Tag Archives: Nihilism

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!

 

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