Carmen Clark ceclark at students.wisc.edu
Mon Oct 11 20:28:28 CEST 2010

Someone wrote me off-list and egged me on to more comments.  :)

I think acting in one's own interests and not foreclosing (Erikson) on  
someone else's script or moral behavior/philosophy is indeed the  
bedrock of personal independence and freedom-to-be, perhaps Egoism  
1.0; alliances perhaps constitute Egoism 2.0, but such distinction  
would be a false split in a mixed and interactive world. One can't be  
"all" 1.0 until they achieve 2.0, in my view.

I concluded after several graduate seminars in moral philosophy that  
one big reason there is so much moral philosophy in western culture  
has to do with philosophers being even less skilled than painters or  
profitable as secular writers.  They had to be supported by religious  
people or royalty or wealthy others and much of their "task" was to  
either justify the established order or to gently introduce (without  
losing their meal ticket) ethical issues within the order of the rich  
and regal.  So you write about god and morality apart from right- 
living by any sane and grounded standard.

Stirner might well have been sh-out-of-luck in previous centuries, or  
printed and circulated on the sly, but since he came out of the "Young  
Hegelians" I believe he solidly addressed the twin evils of moralism/ 
altruism (which is not moral or altruistic in societal function,  
people acting as they do) and the second evil of opposition to class  
analysis in industrializing societies.  In other words, acting in  
one's interest in natural conflict with the 19th century order was  
"immoral"  according to the church.  Acting as a laborer and selling  
his labor at a better price "ought" to have been immoral under  
feudalism, but definitely not desirable in the new order to old-order  

Marxians in my view tended to neglect the role of the individual,  
preferring the tidiness of a categorical "class analysis" which to me  
is valuable, but classes are clearly made of individuals and a class  
label does not tell or encompass "all" about its members, in the  
finite world.  (A class of nines defines totally all 9's as members,  
but that's the world of ideas.)

So _Scientific Socialism_ wasn't even published in English until the  
20th century and communists often turned into moralists and took  
completely sane laborers who wanted to empower themselves into middle  
class-thinking moralists rather than materialists.

American Marxist leaders have been particularly guilty of being middle- 
class and vested in old-order thinking. They managed to neglect and  
ignore the role of individuals acting in their interest as producers,  
unionizing for their benefit/gain, and rejecting the notion that they  
should suffer in the world and eat pie in the sky.  That liberalism  
(not unlike the Feuerbach (sp) of TEAIO exegesis) leads people to  
reject or neglect their own and collective interests --down many bad  

It seems the Randanistas picked up on Stirner somehow and jumped the  
fence regularly between what's in their own interest and what's in  
everyone else's within a fixed or supposedly "free" order. And somehow  
Stirner became their darling.  Yet, egoism remains the pariah.  I  
think it could use some scholarly defense, myself.

:) That should offer enough bait for discussion, if anyone is game.


On Oct 11, 2010, at 12:53 PM, Emeka Nweze wrote:

> Hi Carmen. My friends call me Vee. I am new to nonserviam.
> I concur with your feelings towards the negative bias of the word  
> egoist. Svein shared the same thoughts on the subject as well.  
> Personally, I don't use it anymore to avoid confusion.
> Well, it was pleasant perusing your comments.
> Vee.
> "the key to joy is disobedience. there is no guilt and there is no  
> shame" -batwings by coil.

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