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Obama a nihilist?

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That's something Piekoff himself would have to elaborate on, you can't get that answer from us. If I were to speculate, I would suggest that the lack of consistency in Obama's principles would make him a nihilist. He criticized the republicans endlessly for getting us involved into unnecessary wars, while getting us in one, to name a few.

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Source:

http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/07/23/obamas-not-a-socialist/

I was surprised to learn that, according to Peikoff’s analysis, Barack Obama is not, as I and others have been saying, a socialist or communist. Socialists or communists are examples of what Peikoff calls “misintegration,” or integration by non-rational means. Obama, Peikoff thinks, is anti-ideological, and as such has no long-range guiding values or theory of society. He does not integrate his thoughts and actions by any means, valid or invalid. Rather, Peikoff describes Obama as an almost-but-not-yet-fully consistent egalitarian nihilist, and thus a manifestation of the same trend which Peikoff calls D2, i.e., the form of Kantianism that gave us non-objective art, quantum mechanics, and progressive education.

Also this from his website:

http://www.peikoff.com/the-november-elections/

The Democrats for decades have been mostly the typical, compromising pols of a welfare state, making things worse, but relatively slowly, thereby leaving us some time to fight the theocracy-in-waiting. But Obama, the first New Left President, has introduced a new factor into his Party: a crusading egalitarian nihilism that is subverting and destroying the U.S., at home and abroad, much faster than anyone could have imagined a year ago.

Edited by iflyboats
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Nihiism = He thinks Western civilization is evil and just wants to smash it. He doesn't want to smash it in order to replace it with something else, he just wants to smash it.

Egalitarian = smashing it to bring all countries down to the same level, so the US is no longer better than other countries, e.g. African ones.

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Thanks for the replies. Doesn't egalitarianism contradict nihilism though?

Yes, because a nihilist doesn't believe that values exist, and likely enjoys destruction for its own sake, much like a villain in a video game. An egalitarian values equality as a primary, and strives for equality in all regards.

Edited by Eiuol
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But I think Rand's argument about egalitarianism, and probably Peikoff's point (I don't know the context here) was that egalitarianism requires you to dis-value value precisely because it is value, and value lack of values precisely because one lacks it. That is the jist of the argument she makes in "An Untitled Letter" in regards to Rawls' A Theory of Justice. In that sense, egalitarianism is annihilation of value for it being a value, and the elevation of lack of value for its lacking it, or the "hatred of the good for being the good" as she put it. Peikoff also made the argument on his radio show that the progressive income tax was nihilistic for that reason which he compared to the streaker at the Grammies or whatever it was.

So I don't think Peikoff is saying Obama is a nihilist on the one hand for some reason, and an egalitarian on the other hand for some other reason, but that they are one in the same. I'm sure if we can drag up some Obama speeches there is enough evidence to support the fact that he thinks the wealthier and abler have, in his words, somehow "benefitted more" from "our system" and so should "contribute" more to the less "fortunate." I don't think this qualifies Obama as a full egalitarian in the sense of Rawls, or at least he knows enough that he could not politically get away with that kind of consistency.

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Obama is nothing like any characterizations of what a nihilist is that I am aware of, especially considering I know one or two self-proclaimed ones. I am not sure how hypocrite=nihilist.

We can start by looking at defniitions:

Nihilist:

Definitions of nihilism (n)

ni·hil·ism [ n ə lìzzəm ]

1)total rejection of social mores: the general rejection of established social conventions and beliefs, especially of morality and religion well, Obama did say he intended to "fundementally change America", and he has always rejected the values of freedom, independence and justice that America was founded on

2)belief that nothing is worthwhile: a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless

Pretty self evident here. The Obama evironmental agenda alone is proof enough that he rejects human value.

3)disbelief in objective truth: the belief that there is no objective basis for truth

Also self evident, I think. Progressives in general treat everything as subjective. Obama's choices have always been geared towards moral relativism.

Egalitarian:

Definitions of egalitarian (adj)

e·gal·i·tar·i·an [ i gàllə térree ən ]

1)believing in equality: maintaining, relating to, or based on a belief that all people are, in principle, equal and should enjoy equal social, political, and economic rights and opportunities

He's been very clear that we should all share in each other's suffering, misery and crapulence. Philosopher beat me to it a few posts up when he said that Obama wants to bring us all down the the level of less advanced societies.

So, it's funny that I'd never thought of him as such before but now that I go over the definitions point by point I have to say the assessment is apt.

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Nihiism = He thinks Western civilization is evil and just wants to smash it. He doesn't want to smash it in order to replace it with something else, he just wants to smash it.

Egalitarian = smashing it to bring all countries down to the same level, so the US is no longer better than other countries, e.g. African ones.

Is there any actual proof that he hates it or wants to doesn't want to replace it with anything?

The guy just seems like another politician, I think he values reelection. I present his willingness to change from left to center randomly on various issues when it is politically convenient, such as on the issue of Libya and that pro-business speech he gave awhile back.

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Is there any actual proof that he hates it or wants to doesn't want to replace it with anything?

The guy just seems like another politician, I think he values reelection. I present his willingness to change from left to center randomly on various issues when it is politically convenient, such as on the issue of Libya and that pro-business speech he gave awhile back.

He is a social democrat, he obviously wants to replace it with something. So the answer to your question is no. The answer to the threads question is no, he is not at all a nihilist and I have to wonder why someone who knows what that term means would claim that he is one. It seems absurd to me, personally. I have not seen this use of the term though myself so maybe context can clarify. I would still consider it improper use of the term though, most likely.

