|Wednesday, 25 April 2012|
|If you want to know why American popular culture has become so strange and raunchy, it’s because we have a new popular religion that now also permeates public education: Nihilism, or Nothingism. Its holy scripture is Rolling Stone magazine, where writers use the “F” word and other similar repulsive expressions routinely in its pages.
Recently I happened to find a few back issues in one of those public library bins where people dump superfluous magazines that clutter up their coffee tables. Rather than toss them in the trash, they donate them to those of us who can’t afford to buy them. Which reflects the basic generous spirit that many Americans still have. Otherwise, I would have never considered reading the rag.
But what attracted me to the magazines were their articles bashing conservatives advertised on the front covers. I put them on my own coffee table, but didn’t read them until curiosity got the better of me. What a revelation! Their articles and attitudes were unabashed nihilism in all its obscene forms. They are supposedly written by socialists and progressives, and their hatred of conservatives, Republicans, and Christianity is visceral. Rolling Stone, of course, concentrates on the music scene, which in itself is nihilistic in its overall philosophy. Wikipedia describes Nihilism as follows:
[Nihilism is a] philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological, metaphysical, or ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that contrary to popular belief, some aspect of reality does not exist as such.
Nihilism is now the basic philosophy of public education. The progressives imposed humanism on the public schools, but in practice humanism has morphed into nihilism because teachers are supposed to be neutral on all aspects of morality. Neutrality means believing in nothing. By ridding the schools of biblical morality, they have created a vacuum that can then be filled with something else. But as G. K. Chesterton is reported to have wisely said: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.”
However, in politics, nihilists are anything but neutral. But what are they for? Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi seemed to reveal the role of nihilism in implementing political change in an article on the Occupy Wall Street movement coyly entitled, “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Protests” (11/24/11). He wrote:
People want out of this fiendish system, rigged to inexorably circumvent every hope we have for a more balanced world. They want major changes. I think I understand now that this is what the Occupy movement is all about. It’s about dropping out, if only for a moment, and trying something new…. Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for right now, it just needs to grow…. It doesn’t need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different.
The Nihilists in OWS don’t need to tell the world what they want because because they don’t know what they want. That’s the essence of nihilism. Nihilists don’t like our “fiendish system.” They want a “more balanced world.” They resemble those two-year-olds who can suddenly burst into tears over what seems to be nothing and are usually assuaged by a lollipop or a nipple. And, of course, what these nothingarians are unaware of is that they are being used as puppets by those who know exactly what they want: power, total power over everybody else.
Naturally, many on the Left are disappointed by Obama’s seemingly lackluster performance as leader of Hope and Change. An article by Jon Dolan (11/10/11) sees the Occupy Wall Streeters as reacting to the stagnation in Washington. He writes:
That’s the story of Occupy Wall Street, this fall’s shining example of progressives turning angst into energy. The OWS movement started off seeming like it might be just a new look of the anti-globalization left. But it’s picked up so much momentum that even Mitt Romney is clumsily alluding to the “99 percent.” The occupiers were spurred to action in part by what they see as the Obama-era Democratic Party’s conciliatory attitude toward corporate America.
What is “corporate America”? It’s companies big and small that manufacture the food we eat and everything else we use. It’s where most Americans work. It’s where retirees put their investments. It’s reality. Nihilists resent reality because they can’t get rid of it. And that’s why nihilism leads to suicide. The only way to overcome reality is to escape it by self murder.
That is why popular anti-music music is so important to the nihilist state of mind. It provides solace and escape from reality. It makes living in reality tolerable. It is loud, raucous, blasphemous, obscene, and infantile. It is the liturgy of nihilism. And that is why older generations can’t figure it out. It is rhythmic noise belted out by vocalists who look like they just crawled out of hell.
The sexy female singers are not nihilists. They represent the reality of sex, a world of drama and conflict between the sexes or among the sexes. They don’t want to escape from reality. They want to wallow in it.
