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Moral Nihilism and Anarchism?

+4 votes
A moral nihilism is a view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral. So, why would a moral nihilist support Anarchism, and can a moral nihilist be an anarchist?

Edit #1:
Actually this sentence written by Robert Nozick made me ask this question: "I treat seriously the anarchist claim that in the course of maintaining its monopoly on the use of force and protecting everyone within a territory, the state must violate individuals' rights and hence is intrinsically immoral.". Well, a moral nihilist would not give a damn about it being immoral, would him? Why would a nihilist want to be free? Why would a nihilist be happy? I seem to confuse hedonism with nihilism when it comes to that. Do existential nihilists want to be happy, if yes, why? I don't get it.
asked May 3, 2013 by anonymous
edited May 3, 2013
i consider myself an anarchist, but not a moralist. i think of "morals" as nothing more than a right/wrong judgement by a person of someone's behavior and/or thoughts.

1 Answer

+5 votes
A moral nihilist can be an anarchist if his anarchism is not based on moral principles.

My anarchism is not based on some idealized set of voluntary interactions or the wet dream of a horizontal chain of confederations. Most of the time, it is a daily, practical, individual endeavor. It is the destructive intellect and physical might I project against any and all forms of oppression.

The sort of oppression I attack is most often the kind which affects only me or my tribe (my family and friends). I don't waste my time agitating for larger reforms in order to save humanity because it's 'the right thing to do.' Most of them are too stupid to see the bars in front of their faces anyway and like Casca, I detest the stink of mental proles (even though I hang out with a lot of them). Besides, this techno-globo-corporate-liberal society is a rolling stone that can't be stopped and we'll be dead before it morphs into anything else. So I enjoy the sun with my compatriots and topple whatever's in my way--whatever I am able to push off its pedestal.

This kind of anarchism should properly be called anarchy: not a program or a prescription, not even a philosophy, but a process. It is the blinding white heat that brings the sword of practical logic to a silvery boil and the tensed fist that buries it in the flesh of any and every god.

And it's about more than freedom and happiness. It's about being my own. I want my thoughts and my feelings and my actions to be mine to create and control. This is naked egoism. It's the practical creation at every moment of my individual will to power. Happiness and freedom are byproducts.

I suggest you read Max Stirner. In "The Ego and Its Own" he writes: "Freedom lives only in the realm of dreams! Owness, on the contrary is my whole being and existence, it is I myself. I am free from what I am rid of, owner of what I have in my power or what I control." He goes on to say that a man may lose his freedom, but "My own I am at all times and under all circumstances..."

Moralists want a god to sacrifice their lives to. Capitalist Anarchists deify natural rights and economic freedom behind horn-rimmed glasses. Social Anarchists with their beads and tye-dye worship society. The collective is their messiah and communism their heaven. And if you act against their god they seek to destroy you. You are their devil. And why? Because you refuse to be sacrificed. Because you want things to sacrifice themselves to you.

Morality is a mask for the weak to hide their inherent egoism from their own eyes. I suggest we clever ones pull it off and laugh like Momus.
answered May 3, 2013 by MrThisBody (1,650 points)
edited May 5, 2013 by MrThisBody
Upvote for what seems to be a nice succinct version of Egoist anarchist thought. From the limited reading I've done so far anyway.

Two issues... first, how does an egoist or individualist anarchist act against society or communism? Doesn't social anarchism allow for individuals to act outside of society, and provide then room for it? Society as a choice? Couldnt some egoist anarchists find personal benefit from communization?

Second, there's something really gross and creepy about your nose-upturned contempt for 'mental proles' and 'humanity'.
formyinformation: Living in a society is most certainly a choice and egoist anarchists can and do benefit from it. I didn't mean to imply that society is totally evil. But you can't be completely autonomous within a society either. There's always a trade off.

I benefit from the love of my friends and family and it often brings me pleasure and satisfaction to help people in need, to be kind to my fellow man. Society allows me to go to concerts and theaters and museums, to drink with fascinating characters in a dive bar, to buy and trade goods and services, and to collaborate with others in productive activity--benefits all. But it also binds me with its laws and morés. It shackles me with religion and forces me to pay off its thugs.

Egoism is not a selfish solipsism. It is whatever I desire. Sometimes I do want to disappear into my cave, mental or otherwise. But often I like to be around people and act magnanimously. And if an anarchist society ever did develop, I'm sure I would take full advantage of both the low-lying market economy and various forms of communist enterprise, just as I do now.

As for my creepy fustianism, well, I guess you caught me ranting. Mental proles are people who go through life as a pinball, shot into their lives by someone else, on a trajectory not of their own choosing, and just because they ping off pretty lights every once and awhile they think they're living the life. Really though, that's just my opinion. If they're not dying of dystentery in the middle of the street like they were a few centuries ago, if they have air-conditioning and feed and satellite TV and these things make them happy--Who am I to argue? I have a lot of friends who look at me like I'm the guy with prophetic warnings painted on the side of his van because of the opinions I espouse. To them, I'm the mental prole, or the weirdo--one or the other. Which one of us can say his life is objectively better or worse? There's no way to measure such a thing. I only know that I prefer mine to theirs.

