The Greatest Disaster in Human History

Life on earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden global nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of. —Stephen Hawking

I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. —Edgar Allen Poe

There’s nothing like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something. —Charles, Prince of Wales

     Many years ago, maybe even half my life ago, I set myself a little speculative problem: I tried, as best I could, to answer the question, What is the greatest calamity to befall the human race in recorded history? Before I start answering that question here, I would just like to emphasize that I really didn’t have any particular agenda or any axe to grind, and really attempted to answer the question as objectively, empirically, and honestly as I could. I’m not quite as sure now as I was then that the answer I came up with was the right one, but it still seems plausible. Even so, the question to some degree is subjective, and I doubt that there is any one correct answer. Obviously, for reasons that will become clear, not everyone would agree with my assessment.

     We can immediately rule out prehistoric events, as I did originally. This is because something really awful could have happened without anyone knowing about it now. As it turns out, though, when I first considered this question I was ignorant of the so-called Toba Catastrophe, which they say occurred around 75,000 years ago, and which, if I included prehistoric events, could easily win the contest of shittiest thing ever to befall the human race thus far. According to the theory, a supervolcano about a thousand times more powerful than Krakatoa, located on the island of Sumatra, erupted, causing a several-years-long global volcanic winter, and which almost exterminated the human race. It has been estimated that severe climate change killed off almost all Homo sapiens, leaving probably fewer than 20,000 individuals, possibly as few as 3000, with almost all of the survivors in Africa. So there is that, although I was ignorant of it at the time, and it doesn’t count anyway because it’s not historical but prehistoric, and is to some extent just a theory, though one backed up by empirical evidence. Genetic evidence especially points to a rather extreme genetic and evolutionary bottleneck in our species that occurred shortly after the eruption.

     On the other hand, some cynics, environmentalists, and other misanthropists might assert that the very appearance of the human race on this planet was the worst thing to happen, ever. At the very least it resulted in the Neanderthal Genocide, and also the beginning of the Holocene Extinction Event, which is still underway. We began killing off other species way back in the stone age, as cave people specialized in hunting big, slow-moving megafauna like mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, and all the big mammals that lived in Australia shortly before humans arrived there. But unrecorded history is too uncertain; and so I restricted myself to events that occurred within the past several thousand years, after people invented writing, and thus historical chronicles.

     So, restricting ourselves to recorded history, a few famous calamities and nightmarish shitstorms may immediately come to mind, like the Bronze Age collapse of around 1200 BCE (in which western civilization essentially crashed, especially in the eastern Mediterranean area); the fall of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE (with the accompanying repeated barbarian invasions ravaging the western world—which nevertheless is considered by historians to be less of a disaster than the Bronze Age collapse); the Black Death of the 14th century (a pandemic of plague that very gruesomely killed off an estimated one-third of the earth’s population in a matter of a few years); and World War Two (which is the only historical event to kill off more people than the Black Death numbers-wise, although by then they amounted to a rather smaller percentage of the world’s total population). All of these would be on my list of the top ten or twenty most disastrous events in history…though none of them was an absolute, unmitigated disaster.

     Some events are clearly horrible, yet have enough positive side effects or after effects that they have been a mixed blessing, possibly even more good than bad in the long run. An example of this might be the bubonic plague pandemic of the 14th century, which wiped out approximately one third of the human race in a very icky way, causing many to believe that the world was literally coming to an end; yet after the horrors were over, Europe especially entered a time of relative prosperity, as two thirds of the population shared the previous total amount (three thirds) of wealth, property, and food. Also the people saw that the Christian Church couldn’t save them from the plague (with many of the ecclesiastical elite fleeing for their lives from plague-infested areas and leaving their flocks to fend for themselves), which inspired enough disillusionment, secularism, and humanism that the Renaissance and the Reformation, and eventually the Enlightenment, could occur—thereby leading up to modern civilization, such as it is. Even the collapse of Rome could be seen as partly good, as it was a kind of reset from a degenerate authoritarian system to the more populist, democratic, libertarian ideals of the not-yet-decadent Germanic peoples. Bearing all this in mind, World War Two may be seen as worse overall than the foregoing disasters, if only because it promoted in its wake the rise of Communism, and also led to the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, and the gradual social castration of Germany, and of Europe in general.

