Malfew Seklew: Horse, Traps, Gigs, Landaus and Cabs

Sirfessor Malfew Seklew was a man of many names. One of them, a name perhaps in proximity to the one he was assigned at birth, was F. W. Wilkes. Seen here is an advertisement for the good Sirfessor’s services as a stevedore.

Telephone 4549. F. W. Wilkes, Horse, Traps, Gigs, Landaus and Cabs. For Hire by Week, Day, or Month. Gt. Colmore Street, Birmingham. All Orders Promptly Attended to.

Telephone 4549. F. W. Wilkes, Horse, Traps, Gigs, Landaus and Cabs. For Hire by Week, Day, or Month. Gt. Colmore Street, Birmingham. All Orders Promptly Attended to.

This advertisement appears in the 7 November 1904 program guide for the Prince of Wales Theatre. This is Document ID ET-D313 of the Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database, a guide to the papers from Smallhythe Place. This is a remarkable resource for repertory research in late 1800s / early 1900s England.

This is the period of time when Sirfessor Seklew said he served in the D’Oyly Theater. His exposure to the stage shows in the many references to the work of Gilbert and Sullivan in his Gospel According to Malfew Seklew. In particular, Malfew mentions The Mikado. Programs for this work are also found in the Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database, once for 23 July 1917 and once for 21 July 1924. Each of these performances was carried out by D’Oyly.

Would it be too much to hope that photographs or film of Malfew Seklew from his time on the stage may yet emerge?

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Filed under 1845-1945, Bibliographic, Historical Work, Malfew Seklew, Trevor Blake

Stand Alone | Philosophy of Time by Dora Marsden | SA1020

The Stand Alone (2016) project was launched one year ago, and the Union of Egoists is proud to announce the reprinting of The Philosophy of Time, an extremely rare book from suffragette and egoist Dora Marsden. This is not just a facsimile, but an entirely new typesetting with original introduction by Trevor Blake.

The Philosophy of Time was published in an exceptionally small run in 1955 and has never been reprinted – until now. The final published work by suffragette and egoist Dora Marsden (1882 – 1960), released to the world while she was confined in a mental hospital.


The Philosophy of Time is currently available from:
Amazon.com
Underworld Amusements*

This is the seventh issuance of Stand Alone, and the series has brought to light nearly lost (or impossible to obtain works), and previously unpublished materials in affordable editions, mostly limited to a set number. There are plans for issues currently extending to the end of 2018, with a new issue emanating at least every other month.

*Underworld Amusements has nine copies of The Philosophy of Time that is paired with a numbered block print of the author cut by Trevor Blake and printed by Kevin I. Slaughter. These are $33 each and the proceeds go directly to UnionOfEgoists.com projects.

 

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Filed under Book, Dora Marsden, Stand Alone

Stand Alone | Max Stirner/Roots of the Right | SA1019

The Union of Egoists produced journal Stand Alone (2016) has released it’s 6th issue of the egoist journal.  Limited to 45 copies.

 

This edition of Stand Alone pairs 45 uncirculated copies of the 1971 Harper Row edition of Max Stirner: The Ego and His Own, with a special typesetting of Sidney E. Parker’s review of that book titled “Anarchism, Angst, and Max Stirner.” The books are as new, though the dust jackets have varying degrees of shelf and storage wear. Part of the “Roots of the Right” series, this is an abridged, edited of Stirner’s Der Einzige based on Byington’s translation.


Inside Flap Copy:
The life of the nineteenth-century anarchist philosopher Max Stirner was notable for one outstanding event: the writing of The Ego and His Own. This classic text, almost unavailable in English today, anticipated and influenced many prominent, psychological, philosophical and political theories of the last hundred years. A long and vigorous monologue exploring the foundations of the ego, the book was regarded by Marx—who wrote a fourhundred-page reply to Stirner—as the most dangerous of polemics against socialism. The intensity and persistence of Stirner’s revaluation of life led to psychological insights, making him an important precursor of Nietzsche and Freud. Stirner’s egoist philosophy, contra every type of moral and social order, disinherits him from any political tradition. But his savagely penetrating critiques of liberalism and socialism generate ideas which were readily incorporated into fascist ideology. Mussolini, for one, claimed to have been greatly indebted to him. Moreover, there is contemporary relevance in a new look at this strangely neglected thinker : he presents the most fully-developed case against all supra-individual authority. Already in Stirner can be found the rhetoric of ‘doing your own thing’ and of ‘repressive tolerance’. John Carroll’s selection from this extraordinary book, presenting in an easily assimilable form the essence of Stirner’s ideas, is an invaluable work for all students of politics and philosophy.

