“Rebels without a cause” is often used as a derision against those who seek the destruction of status quo without any idea as to what should replace it; it’s a common accusation thrown at nihilists and other anarchists, oftentimes even by leftists. But must rebels have a cause? Every cause comes with it a blueprint for the future, a new world order to be established in the ruins of the old world. But there’s no guarantee that anyone’s vision of the future is truly an improvement on the human condition, or that it will survive contact with human nature. And while we’re waiting on the futurists and visionaries to plot the perfect order, people are dying of existing systems of oppression as we speak, and any delay is little different from a death sentence to these minorities and marginalized. From a nihilist point of view, the so-called human “progress” is little more than the same oppressors getting better public relations, and it’s more than likely that nothing about the world – past, present, or even future – is worth keeping. Under this premise, wanton destruction is not only acceptable, it’s in fact desirable for nihilists, whose job is to tear down everything that currently exists and facilitate perpetual revolutions in the future.

While nihilists may sneer at the very idea of rebranding, there is some merit in separating nihilists who choose to resist the injustice of the world from those that choose apathy and inaction; anarcho-nihilism was the term used in Blessed is the Flame by Serafinski, which some views as redundant when nihilism is readily a strain of anarchism, and it nevertheless falls prey to Capitalist propaganda of all anarchists being nihilists. Insurrectional nihilism, then, focuses the conversation on what separates these nihilists from others: unbridled rage at the status quo and a burning desire to see the world reduced to cinder.

Insurrectional nihilism is also a good contrast to something we like to call “institutional nihilism,” an attitude commonly exhibits by political moderates and centrists: that since better things aren’t possible and status quo is God, any resistance is futile and any change should be rejected. While these cowards will never accept the nihilist label, they start out with the same premise of “no future,” and arrived at the bleakest conclusion: instead of the outrage, despair, or humor of other nihilists, institutional nihilists chose the path of aggressive apathy. They will never fight systems of oppression in any way, shape, and form, and they don’t even have the decency to get out of the way and watch the world burn. They insist on burying and ridiculing anyone who wants to put up a fight and potentially make a difference, however small and temporary it may be. They saw a world without hope and decide to keep everyone in it so all can suffer with them. We see the same world without hope and future, but we decide to raise bloody hell and burn it all down, because it deserves to burn and there’s just a small chance that something better might be built in its ashes. While institutional nihilists are cynics with utter faith in their privilege to trample everyone beneath their feet, we are idealists who believes in nothing but the right and necessity to rebel, to resist, and to fight.

We are insurrectional nihilists. There is no hope, therefore we rebel.