30 08 11 - 15:11From a typical all-too-human source:
30.000 Nihilists? But these riots represent a new sociological phenomenon (in London alone police estimate that up to 30,000 people were involved) and a new nihilistic normal one that reveals and reflects the profound social, cultural and economic shifts that have shaped Britain over the last thirty years. First of all the riots were new in that unlike the riots in the UK in the 1980's and some isolated incidents thereafter they were not characterised by any ethnic or localised concerns. Indeed it was their very ubiquity that was so unnerving - across the country gangs of predominately young unemployed men often with criminal records were able to facilitate using new media, a series of semi-organised disturbances for the purpose not of protest but of criminal gain. This activity drew into violent disorder a far wider section of British society than ever before (from school assistants to university students) to the opportunities offered by looting be it digital TVs or sports shoes.
But why would an unprecedented but nonetheless representative swath of British society suddenly behave in such a manner? An indication is to be found in what the rioters did and did not believe in - they clearly eulogised acquisition and sheer self-interest and eschewed ethics, community, and human regard. They believed in nothing but themselves and held themselves unconstrained by any moral limit and entitled to whatsoever they pleased. In a savage manner they were however merely acting out the values that now seem to govern and embody Britain - ruthless self-interest coupled to a rootless consumer nihilism. - Res Publica
Yeah... nihilism means a lack of belief in inherent meaning (or "meaning," in the shorthand, intending meaning not created by individuals).
People want to discover "meaning" like they discover the formula for circumference. It's inherent! it's just there waiting to be found!
Ideally, it would appear as writing on the wall, from a personal God.
But... the way our universe works, nothing is that way, or there'd be a fragile center to it all. Even God is a distributed pattern, invisible to us (for those who believe -- nonbelievers s/God/natural order/).
Nihilism is not:
- Fatalism -- those who believe there's no point to anything and just want to steal/rut/defecate. They believe in themselves as an inherent order.
- Anarchy -- pre-teen illusions aside, anarchy is a belief that humans can rule themselves, akin to a religion.
- Hedonism -- more illusions of self as important.
The media is afraid to use the word it should: selfishness.