By Motoko Tanaka (auth.)
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Extra info for Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction
In the twentieth century, real-world apocalypticism was revived by the fear that human beings would become powerful enough to bring about the end of humanity, nature, and even God. The invention and actual use of nuclear weapons were decisive factors in the reinstatement of apocalyptic discourse. Sociologist Ōsawa Masachi argues that apocalyptic thought can be regarded as one of the most influential trends in Western philosophy after World War I. For example, Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) considered his time as the most degenerated due to the advent of technology.
The threat of ecological apocalypse, which has been widely predicted since the late twentieth century, features similar boundaries and fusions between two poles of purification and contamination, protection and free competition, destruction and rebirth. The boundaries between the poles in the ecological apocalypse, such as the artificial protection of nature and non-interference with the ecological system, are sometimes very complex and cannot be easily defined. Often there is a time when boundary issues in these two opposing values cannot be immediately distinguished.
41 Others take a clear anti-apocalypse position, regarding it as a discourse: an ideological tool that the powerful use to control the powerless. It is not widely known that British novelist D. H. Lawrence wrote on the Apocalypse of John in the 1920s and emphasized the fact that the book is filled with The Trajectory of Apocalyptic Discourse 25 hatred, enmity, and desire for hegemony over the oppressor. 42 Among recent studies, feminist postmodern philosopher Lee Quinby claims in her AntiApocalypse that apocalyptic discourse thwarts freedom and democracy.