WHAT IS NIHILISM? Nihilism

 Nihilism Defined

 Historical Nihilism

 Objective Reality & Freewill

 Beyond Good & Evil

A Little Perspective

Pitfalls of Artificial Law

 System Smash!

History of Power

Power, Sex, Revolution

280 Million Years

What's Left?

 Closing Statement


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"The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless." – Steven Weinberg, physicist

Get the book 'Nihilism', by Freydis

Nihilism Defined

A common, but misleading, description of nihilism is the 'belief in nothing'. Instead, a far more useful one would substitute 'faith' for 'belief' where faith is defined as the "firm belief in something for which there is no proof." A universal definition of nihilism could then well be the rejection of that which requires faith for salvation or actualization and would span to include anything from theology to secular ideology. Within nihilism faith and similar values are discarded because they've no verifiable objective substance, they are invalid serving only as yet another exploitable lie never producing any strategically beneficial outcome. Faith is an imperative hazard to group and individual because it compels suspension of reason, critical analysis and common sense. Nietzsche once said that faith means not wanting to know. Faith is 'don't let those pesky facts get in the way of our political plan or our mystically ordained path to heaven'; faith is 'do what I tell you because I said so'. All things that can't be disproved need faith, utopia needs faith, idealism needs faith, and spiritual salvation needs faith. Abolish faith!

NIHILISM IS SANITY IN AN INSANE SOCIETY

The second element nihilism rejects is the belief in final purpose, that the universe is built upon non-random events and that everything is structured towards an eventual conclusive revelation. This is called teleology and it's the fatal flaw plaguing the whole rainbow of false solutions from Marxism to Buddhism and everything in between. Teleology compels obedience towards the fulfillment of "destiny" or "progress" or similar such grandiose goals. Teleology is used by despots and utopian dreamers alike as a coercive motivation leading only to yet another apocryphal apocalypse; the real way to lead humanity by the nose tell them it's all part of the big plan so play along, or else! It may even seem reasonable but there is not now and never has been any evidence the universe operates teleologically there is no final purpose. This is the simple beauty nihilism has that no other idea-set does. By breaking free from the tethers of teleology one is empowered in outlook and outcome because for the first time it's possible to find answers without proceeding from pre-existing perceptions. We're finally free to find out what's really out there and not just the partial evidence to support original pretext and faulty notions only making a hell on earth in the process. So abolish teleology too!

Nihilism is primarily skepticism coupled with reduction, but in practical reality it takes on more than one facet which often leads to a confusion of definitions. In the most general sense nihilism has two major classifications, the first is passive and usually goes by the term existential or 'social' nihilism and the second is active and is termed 'political' nihilism.

Existential nihilism is a passive world view which revolves around such topics as suffering and futility, and even has connections to Eastern mysticism like Buddhism. In a more direct sense existential 'social' nihilism is manifest within the sense of isolation, futility, angst, and the hopelessness of existence increasingly prevalent within the modern digital world, an effect referred to as the 'downward spiral'. A direct way to describe it might be 'detachment from everything'.

Words used to describe political nihilism include active, revolutionary, destructive, and even creative. Political nihilism is dictionary defined as the realization "that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility." It deals with authority and social structures rather than simply the introspective, personal emotions of existential nihilism.

Political nihilism  is especially a world-view that's rational, logical, empirical, scientific and devoid of pointless, extraneous emotion. It's the logical psyche that distills everything down into what is known, what can be known and what can't be known. It's the realization that all values are ultimately relativistic and in some ways the simplicity of nihilism is its own complexity.

Nihilism When conditions in the social organization are so unhealthy as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility.

An estimable and succinct definition of a (political) nihilist comes from Ivan Turgenev's 1861 novel Fathers And Sons, "A nihilist is a person who does not bow down to any authority, who does not accept any principle on faith, however much that principle may be revered."

...and justice for all, by Freydis 2005.So the two classes of nihilism overlap but the CounterOrder is mostly about this second stage of 'political' nihilism for reasons of brevity, because the existential angle when not stillborn generally leads to political nihilism anyway, because nihilism isn't something to just talk about it's something you live, and finally because political nihilism has real world history and experience as you will read in a moment concerning the Russian revolutionaries in Historical Nihilism below. Ultimately however, the nihilistic direction one travels depends on what the individual wishes to make out of life.

To negate and circumvent the paradoxes and internal contradictions inherent within existential nihilism is the course of the 'political' nihilism you're reading.

Nihilism is the destruction of idle philosophy, the negation of idealism, the negation of mythology, and the destruction of perplexity along with the disingenuous despots that profit from it as the monopolist interpreters of artificial confusion. Therefore, Nihilism's definitions are:

1) When conditions in the social organization are so unhealthy as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility.

2) A doctrine of skepticism coupled with reduction that refutes faith, teleology, arbitrary morality, sacred values and principles, heresy, blasphemy, and similar beliefs while maintaining that existing political, social, and economic institutions based on these beliefs must be destroyed.

3) A methodology for a biologically-based existence that rejects arbitrary morality in favor of cause and effect and inviolate forces, predicated upon that which is objectively self-evident and without need of belief, within a sustainable mental and physical environment that promotes independent thinking and critical expression.

