BAD PASSIONS – THE RIGHTS OF THE EGO : From an anti-Christian point of view
‘Stop it! Those who speak like this are enemies of the people!’
A MAN (in the crowd)
From An Enemy of the People, H. Ibsen
It is advisable to make a detailed analysis of the anti-judicial thought in Max Stirner’s work The Ego and His Own, as it is full of contents on this question. I dare say it is a fundamental work for a theoretical study and an individualistic practice in the field of the law.
Stirner deals with the problem of the law in the first introductive pages, and he points out what the Ego (mark well, not the man), degraded to simple subject-citizen, is demanded not to do: ‘to be egoist’.
‘Only my cause must not be my cause’, or ‘What a shame an egoist who only thinks of himself.’ i
The author of ‘The Ego’ destroys this so-called truth, which is nothing more than a lie consolidated and repeated during the centuries, also thanks to an invading Christianity. ii
Everything that is born
Is destined to be corrupted
In the fate of your
Everything that is slightly touched
Suffers pain, the ego becomes rotten
And precipitates into emptiness
Swallowed up by the farce of time. iii
God and Man’s cause does not belong to me, it is not my cause. No cause that belongs to Mankind, truth, morals, ethics etc. bows to superior causes, but it makes itself the cause and end of itself, and it becomes and it is, egoist. Here is my egoism peeking out from the cave where it had been shut up, the Cerberus of greedy passions, ‘the nothing of any other’, whom you wanted to sacrifice for your evenings with a lustful lady, who can’t placate my anger and my insatiable will of pleasure, and which – this is very important – pushes the concepts and principles of the law standing outside me away.
Those who are not paying much attention will think I am forgetting the main theme of this piece of writing: but this is not true.
As I briefly said before, the basis for a radical refusal of the law and of whatever organ that promotes and proclaims it, be it theatre ethically accepted by the masses or the expression of a restricted minority, must absolutely be fixed on these considerations on the individual.
The law is the enemy to be destroyed in order to reveal the big moral lie that resides perched in all comfort behind the lies and illusions of the law, indeed, which adapts itself to everybody.
The Ghosts with which the Ego has to deal with are so many, and in the anti-judicial struggle, they are even too many.
The most various and numerous preachers-thieves of the Ego are crowding around to make sure that horror mortis is amplified in a ritual of submission to these never tired slaves.
‘[…] All saints, but especially martyrs, are witnesses of God, who is Love: Deus caritas est. Nazi concentration camps can be considered as extreme symbols of evil, of the inferno that opens itself on the earth when man forgets about God and when he substitutes God with himself, thus defrauding God of the right to decide what is good and what is evil, to give life and death. Sadly, however, this phenomenon is not circumscribed to concentration camps. Theses are rather the climax of a wider and widespread reality, which often has elusive contours. Saints, which I had briefly mentioned, make us reflect on the deep differences that exit between atheist humanism and Christian humanism; this is an antithesis that goes through the whole of history, but which has reached a crucial point at the end of the second millennium, with contemporary nihilism, as great men of letters and thinkers have largely understood. On the one side there are philosophies and ideologies, but at the same time more and more ways of thinking and acting, which enhance freedom as unique principle of man, as opposed to God, and in this way they transform man into a god, but it is a wrong god, which makes arbitrariness his pattern of behaviour. On the other side we have saints who, by practising the gospel of charity, make sense of their hope; they demonstrate the true face of God, which is Love and at the same time, the true face of man, created in God’s own image […].’ iv
Ravings of an old delirious man seized by the addiction to power.
