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Welcome to the CounterOrder's showcase for contributions from viewers like you - including essays, art, letters and other material.


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Essays and contributions are listed in order of date received and posted at the discretion of your friendly editor and part-time autocrat, Freydis. If you have something to add send it <here>. Also specify how you want credit shown (such as name, e-mail, and so on).

By my rough estimate about 60% of the letters sent to me express their appreciation and approval of what they’ve read in The CounterOrder, about 30% are either unsure about something or want to know more, and only about 10% disapprove of it. – Freydis, June 2008


Convenience Rebellion?
September 2014

I just was wondering, as nihilists, how do we rebel against convenience specifically in an everyday sense?

Alexander M.

The first thing that came to my mind with this concept was taking the stairs instead of the escalator or the elevator. I was thinking of the multitude of structures built into city life that are ostensibly intended to make life easier and more convenient but , cumulatively, can have the opposite effect. Like ‘fast food’ – it’s ubiquitous and easy to get, but unhealthy if consistently eaten. So there’s an element of resistance necessitated to avoid these pitfalls in ordinary urban life, and I wanted to start a movement, or at least a conversation, on that issue.

And it’s not just physical structures too, but mental shortcuts as well that are even more insidious, cumulatively. Some of these mental shortcuts we’re familiar with, like stereotypes of people for instance. But just making an effort to see past things like commercial advertising , considering why it’s there and what the manipulation is implied through it - rather than simply accepting it at face value, is another example of ‘convenience rebellion’.

» Freydis

Convenience Rebel, by Freydis
Created July 2004

The Walking Rebel, by Freydis
Created July
2004

P.S. Forgot to mention this in my last message, but I really appreciate what you are doing, not too many people think about these things and it's nice that they're being brought to public attention, in a nice, understandable and easily accessible format.

Alexander M.

Thanks!


Nihilism Defined
April 2014

Hello Freydis,
I have a question. Below is my understanding of Nihilism. The question is have I completely missed the point?

My understanding of Nihilism is accepting reality and how it corresponds with the universe. And rejecting morality and seeing it as a construct of the human mind created for the mere purpose of imposing a form of control on other human beings.

Thank you
Ben V.

Yes Ben, I concur with your practical interpretation of Nihilism, it's both clear and concise!

» Freydis


Nihilism the Book

Hi, I read an excerpt of your book on nihilism when I was checking Amazon. I found it to have a deep, profound truth that is sadly cast aside by the majority of humanity. Even though we have no ultimate reward for being honest, I still want to thank you for being honest and writing a book on the real truth regardless how depressing it may seem.

~ Paul, February 2014


Guidance on Nihilism
October 2013

Hello Freydis

Thank you very much for the reply. I honestly don't know what to reply back since I was not expecting any replies to my email at all. I probably hoped for a reply but it was certainly not anticipated...

Anyway, I'm grateful. Knowing that you've read my letter is good enough for me. The pieces of advice you've provided are also well appreciated. I guess I already know these things but its nice to be reminded every now and then. :) Also, for me I guess I've already gotten the plans and blueprints down for my life, only the execution and the discipline needed is a little hard to get to. Still, I'll persevere.

I'll continue on visiting your site as well as proceed to reading some of the literature you've suggested. I'm very grateful for the guidance your work and website has provided.

I hope more people can have the fortune of stumbling upon your site. :D

Sincerely,
Nathan


Anarcho-Nihilism
Ben, July 2013

Hello Freydis,

From what I have read about Anarchism I may be mistaken but it comes across to being kind of utopian ideology. I understand the concept of no need for government. And working together as a community. One thing that keeps coming to mind is even though in an Anarchist society people will be working together and policing themselves. That there wont be someone or a group of people that everyone will look up to for decision making.
I apologize if what i just said doesnt make any sense as i am writing this email tired.

Thank you
Ben

Hi Ben,

Yes, I agree, it is difficult to envision anarchism working on a large scale, like the size of a city, although small anarchist communities have been tried before with some success.

I think what anarchists mean is that they see a authority is a power that forces others to do something, while cooperation is following along out of mutual benefit and interest. So their society may even look similar, but the reasons people participate are different and the exploitation and abuse is eliminated.

In practice though authority of some kind is very difficult to avoid, and authority is really what the main difference in viewpoint between Nihilism and Anarchism is about. Anarchism is rather utopian. Nevertheless, it makes sense to strive to achieve minimal authority because it ultimately improves everyone’s lives.

The whole system of power relations between people is increasingly complex as technology advances, and in most ways it is becoming less of a pyramid and more a level playing field between people, with the obvious exception being capitalism and the distribution of money and the power that comes from it. This contradiction can't last, and will inevitably shatter in a revolution of one form or another.

» Freydis

Why is Nihilism Considered a Problem?
Ben, August 2013

Why is Nihilism considered a problem, from what I have read I find it enlightening?

People fear the unfamiliar and what they are constantly told is evil or wrong. Mostly it has to do with the way religion has hijacked human morality. We are all told over and over that without beliefs and without adherence to religiously-derived moral rules (and even told that all morality comes from religion!) everyone will go crazy and misbehave. Just like we're told that everything will be chaos and pain under anarchism and without centralized authority. This corruption of morality is just a way to maintain control over people and nihilism has to be evil and something to avoid or else people will begin to question that corrupt authority.

More: http://www.counterorder.com/faq.html#morality  http://www.counterorder.com/revolution.html#3 
Book review: Religion Explained

» Freydis


Statement on nihilism by Yvanz Mindz in Spanish with an English translation, from Facebook group Reflexionemos: Arte Y Conciencia, February 2013

¿Creo?

...Yo sí creo en un dios, creo en un ser que está arriba de nosotros; que es omnipotente, nos ama, nos da la felicidad, que dio tantas cosas por nosotros, creo en la divinidad.

Sé que hay misterios que un sólo ser tiene resguardados sólo para cuando terminen nuestros días y como eso, también creo en el bien y el mal, en el equilibrio, y en la justicia espiritual, creo que hay alguien que escribió en tableta nuestros destinos, que estamos predestinados a su mano todopoderosa, creo en su fe, sobre de toda las demás; la más precisa, en su doctrina; en sus 12 caminos, sus 12 estrellas, sus 12 apóstoles.

Creo en la llama justiciera de almas, en los mundos del subsuelo que carcomerán nuestra carne, por pecados multiplicados con dolores inimaginables. Así como creo en el todopoderoso, creo en las leyes impuestas por el Señor, creo en el amor y en la paz......¡Pero!, así como creo en eso, tengo presente que, creo en la imagen egoísta y de miedo del ser humano, en sus ilusiones, sus fantasías por el miedo a la muerte; creo en la ilusión ajena de que alguien mágico vendrá a castigar al que hace el mal, dando un equilibrio en "el bien y el mal", creo en que debo dar tanto de mí, por una doctrina, sólo para no arder en el fuego, creo sobre todo, en las falsas morales prepuestas hace siglos, y sobre todo...............