Historical Nihilism

The first nihilists were likely the Greek Sophists who lived about 2,500 years ago. They used oratorical skills and argumentative discourse to challenge the values upon which everyday beliefs rested. The Greek sophists, such as Gorgias, represented the beginning of philosophy and the first conflict between the traditional mystical belief system and a rational, skeptical view of the natural world. It was as basic as the difference between a worldview based on emotion and one on thought. Because the sophists challenged established beliefs they were often condemned by public authorities and critics as moral corrupters or worse.

One of the earliest nihilistic writers of the modern era was the Dane Soren Aabye Kierkegaard who lived from 1813 to 1855. Kierkegaard was a truly unique but also enigmatic philosopher who established the foundation of the philosophy later termed existentialism. Kierkegaard's existentialism was in many ways a negation of the ruling Hegelian philosophy, views deeply rooted in Kierkegaard's Lutheran Protestantism that reflected the ideals of the subjectivity of truth and the nature of life as a uniquely individual pursuit. To be brutally succinct existentialism posits that existence is based on experience and this experience is a uniquely individualized sensation, in other words ‘my reality is not your reality’. Modern quantum physical 'philosophy' returned to this theme of solipsism during the late 20th century using empirical mathematics.

The Russian Nihilists
Political nihilism goes back at least to Russia during the last half of the 1800s as a revolutionary movement with the stated goal of overthrowing the despotic authority of the Czar.

In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family. ... 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.
From: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

'The Revolutionary Meeting', by Ilya Repin, 1883By modern standards the Nihilists attempts at revolution were inconsistent and mostly ineffective lobbing low quality munitions at the Czar and his family and even getting themselves blown up in the process. But what they lacked in equipment and tactics they made up for with vision, ideas, and an unparalleled intensity.

The nihilists enjoyed shocking their parents by calling for an end to the old moral system, advocating, for instance, the extermination of everybody in Russia over the age of 25. In the 1860's many of these young intellectuals went to Switzerland, where the proper Swiss bourgeoisie were scandalized at the men with their hair cut long and the girls with their hair cut short, at their loud voices and insolent behaviour. [1]

The mark left by the Russian Nihilists was not in ephemeral political change but rather a revolution of ideas and attitudes, one that still resonates today. "The earnest young men and women [Nihilists] of the 1860's wanted to cut through every polite veneer, to get rid of all conventional sham, to get to the bottom of things." [4]

Anarchism
Both modern Nihilists and anarchists can trace roots to the intense personality of Mikhael Bakunin in the 19th century who succinctly reflected the nihilist sentiment with his famous statement: "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." Anarchism and nihilism are often confused, but looking deeper we can see that they view events from a different perspective. For example the anarchist says that 'no one has the authority to tell another what to do'. But the nihilist replies that if the one giving orders has a gun and the other not, then what do rights or authority matter? Indeed, what benefit is constitution at the moment of any criminal event?

The abuse and exploitation of power by illegitimate authority is as old as history because human behavior is primarily selfish and will usually take advantage of the situation as much as allowed. Right or wrong, authority and power remain. Nevertheless it's also true that the demand for fair treatment and equal opportunity are just as timeless. Human social development is a story of the constant struggle between the two forces. In this struggle the only healthy and functional structure remains one of robust checks and balances.

Anarchists are idealists that believe in subjective concepts such as peace, legal justice, and especially the universal noble nature of all individuals (at least under the proper social conditions). These myths can serve a constructive function, but all too often dogmatic attachment only serves to lead us astray. It's critical that we criticize and reconsider even what we value most.

The Nihilist realizes that history is abused and misconstrued through the formation of artificial lines and erroneous connections between disparate events, only to substantiate preconceived interpretations of reality, the classic teleological myth.

We draw an imaginary thread through the ages to chart the course we judge to be the 'correct' one. All wrong views are ignored. This approach was dubbed the 'Whig' theory of history by Herbert Butterfield. The name derived from those past historians who treated history as a record of events that culminated in the political system dear to their own hearts: the liberal democracy. [2]

It's an understandable product of human evolution to not only detect patterns but also get carried away and concoct them as well.

Human nature sees things that aren't really there, just think of optical illusions or Rorschach ink-blot tests. Much of life is nothing interpreted as something. This is because dealing with the yawning absence necessitates the concoction of a something to grasp the nothing, thereby ignoring the perilous obvious by manufacturing a more malleable artificial myth. Yet the attitude of a Nihilist is contradictory to this because they aim to view human character as it actually is and understand purpose within context.

Objective Reality & Freewill

It's remarkable how even a modicum of logic and scientific philosophy demonstrates the difficulty of defining what is real and the rules to describe it. Like a sandpit the more one struggles the tougher it gets. So an important value to question is objective reality. The closest match might be scientific laws which are merely consistent principles and the most powerful ones are just statistical constructs.

This struggle to define objective reality implies a lack of objective truth, but really this philosophical assumption leads to neither clarity nor accurate interpretations. Even a state of total chaos has statistical uniformities. Consensus can be found and in fact it's remarkably prevalent. Commonality can be found and built upon at many levels but absolutes are less meaningful here than consistency; ultimate reality is fuzzy because it's a product of probabilities. The key is to utilize the solid and avoid the ambiguous, bet on the likely and not the unlikely.

