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Malcom Muggeridge

Journalist and columnist, author of Confessions of a Twentieth-Century Pilgrim and others


Television was not invented to make human beings vacuous, but is an emanation of their vacuity.

[On moral revisionism by modern churches] One recalls a like adjustment of the rules in Orwell's Animal Farm.

from his essay "The Great Liberal Death Wish"
[Communism] It destroys everything and everyone; is the essence of destruction - in towns, a darkness; a paralysis; in the country, a blight, sterility; shouting monotonously its empty formula - a classless, socialist society - it attacks with methodical barbarity, not only men and classes and institutions, but the soul of a society. It tears a society up by the roots and leaves it dead.

1933 - from his Moscow diary
The process of death-wishing, in the guise of liberalism, has been eroding the civilization of the West for a century and more, and now would seem about to reach its apogee ... Previous civilizations have been overthrown from without by the incursion of barbarian hordes; ours has dreamed up its own dissolution in the minds of its own intellectual elite. Not Bolshevism, which Stalin liquidated along with the old Bolsheviks; not Nazism, which perished with Hitler in his Berlin bunker; not Fascism, which was left hanging upside down from a lamppost along with Mussolini and his mistress none of these, history will record, was responsible for bringing down the darkness on our civilization, but Liberalism: a solvent rather than a precipitate, a sedative rather than a stimulant, a slough rather than a precipice; blurring the edges of truth, the definition of virtue, the shape of beauty; a cracked bell, a mist, a death wish.

1977 - from his essay "The Great Liberal Death Wish"
Freud and Marx ... undermined the whole basis of Western European civilization as no avowedly insurrectionary movement ever has or could, by promoting the notion of determinism, in the one case in morals, in the other in history, thereby relieving individual men and women of all responsibility for their personal and collective behaviour.

from his book The Green Stick
As the astronauts soar into the vast eternities of space, on earth the garbage piles higher; as the groves of academe extend their domain, their alumni's arms reach lower; as the phallic cult spreads, so does impotence. In great wealth, great poverty; in health, sickness; in numbers, deception. Gorging, left hungry; sedated, left restless; telling all, hiding all; in flesh united, forever separate. So we press on through the valley of abundance that leads to the wasteland of satiety, passing through the gardens of fantasy; seeking happiness ever more ardently, and finding despair ever more surely.

1977 - from his essay "The Great Liberal Death Wish"
To the liberal mind, education provides the universal panacea. Whatever the problem, education will solve it. Law and order breaking down? - then yet more statistics chasing yet more education; venereal disease spreading, ... - then, for heaven's sake, more sex education; ... drug addiction going up by leaps and bounds ... - surely it's obvious that what the kids need is extra classes under trained psychiatrists to instruct them in the why and the wherefore of narcotics.

from his essay "The Great Liberal Death Wish"