References and quotations from Stirner appear in odd places. Collected below are a few of those references. Originally gathered by Dan Davis for the Egoist Archive.
** New additions from The Independent Ego @worthy248
- The Failure of Christianity by Emma Goldman
- The Rebel by Camus
- Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises
- How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne
- The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
- **Mein zwanzigstes Jahrhundert by Ludwig Marcuse
- **Society and the Spectacle by Guy Debord
First published in April 1913, in the Mother Earth journal:
Our age has given birth to two intellectual giants, who have undertaken to transvalue the dead social and moral values of the past, especially those contained in Christianity. Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner have hurled blow upon blow against the portals of Christianity, because they saw in it a pernicious slave morality, the denial of life, the destroyer of all the elements that make for strength and character. True, Nietzsche has opposed the slave-morality idea inherent in Christianity in behalf of a master morality for the privileged few. But I venture to suggest that his master idea had nothing to do with the vulgarity of station, caste, or wealth. Rather did it mean the masterful in human possibilities, the masterful in man that would help him to overcome old traditions and worn-out values, so that he may learn to become the creator of new and beautiful things.
Both Nietzsche and Stirner saw in Christianity the leveler of the human race, the breaker of man’s will to dare and to do. They saw in every movement built on Christian morality and ethics attempts not at the emancipation from slavery, but for the perpetuation thereof. Hence they opposed these movements with might and main.
In The Rebel the second chapter on “Metaphysical Rebellion” has a section on “Absolute Affirmation” – which has a subsection on Stirner entitled “The Unique”. In the American Vintage Book edition this comprises pages 62-65 inclusive. There is also a brief reference to Stirner on page 154.
If one assumes that there exists above and beyond the individual’s actions an imperishable entity aiming at its own ends, different from those of mortal men, one has already constructed the concept of a superhuman being. The one cannot evade the question whose ends take precedence whenever an antagonism arises, those of the state or society or those of the individual. The answer to this question is already implied in the very concept of state or society as conceived by collectivism and universalism. If one postulates the existence of an entity which ex definitione is higher, nobler, and better than the individuals, then there cannot be any doubt that the aims of this eminent being must tower above those of the wretched individuals. (It is true that some lovers of paradox-for instance, Max Stirner- took pleasure in turning the matter upside down and for all that asserted the precedence of the individual.) If society or state is an entity endowed with volition and intention and all the other qualities attributed to it by the collectivist doctrine, then it is simply nonsensical to set the shabby individual’s trivial aims against its lofty designs.
It is not realized in the full amplitude of the word that all freedom
is essentially self-liberation—that I can have only so much freedom
as I procure for myself by my ownness.
Might is a fine thing, and useful for many purposes; for “one goes
further with a handful of might than a bagful of right.”
Too often, the ethical-political meaning of individualism is held to be: doing whatever one wishes, regardless of the rights of others. Writers such as Nietzsche and Max Stirner are sometimes quoted in support of this interpretation. Altruists and collectivists have an obvious vested interest in persuading men that such is the meaning of individualism, that the man who refuses to be sacrificed intends to sacrifice others.
“The Eye in the Pyramid”, “The Golden Apple”, “Leviathan”
Anarchism was frequently associated with assassinations. It had an appeal for freethinkers, such as Kropotkin and Bakunin, but also for religious idealists, like Tolstoy and Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker movement. Most anarchists hoped, Joachim-like, to redistribute the wealth, but Rebecca had once told him about a classic of anarchist literature, Max Stirner’s The Ego and His Own, which had been called “the Billionaire’s Bible” because it stressed the advantages the rugged individualist would gain in a stateless society-and Cecil Rhodes was an adventurer before he was a banker. The Illuminati were anarchists.
The next day, he had burned his naturalization papers and put the ashes in an envelope addressed to the President of the United States, with a brief note: “Everything relevant is ruled irrelevant. Everything material is ruled immaterial. An ex-citizen.” The ashes of hie Army Reserve discharge went to the Secretary of Defense with a briefer note: “Non Serviam. An ex-slave.” That year’s income tax form went to the Secretary of the Treasury, after he wiped his ass on it; the note said: “Try robbing a poor box. Der Einziege.” His fury still mounting, he grabbed his copy of Das Kapital off the bookshelf, smiling bitterly at the memory of his sarcastic marginal notes, scrawled “Without private property there is no private life” on the flyleaf, and mailed it to Josef Stalin in the Kremlin.
pg. 577 –
TO BE A BAT'S A BUM THING A SILLY AND A DUMB THING BUT AT LEAST A BAT IS SOMETHING AND YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A NOTHING NOTHING BUT A NOTHING YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A NOTHING YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL YOU'RE NOT A THING AT ALL
Mein zwanzigstes Jahrhundert by Ludwig Marcuse
“[Horkheimer] was a Hegelian and militant sociologist, believing in the objective spirit, and had expected a study from me which would have worked on Jahn as an illustration of the Left Hegelian science of society. I, on the other hand, belonged at an early age to the diverse opposition: the early Romantics, Stirner, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. . . . I had a warm inclination toward Pollock and Horkheimer, a high respect for their Zeitschrift and their collective volume, “Authority and Family,” which the Institut had published- and was sad not to be able to work with them.”
–Ludwig Marcuse, Mein zwanzigstes Jahrhundert (Munich, 1960), pp. 239-240
Society and the Spectacle by Guy Debord
“The thought of history can be saved only by becoming practical thought; and the practice of the proletariat as a revolutionary class cannot be less than historical consciousness operating on the totality of its world. All the theoretical currents of the revolutionary workers’ movement grew out of a critical confrontation with Hegelian thought–Stirner and Bakunin as well as Marx.”
—Society and the Spectacle by Guy Debord Chapter 4 “The Proletariat as Subject and as Representation” Tenet 78.