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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 22, 2011 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5771

The Inevitable Descent From Progressivism to Nihilism

By Arnold Ahlert




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines "nihilism" thusly: a) a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless; b) a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truth.

Perhaps it is indelicate of me to notice, but it would seem the definition of nihilism is interchangeable with the definition of progressivism. One may quibble with the notion that progressives do not consider existence senseless and useless (as long as one ignores the wholesale abandonment of religion by large portions of the secular left), yet witnessing the British riots of last week, and the ongoing flash mob attacks perpetrated here in America, it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that the abandonment of traditional values and beliefs, coupled with the denial of any objective truth, could lead to the conclusion that existence itself is senseless.

This is not to say that the thugs tearing up their own societies are dystopian philosophers. Far from it. If there is one over-riding element that links this type of mass mayhem together it is the sheer thoughtlessness of the participants. They revel in mayhem, but not out of a commitment to a worldview, or a "greater cause." From the most egregious examples of murder, muggings, burning police cars and grand larceny, to the stealing of candy and soda from a 7-11, the common theme is immediate self-gratification.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Being a political writer requires one to follow the news. I happen to do that by reading. This is no accident. This is only so much hysteria one can pack into the written word. The most audacious "the sky is falling!" story one reads can never compare to the trailers, the teasers, the shouting, the ominous accompanying music and every other trick — and they are tricks — used by TV and radio to roil the masses. The word "infotainment" didn't come from nowhere.

Yet even when one reads, it is impossible to escape the prevailing ethos of modern media. And that ethos is overwhelmingly nihilistic. There isn't a single day that goes by without at least one story completely dedicated to the proposition that armageddon — inevitable, unavoidable armageddon — is right around the next bend in the road. And while one story does not a nihilist make, a minimum of 365 stories per year — a wildly optimistic total based on only one sky-is-falling-story per day — can erode the stoicism of even the most dedicated optimist.


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And unless one is literally living in a cave on a hilltop, modern media is inescapable. It is almost impossible to remember a time when one could walk into a restaurant or bar and not be assaulted — and assaulted is the correct word — by not one, but several TV monitors, with the sound more often than not turned up to ear-splitting levels. In fact, one is hard-pressed to think of a single location these days, with the possible exception being houses of worship, where some TV or radio isn't hectoring the hell out of us to do, buy — or be afraid of — something.

Toss in a few gazillion cell phones with media-access capabilities, and an entire generation of young (and not-so-young) people who exhibit withdrawal symptoms when their new media is taken away, and you have the makings of an entire society for whom media is as addictive as crack cocaine. And when you separate out that subset of individuals who have never known it to be any other way, add a lack of critical thinking skills courtesy of an "educational" system which couldn't care less if kids learn or not, and mix it all together with a sky-is-falling relentlessness, that society produces exactly what one would expect:

A generation of "what's the point in giving a damn about anything but myself" nihilists.

Which brings us to the second Merriam-Webster definition of nihilism: a) a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake, independent of any constructive program or possibility.

Destruction desirable for its own sake. Hmmm. I seem to recall a presidential candidate who told his followers back in 2008 "we are five days away from completely transforming the United States of America." That, we were told, was the essence of "hope and change." More than a few Americans have figured out it was nothing more than nihilism with some media PR attached to it. And in keeping with the second definition, the person who uttered it has yet to produce a single proposal which might be construed as a "constructive program or possibility" — unless one considers vilifying one group of Americans to placate another constructive.

I sure don't. But I am sure of one thing: you can't run a country when you're attached to the idea that it is fundamentally flawed. That is the essence of nihilism. That nihilism is virtually indistinguishable from progressivism? It wasn't conservatives tearing up the streets of London. Nor is it conservatives determined to inflict mob-style mayhem on America wherever the opportunity presents itself.

The mobs come courtesy of a bankrupt ideology, egged on by a bankrupt media, all dedicated to the proposition that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded, moral truth is non-existent, and that destruction is desirable for its own sake. It is a philosophy whose essential attractiveness lies in the fact that it requires little more than animal instinct — as in, if it feels good do it — to embrace it. Is that ideology progressivism or nihilism?

If you can spot the essential difference between the two, you're a far wiser person than I am.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Arnold Ahlert's column, by clicking here.