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Filed under 1845-1945, 1946-Today, Book, Max Stirner, Sidney E. Parker, Stand Alone, Uncategorized

Dora Marsden and the Wrath of Antis

The second decade of the 2000s marks a near century of near-universal woman suffrage. But there was a time when woman suffrage was not universal, or universally desired. Some opposed woman suffrage because it went too far, others because it didn’t go far enough. Ellen Key and A. J. George were among the former, Dora Marsden among the latter.

Ellen Key (1849 – 1926) “[was never] opposed to woman suffrage, but only to the suffragists’ method of twisting it to fresh oppression of individual women and of woman’s own nature” according to Ellen Key: Her Life and Her Work by Louise Hamilton Nyström (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons 1913). In Love and Ethics (New York: B. W. Huebsch 1911) Key wrote…

[It] must still be insisted that the gains to society is nothing if millions of women do the work that men could do better, and evade or fulfill but poorly the greater tasks of life and happiness, the creation of men and the creation of souls. To fulfill these tasks properly women require the same rights as men, and until they have obtained these rights “feminism” has still all its work before it. But in proportion as woman acquire the right of suffrage, using this word not merely in its narrow political sense, but in all senses, the right of choice or selection in general – in proportion as they acquire this right they must learn to use it in the field of life. They must learn to know that their power is greatest in those provinces in which “imponderable” values are created, values which cannot be reduced to figures and yet are the solve values capable of transforming humanity.

Mrs. Andrew J. George of Brookline, Massachusetts addressed the United States Senate in opposition to woman suffrage on April 19, 1913. She also wrote several anti-suffrage pamphlets.

The quote from Dora in the second set of articles below comes from The Freewoman for November 23 1911 (Volume 1, Issue 1). The essay was called “The Bondwoman,” which I take to mean the opposite of ‘the freewoman’ (which in turn was not at all the same as being a suffragist, a suffragette or a feminist).

Anti-suffrage in the news a century ago…

Wrath of Antis is Stirred by Charges that They Use Questionable Tactics. Suffrage Foes to Keep Up Vitriolic Attacks

Cincinnati Enquirer of June 1 1914

Because the New England women’s suffrage Association and it’s forty-seventh annual meeting accused of the anti-suffragist of “the tactics of the polecat went badly frightened,” the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage is up in arms.

The end his report to the New England suffer just passed a resolution at their meetings, saying: “these are questionable tactics.”

The antis reported that the New England suffragists passed a resolution at their meeting, saying: “We denounce as a gross slander the charge of the anti-suffragist that equal suffrage means loose morals; and we protest especially against their attributes into prominent women’s statements which those women have been physically disclaimed.”

In commenting on this, Mrs. George, the leading platform speaker among the antis, says: “This is perhaps the most extraordinary resolution ever adopted by a public assemblage. Is this ‘woodsy’ metaphor a foretaste of the amenities in which political women will deal? These suffragists should not condemn their opponents, but should hasten to withdraw from the suffrage platform those who are preaching feminism. The resolution resolutions [sic?] should be aimed at the suffragist-feminists who are giving daily evidence of the tendency of the younger suffragists to work for ‘the social revolution’ promised by Mrs. Harper Cooley. A New York daily under date of May 26 quotes the Secretary of the National Suffrage Association as defining feminism as the rebellion against being ticketed and treated as somebody’s female relative. If this rebellion does not involve a social revolution what does it promise?

“Ellen Key and Dora Marsden are not antisuffragists in the sense that they oppose woman suffrage. They look upon woman suffrage as a part of this social revolution. Ellen Key pleads for the woman only as the mother of the child. Dora Marsden says, ‘The cult of the suffragists takes its stand upon the weakness and dejectedness of the conditions of women. The free woman’s concern is to see to it that she shall be in a position to bear children if she wants them, without soliciting assistance from any man, wherever he may be.’

“The feminists are the logical suffragists, who have the intellectual honesty to declare that you cannot change everything and leave everything unchanged, who seek the ‘social revolution’ and acknowledge the means by which they will bring it about, and these means include, although they may stop at such woman suffrage.”