That nihilism has become the basic philosophy of public education can be seen in the nine student suicides that took place in 2009-2010 in the Anoka-Hennepin School District of Minnesota, a blue-collar area of 13 towns, with 39,000 students, a half-hour north of Minneapolis. The post-Christian American public school system has replaced biblical morality — the Ten Commandments — with the moral relativism of the humanist philosophy. The only problem is that humanism is nihilism in disguise and therefore can impose no moral authority on the students. But with such programs as sex education, death education, multiculturalism, gay studies, sensitivity training, values clarification, situation ethics, and evolution, students become confused, particularly when dealing with such controversial subjects as homosexuality. It is believed that it was the suicide of a lesbian student at Anoka High School, who had been bullied by straight students, that triggered the epidemic of student suicides in the school district.
The conservative Christian churches in the district criticized the schools for promoting the gay lifestyle. So the school board decided to adopt a policy of neutrality when it came to the gay agenda. The article states:
The policy became unofficially known as “No Homo Promo” and passed unannounced to parents and unpublished in the policy handbooks; most teachers were told about it by their principals. Teachers say it had a chilling effect and they became concerned about mentioning gays in any context. … [According to Anoka High School teacher Mary Jo Merrick-Lockett, it] “has created a climate of fear and repression and harassment.”
However, the new policy did not stop the bullying of gay students, nor did it stop the suicides of non-gay students. The article states:
The Southern Poverty Law Center [a far left organization] and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a lawsuit on behalf of five students, alleging the school district’s policies on gays are not only discriminatory, but also foster an environment of unchecked anti-gay bullying…. “We are not a homophobic district, and to be vilified for this is very frustrating,” says Superintendent Dennis Carlson, who blames right-wingers and gay activists for choosing the area as a battleground, describing the district as the victim of this fracas….
“There has been widespread confusion,” says Anoka-Hennepin teachers’ union president Julie Blaha. “You ask five people how to interpret the policy and you get five different answers.”
Nihilism creates that kind of confusion. The mother of a boy who had committed suicide demanded that the policy be revoked. “What about my parental rights to have my gay son go to school and learn without being bullied?” Parents have no such rights in a government school, which cannot control bullying, and cannot eradicate anti-gay sentiments among students no matter how many sensitivity training classes they attend. What effect has nihilism had on the students? The author writes:
With the adults thus distracted by endless policy discussions, the entire district became a place of dread for students. Every time a loudspeaker crackled in class, kids braced themselves for the feared preamble, “We’ve had a tragic loss.” Students spoke in hushed tones; some wept openly in the halls. “It had that feeling of a horror movie—everyone was talking about death,” says one 16-year-old student who broke down at Anoka High School one day and was carted off to a psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. Over the course of the 2010-2011 school year, 700 student were evaluated for serious mental-health issues, including hospitalizations for depression and suicide attempts. Kids flooded school counselors’ offices, which reported an explosion of children engaging in dangerous behaviors like cutting or asphyxiating each other in the “choking game.” …
“People are dying one after another,” remembers former district student Katie MacDonald, 16, who struggled with suicidal thoughts. “Every time you said goodbye to a friend, you felt like, ‘Is this the last time I’m going to see you?’”
Is it any wonder that homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds? The nihilism that now permeates the entire education system cannot be changed by parents, teachers, principals, school board members, or anyone else who tries to make use of the system for their own benefit. The Dewey socialist controllers aren’t the least troubled by destroying the lives of countless children, frustrating parents who expect schools to teach what they are supposed to teach, and confusing teachers who don’t know what and what not to teach. Since it is unlikely that Christianity will ever once again become the implicit moral philosophy underpinning American public education, parents will have to make their own decisions about the education of their children.
Note that it is right-wingers who are being blamed for the confusion in the public schools. The school authorities have no philosophy of education. Their aim is to keep Christianity out. Everything else is okay. The tragedy is that too many parents are willing to live with the confusion of public education as long as the high school has a good football program. Even suicides will not deter fierce loyalty to the school team.
What governs nihilistic America today is not the Constitution, which has long been ignored and violated by our politicians and is considered little more than a rule book for political elections, nor is it the Ten Commandments, which cannot even be placed as a monument on public property. It’s the criminal code, which keeps people in line. That code, of course, is based on the tenets of the Ten Commandments, which many or most Americans consider to be an outmoded statement of moral absolutes. Moral relativism is the morality preached in the public schools, which means that anything goes within the bounds of the criminal code. If moral relativism is the moral code we teach American children, then we might as well call the national religion what it really is: Nihilism.