Existence is largely defined by perception because reality is contextual. If you perceive yourself to be weak and without willpower then you will find life is such. Conversely, if you perceive that you have the power to change things in your life, so it will be. In the same way we tend to find what we expect just as physicists contemplate how a photon can be both a wave and a particle. This essence doesn’t mean that practical reality is an illusion, rather it is multi-dimensional.

The random and statistical qualities of nature are critical forces because they negate the credibility of teleology, that purposeful predestination that undermines freewill. So one actually has the option to passively accept the socio-historically established concoction of absolutes, truth and moral laws, the objective reality which can be nothing but myth. Or you can accept real for what it is and assume the healthier role of active participant constantly defining existence through perception and intelligence. In this way defining existence is predicated upon life, conscious awareness of sensory input combined with critical interpretation of what that input means. And the more highly developed the consciousness or the greater the intelligence the more effective and meaningful is existence.

Passivity is a myth. We are all intricately enmeshed within a dynamic system that doesn't just demand but compels active decision-making.

Hence the difference between passive 'social' and active 'political' nihilism is that one accepts whatever happens within futility and pointlessness while the other destroys/creates meaning and value. Which path a person takes is a personal decision within the limits of ability, and that means one does have choice; existence is not predetermined or fatally ordained. However, default answers and the compulsion of conformity shouldn't be overlooked. Reality is contextual.

Beyond Good and Evil

Religious believers and philosophers alike frequently ask the question, ‘does evil exist?’, as if they need to be continually reassured that it does and we agree with them. Many are completely convinced that evil is everywhere, yet the same people are equally sure of luck, fate, and mysterious malevolent powers out to defeat all their noble efforts. But all these imaginary influences are simply projections of a selfish ego. In fact, there is no natural evil, and no malicious intent exists within any forces of the universe.

An old Russian proverb states, "There is no evil, but that it brings some good,” revealing that even in standard Manichean theology every god has a devil and every good requires an evil to shadow it. Even to define evil as wholly immoral acts we still have to specify which set of moral of standards we’re using as rule book. Is it the Bible? The Talmud? The I Ching?! Obviously, evil is a variable, yet nonetheless consistent elements of healthy and unhealthy can still be discerned within the boundaries of a species due to the shared genetic material. Actions and events that benefit the growth and well-being of the species, and the individuals within it, are colloquially, but consistently, termed good and the opposite as evil. For instance the chicken, as well as the human owner, considers the fox evil because he sneaks in to commit murder, yet the fox doesn’t consider his species' carnivorous actions to be evil but rather entirely good because they mean food and survival. This analogy also reminds us that we can go much farther with symbiosis and cooperation than with warfare.

For intelligent creatures good and evil are unnecessary categories,  they’re loaded terms that intentionally obscure actual forces and events while impeding our ability to accurately comprehend both. We shouldn’t view life and existence as a conflict between good and evil; to do so is both foolish and self-defeating because it requires us to declare war on ourselves, our instincts, and even unavoidable natural laws!

Nihilism is a consequence of the personal realization that values previously assumed inviolate are wholly false and unworkable, and the ultimate esteem with which these morals have been uplifted leads to a catastrophic withdrawal to the opposite extreme when the deception is recognized. And while an acceptance of nihilism immediately returns a perspective of utter futility for life and universal existence, this perspective is not the final resolution. As Nietzsche once wrote in The Will to Power, "Nihilism represents a pathological transition phase..." Existence is not futile simply because the edifice of modern morality is inherently dysfunctional. Actually existence has even more purpose now because a proper perspective has been attained and a reason is finally clear – the complete destruction of the debasing, theologically derived moral order. Thus the nihilist is at base a creator of the highest magnitude and a survivor of the most intense metaphysical struggle of all time. The nihilist undergoes a personal evolution and has proven themselves the mental superiors to the herd and mob, they have proven their will and 'license' for continued existence and have successfully escaped from the circus of values. Once the transvaluation of values is complete an entirely new and sane perspective can be achieved.

A Little Perspective

Everybody has an answer, but not just any answer, the answer. If you think about it it's truly amazing the sheer number of people that have the officially authorized monopoly on truth. This fact alone highlights the dissonance of absolute values and the misguided nature of idealism. What quantitative value would you place on your life? A life insurance corporation could concoct an exact dollar amount. But even that figure may be inflated, the chemical compounds that make up your body are only worth a few cents. But isn't life more valuable than gold, oil or other commodities? Think again.

Human arrogance conveniently assumes itself the apex of evolution yet in reality the corporeal being is merely a disposable vehicle for the reproduction of genetic material, not the other way around! Perhaps the most profound realization of the 20th century remains mostly unknown for it is the genes that are the master and not the individual human created by them. This helps explain why many human cravings are harmful to the self but profitable to the genes, and the prevalence of certain self-destructive behaviors. And remarkably this is the true solution to the classic existential dilemma, why life is just death or as John Lennon once put it, "Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear," yet apparently we are! The human body isn't programmed for pain-free longevity, just long enough to reproduce physically and to perpetuate learned skills, which is why doctors will never run out of business. The biological boss may be too small to see but it's far too powerful to ignore.

