Books: Visions Before Midnight — A Muggeridge fragment |
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A Muggeridge fragment

In A Third Testament (BBC2), Malcolm Muggeridge was on about Kierkegaard; whose opinions he found much to his taste, especially the one about the masses being wrong, even when what they say is right. Kierkegaard was used as a stick with which to beat Marx, who was supposed to have initiated the folly of thinking numerically. A dispassionate observer might have pointed out that one of Marx's reasons for writing as he did was out of revulsion at the inhumanity of industrialists who were already thinking numerically on their own account. But Muggeridge's late-flowering spirituality is beyond such considerations. He even managed to convince himself that Kierkegaard shared his contempt for television, presumably by clairvoyance. To appear on television and explain the futility of television to the masses whose opinion is not worth having — truly this is the work of a saint.

1 February, 1976

[ The original (and much longer) version of this piece can be found in our Observer TV column chapter ]