Max Stirner

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Stirner, Max


(pen name of Johann Kaspar Schmidt). Born Oct. 25, 1806, in Bayreuth; died June 26, 1856, in Berlin. German Young Hegelian philosopher, ideologist of anarchism.

In his The Ego and His Own (1845), Stirner attempted to promulgate a solipsistic point of view in anthropology, ethics, and law. The theoretical point of departure for Stirner’s world view is his thesis of self-awareness as the creative force of history. Man’s ideals and social traits, according to Stirner, represent something universal, since all personality is the same. Hence everything relating to man in general does not relate to the given ego. The concepts of man, law, morality, and the like were treated by Stirner as “specters,” alienated forms of the individual consciousness. Denying all norms of conduct, Stirner asserted that the original sources of law and morality are the power and the might of the individual personality. The will of the individual establishes the truth of phenomena (”I am the criterion of truth”). Man should seek not social, but his own personal freedom, inasmuch as, according to Stirner, behind every social formation are concealed the egotistical interests of individual persons. Nihilism and anarchism proved to be the general result of Stirner’s views.

During the 1840’s and 1850’s, Stirner enjoyed a certain success among the petit bourgeois intelligentsia, and he exerted some influence on M. A. Bakunin and F. Nietzsche. K. Marx and F. Engels, in their The German Ideology (see Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, pp. 103–452), offered a devastating critique of Stirner’s subjective idealism and his petit bourgeois individualism and anarchism; they demonstrated the utter groundlessness of his criticism of communism.


Die Geschichte der Reaktion, parts 1–2. Berlin, 1852.
Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. Stuttgart, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Edinstvennyi i iego dostoianie. Moscow, 1906.


Plekhanov, G. V. “Anarkhizm i sotsializm.” Soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1925.
Kurchinskii, M. A. Apostol egoizma: Maks Shtirner i ego filosofiia anarkhii. Petrograd, 1920.
Bagaturiia, G. A. “K istorii napisanüa, opublikovaniia i issledovaniia ’Nemetskoi ideologii’ Marksa i Engelsa.” In the collection Iz istorii formirovanüa i razvitiia marksizma. Moscow, 1959.
Oizerman.T. I. Formirovanie filosofii marksizma. Moscow, 1962.
Arvon, H. Aux sources de l’existentialisme M. Stirner. Paris, 1954. (Contains bibliography.)
Emge, K. A. M. Stirner: Eine geistig nicht bewältigte Tendenz. Mainz, 1964.


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Todo esto se basa en Feuerbach, pero tambien es importante la vision de Max Stirner. En El unico y su propiedad, Stirner dice que la superacion de Feuerbach no es tal, porque todavia se basa en la idea de algo llamado humanidad, en cuyo nombre deben actuar los hombres comunes: esto, sostiene, es como Dios con otro nombre.
Although this line of reasoning is not original, Baginski's pamphlet is noteworthy for including some unexpected references, such as linking syndicalist tactics with Max Stirner, and being written with a distinctive voice.
In some ways Tucker and the Replogles were peas in a pod: Each mixed the radical egoism of Max Stirner with the monetary schemes of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
Parafraseando a Max Stirner y a Jose Ortega y Gasset, podriamos decir que, en la vida politica y en la vida comun, se hacen muchos amigos de "a mentiras" y muchos enemigos de "a de veras".
Max Stirner's chapter focuses on loving egotistically.
And by the 1840s, to the chagrin of Marx, Max Stirner's virtual Bible of modem nihilistic anarchism, Der Einzige und sein Eigentum, espoused an existential heroism that eschewed the illusions even of humanism.
Esta conciencia de la exterioridad al individuo anarquista como una limitacion para la definicion de anarquismo atraviesa a todos los teoricos y propagandistas mas o menos explicitamente, desde Max Stirner o Mikhail Bakunin, hasta Rafael Barrett o Luce Fabbri, por citar los casos mas representativos que mencionan la individualidad como primera evidencia y en una relacion critica con el mundo exterior.
Mientras tanto, es una lectora insaciable; se nutre con poetas japoneses (Ishikawa Takuboku, Kitahara Hakushu, Hashizume Ken) y escritores o filosofos europeos (Max Stirner, Knut Hamsum, Emile Verhaeren), entre muchos otros.
Nidesh Lawtoo presents a study of subjectivity in the modern era, focusing on the processes of unconscious mimesis that Lawtoo argues Nietzsche saw at work in "the herd mentality." The phantom of the ego is evocative of Max Stirner's "spooks," suggesting alienated passions of the socially constituted individual ego.
These four thinkers are said to provide a "sort of microcosm" of the overall group of Young Hegelians, which also includes thinkers like David Strauss, Ludwig Feuerbach, Carl Nauwerck, Max Stirner, Friedrich Engels, August von Cieszkowski, Karl Schmidt, and Edgar Bauer.
Of course the moral status of evil characters becomes problematical under this view, in exactly the way Nietzsche's ideas are seen as dangerous, Max Stirner's 'ego-anarchism' even more so.
This insistence on the political and analytical importance of class struggle is welcome, and means this will be a difficult book for the contemporary movement of "post-anarchism." This turn, represented by authors such as Todd May and Saul Newman, looks to Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, and Lacan for inspiration and harkens back to Max Stirner and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to characterize anarchism, approvingly, as a philosophical position based on idealism and individualism.