....¡Naaaa! Sarcasmo.

¿Me expresé tan ridículo como pretendía?

¿O será que, existirá algo mágico, fuera de toda ley física, que venga a hacernos "el parito" para cuando nos chingue alguien? ¡naaa!..

....la vida es cruda, ¿y qué?......

....el mundo no es parte de nosotros, si no, nosotros somos parte del mundo.

Como le gusta a la gente soñar.

A la mierda Jesús,
A la mierda el Buda,
A la mierda el Alá,
A la mierda Judá,
A la mierda Krishna,
A la mierda Rama,
A la mierda el karma...

En resumen, ¡¡¡a la mierda la fe!!!

"Nihilismo...."

--Yvanz Mindz

Believe?

...I do believe in a god, I believe in a being who is above us, that is omnipotent, He loves us, gives us happiness, which gave so much to us, I believe in the divinity.

I know there are mysteries that are sheltered by one being only when our days are completed, and like that, I also believe in good and evil, in balance and spiritual justice, I believe that there's someone who wrote in tablet our destinies, that we are predestined to its powerful hand, I believe in his faith over all others, the most accurate, in his doctrine, in its 12 trails, its 12 stars, the 12 apostles.

I believe in the righteous flame of souls, on the worlds of the subsoil that eat away our flesh, for sins multiplied with unimaginable pain. Just as I believe in the almighty, I believe in the laws imposed by the Lord, I believe in love and peace ...... But! As I believe in that, I have in mind that, I believe in the selfish and fearful image of man, in his dreams, his fantasies by fear of death; I believe in the alien illusion that someone magical will come to punish those that do evil, giving a balance of "good and evil", I think that I should give so much of me, for a doctrine, only not to burn in the fire, I think especially, in the false morals spanning centuries, and especially ...............

....Nah! Sarcasm.

Did I expressed myself as ridiculously as I intended?

Or is that, there is something magical, beyond physical law, which comes to us when someone screws us? Naaah!…

....life is harsh, so what?......

....the world is not part of us, otherwise, we are part of the world.

How much people like to dream!

To hell with Jesus,
To hell with the Buddha,
To hell with Allah,
To hell with Judah,
To hell with Krishna,
To hell with Rama,
To hell with the karma...

In short, to hell with faith!


"Nihilism...."

--Yvanz Mindz


Una Revisión de Nihilismo por Freydis, Junio 2012

Nihilismo
En una forma por demás entusiasta y divertida el autor (Freydis) nos da su visión de lo que para él significa el nihilismo. Desde una definición de la creencia en nada, hasta una más explicada de la negación de los valores socialmente aceptados. Además de la fe, la teología, y por consecuencia Dios y un propósito final de la vida.

Paradójicamente, lo que pudiera significar un vacío existencial con este tipo de creencias, parece ser lo que le da su razón de vivir. Y sin embargo acepta la paradoja que significa la fe firme en no tener fe, la razón de vida de no tener razón de vivir, y su propósito final en no tener un propósito.

Históricamente se muestran datos de los primeros nihilistas entre los filósofos griegos como Georgias. Entre los primeros escritores modernos se cita a Soren Aabye Kierkegaar y entre los primeros movimientos al de los jóvenes rusos de mediados del siglo XIX.

Comprensiblemente el nihilismo basa sus argumentos contra lo que rechaza: señalando el abuso que desde el poder se ha hecho del manejo de la historia, de la filosofía y los valores, de la justicia y de la religión. Un resumen de su argumento podría ser que estamos presos de ideas preconcebidas, apoyadas en el miedo a dejar de existir. Ideas que de alguna forma nos tranquilizan de que nos esforzamos hacia una meta superior de la que no tenemos ninguna prueba. Y al estar tan aferrados a algo que nos prometa la esperanza de no dejar de existir; somos esclavos de los líderes que manejan las reglas con el afán de mantener su estatus quo.
El fin último del nihilismo vendría a ser la libertad. Sentirse fuera del círculo de reglas y creencias sin fundamento, creyendo sólo en lo que pueden tangiblemente probar. Creyendo que los demás vivimos con culpa, en perpetua lucha interna para comportarnos, asustados de ofender a Dios o a la moral.

Luis Arturo Huerta Rodríguez


Defining Nihilism
Gustav, November 2011

Hello. So a good while ago, I came to the conclusion that I basically agree with every concept of Nihilism. There is just one thing that bothers me, which is the fact that Nihilism disregards subjective purpose, meaning and morality as it states that all of these things means nothing, it ignores the fact that each an every person, have some sort of personal code and meaning, not as an objective inherent fact, but as some sort of rule-set and situation which dictates and fulfils your life. It seems like the sort of Nihilism that you talk about on your website, is actually rather atheistic existentialistic, while other nihilism is much more into the apathetic; "Nothing means anything and everything is allowed, therefore I must use all my time during drugs, not caring and taking no personal responsibility". By definition atheistic existentialism is based on Nihilism taking subjective matter and morality into mind. Nietzsche and Sartre was some of the big pioneers of atheistic existentialism, and both is based on the fight against superstition and false principles such as theology and morality. What is your thought about atheistic existentialism? And would it be false to consider a lot of the content of your website more existentialistic than nihilistic?

Thanks for your letter Gustav.
Using your definitions, yes I am much more in the category of ‘atheistic existentialistic’ than apathetic or solipsistic-type nihilism. I also factor in historical people and events, particularly the Russian revolutionaries of the 1860s
http://www.counterorder.com/history.html, to give nihilism a political dimension and then you get Nihilism with a capital N; circle back to Dmitrii Pisarev (Nihilist spokesman and 19th century Russian literary critic): "What can be broken, should be broken", and the core definition #1 http://www.counterorder.com/nihilism.html#A and now you’re getting more of the picture.

Freydis


ANUS  a Cover for Bogus Nationalism
J.C., October 2011

Hi Freydis.

I'm writing to you mainly regarding ANUS, a site I have visited occasionally since I was in high school. Initially it was because I was becoming a fan of black metal and was fascinated not only by the music but by the history and ideology surrounding the bands. I could not find a better source for this information till I read the book Lords of Chaos.

Over time I began reading their articles and FAQs. At first I did not really understand nihilism and thought of it how mainstream society would - losers in black trenchcoats who live for nothing. This was during a relationship break up and somewhat of an existential crisis. All I took from nihilism was cynicism and misanthropy, as an angsty youth would.

Most recently after another break up (with the same person) I found myself reading the site again. This time the concept of nihilism really clicked in my head. It is not what I first thought - a cynical and depressing philosophy. It is a satisfying, naturalistic view of the world that I find comforting. To me it is positive, almost uplifting, in my life. This is probably because it addresses what I've been thinking for years.

I kept reading ANUS, including interviews with Prozak, and I was fascinated by him and his life. Obviously he is very intelligent. But the more I read the more I suspected that something was not right. Occasionally he would write something that threw up a red flag. There was a hint of racism and genocidal fantasies.

