Who Will Save Us?

Kevin Power at the Dublin Review of Books:

Indeed, from the beginning, the popular response to Greta Thunberg has displayed some of the characteristics of a millenarian movement, as described by Norman Cohn in his classic study The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957). The millenarian movements of the Middle Ages, Cohn writes in that indispensable book, appealed to “an unorganised, atomized population”; they tended to take place “against a background of disaster” (plague, famine, economic crisis); they were “salvationist” in tendency (imagining the redemption of the world through struggle); they convocated around “intellectuals or half-intellectuals”, figures of humble rank perceived by their followers as prophets or messiahs, leaders who possessed “a personal magnetism which enabled [them] to claim, with some show of plausibility, a special role in bringing history to its appointed consummation”.

more here.