View Poll Results: Are you an Egoist? - What do you place FIRST?

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  • Ego [Self]

    11 35.48%
  • Family

    6 19.35%
  • Nation

    3 9.68%
  • Others

    3 9.68%
  • Race

    6 19.35%
  • Tribe

    2 6.45%
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Thread: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Post Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Max Stirner's great book, 'The Ego and His Own' was published in 1844, the year of Nietzsche's birth.

    Stirner is often mentioned dismissively by philosophers, which is unfair as his ideas are well-developed and well-argued.
    He is radical, he is an innovator - but Marx and Engels polemicised against him, and so he was eventually buried by the whole crushing weight of Communist propaganda.

    Combine this misfortune with the general modern trend of the 'half-educated' to read 'books ABOUT books', rather than the plain texts themselves ... and it is no wonder that the anti-Stirnerite prejudice persists.

    The prejudice is that he said 'God is dead' before Nietzsche, but that he was a solipsistic anarchist of little substance.
    Indeed, in many 'Anarchist' readers he is quoted in snippets as a precursor of that movement; but Stirner was no more an Anarchist than was Nietzsche!

    The arguments of Anarchists like Proudhon are given short-shrift by Stirner in his book.

    Stirner called himself an 'Egoist', and we might say that he was a 'Free Spirit' a la Nietzsche - although he would have disliked the term 'Spirit' as it evoked 'spooks' to him.
    So Stirner was in some ways more radical than [the early] Nietzsche.

    Stirner link;

    http://www.nonserviam.com/stirner/


    Cover of Stirner's book
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oskorei's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    The fun part is that Engels actually read him before Marx did, and was enthusiastic. "This is the basis of our communist theory" (or something similar) he wrote in a letter to Marx. But when Marx had read it, they agreed that it was rubbish.

    He has many points, but I find it his worldview hard to use. It tends to lead towards materialism and against, for example, patriotism and racialism. Is there really a place for honour in Stirners system?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskorei
    The fun part is that Engels actually read him before Marx did, and was enthusiastic. "This is the basis of our communist theory" (or something similar) he wrote in a letter to Marx. But when Marx had read it, they agreed that it was rubbish.

    He has many points, but I find it his worldview hard to use. It tends to lead towards materialism and against, for example, patriotism and racialism. Is there really a place for honour in Stirners system?
    Interesting detail about Marx/Engels.

    I fancy that the words "system" and "Stirner" shouldn't be uttered in the same breath, and yet Stirner is certainly of "use".
    I say that he is useful because he is a genuine non plus ultra [before one hits the buffers of Nihilism].
    Nietzsche said that it is good to have one's antipodes; to that end, every nationalist/patriot should read Stirner to find their opposite.

    He is useful for philosophers as he provides a kind of cleansing; after reading him one is kind of put back to zero and ready to start again.

    Also, he provides an attack on all -isms; so whatever -ism we want to attack, Max provides some ammunition.

    Independence is the main philosophical virtue, and Stirner teaches that.
    Of course Stirner WORKS only for Stirner, and that's as should be.

    He is philosophical colonic irrigation; similar to de Sade.

    I found this book useful for the same reason, James Welles's Story of Stupidity - see link;

    http://www.stupidity.com/story1final/
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Senior Member Ominous Lord Spoonblade's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Interesting poll. I voted for ego/self.

    What makes someone care about others more, anyway? It is all from our personal desires/needs/feelings, which cannot be anything but selfish.
    I envision a world where people dawning long white robes and elaborate headdresses run rampant down the streets, waving their arms in the air while screaming "we've gone mad, we've gone mad", like defrocked monks breaking the silence of ages past.

    Spoonblade: Sharper than a knife and twice as deadly.

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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marla
    Interesting poll. I voted for ego/self.

    What makes someone care about others more, anyway? It is all from our personal desires/needs/feelings, which cannot be anything but selfish.
    There is altruistic behaviour among blood relatives (i.e. family, nation, race) wich has to do with the promotion of common genetic traits. For example, parents sacrificing their lifes for the survival of their children.
    See also "The selfish gene" by Richard Dawkins.
    Last edited by Zyklop; Wednesday, May 12th, 2004 at 06:07 PM.
    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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    Senior Member Ominous Lord Spoonblade's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyklop
    There is altruistic behaviour among blood relatives (i.e. family, nation, race) wich has to do with the promotion of common genetic traits. For example, parents sacrificing their lifes for the well of their children.
    See also "The selfish gene" by Richard Dawkins.
    True, but I don't believe that there is any true form of altruism. It would probably be more painful for the parent to see their child die then lose their own life.
    I envision a world where people dawning long white robes and elaborate headdresses run rampant down the streets, waving their arms in the air while screaming "we've gone mad, we've gone mad", like defrocked monks breaking the silence of ages past.

    Spoonblade: Sharper than a knife and twice as deadly.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Oskorei's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless
    Interesting detail about Marx/Engels.
    The picture of Max is actually drawn by Engels

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless
    He is useful for philosophers as he provides a kind of cleansing; after reading him one is kind of put back to zero and ready to start again.

    He is philosophical colonic irrigation; similar to de Sade.
    Before I encountered Stirner and Satanism, I was a Marxist with a Christian leaning. So I agree, when you are brainwashed by society you need that nihilist colonic (I remember reading the term "nihilist steelbath" but I cant remember where. Nietzsche?) before you see the world as it is and go on towards truths like genetics and Wotanism.

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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marla
    True, but I don't believe that there is any true form of altruism. It would probably be more painful for the parent to see their child die then lose their own life.
    Yes, because they are programmed this way. It isn´t our personality which decides about egoistic or altruistic behaviour, but our genetic program. You usually do what´s best for the survival of your genes and their copies in your siblings or offsprings, not necessarily what´s best for you as a person.
    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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    Senior Member Ominous Lord Spoonblade's Avatar
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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    What about parents that don't care about their children? We are not 'programmed' that strongly!
    I envision a world where people dawning long white robes and elaborate headdresses run rampant down the streets, waving their arms in the air while screaming "we've gone mad, we've gone mad", like defrocked monks breaking the silence of ages past.

    Spoonblade: Sharper than a knife and twice as deadly.

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    Post Re: Egoism; how Stirneresque are We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marla
    What about parents that don't care about their children? We are not 'programmed' that strongly!
    In the long run, their genes won´t survive many generations. They are badly programmed, so to speak.
    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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