When solid foundations and ideal ends are lacking, when religious values are confused with the tranquillizers of life and the sublimation of desires, when the fragmentation of knowledge without a higher Bildung leads to disorientation in people and society that jeopardizes the very possibility of establishing the most basic criteria of the good and the just, humanity feels “lost” and prey to “an indefinite anxiety over the immediate tomorrow.” The widespread uncertainty over social and political, domestic and international issues contributes to the experience of precariousness and impotence.
Roughly speaking, this is the ground on which so-called “apocalyptic culture” flourishes: the Antichrist, the end of civilization, a future era of barbarity, the end of the world. There was a taste of this when the new millennium approached, and the easy prophets of doom recklessly forgot what had happened a thousand years earlier to the apocalyptic predictions of their predecessors. Among these ghosts, the most significant is the Antichrist, or Lord of the World, to use the title of the novel by Robert Hugh Benson, which dates back to the early 20th century.
The Antichrist, enemy of Christ, is the incarnation of Evil, a sinister, fascinating figure who manages to infect the thought and curiosity of those who are not at all sensitive to the sacred and the supernatural. In our time, cinema, literature, music and some youth groups show the attraction that the Antichrist knows how to exercise. On this note, reference is often made to the well-known 1970s hit by The Sex Pistols, Anarchy in the UK.