I have to say I do not align with any of those views and wondered if this was a logical endpoint to nihilism. I rejected these ideas and wondered if nihilism was something I really agreed with. I looked at sites linked to ANUS and they were the same. 95% content I agree with and 5% bile.

It should be mentioned that ANUS enjoys trolling, as do I, but I found it immensely difficult to figure out whether they were trolling or really were white supremacists hiding behind philosophy. I was suspecting the latter as these views appeared in subtle ways throughout my reading. Too subtle to be a troll.

I may be wrong but to me nationalism is incompatible with nihilism. Personally I am not patriotic or nationalistic. I was born in Australia. I like it here, but I could have easily been born in India or China, and I suppose I would like it there too. To me where you were born is as arbitrary as your name. Thus intense nationalism and white supremacy is pure garbage and shouldn't have anything to do with nihilism.

Your analysis of ANUS really pinpointed and expressed what was bothering me about the site. There's a lot of great content but something just seemed off. It brings relief to determine what was wrong with it.

Admittedly I am a complete novice to the study of philosophy. It is a subject I find interesting and I am going to pursue it. I see this as a first step in a long journey. I am only 23 years of age so I have a lot to learn. Apologies if this email is a bit fragmented. I wrote this on my mobile phone while at work.

Thanks for your time. =


Nihilism is not psychopathy, is it?
Avery,  August 26, 2011

Whenever I read Nihilists posts on certain forums, they call them selves political nihilists, but they sound somewhat irrational. They say that since they have no morals literally anything goes. Without following morality they seem to think that there is nothing wrong with killing, stealing, raping, etc. When I think about it, doesn't this sound very anti-social? I can't imagine a healthy society after a Nihilist revolution could function for very long at all. Are these so-called Nihilists really what they claim to be? Certainly there should be at least some kinds of social agreements made between people who have to share resources and living space with each other if there is to be any harmony (your site makes Nihilism sound far from chaos). You said it yourself cooperation gets us farther and conflict, and that the ego can be a non pretty picture. And that we should adapt to our environment while changing it. It seems like without some kind of basic code such as this then chaos or psychopathy would ensue. A combination of the socialization process of childhood, self-discipline and common sense should lead us to develop some kind of reasonable behavior. Your site keeps mentioning death to morality, it is arbitrary, etc., which sounds like what these so-called Nihilists I described earlier sound like, but as you clarified in one of your articles, it seems to mean being against religious morality. You've described a Nihilist morality that should be followed. But this Nihilist morality is still a morality, so it seems kind of confusing when you tell others to discard their morals when really you want them to follow this Nihilist morality.

Your website says to be who you naturally are, to be responsible for your actions, every benefit has a cost, love your friends, independent thought, you reap what you sow. You say we need a code or structure that we can actually follow in practice for mental health. Match your words with actions, have an awareness of your capacities, Measure acts against consequences. You say we need guidelines in some form or another in order to function collectively , and say that basic morality is hard-wired into us.

This has been stuck on my mind for a while now. Your site says to reject false values, while you try to provide what you think are true or Nihilistic values. Which I agree some kind of reasonable code is needed, but I think certain people are misinterpreting what your saying to possibly justify crude actions. Have you noticed anything similar?

--

Despite the crudeness of their statements, and the questionable comprehension of those 'political nihilists' in their use of the terminology, there is nonetheless a bald-faced honesty to it. Those kinds of statements are illuminating because, in many ways what they’re saying is just the kind of behavior that everyone wants to do, at least sometimes, but won’t state openly. What’s even worse are people who say one thing and do the opposite to mask their true intentions, think of the harm that comes from Priests cloaked in religious piety that rape boys with the protection of the Church establishment.

So, that reversion to animal violence is there inside everyone, and many psychological experiments have shown how easy it is to lose the veneer of civilization if the mental and physical environment supports it (like the Stanford prison experiment), and indeed real world events have shown the same thing (like Pol Pot’s Cambodia). Even more to the point,  the vast majority of the blame for the worst excesses belongs with the male ego, possessing a particularly egregious obsession with property and power. It's also worth considering the way that film and television are so frequently used as reflections of these underlying compulsions towards unacceptable behavior such as murder, robbery, and so on, acted out in fiction but rarely in fact.

Nihilism is like a mirror, it helps us see things we would otherwise overlook, or miss entirely because of our cultural and moral assumptions.

The real question is, why do we not rape, rob and steal every chance we get? The reason is that (most) everyone learns otherwise through the socialization process. Growing up we learn how to behave around other people, and it has nothing to do with religion and very little to do with manufactured morality codes because it just happens naturally. Civil behavior is just a natural fact, it’s an unavoidable necessity that emerges on its own through normal healthy behavior and interactions, and in fact it’s really the artificial moral codes and cultural imposition of specious values that confuse things, and indeed often make life much more difficult and miserable for everyone. But that's also why it's so difficult to alter primary behavior through morality rules in the adult world; if you don't learn it in the formative years of childhood there isn't a whole lot we can do about it afterwards, revolution or not.

Now, if someone grows up and doesn’t learn these basic skills of social interaction, and remains at the level of an infant (but in the body of, and with the hormones of an adult), then that’s when you get the psychological condition of a psychopath. Even then, they still follow a moral code, it’s just a warped one defined as ‘me first’ and without any foresight or consideration for anyone else. I hasten to emphasize that this is ultimately a self-defeating morality, but the psychopath isn’t capable of figuring that out, or adjusting their behavior; more mature and intelligent people have to step in and stop them. Similarly, even the ones who claim to be amoral still have a moral code.

Infants up until about eighteen months of age live in an 'eternal present', only reacting to their immediate needs and surroundings, although they can still form memories. The ability to discern that others have mental states different than your own doesn't develop until about the age of three or four. [1] If any of these stages of typical childhood development fail, for whatever reason - psychological, biological, or environmental - that can lead to socially dysfunctional behavior later in life, from autism to psychosis.

Morality confuses many because of the difficulty they have distinguishing between the artificial overlay, composed mostly of abuse and false-justifications, and the underlying grid, often given the same label of 'morality', that  emerges automatically as  a natural product of evolution and social interactions, and not just for humans but even among other animals. Apparently, even some who call themselves 'political nihilists' suffer from the same confusion and may attempt to exploit false conceptions of morality to further an abusive agenda of self-interest; but this is certainly no different, and certainly much more transparent, than the same behavior that occurs within the realm of religiously-derived morality!

The superficial paradox of existence is that we have to cooperate to survive, as the social beings that we biologically are and always have been, yet the nefarious ego that occupies our minds only cares about one thing: our own egotistical self.

