A leftist on the Charlie Hebdo massacre: Are the worst really full of passionate intensity?

A photo from the web that someone selected to illustrate The Last Man. Source.

Now, when we are all in a state of shock after the killing spree in the Charlie Hebdo offices, it is the right moment to gather the courage to think…

Such thinking has nothing whatsoever to do with the cheap relativisation of the crime (the mantra of “who are we in the West, perpetrators of terrible massacres in the Third World, to condemn such acts”).

It has even less to do with the pathological fear of many Western liberal Leftists to be guilty of Islamophobia. For these false Leftists, any critique of Islam is denounced as an expression of Western Islamophobia; Salman Rushdie was denounced for unnecessarily provoking Muslims and thus (partially, at least) responsible for the fatwa condemning him to death, etc…

…What is much more needed than the demonisation of the terrorists into heroic suicidal fanatics is a debunking of this demonic myth. Long ago Friedrich Nietzsche perceived how Western civilisation was moving in the direction of the Last Man, an apathetic creature with no great passion or commitment. Unable to dream, tired of life, he takes no risks, seeking only comfort and security, an expression of tolerance with one another: “A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end, for a pleasant death. They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health. ‘We have discovered happiness,’ – say the Last Men, and they blink.”

It effectively may appear that the split between the permissive First World and the fundamentalist reaction to it runs more and more along the lines of the opposition between leading a long satisfying life full of material and cultural wealth, and dedicating one’s life to some transcendent Cause…


The “Last Man” sounds rather familiar, (even if I do not agree with the author’s leftist stance.)  I have not read Nietzsche (my life took me to other places).   The Last Man does indeed appear to be accurate and the complete opposite of the fanatic Islamic jihadist.  

The article was worth reading for me.

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