Nihilism and its Discontents

In light of recent postings, it is becoming abundantly clear that I am not the only disenfranchised intellectual to haunt these forums.  And, in truth, many of us have emphasized the worthiness of such a lifestyle, despite the seemingly perpetual frustration, embitterment, and alienation which accompany it.  The question we face, then, does not seem to be shall we pursue the examined life, but rather how shall we preserve its enjoyment in the wake of philosophic despair and resentment?

This is not an easy question to answer.  For a long while, I personally tried to respond by viewing all views, causes, and life in general as “equally worthless,” keeping a wary eye on my fellow humans and one hand always in my knife-pocket should trouble manifest.  Sparing the details, I will suffice to say that this is a not a psychologically edifying existence, and that in the end, I believe it defeats itself by being as life-negating (more life-negating?) as/than the normative doctrines I set out to forsake or disparage.

The truth is, I like looking my fellow human beings in the eye like…well, fellow human beings.  I may harbor intense and justifiable loathing for their music, customs, or political indiscretion, but since when am I perfect?  This, at least, was the mindset with which I had approached the world of late, attempting to mingle in the more plebeian establishments and even walking the streets of Albuquerque unarmed against my fellow man.  But in the end, I found it was David Rees who said it best:

“If “elitist” just means “not the dumbest motherfucker in the room,” then fine, I’ll be an elitist!”

As for my part, I have tentatively adopted the following maxim: that each day upon rising, I will ask myself what will make me happy for the next twenty-four hours, until I can once more crawl into the slumber of animal phenomenology, that blessed dreamspace wherein the id might  dance uncognizant of any music.  In addition, I am attempting to stay the violent impulse of the nihilist,  without compromising the philosophic integrity that spawned him.   This seems to entail the gentle guidance of the herd, as opposed to simply “bleeding the beast,” as the Mormons say.

This position has its faults.  The masses may indict me on grounds of arrogance, and the Nietzscheans may scorn my perceived weakness.  Nonetheless, I offer this in the way of apologia: that there is too little beauty in this life to waste a precious drop on the thoughts of camels.  Thinking critically, we must realize, puts us ahead of the dominant normative schema by its very nature; does it then make sense to bemoan our distance from the more insipid thoughts of yesteryear?  Zarathustra said that he would come as “a hailstorm to all cornfields” – let us not tremble in the wake of frost, but marvel at the sight of icicles.  For the day will come when our seed, too, will be planted and devoured…

redpillneo is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com.  Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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8 Comments

Filed under philosophy, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Nihilism and its Discontents

  1. I’m not quite sure how meaninglessness translates into violence, but this post reminded me of the time we got lost in Cleveland.

    We were coming back from the Grog Shop after seeing “The Sword” (also the same evening that Currence liquored up many a bum), and I managed to get lost in Cleveland Heights/Coventry (I do every time) and ended up driving into the heart of the ghetto.

    After sumbitting my manhood by admitting my befuddlement, we stopped at a gas station, at which point you asked “Should I get my blade out? I’m prepared to take ’em down if anybody tries something..”

    Classic. So much nostalgia my brain hurts.

    Strange how “nothing” suddenly escalates into “blood sport” ^_^

  2. davidrsheehan

    Smile at the world, and see what happens.

  3. Nihilism = no moral law + contempt for humanity = Violence, Antipathy.

    It was sort of a phase. Very glad to have done with it.

  4. Po

    I’m not sure why everyone’s viewing this as a negative post. To me, it’s as if you’ve
    grown as a person and your willing to make amends with the INEVITABLE nihilism that any young intellectual must face. I do find it surprising that you feel there is very little beauty in the world though. Maybe you’re just looking in the wrong places, or maybe you’re just having a bad day (I have these a few times a week)! Thanks for an honest article.

    Also, it must be said that I’d love to walk a mile in your shoes; with your mixed martial arts background in mind it must totally be like a cheesy Kung-Fu flick. Hiiiyaaaaaa

  5. Po

    But wait; is it a paradox that I observe beauty while embracing my nihilistic roots?

  6. soahki

    It is a bit of a paradox, yes, but I think that paradox in our lives should be embraced.

    Besides I’m not certain that beauty cannot be acknowledged if one believes that life lacks an inherent purpose. However, I haven’t dealt with that particular dilemma myself, so I can’t be sure of how I’d feel about it.

  7. Didn’t mean to imply that life was lacking in beauty in virtue of its content, but in virtue of its brevity. There is “too little beauty” only because, necessarily, the quantity is finite. Also, I don’t mean this so much to disparage the lack of beauty, but in homage to its presence when it manifests.

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