Carmen Clark ceclark at students.wisc.edu
Wed Oct 13 00:58:25 CEST 2010

Thanks for your comments, Vee.

I agree with you about words and categorization having serious  

My thought is for the concept, for the idea that one can think and act  
based on one's inner values and evaluated self-interest without  
requiring a nod of approval from anyone else and/or justification from  
a moral system or spokesperson thereof.

I frankly think many or even most Americans (a highly religion- 
oriented culture) have not heard an honest defense of acting in one's  
chosen interest. A few on the right and on the left have addressed it,  
but in some isolation. I see no reason to not offer egoism as a  
choice, although the term has been kicked around by moral philosophers  
and if it's not a class term, I'm not interested beyond the class  
application--that's my "unique" perspective, due to the structure of  
the 2010 world economy and political structures that promote it.

There is some benefit in being able to communicate one's orientation  
and also to consider a "new" viewpoint on a relational plane to the  
energy-material world as we experience it.

Anytime you feel it appropriate, I'd enjoy reading about your work  
regarding labels and the neutrality of words.  I have background in  
general semantics, which addresses the subject, too.



On Oct 12, 2010, at 4:23 PM, Emeka Nweze wrote:

> Well, your comments are refreshing and insightful.
> In regards to scholarly defense for egoism, that is up to the  
> individual interested in such a task.
> I was having a discussion with another member about the limitations  
> language in regards to a pragmatic description of egoism.
> This, in my view, is because an individual's consciousness, desires,  
> and gratifications are distinctly unique.
> John Beverly Robinson's article on this subject is my personal  
> favorite. Dora Marsden's "Illusion of Anarchism" is pretty cool.
> Personally, I don't waste time with labels anymore. It feels too  
> much like chasing a fixed idea.
> I honestly could not care less how a word is viewed. I love words,  
> but they are neutral. Interestingly enough, I am actually working on  
> something that can demonstrate that.
> If an individual wishes to mount a scholarly defense for a term,  
> that is the individual's desire.
> Best Regards,
> Vee
> On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 2:28 PM, Carmen Clark <ceclark at students.wisc.edu 
> > wrote:
> 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 thinkers.
> 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 paths.
> 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.
> Carmen
> 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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