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Nihilism`s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive

President Donald Trump had a very long and strong speech earlier this week. It was his first state of the Union address, and what a massive success. Let`s be clear; President Donald Trump is a brilliant Cheerleader. No doubt.

Its not a secret that the American people has not been proud of its own country for at least fifteen years or so. Here is where Mr Trump comes in. He wants to «Make America Great Again.» And he is on the way.

 

(Metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death)

 

Mr Trump`s Union of the State speech was about 80 minutes long and according to CBS News poll, 75% of the American people said that the speech was good. 80% said that the president was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it.

91% favored what they heard on infrastructure. 75% favored what they heard about national security. 72% favored what they heard on immigration. This is a massive success for the President of the United States.

A new optimism is on the way. Mr Trump said; «The State of our Union is strong, because our people are strong, and together we are building a safe, strong and proud America.»

Furthermore, he said; «Since the election, we have created 2,4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally rising wages.»

«Unemployment claims have hit a 45 year low, and something I`m very proud of; African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.»

«Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining 8 thrillion dollars and more in value in just this short period of time.»

«The great news for Americans, 401k retirement, pension and college savings accounts have gone through the roof and just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.»

We saw massive positive response, but it was ridiculous to see Democrats just sitting there. Nearly all of them with a stone face. Not smiling. Just like an anti-Trump-party. Even if they agree with something, they boycott anyway.

Like many other speeches from Mr Trump, this speech was brilliant, and people liked it. But Mainstream Media didn`t like it at all. They thought it was dark. How is that possible?

It can be Nihilism, which is often associated with extreme pessimism and radical scepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would belive in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.

 

 

 

Fredrich Nietzsche said that nihilism`s corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. (Editor: the text about nihilism is written by author Alan Pratt – Nihilism).

In the 20th century, nihilistic themes, epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness, have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers.

It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism`s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror.

It`s helpful to note that Nietzsche believed we could, at a terrible price, eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humanity.

Nihilism comes from the Latin nihil, or nothing, which means not anything, that which does not exist. It appears in the verb «annihilate,» meaning to bring to nothing, to destroy completely.

Anarchist leader Mikhael Bakunin (1814-1876) composed the notorious entreaty still identified with nihilism:

«Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life, the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!» (Reaction in Germany, 1842).

The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man`s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom.

The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870`s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.

Political nihilism is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement. Ethical nihilism or moral nihilism rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values.

Instead, good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures.

Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no intrinsic meaning or value, and it is, no doubt, the most commonly used and understood sense of the word today. Max Stirner (1806-1856) argues that existence is an endless «war of each against all» (The Ego and its own, trans 1907).

 

(It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism`s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror)

 

Nietzsche said nihilism will expose all cherished beliefs and sacrosanct truths as symptoms of a defective western mythos. This collapse of meaning, relevance, and purpose will be the most destructive force in history, constituting a total assault on reality and nothing less than the greatest crisis of humanity:

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently; the advent of nihilism….. For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end……(Will to power)

Nietzsche`s analysis was accurate, for example, Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West (1926) studied several cultures to confirm that patterns of nihilism were indeed a conspicuous feature of collapsing civilizations. Spengler said that Western civilization is already in the advance stages of decaly with all three forms of nihilism working to undermine epistemological authority and ontological grounding.

Helmut Thielicke wrote that «Nihilism literally has only one truth to declare, namely, that ultimately Nothingness prevails and the world is meaningless.» (Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature, with a Christian Answer, 1969).

From the nihilists perspective, one can conclude that life is completely amoral, a conclusion, Thielicke believes, that motivates such monstrosities as the Nazi reign of terror. Gloomy predictions of nihilisms impact are also charted in Eugene Rose`s Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age (1994).

If nihilism proves victorious, and it`s well on its way, he argues, our world will become «a cold, inhuman world» where «nothingness, incoherence, and absurdity» will triumph.

In the dark side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life (1994), Alan Pratt demonstrates that existential nihilism, in one form or another, has been a part of the Western intellectual tradition from the beginning.

In antiquity, such pessimism may have reached its apex with Hegesias of Cyrene. Because miseries vastly outnumber pleasures, happiness is impossible, the philosopher argues, and subsequently advocates suicide.

Centuries later during the Renaissance, William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist`s perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

Out, out, brief candle!

Life`s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more; it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

In the twentieth century, its the atheistic existentialist movement, populated in France in the 1940s and 50s, that is responsible for the currency of existential nihilism in the popular consciousness. Jean-Paul Sartres (1905-1980) defining preposition the movement, «existence precedes essence,» rules out any ground or foundation of establishing an essential self or a human nature.

Camus, like the other existentialists, was convinced that nihilism was the most vexing problem of the twentieth century. The Plague (1947) shows the futility of doing one`s best in an absurd world. And in his last novel, the short and sardonic, The Fall (1956), Camus posits that everyone has bloody hands because we are all responsible for making a sorry state worse by our insane action and inaction alike.

In these works and other works by the existentialist, one is often left with the impression that living authentically with the meaninglessness of life is impossible. Camus was fully aware of the pitfalls of defining existence without meaning, and in his philosophical essay The Rebel (1951) he faces the problem of nihilism head-on.