And from the Atlanta Constitution of May 31 1914 (the Houston Post of July 18 1914 repeats the second paragraph):

There is a danger that, in the minds of the few people, there may exist to some confusion as to the relation between the so-called “feminist movement” and equal suffrage. The latter has always repudiated any connection therewith. As one of the distinguished leaders in national suffrage works said: “I do not know what this feminist movement is and I do not believe anyone else does.”

Ellen Key and Dora Marsden are two of the most conspicuous feminists of the world. Both are anti-suffragists. Ellen Key has never announced yourself the suffragist. Dora Marsden was, however, an active member of Mrs. Pankhurst association, the Women’s Social and Political Union. When she left the organization she wrote a frank article in The Freewoman – a magazine of which she was one of the editors – on the futility of the women’s suffrage movement. Since then, she has become an anarchist. These facts would seem to disprove the contention of certain anti-suffragists that suffragist and feminist are synonymous terms.

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Filed under 1845-1945, Dora Marsden, Historical Work, Trevor Blake

Unhatched Egos Bathe Their Souls in Super Sunlight

An astounding article on Sirfessor Malfew Seklew from the Chicago Daily Tribune of February 28 1916.

The man identified here as Doc Rawleigh of the Toltec tribe may be Redwood Bailey, Cherokee. Bailey wrote about the Sirfessor in The Day Book for February 5 1916, and the Sirfessor replied in the same periodical five days later. W. Kibbler comments on the both two days after that, and all of these letters are collected in The Gospel of Malfew Seklew.

Franklin Rosemont lists Bertram Lester Weber as an active and early member of the Dil Pickle Club in The Rise & Fall of the Dil Pickle Club. The Pickle was the publisher of the Sirfessor’s work as well as the 1927 edition of Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Weber wrote plays performed at the Pickle, plays lost to time. “No speaker could withstand […] the biting wit of Bertie Weber” said Ben Reitman. Edna Dexter described Weber as “clever and humorous. He would go about Bughouse Park and the Pickle and peddle [his poems] for ten cents a piece.” Rosemont’s recommended book reprints a two-page poem by Weber. The Big Red Songbook by Utah Phillips writes Weber was born in Chicago in 1885 and died in Wisconsin in June 1962. – Trevor Blake


Unhatched Egos Bathe Their Souls in Super Sunlight

Mildewed Minded Mortals List to Sirfessor Superman Rage

HE GETS AWAY WITH IT

Whatever gentle, lamb-like traits a Superman may display when among his fellows, he certainly gets real rough when talking to mere mortals who, unlike him, have failed to ascend to the Summit of Ego.

At least that was the conclusion to be drawn from attendance at a meeting held in a hall at 20 West Randolph street last night where “Sirfessor” F. M. Wilkesbarre, who modestly admits he is the only Superman running at large in the United States at the present time, engaged in a debate on “Is Exploitation the First Law of Nature?” with Lester Weber, who describes himself as “a rationalist lecturer.”

Call ‘Em Supernames.
In taking the affirmative side and trying to convince his audience of 300 persons that his Superintelligence was the greatest thing ever brought to Chicago, the “sirfessor” – a term to be carefully set apart from that of common, ordinary “professor” – shook his Superlocks as he Superraged majestically about the platform and called his hearers the following Supernames:

Spineless grovelers.
Sniveling humbugs.
Pestiferous pifflers.
Mildew-minded mortals.
Unhatched egos.
Beatific believers.
Benighted and bedamned bipeds.
Beatitude mongers.
Sentimental sobbists.
Humid humilitarians.
Creeping cemeteries.

Gets Away with It.
And not only that, but the “sirfessor” got away with it without having a single chair bounced off his Supercranium. As for “Rationalist” Weber, he didn’t stand a chance and was glad to quit the argument in half the time allotted to him.

With his tawny bangs drooping artistically over one eye so that he could look at the audience only with the other optic, Weber opened the debate.

“You have gathered here tonight to witness a battle royal between two of the greatest intellects the world ever saw,” he began in the voice of a well drilled chorus man. “You may bathe your souls in the sunlight of our brilliant personalities.”

“Haw!” Laughs Doc Rawleigh.
“Haw!” laughed a long-haired individual who claims to be “Dr. Raleigh, medicine man of the Toltec tribe.”