Previously:


08/22/11:
Perry Stands Firm. Obama Stands Mute
08/15/11: Give Me a Flatscreen TV, or Give Me Anarchy!
08/11/11: Resign, Mr. President
08/08/11: Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts
08/03/11: Manufactured Crises
08/01/11: Stay Healthy, America --- or else!
07/28/11: Existential Crisis, Part 2
07/25/11: Three-Out-of-Four Americans Are Radicals
07/21/11: What Does Two Plus Two Equal?
07/18/11: News Nuggets
07/13/11: The ‘Write Stuff’
07/11/11: Completely Expectable ‘Unexpectedness’
07/07/11: Organized Cheating
07/05/11: Stimulating Disaster
06/30/11: Progressivism Masquerading as Education
06/27/11: America: Greece With Better PR
06/23/11: NBC-ya Later
06/19/11: One Man's Conversation About Race
06/10/11: An Exhibitionist in an Exhibitionist Age
06/07/11: NAACP Betrays Black American Schoolchildren
06/02/11: For the First Time in My Adult Life . . .
05/31/11: If I Were President
05/25/11: California Dreamin'
05/23/11: On Wisconsin!
05/20/11: Obama's Farewell to Israel Speech
05/16/11: ‘Krauthammering’ Amnesty
05/11/11: Bounce, My Backside
05/09/11: The Epicenter of Progressive Contempt for the Rule of Law
05/03/11: SEALing Osama's Fate
05/02/11: The Education plantation
04/24/11: The Bell May Toll for Jersey Toll Collectors
04/19/11: From Medical Dependency to Dependency on the Welfare State
04/14/11: Trumping the Debate
04/06/11: It Takes a Bigot to Expose a Death Cult
04/04/11: Charlie and Snookie --- and Barack
03/30/11: ‘Disabling’ America, One Lawsuit at a Time
03/28/11: The MSM Kills the ‘Kill Team’ Story
03/23/11: Another Military Scandal
03/21/11: Barry, Joe, Helen and Wisconsin Teachers
03/16/11: The Inevitable Viability of Conservatism
03/14/11: Progressives in Their Own Words
03/09/11: $61 Billion in Cuts --- Vs. $223 Billion in One Month of Spending
03/07/11: Bean Bag B.S.
03/02/11: A ‘Green’ Catastrophe in the Making
02/28/11: Ain't Noting Like the Real Thing
02/23/11: Progressive Rot vs. the ROTC
02/21/11: Wisconsin: Progressivism in All its Ugly Glory
02/18/11: News reporters --- or Narrative Shapers?
02/16/11: The Presidents Budget Proposal: An Obamination of Progressive Profligacy
02/14/11: Only Another 9/11 Will Alter the Illegal Immigration Status Quo
02/10/11: Is O'Reilly losing his touch or is he just irresponsible?
02/07/11: Tossing Britain Under the Bus
02/03/11: Starving the World In Order to Save It
01/31/11: Walking the Middle East Tightrope
01/27/11: Small-scale Terrorist Attacks: Big Strategy?
01/24/11: Jeffery Immelt: A Crony Capitalist In Charge of Job Creation
01/20/11: An ‘Intimate’ Prime-time Interview
01/17/11: Progressives: Always Angry, Newly Desperate
01/12/11: Twain vs. the Totalitarians
01/10/11: Politically Correct Passports?
01/05/11: Showdown at the Fiscal Corral
01/03/11: Reading the Constitution Aloud is a Good Start
12/30/10: Getting Our Moral Mojo Back
12/27/10: PC Airport Safety is an Oxymoron
12/23/10: Getting America Back On Track
12/20/10: A Collectivist Coalition of Convenience
12/15/10: The President Who Wasn't There
12/13/10: Tech-No!
12/08/10: A Lethal Military, Inclusive or Not
12/06/10: The ‘Unexpected’ Consequences of Progressivism
12/01/10: Leakers and Losers
11/29/10: ‘We Won’, Part One
11/22/10: Keep Your Hands Off My Constitution
11/17/10: Grope and Change
11/14/10: Taking Back Our Country, One School At a Time
11/11/10: Checks (and Balances), Please
11/08/10: Curtain Up, Progressives Down
11/04/10: Last Chance, Republicans
11/01/10: By Their Own Words Shall Ye Know Them
10/28/10: Progressive Determination to Undermine American Elections
10/25/10: Shock, but more importantly, action: De-Unionize Public Schools now
10/20/10: Multiculturalism? Check, Please
10/18/10: Healthcare: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ vs. The Constitution
10/11/10: Vote for Restoring the Rule of Law in November
10/11/10: Dems: Running From Clarity
10/07/10: Hypersensitive Hogwash
10/04/10: ‘Comprehensive’ Con Artists
09/29/10: Why Dems Are Going Down in November
09/27/10: The Unholiest of Unholy Alliances