In it, he describes at length how metaphysical collapse often ends in total negation and victory of nihilism, characterized by profound hatred, pathological destruction, and incalculable violence and death.

It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism`s impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror.

Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It`s helpful to note, then, that he believed we could, at a terrible price, eventually work through nihilism.

If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind:

I praise, I do not reproach, (nihilism`s) arrival. I belive it is one of the greatest crisis, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible……. (complete works vol. 13).

One thing is for sure: This world isn`t built by pessimists. This world is built by positive thinkers. Trump is a brilliant Cheerleader and has the right mindset: Make America Great Again!

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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The 400th anniversary of William Shakespare`s death

Tomorrow, it is 400 years since William Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616. He is interesting because he is considered to be the greatest writer in the English language and the world`s pre-eminent dramatist.

He was an English poet, playwright, and actor, and he is often called England`s national poet, and the «Bard of Avon». I wrote about Julius Caesar on March 15 earlier this year, and this is a date to remember thanks to William Shakespeare.

«Beware the ides of March», William Shakespeare said, and that is why people around the world always remember the assassination on Julius Caesar on March 15. This year, the 400th anniversary of the playwright`s death, celebrations will commence in the United Kingdom and across the world to honour Shakespeare and his work.

 

williamshakespeare

 

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. He wrote at least 37 plays and collaborated on several more. His 17 comedies include A Midsummer Nights Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Among his 10 plays are Henry V and Richard III. The most famous among his 10 tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. Shakespeares best-known poems are The Sonnets, first published in 1609.

Shakespeare produced most of his work between 1589 and 1613, and his early plays were primarily comedians and histories, and these are regarded as some of the best work ever produced in these genres.

He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language.

In the 20th and 21th centuries, his works have been repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular, and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

Shakespeare signed his last will and testament on 25 March 1616, the following day his new son-in-law, Thomas Quiney was found guilty of fathering an illegitimate son by Margaret Wheeler, who had died during childbirth.

Thomas was ordered by the church court to do public penance, which would have caused much shame and embarrassment for the Shakespeare family. Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, at the age of 52.

He died within a month of signing his will, a document which he begins by describing himself as being in «perfect health».

No extant contemporary source explains how or why he died.

Shakespeare was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008:

Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare,
To digg the dvst encloased heare.
Bleste be  man  spares thes stones,
And cvrst be he  moves my bones.

(Modern spelling: Good friend, for Jusus’ sake forbear,/ To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man who spares these stones,/ And cursed be he that moves my bones.)

 

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Sometimes before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plague compares him to Nestor, Socrates and Virgil. In 1623, in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio, the Droeshout engraving was published.

Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Shakespear`s romantic Merchant of Venice, contains a portrayal of the vengeful Jewish moneylender Shylock, which reflects Elizabethan views but may appear derogatory to modern audiences.

After the lyrical Richard II, written almost entirely in verse, Shakespeare introduced prose comedy into the histories of the late 1590`s, Henry IV, parts 1, and Henry V. His characters become more complex and tender as he switches deftly between comic and serious scenes, prose and poetry, and achieves the narrative variety of his mature work.

This period begins and ends with two tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, the famous romantic tragedy of sexually charged adolescence, love, and death, and Julius Caesar (based on Sir Thomas Norths 1579 translation of Plutarchs Parallel Lives) which introduced a new kind of drama.

according to Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro, in Julius Caesar «the various strands of politics, character, inwardness, contemporary events, even Shakespeare`s own reflections on the act of writing, began to infuse each other.

Many critics belive that Shakespeares greatest tragedies represent the peak of his art. The titular hero of one of Shakespeares most famous tragedies, Hamlet, has probably been discussed more than any other Shakespearean character, especially for his famous soliloquy which begins «To be or not to be; that is the question».

Unlike the introverted Hamlet, whose fatal flaw is hesitation, the heroes, of the tragedies that followed, Othello and King Lear, are undone by hasty errors of judgement. The plot of Shakespear`s tragedies often hinge on such fatal errors or flows, which overturn order and destroy the hero and those he loves.

In Othello, the villain Iago stokes Othellos sexual jealousy to the point where he murders the innocent wife who loves him. In King Lear, the old king commits the tragic error of giving up his powers, initiating the events which lead to the torture and blinding of the Earl of Gloucester and the murder of Lears youngest daughter Cordelia.

 

mcbeth

 

In Macbeth, the shortest and most compressed of Shakespear`s tragedies, uncontrollable ambition incites Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, to murder the rightful king and usurp the throne, until their own guilt destroys them in turn.

In this play, Shakespeare adds a supernatural element to the tragic structure.

Shakespeare was not revered in his lifetime, but he received a large amount of praise. In 1598, the cleric and author Francis Meres singled him out from a group of English writers as «the most excellent» in both comedy and tragedy.

By 1800, Shakespeare was firmly enshrined as the national poet. In the 18th and 19th centuried, his reputation also spread abroad. Among those who championed him were writers like Voltaire, Goethe, Stendhal and Victor Hugo.

 

skjold5

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Shiny bull. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Shiny bull nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Shiny bull and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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