22nd issue of the egoist journal “Stand Alone”.
Little Handbook of Individualism
by Han Ryner
5.5″ x 8.5″, saddle-stitched
Available from Underworld Amusements
Han Ryner was the pen name of Jacques Élie Henri Ambroise Ner (1861–1938). A French Individualist Anarchist, he wrote Petit Manuel Individualiste in 1903.
Max Stirner’s book in translation (L’unique et sa propriété) had been available since 1899 and while Ryner did not consider himself an egoist (he uses the term derisively in this work) there is philosophical overlap.
Some egoists use the terms “individualist” and “anarchist” interchangeably, but “individualism” is not a synonym for “Egoism” any more than “Anarchism” or any other “-ism.” Neither are inherently egoistic, and many have used the terms to advocate quite incompatible philosophies. Pamphlets promoting the ideas of Stirner rolled off the same presses as his Little Handbook of Individualism. A comrade of E. Armand, Ryner wrote for L’Unique as well as other Individualist Anarchist journals.
Ryner brings to the front points of departure and of overlap among anarchists. For example, Ryner rejects egoism as an extreme position, favoring instead a staid, stoic one. Ryner paired Individualist Anarchism with Stoicism and Epicureanism. He cites Socrates, Epicurus, Jesus and Epictetus as positive examples of his conception of Individualism.
Ryner was especially enamored with Epictetus’s own handbook. To this, we recommend The Enchiridion: Four English Translations (Portland: A Man of Letters, 2016), featuring an introduction by Trevor Blake.