‘[…] In fact the Greeks’ religion, pagan cults and myths were not able to throw a light on the mystery of death, to such a point that an ancient inscription said: ‘In nihil ab nihilo quam cito recidimus’, which means: “In the nothing from the nothing very soon we fall.” If we get rid of God and Christ, the world will precipitate again in emptiness and darkness. And this can also be found in contemporary nihilism, a sort of nihilism often unconscious that sadly affects so many youngsters […].’ v
We won’t be prodigal sons submitted only to juvenile transgression or to dirt cheap Raskol’nikov; we will kill the old usurer woman and her sister with everything that is in our power and we will face what has to come, we will defraud god of the right to decide what is good and what is evil, by tearing apart with strength the thorns of renouncement without giving in to the sense of guilt instilled by Christianity.
We will never hand ourselves voluntarily to the great inquisitors, on the contrary we will hurl ourselves into the abyss of the unconscious in order to re-conquer the Ego; by precipitating into emptiness and darkness we will know how to look at material reality, and we won’t hang ourselves like Smerdijakov unless we want it, nor will we fall prey of brain fever, a cold fever like that of madness and a sense of guilt, the same fever of the philosophical genius of the ‘everything is allowed’, which was made immortal by Ivan Karamazov.
The metaphysics and theology of the Roman bishop aims at destroying the unique, the nothing, the creator, the Ego.
Everything that has passed
Is destined to disappear
Everything that is present
As the ego advances
Everything that is future
Is arid and uncultivated soil.
In the second part of his most important work, Stirner gets to the heart of the ethical question, and deals with the struggles of egoist individuals between one another.
He announces the true egoist nature of the Christian God in one’s own individuality:
‘[…] God, as Christians have always depicted him, is a good example of how one can act only by one’s own impulse, without asking anybody for advice. He acts as “he likes”. And man, who is stupid, could do the same but instead he obliges the moral duty of behaving as “God likes”.
If we want to argue that God too follows eternal laws, this is also true for me, because me too, I cannot go out of my skin, but I have my own law in all my nature, that is to say in myself […].’
My law, my nothing.
The centre of existence must be us, ourselves and not an imaginary external ‘right’, a pivot that is outside our individual sphere or will; therefore turn to yourselves rather than to your gods or idols.
‘[…] In this a new way to live as men and Christians is born. One of the most important experiences of those days was for me my encounter with the volunteers in the Youth World Day: they were about 20,000 youths who, without exceptions, had dedicated weeks and months of their life to help with technical and organisational arrangements for the Youth World Day, and in this way they made it possible the smooth running of the event. Man always gives a part of his life when he gives his time. In the end, these youths were visibly full of a great sensation of happiness: the time they had given made sense. Precisely by giving their time and labour they found the time, and life. So to me something important became obvious: these youths offered a piece of life, not because they were ordered to do so or because they wanted to gain the heavens; nor because they wanted to avoid the danger of hell. They didn’t do so because they wanted to be perfect. They didn’t look behind, at themselves. The image of Lot’s wife came to my mind, she became a statue of salt by looking behind. How many times Christians’ life is characterized mainly by the fact that they look at themselves, they make good to themselves, if I can say so, for themselves! And how big the temptation is for all men to be worried first of all about themselves, to look behind themselves, and so they become empty inside, they become ‘salt statues’! On the contrary, in this case it was not a question of improving oneself, or wanting to have one’s life for oneself. These youths did good – even if this was hard and required sacrifices – simply because to do good is beautiful, to be there for others is beautiful. One only needs to dare do it. All this is preceded by the encounter with Jesus Christ, an encounter that ignites love for God and the others inside us, and which frees ourselves from our own “ego”. A prayer attributed to Saint Francesco Saverio says: “I don’t do good because in this way I will go to heaven nor because otherwise I can go to hell. I do it because You are You, my King and my Lord.” I met this same attitude in Africa, for example in the nuns of Mother Teresa. They do their best for abandoned children, ill, poor and suffering children, without asking questions about themselves, and in this way they become rich and free inside themselves. This is a proper Christian attitude. I will also never forget my encounter with disabled youths in the Saint Jose’s Foundation in Madrid, where I met again the same generosity of putting oneself at others’ disposal. This comes from the encounter with Christ, who gave himself for us […].’ vi
How many wasted words, how much this egoist brings grist to his mill!
