Nihilism is an interesting philosophy that emerged in the mid-1800s. The basic tenet of Nihilism is the rejection of all authority. In other words, Nihilists do not believe in any authority over them either religious or political. "A Nihilist is a man who does not bow down before any authority; who does not take any principle on faith, whatever reverence that principle may be enshrined in" - from Ivan Turgenev's novel, Fathers and Sons.
Artist: Paul Merwart.
In Western Europe, Nihilism emerged as a school of thought that denied objective truths and values. For Friedrich Nietzsche, it meant the denial of accepted ideas. Nihilists seldom are able to reject all ideals without initializing new ones. Therefore, as a practical matter true Nihilism cannot exist. Nihilists were thought to have contributed a great amount of terrorism to Czarist Russia, thereby facilitating the Bolshevik Revolution.
Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882.
Photo: Gustav-Adolf Schultze, Naumburg.