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The Egoism of Max StirnerThe following extracts are taken from my booklet entitled THE EGOISM OF MAX STIRNER SOME CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES to be published by the Mackay Society of New YorkAlbert CamusCamus devotes a section of THE REBEL to Stirner Despite a fairly accurate summarization of some of Stirners ideas he nonetheless consigns him to dwelling in a desert of isolation and negation drunk with destruction Camus accuses Stirner of going as far as he can in blasphemy as if in some strange way an atheist like Stirner can blaspheme against something he does not believe in He proclaims that Stirner is intoxicated with the perspective of justifying crime without mentioning that Stirner carefully distinguishes between the ordinary criminal and the criminal as violator of the sacred He brands Stirner as the direct ancestor of terrorist anarchy when in fact Stirner regards political terrorists as acting under the possession of a spook He furthermore misquotes Stirner by asserting that he specifies in relation to other human beings kill them do not martyr them when in fact he writes I can kill them not torture them - and this in relation to the moralist who both kills and tortures to serve the concept of the good Although throughout his book Camus is concerned to present the rebel as a preferred alternative to the revolutionary he nowhere acknowledges that this distinction is taken from the one that Stirner makes between the revolutionary and the insurrectionist That this should occur in a work whose purpose is a somewhat frantic attempt at rehabilitating ethics well illustrates Stirners ironic statement that the hard fist of morality treats the noble nature of egoism altogether without compassionEugene FleischmannAcademic treatment of Stirner is often obfuscating even when it is not downright hostile A marked contrast is Fleischmanns essay STIRNER MARX AND HEGEL which is included in the symposium HEGELS POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY Clearly preferring Stirner to Marx Fleischmann presents a straightforward account of
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