     I don’t recall whether I seriously considered the idea, all those many years ago, that the greatest disaster to befall us might be the advent of Marxism; I was kind of a naive leftist back then anyway. But now, after a few decades of mature reflection and consideration of the historical record, I think Marxism could be a reasonable guess, and certainly could be in the top five. Just going with numbers of corpses, it has obviously been much, much worse than all of the various forms of fascism combined, including Hitler’s National Socialism. Furthermore, it isn’t finished yet, and has spawned a new mutated form called Social Justice (among many other names, some of them derogatory) which is seriously afflicting western civilization with self-destructive mass hysteria and the possibility of real collapse. I’ve written about that elsewhere, and very probably will again, gawd willing. Nevertheless, thus far I don’t consider it to be the greatest disaster we as a species have faced in all of history.

     The invention of nuclear weapons also is obviously not so good; it finally gave political sociopaths the ability to kill pretty much anyone not hiding in a bunker a mile underground. Perhaps the only positive effect of nukes would be that it makes powerful nations much more reluctant to engage in wars with each other. So nuclear weapons could easily prove to be the worst disaster ever to befall us, though they haven’t proven so yet. Similar arguments can apply to a few other technological innovations that may seem innocuous or even very beneficial at present—like artificial intelligence or genetic engineering. Only time will tell with stuff like this, and the massive disaster part hasn’t become history yet.

     Some westerners who hold a dim view of religion in general, or who are well-versed in western history, might consider the advent of Christianity to be the worst of all calamities. There can be no doubt that Christianity has served as a justification for all sorts of badness over the centuries—wars, persecutions, massacres of heretics and/or Jews, witch burnings, the Inquisition, let alone putting an entire civilization into a kind of repressive, intolerant ideological straightjacket for several hundred years. Also, some neopagan alt-righters would insist that Christianity is responsible for the radical destruction of genuine indigenous European religious systems by replacing them with a Semitic cult from west Asia, thereby mutilating the spiritual roots of the Euro-Aryan race. But even granting all this as undoubtably true and bad, Christianity has arguably also produced much goodness and beauty; to give just one small example of the latter, it has inspired some of the most magnificent architecture the world has ever seen. It may also have inspired western civilization, in a very imperfect, human kind of way, to be more charitable and compassionate. I’ve written elsewhere of the hypothesis that the advent of Christianity represented, so to speak, the initial opening of the “heart chakra” in the west, considering that ancient/classical Europe tended to have high ideals of hospitality, justice, honor, and so forth, but nevertheless tended to be damned harsh and pitiless most of the time, especially towards strangers. It has also produced some real saints, and some rather lofty ideals, even when few (other than the saints) followed those ideals. So I would suggest that, all in all, Christianity has not been more bad than good. Consequently it is not a top contender for worst disaster in history. I wouldn’t even put it in the top ten.

     There could be something really obvious that I am overlooking. Who knows, maybe somehow Coca-Cola or rap music will ultimately prove to be the downfall of mankind. That may actually be plausible in the case of rap music….

     Some of you who have been considering the big question yourself as you read this may be able to anticipate my own answer to the question, through the process of elimination. What could have caused more misery, destruction, and death than any of the other calamities I’ve mentioned thus far, something even worse than bubonic plague, Marxism, or rap music? Feminism? No, that’s just Marxism with a uterus. Can you guess? And no, it’s not Judaism either, although I will get back to that.

     The solution to the problem, as I considered it many years ago, and which I still honesty consider to be a plausible answer now, is the emergence of the religion of Islam. Please bear in mind that I came up with this long before it became particularly politically incorrect to do so, before 9/11 or ISIS, long before the European migrant crisis, Somalian mass immigration into the USA, the news of Pakistani rape gangs in England, and before I ever heard the word “Rohingya.” I can’t recall now, but it may have been before I ever became a Buddhist monk. I arrived at this conclusion based on my best efforts at historical objectivity and the weighing of all factors of which I was aware. Not all Muslims are bad people, of course—it shouldn’t even be necessary to point that out—and I could probably become a Muslim more easily than a Christian, simply because it has less of an unprovable story that must be believed, little more than Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his prophet. Nevertheless, I do think the advent of Islam may be the worst calamity to befall the earth in historical times, and primarily for the following three reasons.

