Bruckner’s The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse was extremely hard to follow. Bruckner jumps around from topic to topic criticizing this and that without offering much of a better way to do things. His writing is highly sarcastic and he came off as rather snobbish. However, despite my distaste for the majority of this book, I did agree with some of the points he made.
In one part of the book he discusses humans’ relationships with animals. He says that throughout time we have come to have a more respectful relationship towards animals, but not all animals. We base our respect towards animals based on their aesthetics. He describes Noah not letting the more unsightly animals on his ark, because the new earth doesn’t need such ugly creatures in it, despite the pleading from a frog who says that all creatures have a place in God’s world (72). This takes us back to discussions that we’ve had earlier in the class about what constitutes nature, and what is worth preserving. All animals, and living things for that matter, have a place in the earth’s ecosystem and it is not the job of humans to decide which ones are more important.
Several times throughout his book Bruckner talks about fear. How modern ecologism uses fear of some coming catastrophe, to inspire change in humans. I agree with Bruckner that fear is not the way to inspire a change, but then what is? What better way to inspire people to act than fear?
However, Bruckner criticizes those little things done by people trying to make a difference. “Let’s be clear: a cosmic calamity is not going to be averted by eating vegetables and sorting our rubbish (32).” While I agree that on a small scale things such as these will not make a difference, on a larger scale they could make a very big difference. It’s a matter of people seeing the bigger picture and getting them to care.
Bruckner also talks about the differences between developed and under-developed nations. He points out that developed nations take too much and should take measures to un-develop themselves. I agree with Bruckner on this point and think that we should stop being as materialistic as we are and help those nations who need our help, while also humbling ourselves.