Nihilism / Nihilist(s)
Nihilism refers to man's existence as seen in a state of real or perceived nothingness. Nothing matters. Morals do not exist in reality. Nothing that we attribute to life has any meaning. A great philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, promoted the idea of "leveling" as a way to destroy individuality, where nothing meaningful can then be affirmed.
It was a prominent German philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche who popularized the concept of nihilism throughout the West. Nietzsche projected the idea that when the world cannot provide man with what he wants or needs, nor provide value and meaning to his life, he then finds himself in a crisis. Nietzsche believed that man constructed his own reality from a place of weak moral conviction, or specifically from the place of a weak will, where he sees everything coming from outside of himself. In strength, man knows that he creates his own reality from all that is internal and external.
Passive nihilism projects the epitome of pessimism. People walk through life in a zombie-like state. These people may not be making any proclamations, but they give off the energy of evil inclination. The sun may be shining, but nihilists walk in darkness. Nietzsche believed that any period imbued with nihilistic attitude was a blessing. It was a time for man to question and to lay down a new foundation upon which to place newfound beliefs. He felt that it created a "leveling" so that many can rise with a clean slate and proclaim the newness and the quality of their own beliefs.
The Phoenix bird is a symbol of this. The Phoenix burns so that it may arise brand new, from the ashes. An active nihilist burns everything to the ground. He burns prior notions, standards, ideals and interpretations that make up the "self." He actively starts again. The passive nihilist wallows in self-destruction and lives in passivity until death. In this passive state, there is no possibility of re-creation but only a final sinking into the ground.
Nihilistic philosophy and an inherent core of negative thinking can be found in all social, political and artistic arenas. Nihilism comes in many philosophical forms, such as epistemological nihilism, political nihilism, metaphysical nihilism, existential nihilism and more. These are comprehensible according to fundamental definition.
Nihilism was a popular philosophical belief in Russia during the early 1900s, primarily due to the work of Ivan Turgenev. The extreme attitude prevailed until the czarist government fell. It was and is a philosophy that promotes terrorist acts and perceived necessary assassinations that would lead to fundamental change. It is believed by many modern day philosophers that we are not yet out of the era of Nietzsche. Nihilistic attitudes seem to prevail across most of the planet.
What Nietzsche did not mention was that government itself, via laws and regulation, can give rise to passive nihilism, a sense that everything is controlled from the outside and that one's life and plans are dependent on the permission of others. In an era of globalist aspiration, nihilism may grow stronger as more as more young people begin to believe they can do nothing to positively affect their lives and times.