This question was posed to me by a Reddit user on r/anarchism

Btw, what’s post-structuralism and what do you think about egoism and nihilism?

Post-structuralism is mainly associated with Foucault and Derrida and the main idea behind the label (“post-structuralist”) is that all things (language, history, morality, societal institutions) can be deconstructed and critiqued from a meta-systemic point of view (what are the foundations of these narratives and to what extent do they influence society/behavior?) We can see this in Foucault’s critiques of history and power relations and his critiques of the psychoanalytic school of thought in Madness as opposed to BF Skinner, clearly a structuralist who believed that humans are defined by a set of limited responses to stimuli and that, (in the cases of those who don’t conform too the expectations of the ruling class) can be altered by behavioral conditioning. So in other words, a thin acceptance of “human nature” (and all the fabricated narratives it entails) which requires a governance to maintain and “condition” the polity to behave in accordance with such an ideal.

Post-Structuralism is very closely related to egosim demonstrated in Stirner’s idea of The Creative Nothing. In order to conceive of nothingness, one must be able to peel away the layers of something (for all intents and purposes, let’s say the state) and stare into it’s abyss. Only then does the door to absolute power and freedom open. How can one act in their self interest if the self is not yet divorced from the imposed consequences of the state and the ethical/cultural/structural narratives of the world?

So in short, Post-structuralism is the looking glass that reveals nihilism (the state of things) and egosim gives nihilism some much needed flair.

For further reading;

Foucault on Power Relations

Baeden some writings on Queer Theory/Gender Nihilism


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