Many on the left want to destroy anything old, historic or traditional, including statues, buildings, governments and morality. They revel in tearing down people, standards and ideas yet are incapable of building anything or governing themselves…let alone anyone else. On occasion they will seek to replace what they erase, substituting Baphomet or Beelzebub for Jesus Christ for example.
These modern anarchists, though anything but philosophers, ironically piggyback on the past work of white men such as Søren Kierkegaard, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, and other existentialists.
Sartre cleverly suggested that people are not like things (such as rocks or can-openers), which is why he used the term “no-thing-ness” to refer to the kind of being that people are. Unlike things, he said, humans do not have an intrinsic essence. A can-opener, for example, has an essence that was ascribed to it before it even existed. A designer created that object for the sake of opening cans. In this way, we can say that its essence preceded its existence. But according to Sartre, we are not designed by a God, therefore we are unlike things. Hence “no-thing-ness.”
And, since there is no designer, there is no intrinsic essence of human life, no “human nature,” nothing that we are supposed to be. Therefore, states Sartre, we must invent our own purpose, or “essence.” Whereas a can-opener’s essence precedes its existence, the opposite is true for us. We exist first and then we must create our essence later. This “fact” led Sartre to proclaim that we are “condemned to be free.” This freedom in turn means that we are responsible for our lives, causing us to experience feelings of anxiety or despair.
Nietzsche graced us with his uplifting “God is dead” message and his fixation with nihilism-- a philosophy, literally, of Nothing. (Nihilism can be defined as the sign of “Nothing;” pure Nothingness.)
Rather than tremble before Nietzsche’s nothingness, let’s think this through. Is the concept of nothing itself not actually something? Are these words nothing? If so, how are you reading them, interpreting them? How can everything be nothing?
How can allegedly brilliant philosophers come up with ideas such as this?
Is a bull moose nothing? Punch one in the face and see if “nothing” happens.
Some progressives believe that nothing can be certain, correct or true. Yet, if that statement were to be true, that statement would have to be false. Think about it. If nothing can be correct or true or certain, then that statement itself cannot be, either. It is a logical fallacy. It refutes itself. Which is a hallmark of progressivism.
Intelligent and prudent people don’t reflexively denigrate and dismiss the acquired knowledge to be gleaned from all of human history. We call these folks conservatives. Those that think they can deny, negate, or override wisdom and truth, or reinvent them to suit their agenda, we call progressives.
But destruction is not a legitimate political philosophy. And “Nothing matters…and what if it did?!” is not a particularly good recipe for human achievement and contentment.