Nihilist Anarchy

Nihilism Vs. Anarchism

Nihilism implies anarchism, but anarchism is not necessarily nihilist. It exists in a similar form to insurrectionist anarchism and post-left anarchy, as it has an emphasis on propaganda by the deed, and the rejection of all formal structures and systems.

Nihilist Anarchy

If there is no objective purpose or meaning to anything, then that also applies to the state, authority, and hierarchy. Thus every nihilist is anarchist by default. The Taoist who dreamt he was a butterfly was one of the first anarchists, even if he didn't use the term directly, yet not all who reject authority ascribe to the nihilist view that it's all for nothing; they may replace the current system for another. Nihilist anarchists don't see reason for replacing it, they merely reject.

You may say nihilists live a life of rejection, an endless revolution.

Desert by anonymous is an interesting and worthwhile classic that assumes that we will not 'save' the world in time, and works to explore what liberation looks like through this lens:

The world will not be ‘saved’. Global anarchist revolution is not going to happen. Global climate change is now unstoppable. We are not going to see the worldwide end to civilisation/capitalism/patriarchy/authority. It’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s unlikely to happen ever. The world will not be ‘saved’. Not by activists, not by mass movements, not by charities and not by an insurgent global proletariat. The world will not be ‘saved’. This realisation hurts people. They don’t want it to be true! But it probably is.

These realisations, this abandonment of illusions should not become disabling. Yet if one believes that it’s all or nothing, then there is a problem. Many friends have ‘dropped out’ of the ‘movement’ whilst others have remained in old patterns but with a sadness and cynicism which signals a feeling of futility. Some hover around scenes critiquing all, but living and fighting little.

“It’s not the despair — I can handle the despair. It’s the hope I can’t handle.”

The hope of a Big Happy Ending, hurts people; sets the stage for the pain felt when they become disillusioned. Because, truly, who amongst us now really believes? How many have been burnt up by the effort needed to reconcile a fundamentally religious faith in the positive transformation of the world with the reality of life all around us? Yet to be disillusioned — with global revolution/with our capacity to stop climate change — should not alter our anarchist nature, or the love of nature we feel as anarchists. There are many possibilities for liberty and wildness still.

What are some of these possibilities and how can we live them? What could it mean to be an anarchist, an environmentalist, when global revolution and world-wide social/eco sustainability are not the aim? What objectives, what plans, what lives, what adventures are there when the illusions are set aside and we walk into the world not disabled by disillusionment but unburdened by it?


Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism, amoralism or the error theory) is the meta-ethical view that nothing is morally right or wrong.

Moral nihilism is distinct from moral relativism, which allows for actions wrong relative to a particular culture or individual. It is also distinct from expressivism, according to which when we make moral claims, "We are not making an effort to describe the way the world is [...] we are venting our emotions, commanding others to act in certain ways, or revealing a plan of action."

Moral nihilists agree that all claims such as 'murder is morally wrong' are false. But different nihilistic views differ in two ways. Some may say that such claims are neither true nor false; others say that they are all false.


Adapted from reddit and raddle comments