1845-1945, Egoism / Monday, September 25th, 2017

The following kicks off the first issue of the fourth volume of Georgia and Henry Replogle’s Egoism (1890) published in September, 1897.


EGOISM’S purpose is to make the Ego—the I, master, rather than the slave of his environment. To impel him to the self-entertaining sufficiency for his psychological cravings which places their gratification ever farther from the mercy of other’s whims. To quicken him into full understanding and appreciation of his biological prerogatives, and to press him to their prompt assertion and defense. And, finally, to gain general recognition for a standard of Ethics and Social Polity based on a logical extension of biological order into the social realm.

Such biological order becomes protrudingly obvious when we analyze the physical basis of psychical projection, and note that an Ego is the sum total of consciousness manifested by an organism physiologically separate from the others of any species; that this consciousness is impossible without setting everything second to itself; that hence for the Ego to contemplate ultimate reference to anything but its own satisfaction must be as impossible as it is for consciousness to exist without positing itself prior to the objects it is conscious of; that therefore Self-Interest is psychologically as legitimate as physiological separation is imperative by the organic processes that bring it into existence, and that each one lives, or suicides, exactly in the degree that he conforms to this absolute order of his being.

Society is nothing other than an aggregation of such Egos. One of these can be nothing to another except as he detracts from or adds to that other’s happiness. On this is based the concept of the social compromise known as justice. The resistance of each individual determines what is expedient as such compromise, and as that resistance is necessarily approximatively equal, such approximative equality is the only enduring terms of social compact.

It follows, then, that the basic principle of consistent Social Polity is not a relation of the Majority with the Individual or of the Individual with the Majority as practiced in Majority Rule, but of Individual with Individual, as of nation with nation in international relations. This, therefore, leaves rational defense for neither Minority dictation nor Majority coercion, but requires in all matters political, a strict conformity to the equal freedom terms of Individual Autonomy. And the very nature of this Imperial Democracy demands that the regulations of the social compromise be enforced by the citizens en masse, else all of the imperial divisions of social prerogative would not be sharing in the dispatch of their function and in the responsibility for its manner. Such a court function could with requikite representation be most expeditiously administered by jury trial in its original form, which empowed a jury chosen by lot from the mass of citizens, to judge the fitness of the law as well as the sufficiency of evidence. Thus the people could in the light of Equal Freedom dispose of each case of whatsoever kind upon its own merits, without impediment from the inflexibility of statute law, and without danger from either the bias or corruptibility of a court constituted in a single individual known as the wielder of such power before the day of trial. This system of political administration would confine political authority to its legitimate function, that of restraining invasion, and would be real, not “government of the people by the people,” but defense of the people by the people. It would annihilate political meddling, by destroying it as an industry from which men may gain an easy livelihood, and would inaugurate the era of real sovereignty—Liberty with Responsibility.

Ethically, the Egoist knows no motive of anybody’s except the direct or ultimate satisfaction of the Ego, and recognizes no ” duty ” to anything nor anybody by anybody. Thus conceding duty to no one and exacting it from no one, he openly posits a basis for action about which there can be no misunderstanding and which will place every person squarely on the merit of his probable interests, divested of the opportunity to deceive through other pretension, as under the dominance of Altruistic idealism.

He may do apparently Altruistic conduct to secure self-satisfactions that are to be had in no cheaper way and still be working Egoistically, for all satisfaction is Egoistic. Egoistic conduct therefore makes for general happiness, for just as the Egos are happiest happiness is general.

This is the Egoistic ideal as against that of the rationally impossible Altruist, who, has but one consistent course of conduct, and that is to avoid every selfish attribute. He must work constantly for other than self; he must not even choose for whom he works, for there is choice, self corning in again ; he must not even choose to be Altrurian, for choice is selfism; he must be an idiot.

Politically, the consistent Egoist can sanction no government of man by man save in the sense of defense—defense of that equal liberty which is the logical and necessary compromise of Egoic equal resistance as manifested both by personal capacity to resist and by the sympathy of the onlooker. Necessity thus positing the only needful law there is no use for enactment, and recognizing no political superior there is no political function which he cannot perform or which he could afford to delegate. He is, in short, an Anarchist—an Egoistic Anarchist, and the literature of Egoistic Anarchism alone can answer the questions that acquaint with the only invulnerable political philosophy.

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