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Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast

Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 17, 2012, 05:21:29 PM
If you were the put romanticism and Anus's definition of nihilism into a Venn diagram, what would result?  They seem to be opposites.  Far as I can recollect Nihilism is about strict logic and rooting out human distortion of reality.  Romanticism on the other hand seems to be about suspension of disbelief and investing time and hope into imagination, fantasy, will, and creativity.  So perhaps the overlapping area includes imaginative goals and ideas that are achievable and consistent, respectively, in the real world?

I'm also confused about the role of morality in all of this.  I suspect Prozak might say we measure actions by the beauty and efficacy of their results, and this is a more realistic (inherent?) system than morality.  I would then continue to irk him by suggesting that we first have to define beauty/what is beautiful and what are good goals in the first place, which require some establishment of morals.  Even then, things like honor still call the Machiavellian approach into question.  How does Anus define morality?

Nihilism leans more toward inanimate, will-less logic and romanticism towards will and emotion, but is it that simple?


Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 18, 2012, 05:15:13 AM
Good question. It relates to the ultimate dialectic running through ideas around here, and this is a dialectic that is completely Nietzschean.

First of all, however, bear in mind that the 'philosophy' of ANUS is not some logically consistent set of propositions that have been worked through to root out any and all contradictions. It's a body of thoughts authored by someone who sees value in a range of cultural ideas (traditionalism, romanticism, post-modernism (nihilism)) and who no doubt changed as a person along with his ideas. (i've read he began as a Marxist, for example).

Now, Nihilism, as employed here, (active nihilism), is like you say a rooting out of human distortions of reality, presumably to get as close to 'the thing in-itself' as much as is possibly for an evolved organism that has happened to develop the cognitive capacity to become conscious of itself and its place in the grid.

Romanticism is also much like you say, the cultivation of the emotions: imagination, fantasy and creativity. Why? To invigorate the will in the face of the emphasis of the enlightenment on cold rationality.

For Nietzsche, the need to cultivate the will was in response to nihilism (or modern science 'killing God'). Art, such as Wagner's epic operas, was a kind of dialectic response by nature itself (manifested through human beings) to modern science killing the will (meaning). This smells 'offesnsively Hegelian', even to Nietzsche himself as he analysed his own writings in Ecco Homo, but this 'hegelianism' or dialectic focus seems to be an important part of his though nonetheless.

For ANUS, something similiar is going on but it's not as philosophical (dialectic). I would imagine that cultivation of the will and meaning (romanticism) is thought of as simply a necessary human endeavor because without purpose we sink into homo americanos with no higher persuits than shopping, or worse, we end it all. But this isn't a metaphysical response to nihilism, or the effort of 'the will' (what ever that might be) to rejuvinate itself in the face of the void. It is a merely human response to nihilism: but a nihilism that is self-imposed.

Why self-imposed? Because ANUS has very 'modernist' goals: the breaking down, or transcending, of modern values (it simply wants to 'go back' after this breaking down, while most modernists want to 'to forward'). Why does it have these goals? Because it views modern values are lacking, on environmental, social and aesthetic grounds. Nihilism is the enterprise of making people see the values they inheret from their culture are in no way absolute, and can be changed. Romanticism is the act of creating meaning again after this self-imposed/politically motivated 'revaluation of all values'.

Also, the actual values that actual people in the romantic period espoused happened to be politically favoured by the author in question (nationalism, localism, etc).

You can put traditionalism in the same basket as romanticism here. All the traditionalist fanboys who have increasingly come in around here don't seem to realise that traditionalism is valued on environmental, social and aestheic grounds, and not so much on ontological grounds!  >:(

Nihilism makes no sense if values are logically rooted in some archaic conception of reality. There is a conflict in the enterprise of viewing all values as human impositions on the world on the one hand, and on the other holding a metaphysical essentialist view of things where values flow deductively from ontology. The message around here used to be: It's all relative, mate, now you choose which values you think are better after this realisation.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 18, 2012, 05:33:25 AM
I'm also confused about the role of morality in all of this.  I suspect Prozak might say we measure actions by the beauty and efficacy of their results, and this is a more realistic (inherent?) system than morality.  I would then continue to irk him by suggesting that we first have to define beauty/what is beautiful and what are good goals in the first place, which require some establishment of morals.  Even then, things like honor still call the Machiavellian approach into question.  How does Anus define morality?

I think it's not circular, as you're worrying, because beauty doesn't need to be defined. Some things are beautiful in virtue of evolved psychological dispositions.

The message is close to this: Stop worrying about over-socialised, over-cultivated conceptions of value. Embrace the animal in you and rely on intuitive conceptions of what is good and beautiful.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 21, 2012, 08:46:11 AM
Thanks for your replies, Bill Hopkins.  I think you're right about morality.  Upon reflection, I'm more concerned with ANUS's definition of morality than my own. Nitpicky, I know. I get it from my dad.

I am only in agreement with nihilism insofar as it allows preferences. In my ideal a nihilist can still have preferences, because once nihilism removes the bad values there is still plenty room for them.  In fact, people without preferences put of an "uncanny valley" vibe and are avoided like the plague by more social types (not that social people rejecting them is a gauge for their value, haha.) 

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 30, 2012, 08:35:34 AM
Nihilism is non-moral realism. You spend some time stripping off all that decrepid, old wallpaper and decide to paint the place white. The ensuring boredom develops into a fertile imagination; romanticism.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 31, 2012, 07:51:49 AM
Nihilism is non-moral realism. You spend some time stripping off all that decrepid, old wallpaper and decide to paint the place white. The ensuring boredom develops into a fertile imagination; romanticism.

Don't forget traditionalism :). A fine example of imagination.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 31, 2012, 08:07:47 AM
Ah, but you mustn't forget physicalism, at that - to think that we're the contents of our experience, that's just laughable!

See?  Look?  I can make contentless dismissals of things, too!  Can I join the club now?

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 31, 2012, 08:15:05 AM
I wasn't dismissing traditionalism at all! And I was talking about the morals of traditionalism. Physicalism isn't so closely attached to any set of morals (theoretically at least - as opposed to historically). I'm a nietzschean, so the creation of values as an artistic process is essential. You might be taking issue with the idea that traditionalism is the result of an artistic process and not something absolute.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
October 31, 2012, 08:59:44 AM
Or, to be more accurate, you are taking issue with the assertion that Tradition is eternal, internal, and to be experienced within a human lifespan.  The artistic process is often the result of the internalisation of Tradition, but the Art can only point towards it; if it could encpsulate it, it would be the Logos manifest in human enterprise, and all would be instantly enlightened by the Truth therein.  Seriously.

Re: Romanticism/Nihilism Compare and Contrast
November 07, 2012, 03:03:56 AM
Nihilism is non-moral realism. You spend some time stripping off all that decrepid, old wallpaper and decide to paint the place white. The ensuring boredom develops into a fertile imagination; romanticism.

Don't forget traditionalism :). A fine example of imagination.

Does imagination imply that something isn't reality based? I think of it moreso as an extension of reality.
Unfortunately I'm not too well versed on traditionalism. But I read The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima, and as a fictional work it has more to say about reality than any 'true strory' I've ever heard.