That hackneyed phrase “trenchant social critic” has to apply to
Gopnik, Hedges, the take-all-money-away-from-men-Baffler-writer, John Zerzan, but he is explicitly ant-nihilist, as well as pro-Black Bloc, pro=this or that force-violence, but since he is swimming around the rad anarchist circles, where “nihilism” seems to have some currency, he should be listende to as her sermonizes from guru-san world about hope or whatever is against social nihilism:
People like Paul Kingsnorth and Guy McPherson say it’s futile to think that you can do anything. I resist that because I don’t want to close the door on possibility. Yeah, it’s a grim world. It sure is. Damn. It’s getting more grim all the time. But it’s just about possibility—why close the door on that? We don’t know what’s going to happen. If we say we’re doomed, we are, full stop.
So now nihilists are the ones with the lever that manages all social reality? I am the data that says that social reality is one stupid damn superystemic feat of corruption after another? The “possibility” of reversal, of sweetness from our overlords or patty-cake sessions during free and fair communitarian bonfire marshmallow parties, does not exist.
Nothing we say becomes magical reality. Just because one of humanity’s seven billion, a solitary, ineffectual non-agent such as myself, utter anything, blog a blog, sing a new song, or do anything short of a Youtube dance with kittens, has no effect upon social reality.
We can also act, in ways good and bad, with deep and abiding ruminative backing on our smallest movements upon this traduced coil, and that will keep us in the human race. Or we can flounder using our basest instincts, or we can combine both approaches to life in a frothing spasm of human perseverance trapped in the daily stupidity of work. Yet contrary to Zerzan, diagnosing some condition does not cause the condition.