Marx & Stirner

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Fri Dec 30 22:13:58 MST 1994


The information about Engels's initial opinion of Stirner I got from the
Introduction (by Sidney Parker) to the 1982 Rebel Press edition of _The
Ego and Its Own_. No bibliographic reference is cited, but the passage
referring to Stirner's book, from a letter of Engels to Marx, is worth
reproducing here: "this work is important, far more important than Hess
believes...the first point we find true is that, before doing whatever we
will on behalf of some idea, we have first to make our cause personal,
egoistic...Stirner is right to reject the 'Man' of Feuerbach...[since]
Feuerbach's Man is derived from God...among all of the 'The Free' Stirner
obviously has the most talent, personality, and dynamism."
	 Ralph Dumain believes that if Stirner were alive today he would
be a nerdy Randroid. I don't think this is any more justified than if I
were to say that if Karl Marx were alive today he would be a maoist
bureaucrat or a trotskyist militant (or perhaps more plausibly, a social
democratic M.P.). Perhaps I wasn't doing justice to Marx by implying that
he was necessarily to blame for Stalin (we've already gone over this
ground on this list). Marx very clearly rejected the cult of personality
and stated that communism was to him a movement and a theory, not a
reified doctrine. But this should point out the gap, not only between
Marx and Leninism-Stalinism-Trotskysim-Maoism-etc., but also between Marx
and marxism. If you're determined not to let Stalinists have Marx, then why
let the Libertarians have Stirner?
	Dumain was correct to point out that Marx was, for the most part,
an amoralist, as was Stirner. It occurs to me that Marx's concept of the
party in the historic (as opposed to the formal) sense is not all that
different from Stirner's concept of the free union of egoists.
	One more thought: If Dumain thinks the sits were "dimwits," then
what branch of Marx's legacy does he identify with? News and Letters (and
its inspiration, Raya Stolichnaya)? Unreconstructed council communism? I am
curious...

Alex Trotter


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