Originally posted to attemptsatliving as I drafted it there & didn’t particularly want to reformat it for here. This is an attempt to critique Stirner in the light of his latest revival, placing his thought in relation to the idealism of the politics of exodus. Though I don’t go into it here, I have a suspicion that politics goes is being repeated today in the idealism of some of the object-oriented ontologists (Harman & Morton).
Originally posted on attempts at living:
Stirner is the dialectician who reveals nihilism as the truth of the dialectic.
- Deleuze, Nietzsche and philosophy.
Beyond the discussions around pluralism, I was in a book stop the other day, sitting with my Guattari and a coffee, when I noticed that there is a new edition of Max Stirner’s The ego and its own. I can only assume this is due the attention Stirner has been getting because of Frederico Campagna, who has been writing about Stirner on Through Europe & in his book. I first came across Stirner when I was a teenager, via the work of post-anarchist Saul Newman. Newman has also recently edited an anthology of writing on Stirner. Both of these thinker will be speaking at London’s ICA on the event of Verso’s republication of Stirner as part of its “radical thinkers” range (& I’m fairly gutted not to be able to attend). I have to admit, Saint Max, as Marx called him, still floats around as part of the obsessional abyss around which my thought, such as it is, circles and re-circles. Stirner: egoist, proto-existentialist, anarchist, fascist, individualist, idealist, atheist, and, above all, unrelenting nihilist. If there was one thinker that I would have described as an intellectual hero, who I would have demanded everyone read, it would have been Stirner. Today, I rarely mention him- and certainly cringe at being introduced at an academic workshop once as “a Stirnerite”. So it seems like an engagement with this egoist is timely right now; besides which, it’s probably well past time I had some kind of reckoning with a figure that always looms somewhere in my own attempts to grapple with our nihilist age.
“Taking care of a concept: anthropological reflections on the assisted society: The lecture questions both what might be taken for granted in an appeal to society and what it then means to promote it. If indeed there is no such thing, do these questions become more interesting, or less so? It is a conundrum that is best approached from a wider stage than ministerial pronouncements.” Interesting take on the possibilities of a concept being analytically worthless but still rhetorically powerful.