If human value could be measured outside the skewed perspective of the collective ego it might look something like this; if only one individual existed on planet Earth they would be the most important human. If two people existed their individual significance would be divided in half (1/2). If six thousand million people existed on Earth what would the individual significance of each one be? A simple equation shows the value as the fractional percentage of the whole population plus any incidental, conjectural additives from education, training, intelligence etc. Presupposing this Marxian values system of universal equality the formula for individual human value is:

1/p + (E/p) = individual human value p = current world population
E = years of education, training, work experience.
So in a world of six billion people your uneducated mass is 1/6000000000 or 1.67 x 10^-10 of that whole. Your significance is 0.0000000167%. With a 12 year education your significance rockets upward to a factor of 2.167 x 10^-9 or 0.0000002167%.

It's clear that overpopulation dramatically diminishes the value of human life. So, is it any wonder religion is so popular and why human nature so desperately seeks meaning and purpose even in the most ridiculous places? Why do so many people hide behind money fooling only themselves into thinking that wealth gives them significance? Isn't it painfully obvious why society invents artificial concepts of justice, morality, and ethics? The brutality and utter irrationality of the animal world is just outside the rusty gates of our crumbling civilization. But isn't it comforting to know that as long as we're inside we have the warming sensation of fairness, equality and justice for all (that can afford it anyway)?

Self-delusion seems to be a defining quality of human behavior. Lies maintain our flimsy order, we find consolation in myths like 'what we do has significance' and 'God punishes the wicked'. The constant avalanche of empirical evidence to the contrary simply gets relegated to the third class bureau of irrational philosophers.

Hypocrisy can flourish when goodness is defined not only as kind and altruistic behavior, but as sticking to the rules and obligations of the faith. [3]

Our 'leaders' wage war in the name of peace and establish democracy with an iron fist. Our traditional values are warped; they reflect fantasy not reality. Our values are so removed from actual substance that fantasy becomes reality and truth becomes error. This is the primary difficulty in conveying the meaning of nihilism because all morally loaded concepts are biased against a lucid description of the nihilistic viewpoint. Nietzsche was addressing this issue when he wrote the title and the book Beyond Good and Evil. But it's not just a series of lies it's a debasing and wholly aberrant structure. The problem is so deep that even the words to define it must be replaced with a new lexicon.

Nuclear power remains a beautiful analogy for the era we live in, a struggling existence bounded between torment and ecstasy, every day living all shades in between. We can ultimately accomplish whatever we can imagine while moving forward with curiosity and courage, yet we still battle the drag of fear and cowardice.

We walk the edge of a sword in this process of human development, aware that we can cure the illnesses of millions, or vaporize them with a bomb, and nothing outside of our planet (until we leave it) is going to care whether we do one or the other.

Beauty−Death−Energy−Destruction

Nihilism challenges the assumptions supporting common values such as 'equality'; 'pity', 'justice', but also terms of conclusion about human existence. Existential values, terms such as 'meaningless', 'pointless' and 'futile', are flawed because their definitions stem from the moral values that have hitherto been rejected. We have to criticize justice when events demonstrate that in court it's not whether one is guilty or not, but how persuasive their lawyer is, or how thoroughly the judge and jury have been rhetorically manipulated! 'Justice' is the confusing legalese that your high-priced barrister can spew in the courtroom like an oil slick in front of a pursuing vehicle. The rich go free while the poor go to prison. Justice has been perverted beyond recognition, ironically through a dogmatic belief in its sanctity and immutability. It's clearly time to question the root assumptions.   

The Pitfalls of Artificial Law

It may seem peculiar how terms like 'moral', 'liberal' and 'conservative' are used in conversation. People will tell you they're moral individuals but they don't say moral according to who or what even though every culture and religious order has different standards. They'll tell you they're liberal and one is supposed to assume they mean it politically instead of liberal users of peyote or stamps on heavy envelopes. 'Progress' is another favorite; progress is good but as in the spread of cancer? Or maybe they mean the spread of Wal-Mart's to every town in the world with at least 5,000 people?

But the consistent message people are trying to convey in conversation is their own subtle deviation from the political and social norm and from the ambient morality which is to say from the definitions and standards processed, packaged and pumped into them by media, government and church authorities. Since all these concepts are unable to be empirically codified they assume elastic values that are easily warped to serve despots and unhealthy outcome, which is why Nietzsche wisely stated:

"Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose."

But moral laws aren't the only kind that can be warped to serve disingenuous ends. The greater the personal wealth and property one controls or possesses the more laws are needed to protect that wealth. Conversely, the less one owns the fewer laws are needed for protecting it. At a point of total poverty, where one has nothing but the self, they would only feel the need for laws against killing i.e. 'thou shalt not murder'. In other words the degree of law desired is directly proportional to the wealth in possession. Laws protect that vested power and the people owning it by providing consistent codified support for the control and distribution of that wealth. But even though the stated desire for legality is universal the interpretation of that legality is not, clearly varying between haves and have-nots, a schism fervently exploited by Marxists. Enter the lawyers who are mercenaries paid to reinterpret the law to favor the client. Since the rich have the money to buy the most powerful lawyers and since the establishment of precedent is defined through epic court battles, common law is gradually skewed in favor of those rich patrons. Hence the emergence of a class-bifurcated, sanctimonious justice system and the erosion of legal fairness. Scientific research shows that in a police lineup witnesses' who choose an incorrect person are just as confident as ones that choose the correct one because human memory fills in the blanks with assumptions. Furthermore juries are just as credulous of false or inaccurate testimony as legitimate because all that really matters is strength of conviction. The criminal justice system warps science and the witness to its own ends because the only thing that matters in this setting is which side you are on prosecution or defense.