For a time it looked like a riot, but Weber managed to hold the platform for a few moments, asserting that exploitation couldn’t be the first law of nature because nature didn’t have any first law, and that the “sirfessor” was real mean in making him debate on such a subject when what he really wanted to argue about was, “Resolved, That the Self-COnscious Ego is a Cheap Organism.”

Then Arose the “Sirfessor”
Then he sat down and the “sirfessor” arose.

“You angry and antagonistic atoms!” he thundered at his hearers. “You cheap organisms and banal babblers – all that you know is how to get and beget. Poor, miserable devils of workers, you have no conception of the Supreme Ego. I stand before you, superior to any human being I’ve ever met, ready to push Infinity in the face and tell it to get out of my way, while you – you miserable misfits – sit there ready to kiss the hand that crushes you and kick the hand that benefits you… ”

You Gotta Hand It to Him.
Even the long haired medicine man was willing to admit that the “sirfessor” took the cake after the debate was closed.

The “sirfessor,” who is president of “the Society of Superites of England,” is in America to organize “the Society of Social Aristocrats,” to be composed of supermen and superladies. He says he can turn any “mental aristocrat” into a superbeing in four lessons.

When not engaged in this he sells super cigarette holders and superite netcktie grippers.

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Filed under 1845-1945, Bibliographic, Events, Historical Work, Malfew Seklew, Ragnar Redbeard, Trevor Blake

THE SUPERITES ADMIT THEY ARE THE BEST EXTANT

This article about Malfew Sklew and pals appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune  on March 9th, 1918.


Over at 213 West Oak street last night gathered a clan under a new banner. It was the housewarming of “The Superite Coffee Tavern,” where, according to its founder, Sirfessor F.M. Wilkesbarre, the nimble witted can walk the intellectual slack wire, indulge in tea and talk, cake and conversation, and other forms of mental acrobatics.
” It is my hope that this place may become the hub of intellectual hubbub.” the Sirfessor announced. “It is to be a thought foundry when we can good naturedly destroy each other’s illusions and learn to speak a new language. Some day you who laugh at me will laugh with me, when you learn what its all about. I personally have added forty words to the English language and can use 2,000 others that are not comprehensible to the average intellect. I think a lot of myself. I am the most interesting man I ever met.”
Dr. Ben Reitman contributed an encomium in behalf of the members of the Dill Pickle club. There was a sprinkling of Socialists. anarchists, and nihilists. All, including a grandmother who smokes cigarets, admitted they are super men and women.

 

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Filed under 1845-1945, Malfew Seklew

Stand Alone | Sidney E. Parker interviewed by Tony Gibson | SA1017

Announcing the 5th issue of the egoist journal “Stand Alone”. Limited to 33 copies printed. 32 pages, 5.5×8.5″, Saddle-stitched, 80# Silk Text

Available for purchase exclusively at Underworld Amusements.com

Sidney E. Parker interviewed by Tony Gibson January 4th, 1993.

Introduction by Pól O’Sullivan.
Edited by S.E. Parker in 1993 & Kevin I. Slaughter in 2016.

Published for the first time January 4th, 2017.

Sid Parker edited a series of anarchist and egoist journals from 1963 to 1994, including Minus One and Ego. This interview with Tony Gibson, previously lost, is the most thorough ever conducted. From being a teenage member of the Communist Youth League, to his discovery (and initial rejection) of Max Stirner, through pacifism, individualist anarchism and ultimately “to emerge as his own man” as an unhyphenated Egoist. Throughout his journey he remained en marge, the outsider. Egoist historian Pól O’Sullivan provides an original introduction.

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Filed under 1946-Today, Kevin I. Slaughter, Sidney E. Parker, Stand Alone

Benjamin DeCasseres, Voltairine de Cleyre and Eugene V. Debs fight for Emma Goldman

Wikipedia: “At various times DeCasseres defended free speech. In 1909, he signed onto a petition calling out the police departments of New York City, Brooklyn, Yonkers and East Orange for their respective activities in preventing anarchist Emma Goldman from speaking in those cities.”

A 28 page book was published titled  The Suppression of free speech in New York and in New Jersey : being a true account by eye witnesses of law-breaking by the Police Department of New York City, at Lexington Hall, on May 23, 1909, by the City Authorities of East Orange, at English’s Hall, on June 8, 1909. 

On the last page is a declaration signed by many figures, and a few of interest to the UoE project, specifically including Benjamin DeCasseres and Voltairine de Cleyre.

