

* People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that.

* Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life.

* Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish.

* People will take vows and break them soon after.

* People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.

* Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted, and followers of Kama will wrest control of the mind from all human beings. Brahmins will not be learned or honoured, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in their dealings and Shudras will be allotted unreasonable 'caste-based' duties which they will avoid.

'Kali Yuga'

Our system has already passed its flowering.

Some time ago it reached that summit of blessedness which the mysterious game of world history sometimes allows to things beautiful and desirable in themselves.

We are on the downward slope.

Our course may possibly stretch out for a very long time, but in any case nothing finer, more beautiful, and more desirable than what we have already had can henceforth be expected.

The road leads downhill. Historically we are, I believe, ripe for dismantling. And there is no doubt that such will be our fate, not today or tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow.

[Hermann Hesse]
The Glass Bead Game, p. 356

In fact, the texts that discuss the Kali Yuga and the Age of Kali also declare that the norms of life, valid during epochs in which divine forces were more or less alive and active, must be considered as cancelled in the final age.

During the latter there lives an essentially different human type who is incapable of following the ancient precepts. Not only that, but because of the different historical and even planetary circumstances, such precepts, even if followed, would not yield the same results.

For this reason, different norms apply, and the rule of secrecy is lifted from certain truths, a certain ethic, and particular “rites” to which the rule previously applied on account of their dangerous character and because they contravened the forms of a normal existence, regulated by the sacred tradition.

[Julius Evola]
Ride the Tiger, p. 9

The Hegelian Alexandre Kojéve believed that the end of history would be marked by the definitive abandonment of all the hard questions. Humanity itself would disappear, but there would no longer be any conflict:

If Man becomes an animal again, his acts, his loves, and his play must also become purely “natural” again. Hence it would have to be admitted that after the end of History, men would construct their edifices and works of art as birds build their nests and spiders spin their webs. . . .

“The definitive annihilation of Man properly so-called” also means the definitive disappearance of human Discourse (Logos) in the strict sense. Animals of the species Homo sapiens would react by conditioned reflexes to vocal signals or sign “language,” and thus their so-called “discourses” would be like what is supposed to be the “language” of bees.

What would disappear, then, is not only Philosophy or the search for discursive Wisdom, but also that Wisdom itself.

Schmitt echoes these sentiments, albeit with rather different conclusions. In such a unified world, “what remains is neither politics nor state, but culture, civilization, economics, morality, law, art, entertainment, etc.”

The world of “entertainment” represents the culmination of the shift away from politics.

A representation of reality might appear to replace reality: instead of violent wars, there could be violent video games; instead of heroic feats, there could be thrilling amusement park rides; instead of serious thought, there could be “intrigues of all sorts,” as in a soap opera. It is a world where people spend their lives amusing themselves to death.

Such an artificial world requires a “religion of technicity” that has faith in the “unlimited power and dominion over nature . . . [and] in the unlimited potential for change and for happiness in the natural this-worldly existence of man.”

For Schmitt the political theologian, this “Babylonian unity” represents a brief harmony that prefigures the final catastrophe of the Apocalypse. Following the medieval tradition, Schmitt knows and fears that this artificial unity can be brought about only by the shadowy figure of the Antichrist. He will surreptitiously take over the entire world at the end of human history by seducing people with the promise of “peace and security”:

God created the world; the Antichrist counterfeits it …. The sinister magician recreates the world, changes the face of the earth, and subdues nature. Nature serves him; for what purpose is a matter of indifference—for any satisfaction of artificial needs, for ease and comfort. Men who allow themselves to be deceived by him see only the fabulous effect; nature seems to be overcome, the age of security dawns; everything has been taken care of, a clever foresight and planning replace Providence.

The world where everything seems to administer itself is the world of science fiction, of Stephenson’s Snow Crash, or of The Matrix for those who choose not to take their red pills. But no representation of reality ever is the same as reality, and one must never lose sight of the larger framework within which the representation exists. The price of abandoning oneself to such an artificial representation is always too high, because the decisions that are avoided are always too important.

By making people forget that they have souls, the Antichrist will succeed in swindling people out of them.

[Peter Thiel]
‘The Straussian Moment’