Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Nihilism: Nothing Matters-It's All Meaningless by Peter Reum

The current United States administration, led by Donald Trump, seems determined to destroy our nation from within. For years, military budgets have grown, citing threats from communism, materialism, socialism, terrorism, and many more imagined threats. The "ism" I personally am most concerned about is nihilism. Nihilism can be defined several ways. The most functional definition I have found is that in nihilism, any basis for religious or philosophical values is ultimately irrelevant. Structures in society that fortify and codify such values are meaningless, as there is no difference between good and evil. In it's extreme form, nihilism becomes the rationale for reduction and elimination of all forms of different types of pillars that anchor and support our civilization. This leads to the drive to eliminate ANY format or construct that our civilization depends upon.

Using this model, anything that stands in the way of  "what's mine is mine, AND what's yours is mine too, if what I want belongs to you." Hence, the idea in Nihilism is that most elements of government must go, if they impede my hedonistic urge to accumulate everything I want that you (individually and collectively) have. The word annihilate is derived from the same Latin root as nihilism. In further defining that certain democratic beliefs are empty and meaningless, skepticism becomes the basis for the discrediting of any values, laws, or theology that block the drive to disbelieve. One example would be the legal basis for stealing being against the law. If laws preventing the nihilist from enacting laws that allow he or she to accumulate endless wealth, those laws must be struck down, usually using the argument that if the wealthy become richer, their fortunes will pull up the middle class and the poor, helping them become more financially self-sufficient, and thereby not in need of such supports as disability income, welfare, low income housing, and so forth.

What were once universal principles, such as peace, belief in a higher power, respect for other people's boundaries, whether physical or behavioral, or the unselfishness of altruistic and charitable efforts are rendered irrelevant to the nihilist. In a perverted way, the Darwinian idea of survival of the fittest takes hold. In this environment, whatever is the best way to accumulate fortunes, power, land, or money, is justifiable under the justification of moral relativity. If there are no universal moral principles, any behavior is justifiable. The person who is the wealthiest, the most influential, or has the best connections always takes what the lesser, possibly impoverished, elderly, or disabled people have. This is the true face of Laffer's Trickle Down economic model.

There is a problem with this approach. Sooner or later, everyone grows old, some people become disabled, some become refugees, some never are able to get ahead due to various forms of discrimination, and some become homeless. This is the actual reason for laws preventing the rich from pummeling the poor.

Treading water can become extremely hard to a person who is struggling to keep going. The more wealthy a person is, the farther they are from daily reality. There can be such a twisted focus and drive that the wealthy have, that their inability to understand other groups, thus blinding their ability to see the country's entire needs as a whole. The more a country disregards it's poor, disabled, elderly, mentally ill, homeless people, and other nations' similar circumstances inevitably leads to a cancer preventing the resolution of a nation's problems. This in turn ensnares those who rule that country into playing off populations against each other to keep the pilfering of the middle class and poor people from discovering the wealthy class's shift of money a secret.

The Republican Party and the Wall Street controlled wing of the Democratic Party will NOT change their secretive approach toward poverty and disenfranchised people. The middle class of the United States, as well as the poor, have been sold a piece of bogus shit with the wealthy telling them it is gold plated. A gold plated turd is still a piece of shit. There is a strong tendency toward fascism in the manipulative wealthy ruling class that threatens whatever little is left of a democracy in this country. Anyone who watches the violence visited upon dissidents can see that. Several states have passed draconian legislation that applies harsh sentences for exercising First Amendment rights to free speech. Meanwhile, there are dozens of private for profit prisons that are making obscene amounts of money grounded in the misery of inmates who could have served their time in community based corrections.

The anti-intellectual anger expressed by lower and middle class families is probably the threat that can hurt the stability of our country the most severely. Such feelings have been around off and on throughout this country's history. The Nihilists have successfully preyed upon these feelings, lying outrightly to the people who are hit the hardest by the prevarication of the filthy rich. Trump's outrageous lies, told to a group of conservative middle class and poor people frightened by the future were believed by scared Caucasians. The unspoken fear of being a minority, along with abject fear of various other ethnic and racial populations has led to the worst streak of xenophobia since the Japanese internment camps during World War 2. Mr. Trump's stoking of these fascist doctrines were what got him elected. In the end, Mr. Trump will keep  trying to use slash and burn type tactics with any nation stupid enough to swallow his tripe.

The only answer to this set of issues is a widespread populist movement as begun by Senator Bernie Sanders. It may require a third party based in attending to the needs of the poor, working poor, and middle classes. Anything less will lead eventually to the demise of what is good about our country. We must begin now to deal with whatever fears every population and group has by telling the truth unflinchingly. Let's start tomorrow!

Copyright 2017 by Peter Reum
All rights reserved