‘Tiger Having Eaten Professor’, by Frederick Stuart Church, 1905.Laws are employed to shield the incompetent and mitigate the influence of the capable. For example, a cop with a gun can be a greater danger than a 'criminal' because they have an official sanction to kill; their murder is backed by the concept of law. The government and legal institutions have no higher morality than the 'criminal' does; they are prone to heinous conduct just as, if not worse than the criminal is, without impartial oversight. One party can act with impunity; the other will be executed. So what of "rights"? Nihilism views rights as irrelevant because it's the underlying structures of morality and the roots of truth, myth and collective delusions that dictate significance. Morality and ethics are artificial byproducts of culture and through hypocrisy and abuse are warped into becoming illusory forces.

Some argue that money is a proxy for achievement, but this is false. Money is aggregated amongst the already wealthy. Nor does our capitalist society promote achievement through the educational establishment, the mythical system of western mandarinism perpetuated by certain members of the intelligentsia . The true nature of the system is based more on connections and wealth than merit. The true nature of the system is based more on connections and wealth than merit. The number of slots to get on this escalator to social achievement is limited, and those already powerful get to choose who gets those slots. It has never been truer than today, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

Systemic Self-Destruction

Nihilism is an awareness that destruction is at least as important as construction, even more so when institutions have outlived their usefulness to become corrupt and unhealthy. Idealist crusades fail because they never remove the vestiges of the past order. Think of it biologically, would Homo sapiens have evolved out of the Mesozoic era, or would they have just been dino-snacks? We're here because of a previous mass extinction! The old order didn't mutate, it was catastrophically destroyed because that's the only way radical, meaningful change can occur. Revolutions fail because the willpower to enact the necessary severity of change is lacking. Actually it's not just willpower it's the total vision that's usually lacking. Some call Karl Marx a revolutionary but Marxism isn't genuine revolution it's just rearranging the artificial order. Every ideology on the books is merely a convenient way to re-order the present situation; they just shuffle the same old cards and the people end up worse off than before! Nihilism plays a completely new game, but the old game of lies and myths always self-destructs eventually. These are the cycles of history, the recycling of flawed ideologies and our era is a prime example.

Nihilism is the organic logical response to artificial chaos, the intentional chaos manufactured by government, religion, and mass-media.

Every political ideology has been discredited as an affront to freedom and well-being. From capitalism to communism the blindly faithful never test and verify theory before implementation, so the fatal flaw is always the same – actualization; it’s the predictable literalization of faith and myth. Besides producing voluminous hypocrisy and tyranny the byproduct of sham ideologies and fractional logic includes extensive pollution of both the human mind and the Earth's ecosystem.  Think of the billions of dollars spent to produce nuclear, biological and chemical weapons all to have them rust and leak in storage bunkers from Tooele to Tomsk-7. Millions toiling to produce ultra-deadly nerve gas and radioactive waste with a four and a half billion year half-life. Nihilists know who to 'thank'- and who to stop from doing it again.

Religion

Independent theologies and decentralized organizations have replaced the Church/State monopoly. With the loss of government support (money) the Church has revealed its true nature as the giant predatory profit-motivated scam that it is. The theological monopoly has been broken and now any faith is just as valid as any other is. History will rate the separation of Church and State as one of the most critical pivots of the modern era. The secondary effect of this is that the national population doesn't know which faith to choose, and although religion can't be eliminated it can be easily replaced. Now all the addicts to God will have to make do with a pluralistic methadone.

Education

Every election season has its battle over education in some form or another. These conflicts only become more heated as relative values polarize amidst social disintegration and the concomitant increase of media attention on school violence. But this incessant emphasis on 'education' has little to do with training skills in socialization or adaptability and everything to do with myth indoctrination! This is why religious groups fight like hell for separate private or home schooling. Instead of learning critical reasoning skills useful for all applications education has been turned into a process for molding and warping young when they're most impressionable in order to serve corporate demands, and not the needs of society and the intellectual development of the individual. Given the stunning uselessness of most school material within practical life, it seems difficult to explain the education scam otherwise, except perhaps as hollow tradition or keeping the kids off the streets for a few hours each day. Employers and authority powers all look for those stamped and notarized pieces of paper to effortlessly determine the gullibility and exploitability of a person, how quickly they'll latch on to authorized opinions and follow orders without questions, or at least that's how a cynic would posit degrees and diplomas are really being used.

Monarchy

Those inveterate despots and prostitutes for the Church, one of mankind's long lasting afflictions, the monarchy has finally been eliminated and relegated to a proper place in the dusty archives of history. Unfortunately the new master, the mass media, has simply replaced much of monarchic authority.