     First, historically, the explosion of Islam into western and central Asia, and thereby the spread of a predominantly Arabic culture into those places, largely homogenized a region once containing richly diverse civilizations. The Romans, and the Greco-Macedonians before them, allowed different cultures within their empires to follow their ancestral traditions pretty much as they always did, and for the most part to speak their ancestral languages; although the Romans’ conversion to Christianity did lessen this diversity to some degree even before the time of Muhammad. It is unfortunate that the effects of the conquests of Alexander the Great, which introduced the relatively “enlightened” Greek culture to that part of the world, were largely erased by the Muslim conquests, and replaced with a relatively less advanced Arabian culture—although some rather bizarre myths/legends about Alexander are to be found in the Quran. But all this is largely just a matter of personal preference I suppose, as I have a much higher opinion of the merits of Greco-Roman culture than of Arabic-Islamic.

     Second, and more importantly, the advent of Islam led to the extremely violent extermination of Buddhism in its birthplace, India, and in other parts of formerly Buddhist Asia. One of my favorite quotes on the Indian Buddhist genocide, written by a Muslim chronicler, refers to the Muslim massacre of the Buddhist university in Uddandapura, in approximately 1200 CE:

Muhammad Bakhtiyar with great vigor and audacity rushed in at the gate of the fortress and gained possession of the place. Great plunder fell into the hands of the victors. Most of the inhabitants of the place were brahmins with shaven heads [rather, Buddhist monks]; and they were all put to death. Large numbers of books were found there, and when the Muslims saw them, they called for some persons to explain their contents, but all of the men had already been killed. It was discovered that the whole fortress and city was a place of study. In the language of the Hindus the word “vihar” means “a college.”

The Muslim Turks who invaded India boasted of their genocide of the inhabitants who refused to convert to Islam, and of the destruction of their temples and cities. Again, in the words of the Muslim invaders themselves:

The Muslim forces began to “kill and slaughter on the right and on the left unmercifully, throughout the impure land, for the sake of Islam,” and blood flowed in torrents. They plundered gold and silver to an extent greater than can be conceived, and an immense number of brilliant precious stones….They took captive a great number of beautiful and graceful maidens, amounting to 20,000, and children of both sexes, “more than the pen can enumerate”….In short the Muslim army brought the country to utter ruin, and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants, and plundered the cities, and captured their offspring, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden underfoot.

This has been the principle of my ancestors from the time of Asadu-lla Ghalib until now: to convert unbelievers to Allah the one true God and to the Muslim faith. If they adopt our creed, well and good. If not, we put them to the sword.

     Hindus and other groups, who like the Buddhists were relatively pacifist and largely defenseless, also fell in the genocide of medieval India, amounting to tens of millions of people who were put to the sword, burned to death, or simply starved as refugees fleeing the Muslims, which also caused irreparable damage to one of the most enlightened classical civilizations of all time. The India-based religious cultures of Indonesia and Malaysia were also largely wiped out by Islam, although rather less violently than in India. How violent the conversion to Islam in central Asia was I don’t know; some, like the Turks, took to Islam like a duck takes to water, considering that its aggressive, warlike qualities were easily embraced by violent barbarous tribes who liked the idea of going to heaven as a reward for merciless killing and plundering.

     Third, and probably most important of all at this point, Islam is responsible for the inoculation of what is essentially barbarism into modern western civilization, and into world civilization as a whole—Islam certainly doesn’t hold a monopoly on barbarism, but it is responsible for a disproportionately huge amount of it. Just the fact that almost all terrorist attacks are perpetrated by Muslims (especially now that the Irish have calmed down) illustrates the Islamic glorification of violence and the taking of human life. The ideology of Islam is literally something out of the Dark Ages, and even the Quran itself endorses violence against non-Muslims, like verse 9:5:

When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way.