Freydis
September 11, 2011, with additional material added

1. In Search or Time, by Dan Falk, 2008, pg. 114-115.


Pity?
Avery, July 2011

You say Nihilism challenges the assumptions supporting the common value pity. Pity by definition being "the feeling or sorrow and compassion caused by suffering and misfortunes of others". How is pity based on any assumptions if it is a feeling? And aren't feelings of sympathy just as natural as feelings of empathy? Isn't caring for others (which overall helps the species) considered a plus? Isn't collective well being based on preventing and trying to solve problems that face us? You do say that cooperation is more beneficial than conflict, but what use would cooperation be if we didn't feel bad for others? If we take a problem like world hunger and say that it needs to be fixed, that involves sympathy for those who are hungry, feelings of pity, which would then involve forces coming together to fix the problem (cooperating). Why do you say pity is a value? When religion tells us we have to care for the unfortunate there by making it a belief? I agree that making people believe something (even if it's caring for others) should be avoided, but that caring should come from reasoning such as "wouldn't you want others to do the same for you?" and human nature. Human nature being that which comes naturally, and I naturally feel like compassion is more beneficial to the human race than "dog-eat-dog" survival of the fittest. Any way. Thats just my thoughts on the subject. Maybe you could clarify further what you meant.

--

That part was written a long time ago. Thinking back, what I was trying to convey wasn’t about the feeling of pity, it was a challenge against the intended effect of pity.

Why does anyone feel pity? Isn’t much of pity just a smug sense of superiority too? Most assume that pity helps the suffering, but in many cases it only makes them worse, precisely because it’s emotional rather than something that can be measured or verified to check whether it’s achieving the intended purpose. As the old phrase goes, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’

Pity maybe isn’t the best word to use, or rather that statement needs more explanation. I still like to challenge empty pity. Empathy is what I would rather promote – i.e. trying to comprehend the situation of others in order to better cooperate, as appropriate, and interact with them on a more functional and mutually beneficial level. 

Freydis


Thank you for the response!

Your site is easy to navigate, I'm sorry I missed that part about the "N" design. I have ordered a copy of your book and look forward to reading it. Your explanation you gave on how you came across nihilism as a word and how you felt is well phrased and I can relate. I had no way to put my feelings to words when I was younger, and coming across it helped me begin a struggle that I'm grateful I'm experiencing as it has contributed in shaping me and my approach with authorities, influencial beliefs, and even social cues.

I look forward to it as I'm sure I'll learn something new.

- Jon
[May 2011]


Thoughts on Nihilism
Leizar Rock via Facebook, March 2011

SPANISH:
Pienso que las respuestas estan ahí... y que muchas veces en nuestra "humana" arrogancia no las miramos... por que nos sentimos mejores que eso... idealizamos... suponemos, interpretamos "yo soy el centro del universo"... Me agrada el nihilismo... me agrada exactamente por eso... por que no es una respuesta, el nihilismo no te dice "hey aqui está la respuesta a la vida, a tu sufrimiento, a las cosas"... el nihilismo me ha servido para bajar de ese pedestal, y aceptar que la humanidad se sobrevalora... a mi parecer toda religión, ideal, y moral es un intento de construir un altar a una humanidad que no somos... un altar donde se reflejan las fantasias y frustraciones de un grupo de personas... un altar a nuestro propio ego... ironicamente descuidamos el ego en nombre de ese altar... queriendo ser mas "humanos", mas "justos"... mas libres... curiosamente, cuando se deja de interpretar, las respuestan llegan... !siempre han estado ahí!... es entonces cuando realmente el universo
está para nosotros, pues tenemos la habilidad de decifrarlo, una habilidad que solo puede ser usada cuando se tiene la suficiente humildad...

ENGLISH:
I think the answers are there ... and many times in our "human" arrogance we don't look ... because we feel that we are better than that ... we idealize ... assume, we interpret "I am the center of the Universe" ... I like nihilism ... that's exactly why I like it ... because it's not an answer, nihilism does not say "hey, here's the answer to life, your suffering, to all things" ... nihilism has helped me to get off of that pedestal, and accept that humanity is overrated ... I think all religion, ideal, and moral is an attempt to build an altar to a humanity that we are not ... an altar that reflects the fantasies and frustrations of a group of people ... an altar to our own ego ... ironically we neglect the ego in the name of the altar ... wanting to be more "human", more "fair" ... more free ... Curiously, when you stop to interpret, the answers arrive ... They have always been there! ... And is then when the Universe really is for us, because we have the ability to decode it, a skill that can only be used when you have enough humility...


Infinite Lives in Infinity?
Jason S., March 2011

In nihilism, it's believed you have one life. Yet this overlooks the concept of infinity... we had infinity to get to where we are and how much time will be left after infinity is over and everyone on Earth dies out? Another infinity. There is no half of infinity. Science seems to support this possibility with multiverses... the death of one universe is the creation of a new one... an infinite number of universes... even so, just on the logic of the existence of infinity... what do nihilists say about the existence of an infinite number of lives?

Thanks for the informative article,

Jason

Hi Jason,

You bring up an interesting point for consideration. With infinite time and space anything can happen – an infinite number of times. But infinity is really just an error message in mathematics, so no one really knows what it means because it doesn’t exist in any way we can measure.

The universe we inhabit has an observable limit and no information can be transferred beyond it. Although some scientists are speculating that some form of signature from previous universes is imprinted on our own. This is fantastic if true because we may be able to learn about what’s outside or massive bubble. But nonetheless, for our own personal concerns we will never be able to communicate with any of our other lives (assuming they exist in an assumed infinite meta-universe). So for all practical purposes we still only have one human life.

Freydis


Peaceful or Violent Protest?
Vic N., Sweden, February 2011

I dont understand why its prefered to protest non violently before using violence. I is probably too simple too say since there is no right or wrong they are equally prefarable so lets not use that argument for now...

Maybe its better to skip the non violence when the whole reason why one may be protesting is because authority is not listning in the first place and that wont change anytime soon. Hence only violence is the only option for change and as such it must be prefered over non violence protests.

Infact why even bother talking peacefully too and about a "bad" authority, after all actions speaks louder than words dont they?

Yet it seems as you have come too another conclusion. That can only mean two things either you countered my feeble arguments or never thought of them which brings us back to my first question: What is the reason behind your conclusion?

Im sorry for my bad english, its not my first language but I hope you get what Im trying to say..

Sincerely

Freydis:

Well, my main reason for starting with non-violence is that image and symbolic-reasoning are very powerful forces in the public mind. Public reaction has to be considered because it is the public that are the supporters of the effort, in one way or another. So if your group starts out from the very beginning stating their aim and sole method is violent rebellion, it restricts your range of actions and potentially alienates supporters. Except in extreme cases where it’s already a violent conflict, jumping to the later stages undercuts the development of the rebellion.

But anyway, by starting with peaceful resistance nobody is losing anything, and most places in need of rebellion are already so militaristic and authoritarian that all you have to do is put a bunch of people in a public square in a passive demonstration and the police will start shooting anyway, and then it’s on to the next stage with all the responsibility for starting the violence on the shoulders of the corrupt authorities.

No worries on the language, I have an idea what you are getting at.

Vic:

Ahh yes in my thoughts I simply assumed that the protesters already had public support, a critical misstake wont make again.

