Marx vs. Stirner

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Thu Dec 29 20:11:03 MST 1994


Just a comment or two regarding R. Dumain's recent posts on this topic:

What emerges from Marx's (and tagging along behind, Engels') long, long
diatribe against Stirner, loaded down with ad hominems, is evidence that
Marx felt really threatened by Stirner's egoism. If Stirner was really as
inconsequential as Marx said he was, why devote more than 300 pages to
attacking him? Ironically, Engels's initial reaction to _The Ego and His
Own_ was quite favorable...before the Old Man straightened him out. Many
of Stirner's (as of Bakunin's) criticisms of the tyranny of the socialist
state dreamed of by Marx seem today prophetic.
	Rather than replaying these old tussles, however, I think it
might be more fruitful and interesting to try and synthesize them. How
about a negative unity arising from the dialectical contradiction between
Max und Marx? Some have already tried it. In the early 1970s, there was a
situationist-inspired group in California called For Ourselves that
published a booklet entitled "The Right to Be Greedy: Theses on the
Practical Necessity of Demanding Everything," in which they called for a
"communist egoism." It's a fascinating read, full of food for thought.
It's published by Loompanics Unlimited in Port Townsend, Washington. And
then, of course, there's Bob Black, who wrote the Preface...
	Remember, it may be Marx who called Stirner "Saint Max," but
whose iconic portrait, larger than life, eventually graced billboards
around half the world?

Alex Trotter






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