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He is a social democrat, he obviously wants to replace it with something. So the answer to your question is no. The answer to the threads question is no, he is not at all a nihilist and I have to wonder why someone who knows what that term means would claim that he is one. It seems absurd to me, personally. I have not seen this use of the term though myself so maybe context can clarify. I would still consider it improper use of the term though, most likely.

See that is where the problem lies. It seems "absurd" to me that you cannot see his nihilism (not trying to insult you, just responding to your own terms).

I suppose that whether you believe Obama is a nihilist or not depends on what you believe his motives to be.

If you believe he is mistaken, but not evil then I could see how you could try to deny his nihilistic tendencies..

If you believe that he knows damn well that he is causing the destruction of the good then associating him with the term nihilism is not incorrect. I'm not amongst those in opposition to Obama that think he's stupid. He knows what he's doing and he's quite good at the Alinsky tactics.

I know what nihilism is, the definitions and the philosophy and what I've seen of him meets the criteria. It does to some extent confuse the issue that as nihilism isn't a closed system the definition evolves and changes somewhat.

Further, from what I know of the term it is not required that the person being tagged "nihilistic" desire to see destruction without wanting to replace it with something. Does Obama want to replace what he is trying to destroy with something? Absolutely.

But I argue two points on this:

1) I honestly believe that even if he knew that he would not be able to replace what exists with his grand society of social justice he would be ok with just destroying what does exist.

2) What he wants to relace it with- should he succeed is a society of death and destruction ultimately. So see point one.

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See that is where the problem lies. It seems "absurd" to me that you cannot see his nihilism (not trying to insult you, just responding to your own terms).

I suppose that whether you believe Obama is a nihilist or not depends on what you believe his motives to be.

If you believe he is mistaken, but not evil then I could see how you could try to deny his nihilistic tendencies..

If you believe that he knows damn well that he is causing the destruction of the good then associating him with the term nihilism is not incorrect. I'm not amongst those in opposition to Obama that think he's stupid. He knows what he's doing and he's quite good at the Alinsky tactics.

I know what nihilism is, the definitions and the philosophy and what I've seen of him meets the criteria. It does to some extent confuse the issue that as nihilism isn't a closed system the definition evolves and changes somewhat.

Further, from what I know of the term it is not required that the person being tagged "nihilistic" desire to see destruction without wanting to replace it with something. Does Obama want to replace what he is trying to destroy with something? Absolutely.

But I argue two points on this:

1) I honestly believe that even if he knew that he would not be able to replace what exists with his grand society of social justice he would be ok with just destroying what does exist.

2) What he wants to relace it with- should he succeed is a society of death and destruction ultimately. So see point one.

Because during my clueless angsty teenage period, I was a nihilist for a year and 2 months and I was a "member" of the most organized nihilist group on the net. Perhaps my understanding of nihilism and "nihilistic tendencies" is not the same as yours as a result. He shows no signs of what I am referring to.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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I think 2046 is on the right track, in that egalitarianism is indistinguishable from nihilism in all essential characteristics. To say that the effects should be the same, regardless of the cause(which is what egalitarianism and Obama seek)is to say that values, "that which one acts to gain or keep" are not inherently dependent on the process of acting. The new definition of values becomes simply, "that which one has." Concrete based thinking.

The removal of the action from values, is the elimination of cause and effect and serves not just to destroy values(which it certainly will, wholesale) but to destroy the very meaning of value.

In this sense, egalitarianism in all of it's constructs, from affirmative action to issuing six blue ribbons for the same race, is nihilism with a thin later of frosting on top to allow for the evasion necessary to believe in it.

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In this sense, egalitarianism in all of it's constructs, from affirmative action to issuing six blue ribbons for the same race, is nihilism with a thin later of frosting on top to allow for the evasion necessary to believe in it.

You've cut it open and laid it out to bleed there.

That's why these "progressives" or statists or whatever one wants to term them wrap themselves in causes. The causes are the layer that hides the big zero within.

That said, happy Earth Day :ninja:

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I can agree with this. The results are the same, however I would say the journey is categorically different.

Sure. An actual nihilist requires a certain level of honesty with himself and the world, which is why there are so few of them running about. It's internal contradictions collapse on their own heads and they are forced to change their minds. An egalitarian can carry on for a whole life time because he can blame everyone else for the failure of his own nihilistic views when they're put into practice.

I'd still probably hold that the two outlooks are the same,philosophically, but that the respective psychologies of the practitioners are quite different.

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If a nihilist wants to make everything 0 and an egalitarian wants to make everything the same, then nihilists are a special case of egalitarians aren't they?

Or... maybe not, because if there is always at least 1 very lazy person in any given society, in practice the two positions are equal.

But this line of argument is starting to feel rationalistic.

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Egalitarian part is he doesn't think any nation is any better or different to any other. But this is a very dangerous idea for a US politican to hold.

Other countries are held together by the idea of a home for a particular race, e.g. China is the land of the Chinese, France is the land of the French. But the US is the land of the free.

This gives the US a great advantage in being able to accept new immigrants (*), but has one major disadvantage. If you make China socialist or communist, it is still the Chinese race and it still continues, but if you make America unfree you take away it's binding idea and risk it breaking apart.

So it is very important that Obama's socialism not succeed.

(*) One third special case is the UK. Even though this is the country of the English, it was also the biggest Empire in history. This necessitated working with other races, which became part of the culture. So they are able to integrate new immigrants despite being a racial homeland.

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