Your second segement in your reply however has practically no use for me. See I live in Sweden, perhaps the most democratic and uncorrupt country in the world. If we swedes ever "street-protest" its infront of an embassy complaing about other countries.

As such its pretty impossible to gain any form of support from the public by non-violent protests because the goverment just responds "Yes yes we will fix it later" but ofcourse later never comes, in contrast to their promises to fix it. The real problem is that it seems to keep the public happy and any change in goverment wont be needed in their eyes.

While our society seems like a good example its still built on the flaws of morality not to mention its extreme use of utilitarianism as base for laws. I am starting to believe that the public is too unaware of the sinister nature of morality and the fatal flaw(s) of utilitarianism to support a new (nihilistic) society. Could I be right? How do you think I should proceed?

P.S. I really enjoy the Counterorder site. I dont think I need to point out why, you probably get enough of that but know that I am pleased to say it improves my English vocabulary.


Sincerely

Freydis:

Hi Vic,

I’m glad to have more appreciative readers in Sweden!

You bring up an important point: the more content the population is the more difficult it is to rally support for change. Part of the battle is just raising awareness in the public’s mind, getting the word out and explaining and this struggle typically takes years if not decades.

As an alternate example, the Red Army Faction felt they were in the same position where the German people were to brainwashed by consumerism and too fat and happy to recognize the corruption behind their so-called democracy. http://www.counterorder.com/nihilismbios.html#6  They used violence in an effort to wake up the people, and the world. It’s certainly a fascinating saga, a rather mixed success, but one that’s full of lessons for today.

Also, I read this page a few days ago, kind of interesting use of peaceful protest for revolution: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12522848

Vic:

Yes, while the RAF, IRA and other revolutionaries had somewhat "questionable" motives the lessons learned from them are not: It is an absolute must too have the publics support. It does not matter how good your idea and actions are, you will inevitable fail without the publics support.

As such the smart revolutionary target the people in the society because its the people that is the society but not with fear, with reason which nihilism is all about. Which brings me to my main problem:

The public is honestly to stupid. It is only the ones with abnormally high interllect that takes intrest in philosofy and politics. They seem to be so, how should I put it, trapped in our society, so hopelessly dependable on all the bs that the politicans and rich feed them. Unwilling to listen to reason out of fear that they will lose what little things they have now.

I start to feel that nihilism is too good for the public, maybe the world is not ready for nihilism yet, after all about 95% humans belive in some kind of god. Do not get me wrong, I would not hesitate to kill them all if that is what it takes to build a nihilistic society. But those remaining 5 % would simply go back to our corrupt society - still unwilling too listen to reason.

The very word 'nihilism' makes people think I am some kind of depressive suicidal lunatic. The cruel irony. I feel unable to unable to point the people to nihilism because they do not want to listen, all they want is to sit in the gutter of bs and misery by the despots and rich alike. You ever feel the same?


Freydis:

I know, it can get frustrating at times. But I’ve found many people that are paying attention and genuinely want to do something about the situation, like you. It’s not hopeless at all.

Most people are just slow, what seems obvious to us now they’ll figure it out in ten years; they don’t want to stand out or do anything unless they have to, and fear anything controversial. Who was it that said today’s heresies are tomorrows virtues? Similarly, Nietzsche once wrote, "All good things were formerly bad things; every original sin has turned into an original virtue."


Nihilism, Art and Music
Alan Z., February 2011

Greetings–

I just wanted to thank you for your eloquent comments on nihilism. It is difficult to find explanations of the nihilistic world-view that aren't tinged with negativity and destructive violence.

When I declare myself a nihilist, the response is often "Why not just kill yourself ?" Your thesis has given me new ways to verbalize my response. My hope is to convey that absence of knowledge is power, and that the search for God ends with us.

I do wonder if you have any thoughts about "beauty". Do you think it has any importance, meaning or substance?

Thanks again

Freydis:

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the letter and I’m glad you appreciate my website on Nihilism!

In my book ‘Nihilism’ I wrote on beauty and art (extracted):

I think beauty can only be generated by natural forces and mimicked by the human artist. True beauty resides within the wispy colors of a nebular cloud or the intricate veins of a green leaf, hence the art most widely deemed 'beautiful' consists of accurate depictions of nature, be it an Ingres portrait or a Church nature scene. Otherwise aesthetic values are primarily subjective and ancillary to the issue of art anyway, it just makes a good thing better.

Art is simply a means of communication, and whatever means that’s effective is valid, and then some. It's not about style or training or name or prestige, it's about evoking emotion and ideas. Art is simply a vehicle, a means of conveying a message but it also contains significant subjective qualities.

Ultimately art should be more than just a source of passive bemusement; it should be a participatory activity. When art is a recipe rather than static monstrosities collecting dust in pretentious museums, art where the viewer is part of the process, they become artists as well.

Alan Z.:

Hello Again!

I found your ideas about art very interesting. I'd say you're a kindred spirit of John Cage and that's a high compliment. Ironically, Cage was on the frontier of abandoning beauty as a prerequisite for music. I'm a composer who has always seen fractal geometry in nature as the purest beauty. The great composers of the past have had (except Liszt) little interest in the minutia of society. For them, the music itself was of paramount importance and the only inspiration. Yet the ego will inevitably impose it's force even in a composition that is 4'33" of silence.

That said, I think the composers who stayed within the fractal framework of western tonality had the greatest success. This is due to the gravity of the naturally occurring harmonic series found in tubes and strings, and their evolution into a 12 tone scale and the major/ minor system. It was our drive to symmetry that made it inevitable. And our quest to control nature.

I think my original question came more from a crisis of faith, and to whether such a luxury as art can be honorable in times of such global crisis. What if any difference will it make? Would it not be more beneficial to collect plastic bottles from the shorelines? Or- does our drive toward beauty and symmetry play a vital role in our evolution and future?

Best


A School Project in Nihilism
Karen C., January 2011

Hello
I am a high school student, and I have to do a school project called "Hard made easy" in which I have to explain a difficult concept in an easy way. I chose Nihilism and wanted to thank you for the information your page provided me. I also wanted to ask you what do you think Nihilism can give to sixteen year old students.

Thank you for the information and your attention.

Freydis:

The first point I want to clarify, to minimize confusion, is that 'nihilism' is a general term that covers a lot of ground: http://www.counterorder.com/nihilism.html#A ,

while 'Nihilism' is more specific and generally refers to a certain attitude and worldview, with historical antecedent in the Russian revolutionaries: http://www.counterorder.com/history.html 

But more than that it does have a continuous thread up to the present, reference biographies page: http://www.counterorder.com/nihilismbios.html#6 , and is often seen as being similar to anarchism.

So, with that in mind, the most concise material I have to help in your task is the pamphlet, available here: http://www.counterorder.com/print/nihilism_pamphlet.pdf 

Nihilism can help sixteen-year old students by giving them a different, and intellectually challenging view of the world, and if considered, a skeptical attitude that can still can compel them to overcome passivity and apathy and become engaged with their surroundings.


