An Instagram post by popular podcaster Joe Rogan, host of The Joe Rogan Experience, that referred to authoritarian and libertarian political theory, has received over 600,000 likes since it was posted to the site. In it, Rogan refers to the Hindu fourth world age, aka the Kali Yuma, and urges his followers and others to “elevate” themselves “from the madness that is in the air”.
Rogan is often at the center of controversy due to his often esoteric political philosophy, his many clashes over free speech issues, as well as his personal stance in regards to the COVID-19 virus. His iconoclasm has earned him over 13 million followers on Instagram but has also led to clashes with people across the political spectrum.
“Kali Yuga” is a reference to the Hindu concept of the four great Yugas, or ages, of the world. The Kali Yuga is the fourth and last of these and is associated with great strife, deprivation, and contention. The Kali Yuga derives its name from the demon (not the goddess) Kali, and Kali Yuga can be roughly translated as “Age of Darkness”, “Age of Vice and Misery”, and “Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy”.
It is not known where Rogan sourced the graphic from, but he seems to be implying that, as times grow harder, those on the left of the political spectrum tend to drift towards more authoritarian ideals while those on the right tend towards the center or right forms of libertarianism. Although the Hindu idea of the Kali Yuga does purport it to be a time of spiritual and moral degeneration it does not mention specific political ideologies.
According to the Puranic sources, the Kali Yuga began on February 18th, 3102 BCE with the departure of the Avatar, Krishna from the world. The sources also suggest it will be a long wait for the Kali Yuga to come to an end. It is not scheduled to do so until the year 428,899 CE.