Max Sterner, the ego and its own.
I know about Max Sterner for many years now, mainly as a predecessor of Nietzsche philosophy but I never read anything from him, till yesterday when I started on his most famous book The ego and its own. There is lots of information to find on the internet but Wikipedia says the following about this book:
The Ego and Its Own (German: Der Einzige und sein Eigentum; meaningfully translated as The Individual and his Property, literally as The Unique and His Property) is an 1844 work by German philosopher Max Stirner. It presents a radically nominalist and individualist critique of Christianity, nationalism, and traditional morality on one hand; and on the other, humanism, utilitarianism, liberalism, and much of the then-burgeoning socialist movement, advocating instead an amoral (although importantly not inherently immoral or antisocial) egoism. It is considered a major influence on the development of anarchism, existentialism, nihilism, and postmodernism. Read the rest here.
Translated from the German by Steven T. Byington. 1907
A Human Life
From the moment when he catches sight of the light of the world a man seeks to find out himself and get hold of himself out of its confusion, in which he, with everything else, is tossed about in motley mixture.
Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays
Anarchism and Other Essays is a 1910 essay collection by Emma Goldman, first published by Mother Earth Publishing. The essays outline Goldman’s anarchist views on a number of subjects, most notably the oppression of women and perceived shortcomings of first wave feminism, but also prisons, political violence, sexuality, religion, nationalism and art theory. More on Wikpedia here
PREFACE – Some twenty-one years ago I heard the first great Anarchist speaker—^the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then^ and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could
This week I listened to the book: Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook by Mark Bray. It is a good book, it starts with a more general history of fascism and anti-fascism going over in a more detailed history and description of anti-fascism in America and several European countries up till now. The last part of the book is about the modern day and especially Trump and the alt-right and how to react to those negative forces. It is not a handbook in the sense of a guide on how to start a Antifa group where you live. There are some tips and different activist give their opinions about the things you should and shouldn’t do. If you don’t know much about fascism and Antifa than this is a good book to start with.
The thing I remembered most is a quote: (and I’m paraphrasing) “white is an ideology”. Meaning that calling yourself white is not an objective thing but related to an ideology, there were times that Jews and Italians were not seen as “whites” by racist. I always knew that, but this quote made it simple for me and might help me when debating (mostly ignorant) racist people. Explaining people why refugees come here, for instance, will often help them to understand it and except it.
The place where I live in Norway is small, around 3000 people live here and last year we got our “quota” of refuge’s. I have to guess but there are probably between 50 and a 100 people from Syria and from some African counties like Eritrea that came here last year. I have not heard any complains but that can be because of the people I hang out with, but I have not seen any signs of hatred let alone neo-Nazi’s. In the book it is mentioned that the Antifa in Norway more or less scared away the neo-Nazi groups but that’s not to say that there is no racism in Norway, it’s just not something people talk about.
So, for me there is not much to do if I wanted to be more active like protesting against neo-Nazi’s and racism. I keep it to writing about it even when only a handful of people read it and probably no one that disagrees with me. I do think it is important to read about it because racism sneaks in. Even in Holland the more progressive parties say thing nowadays that were taboo thirty years ago, they slowly move towards the right, pushing the right more towards the extremes. In this process the people also slowly move their moral compass towards the extreme-right, this is what happened in Germany in the thirties where decent, well educated people slowly closed their eyes and killed millions of people in gas chambers. And you might say that that will never happen here but that is what the people back than also sad. In America it is even scarier right now than I Europe, there government there discredits the news media and their political opponents and those tactics come straight out of a handbook for wannabe dictators, read your history.
I have a pile of books on my nightstand, I have a short attention span. There are some sailing books, books about Nietzsche, the autobiography of Krushev, a Nazi encyclopedia, a book about climbing the mount Everest and a good book by Sabastian Haffner called Germany 1939 Jekyll & Hyde about German society in the year the war started. I just started the biography of Willem Vos, a well-known Dutch ship builder who made a replica of the Batavia. I learned my trade working on that project and I met him, but did not work with him, he was already retired. The book I put away for now is Fire and fury, the Trump book. Besides my short attention span when it comes to reading books I get kind of tired of this whole Trump thing. The good thing about trumps is, that it puts a magnifying glass on the American political system and it is kind of disgusting what you see. I wrote in an earlier post about the time I turned eighteen and that I thought that I would finally enter the land of the rational people and leave the children that surrounded me at school behind me. How wrong was I, we are not rational, we just climbed out of the tree and barely learned not to bash each other’s heads in when we feel the urge, but we still like to throw feces at each other. I only voted ones in my life, I don’t like compromises when it comes to my ideals and from the beginning I realized that people, including politicians, never tell the truth if they try to sell you something. The party I voted for was more of a protest party, they were called the “idealistic party” (I think) and they had some idealistic ideas on how to organize a country, knowing that it would never happen. What I see now in America, and it probably happens everywhere, is a bunch of snake oil salesman selling promises while there are qualified people standing on the sideline trying to show the real medicine. How stupid do you have to be if one scientist tells you that there is no global warming and you believe him and not the 99 other scientist that warn you that there might be a problem. Democracy has brought us westerners some good and to get on the right track as a society it is important that there is a vote on its trajectory. But the ultimate outcome of each society should be a one-party rule because everybody will eventually realize what is good for everybody. Look at economics, first there were no rules, then they came up with different ones, they fine tune them, learn from mistakes and one day their will be a consensus on what the rules of economics are. If those rules are widely accepted, you don’t need to fight over them in a multiple party system. If we follow this logic we would eventually end up with consensus on all topics. Call it the Star Trek system, or the idealistic system.