Thoughts on the Inner City

Nihilism is to be understood here not as a philosophic doctrine that there are no rational grounds for legitimate standards or authority; it is, far more, the lived exprience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and (most important) lovelessness.  This usually results in a numbing detachment from others and a self-destructive disposition toward the world.  Life without meaning, hope, and love breeds a coldhearted, mean-spirited outlook that destroys both the individual and others.

Cornell West, Race matters pp 14-15