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Philosophical Egoism


“‘Absolute thinking’ is that which forgets that it is my thinking, that I think, and that it exists only through me. But I, as I, swallow up again what is mine, am its master; it is only my opinion, which I can at any moment change, i.e. annihilate, take back into myself, and consume.”—Max Stirner


Liberty contributor, John Beverly Robinson, wrote this eloquent essay. The particular version reproduced here is from The Libertarian Broadside Series pamphlet, entitled, Slaves to Duty, by John Badcock, Jr. Includes comments by the editor of the series, Dr. James J. Martin.

Editor's Introduction

In 1963, the Libertarian Book Club (NYC) published its own edition of Max Stirner's The Ego and His Own. The editor of that edition, historian, James J. Martin, not only did an admirable job of annotating unexplained literary references and allusions within the text, but also wrote a characteristically smart Introduction which is reproduced here complete with its own footnotes.

Other Introductions

More introductions to various editions of The Ego and His Own provided for your reading pleasure through the good offices and industry of Svein Olav Nyberg. An English version of John Henry Mackay's introduction to a 1927 edition, faithfully translated by Hubert Kennedy, is available here and here and here. Still other introductions by Benjamin R. Tucker, James L. Walker, and Steven T. Byington may be found at the beginning of the edition linked below.

All Things Are Nothing To Me

The preamble to Max Stirner's, The Ego and His Own: The Case of the Individual Against Authority described by the keen observer and brilliant essayist, James G. Huneker, as "the most revolutionary book ever written," 50+ years after the fact.

The Owner and His Property

Passage from Part Second: I, section IV. The Owner, subsection B. My Intercourse of Max Stirner's, The Ego and His Own. It examines the nature of property and its relationship to the owner, and concludes that ownership of property occurs only with the unconditional taking and holding and falls away with the cessation of these activities. Private property in the final analysis is merely a legal fiction established by the State to secure its own unlimited dominion over both land and the people who dwell on it.

The Ego and His Own

This is the edition published by Tucker and faithfully reproduced by The Egoist Archives (See Other Egoist Sites). My version breaks the unwieldy one megabyte version into palatable bits no larger than 50K. Go here to search the text of TEAHO.

Max Stirner

From a collection of essays by the brilliant essayist, James G. Huneker, who garnered the admiration and respect of the highly critical curmudgeon, H.L. Mencken. Besides being an excellent example of Huneker's flowing literary criticism, this selection is a fine introduction to Max Stirner and includes a handy summary of John Henry Mackay's biography of Stirner.

Max Stirner as Hegelian

Lawrence S. Stepelevich makes one of the earliest known attempts in this latter-day (1985) article from the Journal of The History of Ideas to link Stirner with Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel showing how the former is the logical philosophical descendant of the latter.

Max Stirner (1806-1856)

The following comprises Chapter II of Andrew Carlson's, Anarchism In Germany: The Early Movement. Includes material about Stirner.

Omar Khayyam and Max Stirner

Student of eastern and western philosophy, H. Ibrahim Türkdogan, explores the anti-rationalism of Stirner and uncovers rather strong ties to the orient in the person of the renowned Persian philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, and poet.

Max Stirner And The Heresy Of Self-Abundance

Another spin on Max this time from Maynard Whitlow, a student of General Semantics. A very perceptive piece on major points of philosophical egoism.

The German Ideology

This is the famous document (in translation) held up by Marxians and perhaps others as the final word on Stirner by none other than Karl Marx himself—a contemporary of Stirner's. To be sure, it is among the earliest written assaults on Stirner, but certainly not the last and certainly not just from this quarter.

Critique of Hans G. Helms

Kurt Zube picks apart Hans G. Helms' Marxian analysis of Stirner in this essay. The primary virtue of Helms work is the bibliography which is rather exhaustive for its time.

The New Freewoman: Dora Marsden & Benjamin Tucker

S.E. Parker's contribution to a little volume published in the early 1980s celebrating the centennial of Benjamin R. Tucker's well-known publication, Liberty. The title of the volume is, Benjamin R. Tucker and the Champions of Liberty: A Centenary Anthology. Parker shows how Marsden basically trounced Tucker for being weak on egoism. The New Freewoman is available in pdf form here.

The Egoism of Max Stirner

Extracts taken from S.E. Parker's booklet entitled The Egoism Of Max Stirner: Some Critical Bibliographical Notes that eventually was to be published by the Mackay Society of New York.

A Reply to Archists, Anarchists, and Egoists

An attempt by Alan Koontz to draw distinctions between archists and egoists is left in shambles by S.E. Parker.

Ragnar Redbeard and The Right of Might

The Introduction to the Loompanics edition of Ragnar Redbeard's, Might is Right by Sid Parker, who offers some insight into the content of the work as well as the possible true identity of the author and concludes with his own critique of the work which, in his view, does a splendid job, at least, of peeling away the veneer of polite society.

Book Review: Anarchism, Angst, and Max Stirner

The following is a review from Freedom of the titleThe Ego and His Own: Selections from Max Stirnerselected and introduced by John Carroll by an unknown contributor.

A Proposal for Freedom

Originally published in an issue of Freedom magazine, published in the UK ca the late 1960's, this essay by Shirley Fredericks is a fair introduction to Max Stirner's major contribution to philosophical egoism.

Book Review: The Ego and Its [sic] Own

A review of the Rebel Press edition of Max Stirner's The Ego and Its [sic] Own published in the 10 October 1981 issue of Freedom.

Exchange Between S.E. Parker and Robert LeFevre

An exchange between Robert LeFevre and S.E. Parker in the pages of the latter's publication Minus One. The editions, in particular, were Nos. 20 and 21, dated, Oct-Dec 1967 and Feb 1968 respectively. LeFevre never knew what hit him, it is safe to say.

Exchange Between S.E. Parker and Robert LeFevre, Pt. II

Another salvo from LeFevre as the showdown with S.E. Parker continues in Part the Second. LeFevre is struck dumb at the end of the day.

Sample issues of The Egoist and Ego

Issues 10, 11, and 13 of S.E. Parker's occasional publication formerly known as Minus One.