Nationalism

The nation no longer has any real meaning except as a vestigial tool to drag the public into fratricidal conflicts or generate enthusiastic rivalry for sporting events. The citizenry get the pain without the benefits of nationalism anymore because leaders fail to protect their citizens from external threats. Money, immigrants, religion, drugs and disease all cross political boundaries with impunity, ironically usually unmolested by nationalist politicians. The facile irony only masks the hypocrisy of the domestic leadership that parrots nationalist rhetoric yet acts in favor of international moneyed interests; they talk local but act global. The super-rich aren’t restricted by nationalism, they and their money can move anywhere they want – and play one country against another for greater profits. Nationalism is just like religion, it's a means of exploiting the poor and ignorant with faith and blind obedience.
 

Never let government shrink-wrap your mind with their flag.

Patriotism follows the same pattern of obsolescence because anymore it has been hijacked to mean obedience to the suicidal dictates of corrupt authority. As long as the domestic death-toll can be kept to a minimum war is good and noble because it generates employment and corporate profits.

Traditional faith in the military establishment has become equally foolish. The creation of the professional military composed of volunteers drastically alters the equation, elevating imperialism and executive authority over the needs of the greater public. The worlds of the military and the civilian used to be intricately related. Now the two are rapidly spinning in opposite directions. Mistrust, ignorance, and incompetence have created a re-evaluation of the mission of the military and even its very necessity.

Mass Media

The character of the mass media is finally being viewed as the imperative threat to collective health that it really is. Democracy is a sham when the primary media filters and manipulates the vast majority of information voters need to accurately judge candidates and issues, while making a fortune broadcasting specious and vitriolic campaign advertisements. Not only do the same companies own the networks, but they're owned by the same people, and the trend towards consolidation and mergers continues unabated.

This highlights a few elements of the decaying superstructure but to stop at that would be a fatal flaw – Marx's mistake. It's an unfortunate fault of simplistic human nature to first target the visible elements. But to merely attack the visible superstructure of capitalism, church and politicians is doomed without reaching the "demons" in the public consciousness. Don't make the mistake of anarchism, reach and dissolve the myths and the lies, the foolish ideas and the self-destructive notions, as well as the people that preach it. The relativistic moral codes of "good" is this and "bad" is that, they're cynically reinvented by self-righteous leaderships to achieve misguided, mystical goals. And the intangible, non-verifiable goals make the sweetest bait because no one can claim otherwise! If you want to change a belief you must first change an environment because what the masses believe is formed by what they hear and see around them.

"The great revolutions are those of manners and thought. Changing the name of a government does not transform the mentality of a people." – Gustave Le Bon

The strategic success of revolution is predicated upon reaching these roots. How? Use the acidic dissolution of delusion. Ridicule the ridiculous; highlight absurdity, contradiction and irony. Make fun of the foolish and faithful alike but more importantly the notions they use and discredit delusion by every means available. Propagate the replacement and fill the vacuum left by the discredited myths. Fill it with facts built from the boundaries of the known and the unknown in order to deal with the present and not some fictional afterlife. Counteract religious modes convince the public that natural behavior and instinct are normal again. Work to build havens from mass-media and pop-cultural influences allowing anyone the freedom of independent thought and introspection unfettered by the corporate sponsored, brand positioned homogenized opinions doled out like drug-laced candy.

We tend to think of revolution to mean violent armed conflict such as in a civil war but a revolution can be entirely peaceful and non-violent, for a revolution is really just a radical, fundamental shift in individual and collective viewpoint.

So when does the revolution start? It already has! Act accordingly in what you do and what you say. There's no half measure and no fence to sit on, everyone is a participant in this omnipresent psychological war because it has no front-line or boundaries. Every mind is a battlefield and every person with above room temperature body warmth and IQ is a combatant. Now's the time to decide which side to be on.

A Brief History of Power

Within crude authority structures power is transmitted via violence, or at least the threat of violence. In less primitive authority systems power is primarily transmitted through mechanisms of money: bribes, kickbacks, and the various forms of financial corruption. Within more advanced authority structures power is mostly wielded through mechanisms of belief: faith, popular assumptions, and myths. This is why within the modern system of coercion through belief media control is so critical to authority because that's the means of manipulating the range of acceptable thoughts within the public mind.

So, just as power through violence and fear has become obsolete and strategically ineffective, coercion through belief is now becoming an obsolescent method of control. This development is largely due to advanced communications technology spreading practical ideas and information, along with the universal application of standardized and scientifically-based education. Eventually, with struggle, we will supplant the use of force and coercion with structures of social organization that are not based on whim or belief but built from impartial testing and verification, in other words, methods and ideas that actually function as intended in practice. When statement, intent and effect are matched then political and social hypocrisy are eliminated.

Despite the remarkable progression of human development we can still find examples of the various structures of power in different locations throughout our contemporary world. And when establishment authority loses legitimacy, through ineptitude and corruption or other reasons, they frequently resort to more crude forms of coercion in order to cement their hold on power. In this regard it's wise to remember that even within a political system based purely on power and force, the subjugated have every natural and inalienable right to resist and overthrow those in power over them. Of course whether they’re able to or not is another matter, but the point is that an authority system based on power, whether stated as such or covered behind layers of hypocrisy and rhetoric, is one that’s inherently unstable and where violence begets greater violence in cyclical fashion. At best this can be described as asymmetrical development.

Power, Sex, Revolution

Every monolithic establishment seems impossible to change when we’re trapped within it, yet the revolution always seems inevitable in retrospect. Contrary to the view of the irrational pessimists human society does grow and develop, and even human nature evolves too. We're not doomed to repeat the past unless we fail to learn from it.

