Political nihilism

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Political nihilism is a branch of nihilism that follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions, in this case the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family or even law and law enforcement.[citation needed]

In some ways this belief links loosely to a libertarian social anarchy, but there is less disagreement amongst political nihilists about the value, necessity or permissibility of certain social phenomena like capitalism and democracy than there is amongst libertarian social anarchists. It is a common aspect of political nihilism to blame the presence of these phenomena for mankind's shortcomings and hardship, and therefore these are essentially done away with entirely. An important sub-branch of political nihilism advocates a dissolution of the current power systems, as in the previously described political nihilism, but then asserts the need for new systems to be remade from scratch.

History of political nihilism[edit]

In 1842, many Russian dissidents appear to have espoused nihilistic viewpoints. Here is a relevant quote from Russian Nihilist Dmitri Pisarev:

"Here is the ultimatum of our camp. What can be smashed must be smashed; whatever will stand the blow is sound, what flies into smithereens is rubbish; at any rate, hit out right and left, no harm will or can come of it."[1]

and another one from Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin:

"the negation of what exists ... for the benefit of the future which does not exist."[1]

See also[edit]