Judging from social media, now that Trump seconds the deceits of Assad propagandists about all the fake heroes, fake wars, fake victims, fake news, there’s nothing left to believe in. Nihilism is the gestalt of our times. They’ve got us just where they want us, unable to tell the difference between what’s real & what’s not. In the politics of nihilism, it doesn’t matter what’s real or not; facts are a matter of indifference because there are always “alternative facts” & we live in a post-truth truthiness kind of world.
Nothing is worth investigation because our lives are controlled by nefarious forces like the deep state or the reptilian Illuminati; everything is orchestrated by undercover operatives so there is no meaning except paranoia. Conspiracy theories abound because reality is all facade, dissembling, theatrics.
On the one hard, nihilism is the stuff satire is made for. On the other hand, it expresses a profound conservatism, an oppositional critique rooted in cynicism & misanthropy that is easily exploited by propagandists. It can’t be reasoned with because it isn’t rational & has lost all trust.
Thank heavens that nihilism on social media is not the measure of our times but only of an aggressive current trying to bully the rest of us into political passivity. The gestalt of our era is shown in the tens of thousands of youth who protested against Trump’s election, in the millions who marched in the Women’s March, in the tens of thousands who protested the ban on Muslim refugees. The gestalt of our times is not rooted in hating on others nor in justifying barbarism but in human solidarity.