Vertical authority structures have been frequent features of the past 6,000 years of male-dominated human history. However, to believe that power and force are the only ways to structure a society is both profoundly foolish and historically myopic, even as such beliefs serve as convenient justification for contemporary abuses. The Paleolithic to the Neolithic era, around 6,000 to 60,000 years-ago and beyond, was the reverse – featuring successful civilizations structured around women. And now in the 21st century, with the development of increasingly advanced reproductive technology like bio-engineered sperm, the human species has moved into a completely unprecedented and astonishing realm: a third sexual age that has effectively rendered the male sex biologically redundant.

The symbols and images of early human civilizations were almost exclusively of women, sometimes abstract and highly stylized. More recently these symbols were replaced by men while at the same time slavery and violence suddenly became commonplace.

The ‘Venus of Willendorf’ figurine from central Europe, approximately 25,000 years old.
A figurine from the Cucuteni people of southeast Europe, approximately 6,000 years ago.

It is thought that the Cucuteni would sacrifice whole cities every 60-80 years by intentionally burning thousands of their houses. They would then move and create another new settlement. [5]

Structured authority predicated upon force leaves much to be desired, most notably the stifling of human potential amid the upheaval of violence and brutality, both physical and psychological. Over millennia of accumulated experience, through wars and revolutions, and stepping-stone criticism by enlightened thinkers, the human species has devised means of structuring social authority, resources and power that strives towards more equitable formations that are therefore more stable and flexible, empowering greater numbers. This system in modern form revolves around concepts of equally distributed freedoms, rights of varying definition, and widespread expectations of fair treatment and open opportunity; symmetrical development. The concept of rules being equally applied to everyone, the ruler and ruled, and the realization that neither is inherently superior to the other, is a development as remarkable as it is revolutionary in human history.

The Russian Nihilists were a part of this process of human development, fighting to overthrow abusive and despotic authority and to build a society based on scientifically rational treatment for everyone. This kind of struggle doesn’t come easy, it requires persistence and stamina, and especially a sober awareness of potential and pitfall, separating myth from facts. We don’t have to exist under fear, torture and abuse. Freedom, peace, and cooperation are just as valid physical dimension within the virtually limitless realm of our universe, even superior because they confer unambiguous benefits to the vast majority involved within society; but we’ll never arrive there using faith and hope, guided by belief and fictional saviors. Together we have the potential to achieve anything with a vision and persistence. The question is: will we try?

280 Million Years of Nihilism

It's a characteristic of the human mind to turn simplicity into subjective complexity and to construe difficulty from life where none exists. Today the archetypal question for philosophers is "why are we here?" Ask a human and a serious response will probably involve complex reasoning involving mystical deities or introspective analysis. But before we leave the final answer with humanity I think we need a second opinion.

Some 280 million years ago the first amphibians began life outside water. These Labryinthodonts named for their infolded tooth enamel typically had large triangular heads and wide, flat bodies that looked like giant road-kill without the tread marks. Tetrapods like these crawled around on land eating worms, maybe a few bugs but basically whatever they could catch and digest. Not much to look at or admire yet they gave rise to all other land vertebrates, reptiles, birds, and yes eventually even literate humans.

If we could ask the same of a Permian tetrapod what mysterious, and enlightening answers would they provide? Perhaps something like "I don't understand the question, I just want to avoid death."

Odd isn't it that they never had any goal or god, no soul or hope of an afterlife indeed they lacked any purpose beyond the brief struggle for life and yet millions of years later here we are reading this because of it, because they existed and evolved? We as humans exist in the same physical universe, subject to the same rules of physics and biology, the same need for sea-water salinity body fluid, the same protein and amino acids ... Decades of scientific inquiry and careful research all to reach the inescapable conclusion that the point is there is no point. The joke is on us because we turned the absurdly simple into the dangerously complex.

The answer to "why are we here?" is no different for human, Labryinthodont or jellyfish, because we live in the same world subject to the same physical limitations and end up in the same place after death. Well, some leave better fossils than others. Now we see why fear of death is such a natural instinct and why religion exerts so much concerted effort to contradict that instinct.

The human mind creates ethics, moral codes, rules to die by, excuses and justifications for the deepest epiphany and the most trivial event alike. Some even go so far as to hijack random events and misinterpret them as self-created, the psychological principle known as 'illusion of control'. Unfortunately the complexities of the human mind merely make it easier to believe in fantasy and entertain delusion. Such an effort to find greater significance where there really is none and this only leads to wayward guidance and specious justifications. Those concocted reasons are then used to justify what need not be justified like our continued existence except based upon lies, setting up everyone for the fall when the myth erodes. Everything would move onward quite smoothly without any human minds around to believe in God, Satan or any other fictions, it did before us and it will after. Instead the Nihilist is concerned with the things that matter whether anyone believes in them or not, and all the forces and factors that influence even the things that don't think.

