PIIP 5: Is Western Society Facing An Existential Crisis?


What is nihilism? First off, there are different types of nihilism.  In this episode we’ll mention nihilism throughout this podcast but we will mostly be focusing on existential nihilism which sort of encompasses all other types. Nihilism is the belief that life is pointless, meaningless, without value.


We first discuss groups like antifa and blm. Do these groups lack meaning or is it just naive, young, standing up for a cause?

With blm you can make a case for both. This is due to the fact in poor black communites there is real suffering going on. The issue can very well be considered as existential nihilism. Now, even though police brutality isn’t some large scale problem, it is still an issue that gives many African Americans a more negative view of the world they live in.

With antifa group, this is a little harder to figure out. The group is often enough composed of middle class or higher, young people. They don’t really spend much time around those living in poverty. Very few have experienced racism, poverty. They are anti white supremacy, which they believe very much exists. For this reason it’s more likely that the antifa group is more about young and naive looking for something to do. Even if they’re naive and don’t really pay attention to the truth, it’s for a good cause. As they mature and experience life more, do research, these types usually leave those groups and such ideas behind.


We talk about growing up in former Yugoslavia and not being social. Elvis mentions how over time he dreamt of moving to America. This happened after seeing American movies and shows on tv. It seemed like a much more exciting place with a ton of things to do when compared to his small village. He spent overwhelming amount of time playing war all by himself. The real war eventually happened as we mentioned in another civil war episode . We eventually came to Canada where Elvis’s pattern of loneliness stayed the same. He finally did meet people and had quite a few friends but the feeling of loneliness was still there.


Elvis explains that he has a view on culture where it’s one of the only things that truly gives you meaning. He started thinking this way after experiencing different cultures. One close friend where he payed attention closely and realized this to be true. There was this amazing closeness to others. Participation in religious ceremonies, great food and other traditions. Over time it gave him this realization that there was nothing better to do.

He likes certain amount of structure in his life.  When he was young and went drinking with friends, he didnt see the point in alcohol and such. He found it silly, pointless and at times destructive. This was the case when his father was young and drunk very often. Nietzsche said that people drink to dull pain and suffering. He thought that they shouldn’t do it.


The discussion about whether envy played a role in Elvis’s view on sex and women was next.  He explains that his mind on promiscious types never changed from before. He believed at a young age in finding someone who you will want a long term relationship. Someone to build a solid foundation.  It was never about sexual conquests. It was never about this idea that others have so many women and so because you cant have it, you are against it. Jordan Peterson made a very clear point that many including including Elvis agree with: ‘Seek what is meaningful not what is expedient’.

He did admit that when it came to men who were rich and powerful was a bit of a different story. Guys always compete when it comes to wealth so wanting to be that rich guy was definitely on his mind. There was this dislike of the rich, elite types in the younger days and so in this case it was without a doubt about envy.


Jordan Peterson who these days seems like a father figure to many young men is also someone who helped Elvis become more optimistic. His teachings on ‘life is suffering’ and how we have to bear the burden life throws our way has been quite helpful. He teaches you how over time you can strengthen yourself especially if you have aim in life. Many young men these days are without aim and they don’t realize that they need it badly and even attempting to aim poorly is better than not aiming at all. Reason being is that if you have a specific goal in mind, as long as you keep working towards some goal, no matter whether you change paths along the way, you will still find a way to do what you are meant to do. So even if you aim badly, do aim because rewards will be much greater than if you not aim at all.


Several things keep people from reaching their true potential. The most important ones are fear and laziness. When you are stuck in some situation and not wanting to change in direction of productivity and betterment of your own life, it’s easy to keep staying in that same situation. Change is hard there’s no doubt about that and fear plays a role in this as well. As the saying goes: ‘fear kills more dreams than failure ever could’. This is extremely on point.

If you have ever tried anything difficult in your life, you know that there are many obstacles in your way…Fear of failure keeps us away and yet the real truth is that those who push through and fail(sometimes very often) end up being more successful in the end. This is also why being in that same state of fear it’s very easy to become nihilistic and believe that there’s no point to anything. Instead of letting fear consume us, we need to take as much burden as we can bear and what you will notice is that you will feel as if you can handle pretty much anything else.


Science tells us what something is, religion tells us how we should live. Opinions are split on where the West(in particular USA) is heading. Elvis believes that multiculturalism, identity politics, lack of religion and meaning in many people’s lives, is going to cause a lot more division.  Ermin believes that while he’s not optimistic when it comes to other Western nations, USA should be safe from any large conflict. This is partly due to the fact founding fathers built a system that is much safer from the kind of downfall Elvis believes is going to happen. In his view, Ermin think that if USA goes downhill then pretty much no other country is safe from this either.



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