Vanity Fair’s Thanatos Syndrome
Malcolm Muggeridge, Modern Capitalism & the Culture of Death
by Adam Schwartz
Like many of his forerunners among the famous converts of the last century, Malcolm Muggeridge was an acute social critic whose spiritual pilgrimage was spurred on in crucial ways by his qualms about twentieth-century culture’s direction. Among his principal anxieties was the materialistic ethic he associated with modern capitalism, one he judged corrosive of the core social institution, the family, and one especially manifested in the eugenic impulse. He therefore reproved Western consumerism consistently, and eventually decided that orthodox Christianity was the best—perhaps the only—basis for resistance.1
He sensed early in his . . .