Personal Nihilism
Josh B.,  January 2011

Hello,

It is just as you say, the discovery of the word and the idea of nihilism came as a great relief to me when I finally looked in to it a couple weeks ago (I'm 28, a little late). The only thing I knew about it before was from the movie The Big Lebowski =P I had already been thinking and feeling this way for a long time now, but instead of doing something with it I was just influenced to believe that my thinking was just unhealthy, self-destructive, inappropriate.. So needless to say, I have been in a state of mental turmoil for some time now underneath the surface.

What is the point? Are most of these people I'm surrounded by seeing the same reality I am? (and if so how are they not appalled?) Is conforming to these social norms no matter how much I disagree the only way I can hope to be "happy"? Is this what the people I've known that have killed themselves were thinking about? These are questions I'd have going through my mind a lot. Through feeling this way but not necessarily being able to correlate the thoughts I had created a very unpleasant mental living environment for myself.

After my father died abruptly a few months ago as a result of an accident while working on his house I had really begun to question things even more than I had in the past. The futility of most of our efforts in life were right in my face to see and consider. Things have been difficult and confusing for me to try to make sense of lately. Finding your website this evening/morning at 3:30am has been a wonderful experience for me on a few different levels and I just wanted to thank you for the time and effort you have put in to it - to let you know it's had a profound effect on THIS person. Keep it up! and take it easy.. Thank you.

Josh

Freydis:

Hi Josh!

Thanks for your letter, it’s interesting to read how nihilism has impacted other people around the world. And it’s always nice to find out the impact was appreciated!
I hope you don’t feel as isolated anymore.


Specious arguments against abortion get the comic treatment they deserve:


By Pope, October 2010

By Pope, September 2010

There has only been a few books i have read with the potential to create a psychological, and sociological shift in thinking patterns, let alone, evolutionary. I have actually described your book to my friends, as that feeling you get in the morning when you wipe the sleep out of your eyes.

Cliff
June 2010


Is nihilism the only logical result of atheism? I have begun to think that it is and I would be more than happy to share some of my writings with you.

What is your view of the matter?

Trev:)

In theory I think you’re basically correct. In practice though, if you state that nihilism is the end result of atheism it makes the religious happy and offends many atheists, because nihilism is typically treated as a pejorative term. Christians and the like will tell everyone – ‘see this terrible condition of nihilism is what you get when you become an atheist’ and atheists will try to defend their position as being entirely reasonable and not 'dark and evil' like nihilism.

 

In reality it’s the belief in moral superiority that generates most of the ‘evil’, while crime, violence and similar undesirable social events are produced not through lack of morality but a variety of environmental and biological factors. But this realization is much more advanced than most people are capable of grasping, mostly because they're constantly told otherwise by moral and religious authorities.

 

So, I think the major challenge here is to figure out how to get to a place where we can all live within the realm of practical reality where these beliefs and assumptions are overcome.  But how do we get there? Are nihilism and atheism two separate paths, or does one lead through to the other?

 

Freydis
January, 2010

 


Nihilism clearly relates that nothing has any final or absolute meaning or value except the meaning and value we say and agree it has. And this is a factual truth, but it is only half of the view or one side of the coin, as-it-were.
What I like about your site and your insight Freydis, is your acknowledgement that there are values, relative to reality as-it-is. That is the other side of the coin so often missing in most nihilist investigative study.

Kudos to you and an incredible wealth of information.

G.R. [January 2010]


You are one antihero among few in life.

Thanks for the webpage.

-alex [ October 2009]


I've been reading articles on your site for quite some time and i just  wanted to say i'm impressed.

Everything i've read has been well written and backed up and your not just taking random stabs in the dark.

I've just one question though.

How are you supposed to implement Nihilism without destroying your life?

Freedom in this day and age usually is the destruction of your own life, well when i talk about life i mean (work, the law) ect.

I have to go to work, or i cannot support myself. I have to follow the law or i am punished, usually fined.

How would you go about dealing with this? If you were fined would you just not pay the fine and argue that they have no right to fine you for something so trivial as lets say driving without a license in a hypothetical situation?

- S.L. [August 2009]

Well, obviously unless you want to end up in jail or just have a very difficult life you have to pick your battles. And since we all live in a society, and not in a cave on a desert island, we inevitably have to make compromises between our personal freedom and the freedom of others. But this isn't necessarily a negative at all because the flip side is that through cooperation we can gain far more than we could ever have just on our own.

By gaining greater insight into how these structures and relationships are established and how they work we can make smarter decisions for ourselves and for those around us. The problem is that too many people take these things, like morality and authority, for granted and just assume that they have to be the way they are when there's really many different and effective forms social structures can take -- some much more hospitable and productive than others.

Freydis


nothingness for everything to do.
nothingness for there is nothing to do.
you have nothing all you say
nothingness for nothing when everything you have
nothingness to do when there's nothing at all
nothingness is everything to do cause there is nothing at all.
Dull girl, dull

her lot is.
What a nasty being is man for life.
Nothing but hopes for a man to live.
Man,
You see it all for where there is nothing.
For her shiny eyes life is a nasty lie to see.

Poetry by Johnny Blank, July 2009


Freydis,

I was recently was going over your site as i have a couple times in the past.

I'm still amazed everytime I read the essays on the site how refreshing it is to read something coherent and objective about all the bullshit that we're fed everyday. If most people would sit down and honestly questioned their beliefs for a few minutes a lot of religious americans (86% according to a survey i read) would probably come to similar conclusions.

The problem with most people is that instead of taking their religion seriously as an explanation for reality, they hold onto it blindly, because of some emotional "fix". I was born and raised a xtian and when I began questioning the beliefs that my parents held so blindly, my questioning was met with considerable hostility. I began to wonder, "how can people believe something without questioning it? Truth is, by definition, something that simple questions should not break down, but should rather enforce." So now when I come into contact with someone that believes in some form of metaphysical concept, I ask them to give me a clear definition of it. Most of the time they can't, and when they do, it is generally self-contradictory, or has circular logic. I finally realized that my parents hated me questioning their beliefs because they couldn't answer my questions and didn't want to think about it. Possibly because the questions that I brought up actually made them question it. And they wanted to have faith in it. Faith is such a useless concept. Wanting to believe something means nothing, otherwise a lot of wacky shit would be true. As kierkegaard discovered, you can only have faith if there is already a lack of evidence.

Enough of my history, I'm sure you don't want to hear my life story. I just want to congratulate you for having a nice, organized web site. I also want to congratulate you for having the one of the most common sense websites on the internet. Thank you for your time and for your enjoyable essays.

Regards,
Steve

[January 26, 2009]


I have truly been enlightened by the anti-philosophy. Thank you for giving me the answers to the questions that no god, or politic can even dream of answering for me. I had always known there were others out there like me that sought something beyond the moral squabbles of humanity. Your purpose is the truth, and at 20 years of age, I am far ahead of anybody around me, know matter what there age, education, or status may be.

