Introduction to Anarcho Nihilism

summerisle ch0ccyra1n anarchism nihilism insurrection

What is anarcho-nihilism? Both anarchism and nihilism are chronically misunderstood words, so it only makes sense that the term would draw lots of confusion. Nihilism is often assumed to just be misanthropic and/or ‘doomer’. If one wants to get a good understanding of anarcho-nihilism, they will need to put these assumptions to rest.

Is Nihilism Just Another Word for Doomerism?

No — at least, it doesn’t have to be. “Doomerism,” as it’s called here, is the idea that everything and the world is fucked. There’s nothing we can do, and we just gotta ride it out, or lie down and die. While you can see nihilism like this it’s a much broader umbrella term. Nihilism, very simply put, is the belief/philosophy that there is no inherent meaning to anything, no deeper direction or layer — nihil, nothing. Despair, and therefore doomerism, is the most common response to the shittiness of the world, but it’s by no means the only response. In fact, nihilism in the context of anarcho-nihilism flips that on its head.

How Does Anarcho-Nihilism Flip It On Its Head?

Anarcho-nihilism finds joy in having no inherent strictures binding reality. It sees things such as time and society, along with race and gender, to be arbitrary and artificial. It rejects the dichotomy of despair and hope entirely, not being paralyzed by the former and disregarding the latter to inscribe its own arbitrary meaning of joy in the face of capitalist, colonialist horror.

Is Anarcho-Nihilism Reformist?

As a post-left ideology, there are some major departures from some of the fundamentals of traditional left-wing viewpoints. One which is of particular contention is the question of ‘reform or revolution?’ or as we shall see, an alternative to both of those strategies entirely. As Serafinski writes in Blessed is the Flame, “After two centuries of failed revolutions, nihilism has perhaps become even more disinterested in conventional socialist programs and radical milieus.” While this may seem at-first like a reformist argument (that revolution is unrealistic/leads to tyranny, so we should just reform the system), it is not. Rather, anarcho-nihilists argue for a rejection of any sort of interaction with order, whether it is revolutionary or reformist beyond hostility. This manifests as insurrection, which is distinct from revolution in that it does not seek to establish a new order, but is entirely set towards the sabotage and destruction of it by any means necessary. It is truly nihilist because it is a strategy focused on negation: abolition rather than change. We have seen glimpses of that even in traditional leftist circles, such as with the contemporary interest in prison abolitionism among even non-anarchists Although, the sincerity of those claiming it is dubious at best without abolishing the state.

Anarcho-Nihilism in a Larger Context

Speaking personally for a second (me being Summerisles), anarcho-nihilism, is, in my view, a call to action or challenge to the left at large. While knowledge and theory is absolutely important, and something I don’t want to de-emphasize, at the same time it feels like sometimes people can lose the forest for the trees. Caught in an endless circle jerk of debate, it can be easy to never get involved in action. Anarcho-nihilism is a call for action over discussion, to go out there and get shit done — to throw a wrench in the gears not for some greater overarching goal, but for the joy in destroying the gears. Rejecting the paralyzation of despair for the animation of joy, and turning that into a joyful defiance for defiance’s sake — that’s, in my view, the basis for anarcho-nihilism.