If humans are a special creation of God, then the universe should be congenial to human life. It is not. Theists claim that the parameters of the universe are fine-tuned for human life. They are not. The universe is not fine-tuned for us. We are fine-tuned to the universe. After evaluating all the evidence, we can conclude that the universe and life look exactly as they would be expected to look if there were no God. – Victor J. Stenger, 2012

Although evolution has no goal and our purpose may be just as elusive that doesn't void significance, it doesn't make action and consequence irrelevant, an important distinction too often confused within nihilism. Nihilism doesn't preclude significance or a naive refusal to extract lessons from history just as a lack of the traditional mystical goal does not necessitate futility. Extinction events, for example, are significant after all, we wouldn't be here without them. The only cosmic justification supported by any tangible evidence is the impetus for continued existence, the self-justifying purpose of tautology. And truthfully demanding any further justification from most simply foments confusion and foolish behavior. Furthermore it's likely that anything beyond that basal maxim is just an artificial construction. So, nihilism is not an issue of existence so much as a series of questions regarding the value, if any, that those artificially constructed meanings have. Where do they take us and do we really want to end up there? And can we really outsmart natural selection, for instance?

What's Left?

Nihilism can appear very complicated because in the present moral milieu it's necessary to describe it in the terms of negatives and being against this or that. It's about accepting what is, and working within that framework to generate a lifestyle of efficacy and natural perspective. Too often our modern hi-tech planet makes us think that if it looks confusing and it takes a Germanic scholar to analyze it then it must be complicated. What I'm saying is that you don't need any of that shit. You don't need to believe in God or Beelzebub or anything else that can't be verified or tested in any way. You don't need to believe that human nature is intrinsically evil or in original sin. It takes so much vain effort to struggle with good and bad. Normal people literally torture themselves with ethical and moral quandaries in self-created dungeons that ultimately never matter. For this reason the nihilistic philosophy takes a beating in the arena of ideas because it's about nothing. That's why I like to call it an anti-ideology. It simply doesn't play by those rules because those rules are arbitrary; they exist only in the social-mindset. And if other people want to live within that self-torturing, intellect numbing fantasy world then I'm not going to stop them; have fun ... hating life.

It's important to realize too that Nihilism isn’t like every other ideology that places a vague future goal in primacy and forces everything in the present to fit that fantasy. Nihilism is a counter-order, it is the opposite of every other ideology and theology that seeks to impose an absolute conception of the way everything should be because that’s simply not how things really work. Life can’t be controlled by an artificially concocted single universal answer or by building a perfect order that will last forever. Nihilism operates with the expectation that the future and its needs are always unknown and all we can really do is prepare ourselves to fit the present and try to meet whatever challenges arise in the ongoing process of existence; thus Nihilism isn’t concerned so much with the aftermath as it is with the here and now, hence its very definition.

Many people spend great effort trying to determine what nihilism is, and it often seems perplexing because it is such a radically different viewpoint and mindset. Belief systems and ideologies are defined by what they are and what they value but nihilism is more defined by what isn’t, it’s about an absence rather than a presence. Nihilism is absence of faith, absence of teleology, lack of God, and so on. That’s why I’ve always said Nihilism is where you go when you can’t find anything to believe in. All that’s left are the inescapable natural forces and that which is self-evident or verifiable.

It often seems more complex than it really is and indeed the more philosophers struggle to force it into the traditional ideological mold the less it’s really nihilism. Is it hedonism? Is it immorality? Does it support capitalism, or socialism? Anything beyond the primary aspects are derivative and potentially arbitrary considerations, perhaps simply personal interpretations.

Even if you reject nihilism your relationship has not been severed. The entire social and political structure that we have to live within is programmed for self-destruction because it’s all based on disingenuous ideas and promulgated through hollow rhetoric and plastic faces for near-term goals. And what do lies breed except vengeance and anger? So you may blame the violence, blame the anger, blame the nihilism, blame the effect not the cause, but nevertheless that dangerous dénouement will remain not far off and no one alive will avoid it.

When we conclude that we each only get one life, the goal becomes painfully obvious, as unpleasant as the sight of the predator messily devouring the prey on Wild Kingdom. I think humans are the gods, but the corporal package is a powerful dichotomy. Worm and god side by side. We need no higher power for justification or success, only the desire and willpower. Each human life has the potential, but unless one strives to be something higher they are only a worm. We can do anything the question is will we? Will we struggle in vain with the futile labels of olde, senselessly slaughtering each other over self-imposed polarities while disingenuous despots reap the profits from our collective bloodletting? Or will we choose the exit, and in this very dark room known as life not too many exit signs are visible. The one I used is called nihilism.

In a way that's all it is. That's all that's needed to revolutionize the planet because once a person finally realizes the totality of the lies that comprise everyday modern life they will become the greatest nihilist and radical imaginable.


1. A History of Civilization, Brinton,  p. 300-301, Prentice Hall 1960.

2. The World Within The World by John D. Barrow, pages 334 & 332, Oxford University Press 1988.

3. The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore, page 189, Oxford University Press 1999.

4. A History of Russia, sixth edition, by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Oxford University Press 2000, page 381.

5. 7,000 years ago, Neolithic optical art flourished, by Rossella Lorenzi, MSNBC, September 22, 2008.

The precise moment at which a great belief is doomed is easily recognizable; it is the moment when its value begins to be called into question. – Gustave Le Bon

Kepler's Supernova Remnant In Visible, X-Ray and Infrared Light.

   

Content & Design By Freydis
Updated: June, 2014
Created: 1998