 I know the truth.

Thank you.

~Krysto~

[January 2, 2009]


Translation of the Die letzte Glocke (The Last Bell),  from the original German into English by Arimahn, October 2008:

Sunshard, sickly, rains down on glass
Shadow phantoms jump from concrete to asphalt
Dirt, stench and human queues drift by
And I, yes I, are one among many

Just run, little humans, circle (around the) streets
Increase your goods and chattels
But soon, yes soon, they'll come

Droning clouds, black as Death

Ever faster the wheel is turning
(with seeing eyes...)
Ever deeper is the fall
(... you are fleeing into your own tomb)
Ever farther swings the scythe
(No escape)
Until the yield is rotting on the ground, plagued by rats

The last bell, it crashes
Down into the dirt of this world
[Her] bronze tone sounds mute
Into the dust
The last bell, it crashes/ /down into reality

Neon-Sea, diode-glow, cascades full of sound
Confusion and Temptation give an unholy escort
Leave me be, I'm not buying, not even your happiness

Because I, yes I, can reveal your lies

Just build your Babylon
Hybris' flight is rising higher
But soon, yes soon, cracks will rend this

Sick fundament of Earth's bones

[For] Two thousand years it gave the beat
Surrounded by cannons, (in) the blood of (the) extermination camps
Paved with the gold of our freedom it plays the song

Of assimilation, just hear it scream for your soul

How ever we're to turn and twist
Nothing's to do, seal the old casket
Whatever we aspire to, long for in pain/

Goodbye, occident, we extinguish the candles

If you just knew or imagined...
All the illusiveness is capturing you
But I, yes I, walk unseen

[A] Burning torch among the madness of this world

Ever louder the roof is cracking
(With hearing ears...)
Ever farther the pillar is swinging
(...you entomb yourselves in a house of sand)
Ever faster the beam is falling
(Dust to Dust)

And from it's tower the symbol of the occident comes tumbling down

"Peace on earth?"
...this makes me laugh!
Let this phantasm spark the fire!

To all of man's liking.

What do I care for the world you are ripping apart?


I just wanted to thank you for the information on your website. I never truly understood the meaning or purpose of nihilism until now. This is exactly how I have come to perceive myself and the world around me. It is good to know that I am not the only one that thinks the meaning of life is simply existence and that almost everything around us is completely irrelevant. Only a free mind can come to this realization. We are few and must spread the word to devolve our species. If not, all that will be left is human remains, gold bars and nuke casings.

Thanks again, Joel W. [June 2008]


Art by Philip Tarr, March 2008


Beliefs, by Paty Harden

Meaningless things,
Surround Human Beings,
Cloud up their Minds,
Confine them to Binds,
What do words mean?
And what do thoughts say?
When they take your whole life through monotonous Days?
Dissimulate fear, Believe in a God,
A reason to breathe and resume senseless Thoughts,
Cling to Beliefs, For they're all that you got,
Take off your vizard and cry when you're Caught,
Beliefs are the things that you think that you know,
Seeds in the fallow of a mind you can sow,
Beliefs are the things with potential to grow,
Go to the market and make yourself blow.
Soak in ideas, continue to till,
Beliefs spur a passion that's willing to kill.
Disown your brother, because he is gay,
Follow the rules that you have to obey.
That fellows' religion, is Different from Mine!
Ignorant fool, My God's more Divine!
The trees stand tall, they think not at All,
And when their time comes they surrender and fall,
Pertinacious till' they,
Succumb to a Pall,
Humans are desperate and grasp at it all,
Surrender your feelings, surrender beliefs,
Surrender ideas of duality,
Have a mind willing, For Eternal Release,
Until this is done you will never be Free.
[October, 2007]


Hey there, fellow rationalist,

I just wanted to write to you and let you know how thoroughly impressed that I am with your counterorder site. It is engaging, enlightening, compelling, and just simply mentally stimulating. Your essays are concise and are in every way copiously logical and irrefutable. We agree on every single point, yet I couldn't have said or written anything more proficiently than you did. I'd love to see a theist try to battle your wit and concise arguments!

Not to just kiss your fanny incessantly here... but seriously, I've done quite a bit of reading and research myself on nihilism and the quest for rationality in general, and few have had as compelling arguments and overall quality presentation of the ideology as yourself. You really have a strong command of language and the said rhetoric, and should be published. I'd certainly buy a copy.

Please don't feel obligated to write back. I am writing in extollment! Thank you so much for your site, and of course all of the years' worth of hard work and thought that you have put into it. I'm thoroughly relishing!

CM in NJ [2007]


"When nothingness is shown, Limitlessness is the apparent nothing"

-Philip Tarr, 2007

The droning of Human Animals could resemble music.
Sounds of industrialization mimic there internal dialogue
Their purpose. Building a factory of thought's driven by machines.
Droning, Droning on. We cant escape it's blast furnace of age old ideals.

-Philip Tarr, 2006


I don't want a false reality/ one with an American sponsored mentality/
black and white is not my fixation/ Ill never recite to that dictation/ No
absolute power - No absolute truth- those who have the most answers often
have the least proof - No absolute meaning is needed to find the absolute
reason why we live or why we die- Uniform ideas are set in stone/the descent
of free thought is systematically intone/ my path will avert the simulacra/
my arms will not carry the burden of mans law- We all have the ability to
question/ thoughts are unrestricted they move freely from detection/ a
horrifying glimpse of our existence/ a possible future is that of
independence?

Music lyrics from Doomed Youth, 11.01.07


I'd like to start off by saying that I enjoy reading the CounterOrder, and I agree with most of the points you've listed.

After reading the section titled "Death to Purpose," you noted "if your just going to die then what's the point of anything?" Now being a nihilist myself, I completely agree with this statement. The only question I have to that statement is basically what should determine the level of danger we subject ourselves to? Disregard for our well-being is self-destruction, it's having a death wish, not nihilism. Is it that we should be nonchalant about life/death, and ourselves in the bigger picture? This is what I understood from your quote. Please explain if possible.

mikhail

Well, my message wasn't quite that simple. By asking the rhetorical question I was trying to convey that if all you live for is to die then there's no (other) point to anything you do in between now and the end point. So no I don't think nihilism has to be a death wish for the self at all. The physical body is of limited endurance but we as intelligent human beings exist in other realms besides just the physical body, we have minds and a consciousness and we can think up new ideas, ruminate on existing ideas, invent, destroy and pass on both our genetic material and our mental ideas as well. Don't sell your existence short, use every minute of it!

Freydis [15.11.06]


Greetings,
               I am currently studying sociology at an advanced level in education and recently came across a criticism of post-modernism; that it contradicts itself in that it refuses meta-narratives but it itself appears to take the meta-narrative form. I was hoping for an explanation on what the nihilist stance was on meta-narratives and whether promoters would consider nihilism an overall, all-encompassing movement itself?

All help appreciated as a matter of interest.