Also the well-known verse 66:9:

Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal harshly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate.

     The founder of the religion (peace be upon him) was literally a bandit and warlord, not a peaceful spiritual renunciant like Gotama Buddha or Jesus of Nazareth. He killed people, ordered the deaths of hundreds of others, looted caravans and villages, sold women and children into slavery, and raped female prisoners of war, let alone marrying and having sex with a little girl. Yet he is considered to be the ideal role model for hundreds of millions of Muslims to this very day. It’s all extremely Islamophobic and politically incorrect to point out these plainly obvious facts, which actually come from Muslim sources, but that simply compounds the problem: As millions of followers of a backward, barbarous ideology at odds with many foundational values of western civilization migrate into western countries, the suicide cult of Social Justice forbids pointing out ugly realities because it is a dogma of the new cult that straight white patriarchal Christian males must be the arch-villains of the human race. Idiotic indoctrinated feminists actually denounce the least misogynistic men in the world in favor of some of the most misogynistic men in the world, thereby increasing the likelihood of their own destruction, and possibly the destruction of European civilization. Despite left-wing Boasian anthropology and progressive cultural relativism, etc., some cultures really are wiser and more “enlightened” than others, at least with regard to ethical values, as the leftists themselves have to admit when bashing away at their own culture of western capitalistic “patriarchy.” But enough of pointing out the obvious.

     Judaism probably started off even more barbarously than did Islam, although the Jews have mostly outgrown such barbarity, pretty much, and too many Muslims have not. Many of the latter still fervently believe that they can go to heaven for killing infidels, male and female, armed and unarmed, maybe even for blowing up school buses full of children. In addition to a near monopoly on world terrorism, Islam also appears predominantly responsible for organized rape gangs in the west, standardized foul treatment of women in general (which feminists conveniently ignore because it doesn’t fit their narrative), execution of homosexuals, and so on. Historically, the worst atrocities perpetrated in the name of Christianity may be little better or no better than the worst of Islam, but Christianity also has become more civilized over the past few centuries, plus its good points have been greater overall, as suggested above—although that too may be a biased judgement, or one based on ignorance of really good aspects of Islam, whatever they are.

     One positive aspect of Islam is the ingroup morality it promotes, aside from its harsh treatment of women and nonconformists. There is much emphasis on charity to the poor, for example, as well as basic virtues such as not stealing. Even so, whether this is better than what most Muslims would be following if Islam had never appeared is questionable. Another benefit of Islamic culture is that it preserved some of the intellectual treasures of classical antiquity during a time when Europe was wallowing in its Dark Age subsequent to the collapse of Rome, which were rediscovered by the west as Europeans climbed back out of the cultural darkness and interacted with the new Arabian Empire—for example by going on Crusades against it.

     It may be that the best thing about Islam nowadays, especially from the perspective of non-Muslims, is that it has some real potential to exterminate feminism and “progressivism” in Europe directly, and elsewhere more indirectly by demonstrating what a fucked up mess feminism inevitably leads to.

     Islam may be fine within the context of traditionally Muslim cultures. The damage has already be done there anyway. Maybe on the Arabian peninsula in particular it is actually an improvement over what came before it, or what might be there otherwise today. Nevertheless, Islam too often doesn’t mix worth half a damn with more liberal, more “civilized” societies. Traditional, fundamentalist Islam is vehemently opposed to such liberal societies, and many traditionalist Muslim migrants will no doubt do their worst to overthrow such decadence and depravity and replace them with dark age Shariah law as soon as they think they can manage it. Muslims have been like this for well over a thousand years, and now they constitute approximately one fourth of the world’s population.

