Hans Schnitzler

We Nihilists

In Search of the Spirit of Digitalization

Within a period of just fifteen years, an elite made up of tech entrepreneurs has managed to dominate society. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, our lives have changed rigorously as services like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and the cloud have become part and parcel of our daily existence. A collective digital conversion has taken place.

In We Nihilists, philosopher Hans Schnitzler poses a question rarely asked: how did this virtual class achieve its dominance? Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings on nihilism, he searches for the cultural roots of this drive towards frictionless exchange. His search immerses the reader in the wonderful world of that archetype of the internet age: the nerd. At the same time he holds up a mirror to us. The truth is, we are all nerds.

The data revolution threatens to eat up our children, and Schnitzler urges us to face our own responsibility. This pithy application of philosophy to technology addresses core issues like the self, identity, decadence and the fake, while referencing the work of thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt and Johan Goudsblom.

After the justified systemic critique of the Silicon Valley’s playbook, after the invaluable work of investigative journalists and whistleblowers, Schnitzler’s book is an indispensable follow-up in the fight to curb the dangerous power of Big Tech.


Hans Schnitzler

Hans Schnitzler (b. 1968) is a philosopher, commentator and former columnist for de Volkskrant. His essays and opinion pieces have appeared in publications including NRC Handelsblad, Trouw, De Standaard, De Morgen and Hard Gras. He writes columns for the journalistic platform Follow The Money and…

lees meer


Wij nihilisten (2021). Non-fiction, 158 pages.


De Bezige Bij

Van Miereveldstraat 1
NL - 1071 DW Amsterdam
Tel: +31 20 305 98 10
Fax: +31 20 305 98 24

[email protected]

lees meer