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Filed under 1845-1945, Benjamin DeCasseres

Stand Alone | The Eagle and the Serpent Index of Names | SA1015

Stand Alone | SA1015 | December, 2016
Subtitle/Theme: The Eagle and the Serpent Index of Names
Published by: OVO

The first bit of wholly original research to be published as part of the Stand Alone journal series is The Eagle and the Serpent Index of Names by Trevor Blake. This perfect bound paperback book is limited to 25 copies for sale. Copies are exclusively available from Underworld Amusements online and Trevor and Underworld Amusements are giving ALL profit from the sales to the Union of Egoists project.

 The Eagle and the Serpent was a magazine published between 1898 and 1927. This index of more than 2,600 entries includes the given names, pseudonyms, the names of fictional characters and movements named after a person or fictional character found in The Eagle and the Serpent. This index has been prepared to aid the study of the literature of egoism, and to contribute to the history of publishers in London and Chicago.

Nearly all the issues of The Eagle and the Serpent are available for free online here at UoE, and this index will be indispensable for those studying egoism, individualist anarchist or Nietzschean thought in American and England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Filed under 1845-1945, Bibliographic, Book, Stand Alone, The Eagle and The Serpent, Trevor Blake

“‘Individualism’ in the Mid-Nineteenth Century”

David Westling comments on an article titled “‘Individualism’ in the Mid-Nineteenth Century” by Koenrad W. Swart. Swart’z article is from Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jan. – Mar., 1962), pp. 77-90 (Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press | DOI: 10.2307/2708058 ).

This article was in the archives of Egoist Archive. In an effort to get that material back on the web, if it cannot fit within the framework of the website somewhere else, it will be posted to the blog.

Note: William McCall’s 1947 book was titled Elements of Individualism.


Review of “‘Individualism’ in the Mid-Nineteenth Century”, by Koenrad W. Swart

Koenrad Swart states his thesis early on when he states: “The term ‘individualism’ with its perplexing varieties of meanings is responsible for many inconclusive debates in the history of ideas.” He goes on to identify three “highly dissimilar clusters of ideas”: individualism as 1) the idealistic doctrines with egalitarian implications, such as the “rights of man” made popular by/in the French Revolution; 2) the anti-statist utilitarian doctrine of laissez faire, economic liberalism; and 3) the aristocratic cult if individuality, Romantic individualism, such as put forth by Wilhelm von Humboldt and Fredrich Schlegel. This contingent was at odds especially with the egalitarian aspect of what had been termed individualism up to that time (c.1830), and stressed the diversity and inequality of talents and abilities. On the other hand, many thinkers at this time considered individualism, including laissez faire capitalism, to be the logical outgrowth of the ideas which spawned the French Revolution, pointing out that the founding fathers of this revolution were inspired more by self-interest than love of humanity.

Individualism as a positive term made its first strides toward acceptance in England in the work of William McCall, whose Principles of Individualism gained a fairly wide readership; one of his early enthusiasts was George Eliot. McCall was apparently influenced by J.S. Mill and Carlyle, but above all, by the German Romantic ideas by authors discussed above, and, although Swart does not explicitly say so, it would seem that Max Stirner may have figured into it as well; McCall’s book was published in 1847, two years after Stirner’s book Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum.

Many of the writers, especially in Germany, stressed the long history of German independence as a widespread cultural trait; their love of freedom could be traced to the old Germanic tribes which had successfully resisted Roman domination and which later insinuated itself into medieval institutions such as the feudal system after the Germanic invasion of Roman territories. This love of liberty was considered a strong cultural trait until German unification in the 1870’s, with the rise of Prussianism.

The individualist tendency is seen by Swart as culminating with the thought of the Young Hegelians, in particular Max Stirner, in rejecting the claims of society upon the individual, in the 1840’s.

An interesting contrast between the individualism of laissez faire capitalism and what was termed “infinite individualism” was developed by Karl Bruggemann in 1842 in which he asserted that this infinite individualism was based in a German infinite self-confidence to be personally free in morals and truth.

Individualism gained a lasting impetus in the publication of Jacob Burckhardt’s Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy in 1860. From this moment on the term was a force to be reckoned with in the ongoing battle of ideas still being waged today.

 

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Filed under 1845-1945, 1946-Today, Bibliographic, Book, Max Stirner