From Human Iterations
Talking about nihilism, much less attempting to define and critique it, is an exhausting sort of task, akin to talking to a mischievous toddler who has learned some empty single-word responses that make an adult go in circles. And one risks serious strain from all the eyerolling necessary to get through any such discussion. Most of us recognize that to bother to debate or critique nihilism is to lose from the outset. In the same way that feeding the trolls is a game utterly disconnected from sincere comparison and collaboration on ideas. And yet total disengagement is unsustainable.
Under the present conditions in anglo North American capitalist society I feel surrounded by a pronounced sense of resignation. As has been said many times before, those of us who seek an end to the dominant social order have been passed on a long history of loss. The post WWII eras are heavily affected by anti-communist rhetoric, and a strong identification with our roles in the consumer/producer economy. This history has set the stage for a general lack of solidarity between people, a lack of any attempt at critical thought or any practice which might break the death grip of domination.
Call for Proposals
Cultural, Social and Political Thought Graduate Student Conference
University of Victoria, Coast Salish and Straits Salish Territories
April 22-24 2016
What is nihilism? What is hope? Can one have both? Are they sentiments? Systems of belief? Realities? Are they the same reality? This conference will grapple with the concepts of ‘nihilism’ and ‘hope’ as two fundamentally inseparable ideas—in contrast to the notion of these two terms being diametrically opposite and/or mutually exclusive, as they are sometimes understood.
The beautiful idea: Anarchism means many things to many people. Classical anarchism in Europe defined itself in relief to its three opponents: the church, state, and capital. In our historical estimation, we find that anarchism in America has been known in any given time much more through its associated struggles. Decades ago, it was synonymous with punk rock. Even before that, it bore the face of immigrants: Emma Goldman, Johann Most, Sacco and Vanzetti. Contemporary anarchism has been linked to the anti-globalization movement and more recently, Occupy.
…and Being Able to Sleep Functions as a Symptom of a Greater Problem
No longer do the ideological extremes function as the ultimate threat to our livelihoods, yet many within the so-called anarchist milieu (or other radical-leftist currents) remained focused on defending themselves from such extremes as central tenets of their praxis. How do we prevent ourselves from structuring ourselves after scarecrows—mere shells of humans existing only as a response to a threat, perched in place against crows, against the Other?
From The Anvil Review by Peter Lamborn Wilson
It feels increasingly difficult to tell the difference between—on one hand—being old, sick, and defeated, and—on the other hand—living in a time-&-place that is itself senile, tired, and defeated. Sometimes I think it’s just me—but then I find that some younger, healthier people seem to be undergoing similar sensations of ennui, despair, and impotent anger. Maybe it’s not just me.