09/22/10: Two Words for Republicans to Remember: ‘I Won’
09/20/10: Purging ‘Me First’ Politicians
09/17/10: No More ‘Lesser of Two Evils’
09/15/10: ‘Recovery’ Arms Race
09/13/10: ‘Bigots’ in the Majority --- Again?
09/09/10: Giving Voters Something to Vote For
09/07/10: Irresponsible Dems, Incomprehensible Bills
09/02/10: War Weary Americans vs. Implacable Islamists
08/31/10: A ‘Dream’ Debased
08/25/10: American ‘Bigots’ Versus Media Propagandists
08/23/10: Recovery Bummer
08/19/10: An Unholy Alliance of Radicals
08/16/10: You've Lost America, Mr. President
08/13/10: The Twin Towers of Progressive Disconnect
08/11/10: A Far Better ‘National Discussion’
08/09/10: It's ‘Only’ One Dead Nun
08/06/10: Incremental Tyranny
08/04/10: Ground Zero Mosque: Context Counts
08/02/10: The Arizona Ruling: a Gift for November
07/29/10: The United Cities of America
07/26/10: JournoList: ‘Coordinated’ Ideological Bankruptcy
07/20/10: Go For Broke Or Get Out of the Way
07/14/10: You're a Liberal/Progressive if You Believe…
07/12/10: $33-an-hour--For Sleeping On the Job
07/08/10: Extortionist Government
07/06/10: ‘Commerce Clause’ Totalitarians
07/01/10: Another Public School Travesty in MA
06/30/10: Calling YOUR Bluff, Mr. President
06/28/10: A Trifecta of Progressive Corruption
06/23/10: Plug the Darn Hole --- In Our Border
06/21/10: Our Empty-Suit-in-Chief
06/16/10: Betraying Our Children
06/14/10: Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
06/07/10: Politically Correct Warfare
06/01/10: Bill Maher's ‘Black’ President
05/25/10: A Mosque At Ground Zero
05/23/10: Libs Stand Tall --- For Mexico
05/19/10: The 'Unintended Consequences' of Liberalism
05/17/10: 'Los' Suns: Stuck on Stupido
05/12/10: Union Audacity: Yes We Will!
05/10/10: Greeks, Leaks and and Double-Speak
05/05/10: Twelve Million Illegals --- or Thirty?
05/02/10: Republicans: Playing Not to Lose Doesn't Cut It
04/28/10: Arizona: Progressivism's Waterloo?
04/26/10: Son of Amnesty
04/22/10: Mortgages and Moral Meltdowns
04/20/10: Bashing Christians — Or Gays?
04/15/10: Personal Integri-‘tea’
04/12/10: Fools, Tools and Ghouls
04/08/10: (Tea) Party On
04/05/10: The Triumph of Mediocrity
04/02/10: Two For the Road
03/29/10: The Innate Immorality of Liberalism
03/24/10: The Art of War
03/22/10: I Want My Country Back
03/18/10: A Perpetual Process
03/17/10: American Exhibitionists
03/15/10: A Light Bulb Moment of Clarity
03/10/10: Little Things Mean A Lot
02/03/10: Budgetary Fork in the Road
02/01/10: Liberal Economic Illiteracy
01/27/10: ‘Roe-ing and Wade-ing’ Back to Reason
01/25/10: Arrogance When Up, Denial When Down
01/20/10: Connecting the Educational Dots
01/19/10: The Next Tea Party?
01/15/10: The Myth That Keeps on Giving
01/13/10: Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport
01/11/10: Secrets and Lies
01/08/10: Embracing Bigotry — or Rejecting Bullying?
01/06/10: Hanging by an Ideological Thread
01/04/10: Our ‘Wonderama’ Bureaucracy
12/30/09: A Day Off
12/28/09: Dangerous Myths
12/25/09: I, Me, Mine
12/23/09: A Very Harry Christmas
12/21/09: My Opinon
12/18/09: The Party of Repeal
12/15/09: Privileged Exemption
11/30/09: ‘Settled’ Science and Unsettled Children
11/30/09: American Sharia Law
11/23/09:The Trial (Travesty) of the Century
11/04/09: American Vampires and Their Political Enablers
11/01/09: ‘Opting Out’ of Insanity?
10/28/09: Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer. Brain Required
10/26/09: Communism: Nazism With Better PR
10/21/09: Just Asking
10/16/09: Cost Projections vs. Actual Costs, or Hope and Change vs. Reality
10/14/09: News you can use …
10/07/09: Incremental Insidiousness
10/05/09: MIA: Common Sense and Common Decency
09/30/09: Iran: Bad Options and Unpreparedness
09/21/09: Crying Racism: the Last Refuge of Scoundrels
09/11/09: 9/11 Cannot Be Sanitized
09/08/09: ‘Truthers’ and Consequences
09/01/09: A ‘Paper Trail’ Challenge for the Mainstream Media
08/31/09: Drowning in Amorality
08/26/09: The Republican Recovery Program

© 2011, Arnold Ahlert

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