Existentialism vs Nihilism.
-Nihilism would be to say there is no point to anything. Subside or life as a monk/num would be the conclusion to nihilism.
Whereas Existentialist say the ‘point’ of things is subjectively defined a social activity like a political stance or a relationship is freely entered into and engaged for oneself. Not for the sake of others or fitting in with the social norms. A relationship gives a point to life rather than a religion for a religious person who doesn’t really believe in it. But you can get existentialist religious people, like Kierkegaard. They would have to fully believe in the religion and that would have to be your passion. There is no point to something unless you are passionate.
The New industrial state
by John Kenneth Galbraith
He explores the economics of production and the effect of development on the state. The role of the book was to provide us with an understanding of the world dominated by large corporations and industrial firms.
The "technostructure"a term created by economist John Kenneth Galbraith which refers to a group within an enterprise who have considerable influence in its economy. They are run by people from technocratic universities, the leadership of these organisations also dominated by Lawyers, scientists, economists.
The modern industrial society is a planned economy. The production decisions are taken not in response to consumer demand rather by the producers of these large global companies. These decisions are reflected by the prices that are set in the market and by further steps that are taken to ensure that people will buy what is produced.
The ultimate influence is authority-
this is like Hobbes’ social contract he believed we need authority from the Leviathan should influence all from right and wrong as humans are aggressive.
Wherever the private coportations cannot do the job the state comes in and performs the required function. Private firm cannot fix maximum prices so we have the state setting, a page and wage freeze. The state can manipulate taxes, public spending and bank lending to implement modern Keynesian policy.
Galbraith does criticise this technocratic society however, he like Heidegger, says that there is essentially no point to the society. If the state and large copororations are making the crucial decisions the planning of the economny that what are individuals doing? The majority of people aren’t actually needed to do anything other than sit around and have their needs provided for. This creates boredom in society, a sense of pointlessness to people’s lives, why bother getting up if you have everything provided for you? Existentialist would say we have to make the decisions not the state or the large corporations, if people all live their lives having everything provided for them and never making any decisions they would be, as Sartre would say, living in "bad faith." To overcome this technocratic state someone like Fanon would say we need a revolution and violence would be the best way to express our freedom.
This technocratic society is creating pointlessness to peoples lives. And to feel there is no point to anything in life is very Nihilistic.