Not another reference to nihilism, please

The mission of a life is to bring the sweetness of clarity to others – no, it’s not, how could such a proposition even begin to be carried out, but this site is now being inundated with mentions of the heretofore unmentionable term of “nihilism.” Always the favorite scourge of the enfranchsied prof set – forever inveighing against the “nihilism” of their lessers, forever setting up any horrific act as the product of, you guessed it, “nihilism.” This reflexive animadversion against the term betrayed regulated, dormant minds, unable to perform the rudimentary sociology necessary to find why violence and power stalk the human social world, why stupidity is the dominant political event, why the human brain  contends poorly with its social and cognitive tasks.

The latest reference to come across the hooked-up phone liens places “callous” next to the word “nihilism.” A nihilist is thus a premier jerk, for whom “nothing matters,” so why not just do all sorts of antisocial, jerky manipulations and devious plottings, all accompanied with a rude sneer, a haighty bestial non-concern with everybody except the dark sinister self.

Yet this is orders of mag away from contemporary social nihilism. True believers, momentarily seized delusionaries, they are ones who commit callous, other-disregarding violence. Nihilists do not need to believe the absurdity that “nothing matters,” because life, even social reality, is highly contingent on luck, unearned privilege, fortuitous outcomes, positive happenstances, and even intentional hard work leading to gratifying payouts. This individual orientation towards good times and great oldies is pure and defensible, but it is not social justice, it is not a wonderful world, it is not satisfaction, it is not karma.  Humans can say they are “tough,” can try to eradicate a foolishness of “not caring,” but that is not how evolution has produced us- we are a social , emotional quivering mass of jellified protoplasm. Callousness comes from positive antagonism, like the Republican hoi polloi, from fearful bosses, from racists and bigots ready to destroy other lives to get their money and status, so leave the poor nihilists out of that equation – or at put them in the very back row.

We here at FSN realize this is going to be a very hard ad campaign, selling nihilism to the indoctrinated masses and flippant thought-destroyers. Ever seen the GEICO peter Pan ad, or the resurrection of the hideous personified Burger King creep? If that can sold, ad nauseum, then there may be still a chance to turn the tide.




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