It's evangelical anarchists who really detest these people because they assume they are smarter than them. Just like every Christian that knocks on a heathen's door thinks he has it all figured out and now he's going to have to lead this little lost blind sheep back to its shepherd. Hey, maybe these guys just don't like the idea of your freedom. Cages are comfortable nowadays. In prison--despite the occasional anal rape and the stabbings--they always provide you with three hots and a cot.

I don't hate anyone unless they give me a good reason. In fact, I love a lot of people, and I've never even met many of the ones who have affected me greatly. No, I have a distaste for humanity as an aggregate idea, as a fundamental positive truth. In the words of George Carlin: "No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to."
As a moral, existential, and political nihilist who at one time consciously built out a mode of humanism-like ideology as a means of "picking a direction" in the void which eventually lead to becoming an anarchist while still also concurrently being a political nihilist, these things don't link up in any particular way: nihilisms are about foundations and anarchism is an orientation, but while many historical modes of anarchism rested on this or that bit of moral essentialism, such a foundation is not required to find oneself positioned as an anarchist.

"I've set my cause on nothing."
- Max Stirner (The Ego And Its Own)

Edited: Grammar.

"As a moral, existential, and political nihilist" 1define your use of the term political nihilism. 2 did you read my above linked essay on the subject?  "who at one time consciously built out a mode of humanism-like ideology as a means of "picking a direction" in the void which eventually lead to becoming an anarchist" 3 Political Nihilism as I define it is a consequence of moral nihilism and thus claiming to be both is a contradiction in terms as anarchism is a moralist position. "while still also concurrently being a political nihilist." 4 I wonder if you are using the term in the same sense that I am? "However, these things don't link up in any particular way: nihilisms are about foundations" 5 moral nihilism is a position in meta ethics. "and anarchism is an orientation," 6 not sure what you mean that it is an 'orientation', perhaps you could flush that statement out a bit. 

and of those who describe (not define and/or identify) themselves as anarchist while not partaking of any kind of anarchism? is this one a moralist too?
1) I'm not going to do that, it's clear enough that neither of us mean the same thing.
2) I did not and do not intend to: It was sufficiently clear in your OP that any conceivable arguments would rest on definitional usages I would reject before the fact.
3) No nihilisms are of themselves necessarily consequent to any others, though they may circumstantially arise in clusters. Anarchism can certainly be read as having moral character, but only in so far as it is comprised of ways of doing things, and doing things is comprised of decisions, and decisions are always interpretable as having moral content. However, no moral reading of this sort need necessarily be incompatible with moral nihilism.
4) We definitely are not. At the least, you seem to have rather more narrowly defined the matters in question than do I.
5) Orientation as in the direction one might find themselves facing after having been spun in a game of pin the tail on the donkey.

"1) I'm not going to do that, it's clear enough that neither of us mean the same thing.
2) I did not and do not intend to: It was sufficiently clear in your OP that any conceivable arguments would rest on definitional usages I would reject before the fact.
3) No nihilisms are of themselves necessarily consequent to any others, though they may circumstantially arise in clusters. Anarchism can certainly be read as having moral character, but only in so far as it is comprised of ways of doing things, and doing things is comprised of decisions, and decisions are always interpretable as having moral content. However, no moral reading of this sort need necessarily be incompatible with moral nihilism.
4) We definitely are not. At the least, you seem to have rather more narrowly defined the matters in question than do I.
5) Orientation as in the direction one might find themselves facing after having been spun in a game of pin the tail on the donkey."

If you are not going to define your usage of basic terms in your thesis, then we cannot have a prophetable discussion. 

"No nihilisms are of themselves necessarily consequent to any others" yes they are as I've shown in my essay.
 All arguments rest upon definitions...

Anarchism is moralistic. It assumes non irrealist positions in meta ethics, moral nihilism negates the existence of moral epistemology, and objectivity etc.. Therefore moral nihilism and anarchism are necessarily in opposition to one another. You can make up your own definitions of these terms but then you have removed your self from the on going philosophical discussion. 

You can read my book on meta ethics free here http://www.power-nihilism.education which argues for a qualified form of moral nihilism. 

