Scribbles, &c.

A politics of conversion

Like alcoholism and drug addiction, nihilism is a disease of the soul. It can never be completely cured, and there is always the possibility of relapse. But there is always a chance of conversion a chance for people to believe that there is a hope for the future and a meaning to struggle. This chance rests neither on an agreement about what justice consists of nor on an analysis of how racism, sexism, or class subordination operate. Such arguments are indispensable. But a politics of conversion requires more. Nihilism is not overcome by arguments or analyses; it is tamed by love and care. Any disease of the soul must be conquered by a turning of one's soul. This turning is done through one's affirmation of one's worth an affirmation fueled by the concern of others. A love ethic must be at the center of a politics of conversion.

Cornel West, "Nihilism in Black America," Race Matters 📚