The refusal to acknowledge both empirical fact and forensic evidence in defense of ideology. This expresses itself primarily in American politics and culture, where cell phone videos posted on social media and bodycam recordings fail to result in police convictions. Denihilism is clearly exemplified by Donald Trump’s outright denial of Tweets and statements that have been published in public record (see: Donald Trump repudiating his previous statement that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”). Denihilism, in contrast to denial, is ideologically driven, where the evidence being denied poses a fundamental threat to the logic of a system of belief, or conflicts with an individual or institution’s objectives. Common historical denihilist groups have been Holocaust denialists, AIDS denialists, animal pain denialists and more recently climate change denialists and Flat Earth believers. Culturally, Denihilism is closely related to the ‘Reality Distortion Field’ (or RDF). The ability to create and enforce an RDF is a celebrated quality amongst technological innovators, and is a term that was used in relation to Steve Job’s ability to create a new reality through mental force.

Defined by Dena Yago

SEE ALSO: Post-Truth Climate Politics