To answer your question, when I say 'moralist' I'm generally referring to those who have a moral realist position in meta ethics.
I'm not going to read your book: to say we have different definitions is to say when you speak and I speak we do not speak of the same things. To say this, in turn, is to say that what you have to say on nihilism and anarchism has nothing to say in its turn to the nihilisms and anarchisms with which I concern myself.
Saying "I'm not going to read your book nor define my terms" is saying "I'm not interested. I'm closed minded and intentionally closed minded." Ok, bye! Have fun with that.
That's certainly a way of reading what I've said.
none one of these posts (if directed toward me) answered my question. putting it simply, i use 'anarchist' as descriptor, but i don't hold to any *anarchism.* i use 'anarchist' as an rough indication/trajectory/direction due to my dislike of hierarchical institutions, apologetics, etc., and my desire to live as little in their sway as is possible for me to do so.so my anarchistic trajectory has little to do with anarchism(s)/morality, but with a multitude of desires and their manifestations.

again, from your perspective is my use of 'anarchist' equivocal with some type of moralism?

ps. i have no desire to read your essay at this point. incessant advertising is no way to reach me, if that's your aim.

edit for typo...and more typos
lol...a nihilist using the moralistic phraseology of 'closed mindedness' is hilarious to me, gotta say.

 Power-Nihilism: To answer your question, when I say 'moralist' I'm generally referring to those who have a moral realist position in meta ethics

'i'd like to hear an example of what this means to you.

To circle back around, if you're seriously interested in having a conversation about the implications of your analysis of these special uses of nihilism and anarchism, I would recommend starting a new Question rather than taking an equivocative shit in an answer for beginners. If you do post such a question, please provide your special definitions in full in the question and, perhaps more importantly, open it with an explanation as to why non-your-nihilists would have a stake in meta-ethics as pertains to your-nihilism.
just to be clear, i'll leave up the current thread because people are talking to this person, but all future posts of any sort by PN will be deleted by me as soon as i see them. fuck him and fuck his site.

yes dot. after perusing the site i can only concur with you. endless rationalizing of knuckle-dragging reactionaries and their miserabilist cosmology mistaken for 'how it really is'... of course sanctified with a shitty, all-too-common interpretation of nietzsche. (that is, like their tooth and claw cosmology, they forget theirs is only interpretation)

sincerely,

an @101 nietzsche geek

Hey, now, I've got a miserablist cosmology and an unfavorable torso to leg ratio, but I need only ponder what I see around me to sanctify that: Cioran and Seneca are there just for commiseration.

"fuck him and fuck his site."

Seconded, I started reading PN's essay when they posted it and immediately started writing down notes regarding it's general crappiness, so as to write a comprehensive comment here, but SD, AF and BAA beat me to the punch ;)

For anyone who's interested, here are the disorganised thoughts I had whilst reading PN's essay (I didn't get close to finishing it, the self-righteous tone was too off-putting):

Fixation on what is rational and 'logical' is off-putting and spookish, in my experience appeals to reason are pretty much always appeals to spooks. My anarchism is based not on objective moral principle but desire, and is therefore completely irrational and illogical - if my desires were to be confined by logic then surely, being a white, (culturally) middle class male, logic would lead me to desire the status quo, because it is to my benefit in a lot of material ways. But I don't support the status quo, I'm not a statist, I'm an anarchist; not because heirarchal relationships are immoral but because I don't like them, I don't enjoy them.

Coming across the phrase 'I-Theist' I winced. If this means what I think it means, I don't have much time for it, or anything else that reifies yourself for that matter.

With regards to 'political theory', I as an anarchist do not cleave to Stirner or Nietzsche, I cleave their ideas to me, PN's writing on the other hand comes across as deeply ideological, rather than egoistic or authentic.

"I'm a moral nihilist who values consistency and thus will not put forth baseless moral arguments against goverment."

Well I'm an egoist (among other adjectives) anarchist who values consistency and so I don't put forth baseless moral arguments against government. In fact I think you'd be hard pressed to find an anarchist on here who would. 

To wrap things up, Sidney Parker, after disavowing anarchism, critiqued anarchism from a Stirnerean perspective, arguing that anarchism was incompatible with egoism because of anarchism's alleged inherent moralism, but to my mind he wasn't very successful either, because he couldn't imagine an anarchism rooted in desire rather than principle.

Nietzsche hated 'anarchists' like yourself for many of the same reasons I do.

Then what the hell are you doing here?

"Logic is one of those tools you must employ to reason, or argue in a coherent manner."

oh really? i love it when people come on here and try and bludgeon others with the word 'LOGIC' as if lightning and thunder will tear the sky asunder.

hey kiddo,  this may be news to you, but an argument can be logically sound and totally absurd. 'logic' is a word denoting a whole bunch of rule-based games not a thing-in-itself. you shoulda read nietzsche a little more closely...
Just to echo Strawdog, seriously, what the fuck are you doing here? Your writing, including your responses to my disorganised thoughts on your piece reek of desperation for validation, which you seem to be trying to get through this self-righteous exercise of aggressively asserting your otherness here. Whenever you call someone a 'herd animal' or accuse them of being wedded to 'slave morality' you re-emphasise just how much Neizsche owns you. You haven't convinced anyone here of anything other than the fact that your lens is incredibly myopic. You're clearly not here to contribute to anarchist discussion, or honestly engage with it, so just fuck off.
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