As part of Lawrence Auster's essay, Humans Have to Be Carefully Taught NOT to Prefer Their Own Race, one commenter, "Jeff W," makes a brilliant assertion.
Here are some further thoughts about the four stages of Nihilism:
All four stages are joyless because they are manifestations of the will to power. Characters of all four types are power-seeking.
The liberal type says: "I deserve to rule because I am a really good person. I am an expert in ethics and good behavior who loves religion, though I do not believe in a sadistic God who would send nonbelievers to Hell. I am superior to the fundamentalist yahoos who believe that outmoded nonsense."
The materialist says: "I deserve to rule because I know what makes things work. I get rid of all that vague, goody-two-shoes abstraction about goodness and ethics, and I just concentrate on the nuts and bolts. I don't believe in any flying spaghetti monster. If you want things to work right, you will get rid of all the liberal/religious hogwash and start listening to me."
The vitalist says: "Why listen to anal-retentive liberal and materialist types when you could be getting some action? I know where the action is. Don't let them restrict you with their "ethics" or their rules and laws. You need to experience life! Life is not about rules and philosophies. Follow me and you can really live!"
The nihilist says: "The world is full of such disgusting creeps and frauds that there is really nothing good in it. Love is a fraud. There is no love. The only thing that feels good is destruction. Violence is the proper response to this world, and it feels so good! Suicide can also be good because it ends the pain. Let's start doing what needs to be done."
Each of these people seeks power over others, and each is out of communion with the living God, the source of all love. That is the root of their sickness and their joylessness.
I think it's absolutely fascinating that Jeff W. associates the "4 stages of Nihilism" with "manifestations of the will to power." In The Mustard Seed, Heather Manning states that all human beings have a "power instinct" - and their choice of how to express that "instinct" is the source of either their happiness or their despair.
From Chapter 11...
"We, as human beings, want our lives to have a greater purpose. We need to matter. And therefore, we’re constantly looking for ways to say, ‘Look at me! I matter!’ But we can’t matter when we’re all by ourselves. We need other people to validate our existence. We need other people to say, ‘Yes, you matter!’ And therefore, we’re always trying to find a way to plant a part of ourselves in other people. Our ideas. Our values. Our talents. The point is, it’s not good enough to be in-charge of our own lives. We need to express ourselves as individuals, and have a lasting impact on the lives of others. That is the power instinct.
“In healthy, rational people, that instinct has a positive purpose – whether it’s falling in love, or raising a child, or saving a life. We find pleasure by expressing ourselves through the act of helping others. These creative acts give us a chance to say, “This is who I am! I matter!” and those acts are done in a way that elevates other people, instead of tearing them down.
“But when it comes to irrational, unhealthy people – the people who have forfeited their minds – the power instinct serves a negative purpose. These people hate the world. They live in a state of fear. But they still desperately want to matter. In fact, they want to feel superior to other people. They think to themselves, ‘I’m not the same as everybody else; I’m better!’ So they’re always hunting for someone to look down on, and stomp on. They assert their power by abusing people – whether it’s verbal abuse or physical abuse. Sometimes they even kill people. Through violence, they feel strong. They feel relieved. The anxiety of their daily lives has disappeared – if only for a brief moment. That’s why they smile. But pretty soon, the fear comes back, and with that fear comes the need to commit more evil. The cycle continues, until they finally choose to escape it.
“So, you see, Brian, there is no ‘joy of evil.’ The people who hurt you are sad, miserable cowards. Even what they see as power is powerless. Evil itself is powerless. Evil is nothing.”
“Evil is nothing?” I asked, incredulously.
[to be continued...]