Critchley‏ on Active Nihilism

“Nihilism is the obvious response to the death of God, by which we mean the collapse of any transcendent basis for morality, the collapse of the value of everything. Just to say “Well, God is dead” in one breath is to say, in another, that nothing means anything. This is the moment of nihilism. Nihilism is the affirmation of meaninglessness. It is something that happens historically with the collapse of religion and the end of belief in the infallibility of leaders and so forth…
On the one hand we’re killer apes, and on the other hand we have this metaphysical longing. We want there to be a significance to human life, and we want there to be a narrative that holds everything together. Nihilism is the moment when we feel that’s been punctured.
This is one element in youth culture that is persistently a rejection of the old gods. You find it in punk, in the cult of death of musical figures. There are many examples. Meaning evaporates, and we feel abandoned. The idea of nihilism hits you, and that can be a dispiriting experience. It can be one of passive withdrawal, like, “Nothing means anything, so I’ll go to my corner and cultivate myself.” Or it can be more like, “Nothing means anything, I’ll join together with a few others, meet in secret, and start blowing things up.” This is active nihilism.
Simon Critchley
Critchley teaches and The New School for Social Research, New York, and here he waxes nihilistic in a active (positive?) sense:

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