     As more or less of an aside, I will make a few observations on Burma. I’ve spent more than half of my adult life there, and over the past few years the mainstream media in the west have occasionally touted Burma as a case of harsh, cruel Buddhists persecuting and victimizing innocent Muslims. Historically, Rohingya Muslims were imported from Bengal into Burma by the British colonial government in the late 19th century to farm newly cleared land in southwestern Burma, and the Burmese have never fully recognized them as Burmese, or even as welcome guests. The Burmese as a general rule are a peaceful, hospitable, and very tolerant people, and are not particularly xenophobic against foreigners in general; although Muslims in particular have acquired a bad name for themselves among  Burmese Buddhists. It is well known that when Muslims are a small minority they may make good enough neighbors, but when they grow in numbers they become more aggressive and intolerant of infidels, sometimes violently so. Also, they make little secret of their ideal of becoming the only permissible world religion, which of course Buddhists don’t like so much, and against which ideal they naturally wish to defend their country. So it does make some political sense for a sovereign nation to drive them out, which the Burmese military has done, chasing most of them (the Rohingyas anyway, not Muslims in general) into Bangladesh. This is seen as an atrocity and crime against humanity, etc., by the ultraliberal globalist establishment, but fortunately the Burmese, like the Japanese, don’t give much of a damn about cultural Marxist political correctness taboos. Atrocities have been committed by both sides, as is to be expected in cases like this, and now the Rohingyas are mostly driven out, so the situation, in Burma at least, is probably optimal; but of course the globalist NGOs are striving to persuade or compel the Burmese government to let them all back into the country again, because of course it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge plain facts about Islam in general—not all Muslims of course, but Islam in general.

     Getting back to the global scene I suppose I could back up historically and say that the volcanic eruption that inspired Moses to invent Judaism was the greatest disaster in history, since Christianity and Islam were both mutant offshoots of Judaism, so backing it up could kill three birds with one stone, to use a violent non-Buddhist metaphor. Also, of course, there are quite a few people out there who insist that, even though the Jews are much, much more civilized than their ancient goat-sacrificing ancestors were, they are still an abominable scourge today. Maybe so…although that is going all the way back to protohistory and myth as an origin event. I might be inclined to agree that Moses was worse than a thousand Hitlers or Stalins in the damage he has caused to world civilization thus far; but as I have said, some of the effects of Christianity have been really positive, and I assume that the same is true of Judaism, if only because it produced Christianity. Hell, even Islam has its good points, I presume—it does seem to produce a more or less stable social system within cultures that are already homogeneously Islamic, even to the point of belonging to a single Islamic sect (because otherwise they’d be killing each other as though the other were godless infidels).

     Just to give one last (unnecessary) example of the extremely messed up situation Islam has helped to create in postmodern times, I will mention a certain young Christian Pakistani woman who has been in the news recently, and who reportedly was accused and arrested by the Pakistani government, and sentenced to death, for the crime of blasphemy—that is, she drank water from the same cup that a Muslim had used. Due in part to some glimmer of compassion and sanity, I hope, and also no doubt due to pressure from influential people in the west, the charges were dropped, although many Muslims, including some clergy, were still angrily and vehemently demanding that she be put to death for her “blasphemy.” However, the government of the United Kingdom, in typical spineless, castrated, gutless fashion, refused to grant asylum to this woman, who as I say was literally in danger for her life, because it might anger Muslim migrants in the UK—thereby provoking them to run amuck and kill even more people than they have already been killing. This is the situation now, and to put it bluntly, it’s fucking insane.

     Marxism is possibly a close second to Islam as greatest disaster in history, especially now that Marxism 2.0—alias cultural Marxism, “Social Justice,” etc.—has been unleashed and is wreaking havoc throughout western civilization, and is threatening to wreck it beyond all recognition. So at present I’d be inclined to put Marxism, or maybe socialism/communism in general, in second place. But of course, the worst disasters may well be yet to come; after all, eventually something will come along that will end the human species, considering that everything that has a beginning also has an end. It could be nuclear war, super AI, grey goo, some super disease (genetically engineered or otherwise), anthropogenic wrecked environment, solar flare, asteroid strike, supervolcano…or maybe the deity who’s dreaming us will just wake up from his strange dream, causing all of us to poof out of existence…though simply poofing out of existence wouldn’t be so bad…but thus far, I’m going with Muhammad.



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