Sacrifice! To dare do!
Here is the gospel revealing what it really is! To go away from the Ego, to refuse the ‘search for our own ego’. But what sacrifice and for whom? Whom should I serve? What is more serious than Saint Francesco’s prayer? Perhaps I should bow to another egoist?
‘[…] God and mankind founded their cause on nothing, on nothing more than themselves. Similarly I found my cause on myself, me who, like God, I am the nothing of anybody else, I am my everything, I am the Ego […].’ vii
Stirner’s words are so meaningful that they frighten the dominators and anti-relativists of the absolutists.
The bishop of Rome wants to knock down the gates of the Ego with all his power, he wants a slice of our life, he hopes to pig himself during breakfast, lunch and dinner and to get fat with our existence, and in the name of whom?
Of his God and for his own pleasure. Not by chance the catechism of the Catholic church shows so clearly what is concealed behind the altruistic and ‘humanistic’ message, which Christ (‘the only Christian ever existed’ viii) and priests and apostles have been presenting as absolute truth for two thousand years: ‘The desire of God is inscribed into the heart of man because man was created by God and for God’. ix
i) See Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own, Ed. Adelphi.
ii) Just to make an example: ‘[…] As Christianity is incapable of recognizing the individual’s unique value, it has instead presented him as dependent and actually he has always been nothing more than a social theory, a doctrine of living together, and indeed of both the relation between God and men and the relations between men, it was inevitable that it rejected with infamy all that is ‘one’s own’ [Eigene]: personal interest, individual caprice, personal will, one’s own individuality, amour-propre, etc. [Eigennutz, Egensinn, Eigenwille, Eigenheit, Eigenliebe]. The Christian point of view even succeeded in overthrowing slowly the positive connotation of some words, by making them despicable: why should not one fight as a matter of honour? Similarly in the past Shimpf (offence) meant ‘joke’, but to Christian seriousness, which cannot understand jokes or playfulness, fun becomes shameful; Frech (impudent, cheeky) used to stand for ‘resolute, brave’; Frevel (sacrilege, crime) was just an ‘audacious act’, a ‘risky enterprise’. It is known that the very word ‘reason’ had been unpopular for a long time. Our language was built mainly in reference to the Christian point of view, and conscience is still too much Christian not to be frightened by everything that is not Christian, and which it considers as imperfect and bad. For this reason even the word ‘personal interest’ is unpopular.’ (Max Stirner, Ibid, Second Part, The Ego, One’s own individuality).
iii) In defence of the ego, Cerbero.
iv) Benedict XVI, Angelus, Castelgandolfo, Sunday August 9 2009
v) Benedict XVI, Angelus, Piazza San Peter, Sunday November 6 2011
vi) Benedict VXI, Hearing at the Roman Curia on the occasion of the presentation of Christmas greetings, December 22 2011.
vii) Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own, Adelphi.
viii) F. Nieztche, The Antichirst.
ix) See Catechism of the Catholic Church, First Chapter, Man is For God: The Desire for God.
NOTE : This is a fraction of a wider piece of writing that is to be published later. It is a contribution to a vast field of critique concerning an open discussion, started and made public by my egoist comrade Federico Buono, on anti-judicial aspects and on the ethic of non-ethic as regards living illegally here and now. It is a draft that starts from anti-Christianity, and with which I invite other egoist comrades to produce pieces of writing, if they fell like doing so, and contribute to developing our nihilist project. The texts will be part of a pamphlet to be edited by us as Edizioni Cerbero.
This text salutes comrade Gabriel Pombo Da Silva’s words, and it wants to re-launch his solidarity greetings to the prisoners of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and of the Informal FAI, Indonesian cell. These greetings come right during this Christmas time .
For a dark and nihilist Christmas, may it spread terror.
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 1:07 pm and is filed under Cognitive Liberty.