Sincerely,
Anonymous interested individual

Hi,

The more I've studied postmodernism the less substance I can find in it. Any objective analysis of the whole postmodernism language and set of ideas has to conclude that it is either a bad joke taken seriously or one of the greatest academic frauds perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.

So to answer your question then, I'm not sure what a 'meta-narrative' is really supposed to mean and it would undoubtedly depend on the context anyway, but I'm going to assume the primary intent is to try and construct an all encompassing explanation of the universe and events in general. In that regard nihilism leads us to a few basic conclusions. Much of what we think of the world and events around us is based on perceptions, impressions that are often misleading or just plain inaccurate. Consistent rules, physical laws, are evident and significant but any all-encompassing purpose or design of things is not evident. In other words no ultimate purpose to anything on a cosmic scale can be found. Now we can certainly go farther than that but for now I'll just stop there.

Freydis [04.06.06]


Hi

I'm currently doing a university essay on consumerism. I was interested to know your opinions on the role consumerism and materialism play in the part of nihilism. I understand that consumerism is only a very tiny fragment of the nihilistic ideals but was interested to know what you thought consumerism has done to western society in general.

Many thanks, Karen

It seems to me that consumerism as we think of it today has its origins in the post WWII era of industrial production surplus, the result of mass production techniques and the commodities made available by a worldwide transportation system coupled with the socio-political need to maintain minimal unemployment. In the 1950s America propaganda pushed on the public made it clear that the duty of every citizen in a 'free' capitalistic country was to buy as many products as they could. Not surprisingly a materialistic consumer driven society emerged and has been refined over the decades since then. Consequently, the dominant value system is structured upon spending and acquiring money and increasingly the morality of good and bad are measured using dollars.

The beauty of this new morality is the quantifiable nature of it. This is a radical departure from all known previous moral orders that have been mostly arbitrary having been based on habit and tradition with the express, if often unstated, purpose of keeping things from changing.

This is a remarkable development in human history but it clearly leaves much to be desired since as we know capital is a sticky substance - it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

That this new morality is materialistic, quantifiable, and often merit-based and change friendly is not undesirable, and indeed these qualities are an inevitable consequence of rational development. Rather, the source of the problem is that the equation here is incomplete. The consumerist, capitalistic value system is circular and self-referential; it fails to include the negative externalities of industrial production, for example. Nor is it able to include intangible qualities such as beauty or friendship. Further, the moral foundation of this value system is based on a tautology in that rich is good and poor is bad, that winners win and the losers lose and the winners are perceived as being inherently better than the losers – a flawed interpretation of Darwinism twisted and perverted to substantiate a preordained conclusion.

The value of money is not being questioned or even being measured in a valid context. People structure their entire lives based on the search for monetary wealth (and the products it can buy), it is the desire for money just to have more money. The effort is pointless because it has no context just as consumers are divorced from meaning and a separate identity outside of the money loop. Consumers are strongly discouraged from finding or forming independent meaning and identity and especially from questioning the established value system of consumer driven capitalism, just as under more traditional moral authority codes.

Taking a grand view of events I have to conclude that the moral values of contemporary consumer driven capitalism are an intermediate stage in the progression towards a system that adequately includes human needs and the needs of the natural environment around us.

Freydis [24.03.06]


For me, nihilism, calls to mind mythology and the iconic monad of the Seraphim, an order of angels whose faces were forever concealed deeply in the folds of their wings. Everybody would like to see what lies behind the face of being, existence, truth, nihilism, et cetera, but we shall never see inside. Only the liar will. The wings are a shield and a lie form what would instantly kill us, or what would instantly drive us to kill ourselves.

Also the sun. Don't think you can get to the center, because you can't. Burn in it if you want to go.

The core of being is nothingness, which should transcend our terrible associations with nothingness -- the images and tones are of mythic stock, that they inspire awe and beauty in this waste we are mired in. We should always see wings even in the dark. I find pleasure in the idea that nihilism is an inevitable phase in the cycle of some mystical kind of human transcendence. I want to be able to call all beings nihilists, and believe that many know that they deny life or affirm it, in whatever actions or non-actions that characterize them.

I want nihilism to be the art of being. The awareness of an art of being.

Life is. Nihilism is.

But I could just as well be spouting bullshit to please myself, the pretender that I am. Why and what am I saying? Who knows who tells the truth, or how, as if it were possible that there was a set of truths to tell. This is life as it runs itself. No matter if you tell the truth, the truth cannot be told, only passively witnessed alone in the quick motions of a life that doesn't bow to adjectives.

There is no intimacy for those who deny life, just insanity and the unfulfilled lust for intimacy. Void. I don't want to act toward anything. I just want to die.

Poetry, art, homosexual crucifixions... ouch.
By anonymous, December 2005.


One of the interesting paradoxes inherent within nihilism is that is seems to promote individuality by suggesting that the individual doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Nihilism can work with existentialism as well as hedonism to form the ideal philosophy (or anti-philosophy) which centers around the individual's decision to reject authority (God, government, traditional thought, etc.) in favor of creative and critical thinking. Hedonism can indeed lead to enslavement since a person is capable of allowing his pleasures to ruin his life. However, responsible hedonism can lead to pleasure. Slavery to one’s compulsions is essentially hedonism gone wrong. Then again, does pleasure exist if it is contingent upon the immediate present? Since desires need to be fulfilled each time they arise, how can one be happy from the fulfilling of an immediate urge? Those same urges may come back and haunt you moments later. Does the self really exist, if a person is capable of changing his self to adapt to different environments? Many people try to be themselves which is a contradiction of the concept itself.

Happiness is every bit a societal construct as is love. Sex is instinctual; love is utopian. Similarly, seeking pleasure is instinctual; happiness is utopian. You cannot achieve happiness since it is transitory. Christianity states that eternal happiness comes when one lives a good, “Christian” life. However, people are incapable of being happy on a consistent basis, and therefore it is illogical to think that life after death allows the self to stop being human, and turn into some sort of vegetative angel-like state. Humans are imperfect and are capable of good and evil. In fact, it is silly that society tries to dichotomize everything: good and bad, moral and immoral, black and white, democrat and republican, etc. Humans are too complex to be categorized by those silly labels.

Nihilism is a foundation for which to build your own philosophies on. It is a rejection of morality, religion, rules, government, etc., all of which are attempting to oppress the individual and scare him into a life of compliance. A true self derives from critical thinking, personal philosophies, and an understanding of the hypocrisies permeating the world we live in. Embrace nihilism by letting go of preconceived notions. By John Mancuso April, 2005.


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We lived together in the arms of an insane culture, fragmented in business deals and passions, blasting through glittering intersections and subway tunnels, surrounded in cafés by mirrored brilliance; the streets ribbons of coloured light, the bars packed with shimmering liquors, conference tables and dernier cri; every hour something new, every day a problem solved, every week a sensation. - Ernst Jünger, Germany (circa 1914)

   

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Updated: October, 2015
Created: 2000