“Freedom” awakens your rage against everything that is not you; “egoism” calls you to joy over yourselves, to self-enjoyment.
- Max Stirner, “The Ego and Its Own”
NOTES: I refer to the egoist as a “he”. This is merely a personification issue inherent with any language with gendered pronouns. And this is to differentiate my work’s view from the typical view that ideas/concepts are female (i.e. Mother Nature, referring to countries/nation as “she”). This is not meant to exclude women in any way.
What Is Egoism?
“Egoism” is a tainted term, tainted by the perceptions of posessed people, posessed by the stereotypes and preconceptive biases against “egoism”. Egoism is the “denouncer of altruism”, the “enabler of selfishness”, and this is a “bad” thing, because “altruism” is the “good” thing, and anything opposed to the “good” thing must be the opposite of “good” - which is bad. Why is altruism good to you? If by accepting and embracing egoism, and thus acting in your self interest, you act against altruism, is altruism good? It is certainly not good to you, because it has prevented you from helping yourself. So is altruism good in and of itself? How can that be?
If it is not good for me, I do not know it good! For how can I? Every time I observe it upon myself I am not in agreement, how can I call that good? When presented with the diametric relationship between me and those things above (altruism, God, state, race, etc.), the Western thought has been one of subjugation.
“I am just as good as the good that lives in me!”
is the same as
“I am not good nor bad, but a container for either good or evil, and my choice as to which is mine”
Which choice is good? What is this “universal good”? This possession of me, that is said to drive me, is that not me? Does it become me? Do I become good? The good, the helpful, the selfless - that is not me, it must be learned and implanted into me.
Traditional Western thought, that is primarily Christianity, has taught us to use our capacity to accept the good. “You are not good, but good in that Christ lives within you”. It teaches us that the only good we can serve is alien, and in fact, even culturally and subjectively learned. Which men speak of these fixed ideas such as God, state, and race? Let us see:
Is “God” one thing? To the Christian, “God is everywhere, God is goodness, and you can be possessed by him (and so possesed by goodness as well)”. Is your God everywhere? To the American, God is to be supporting American interests, supporting the man in his aims in life (by which communication is prayer). To the Englishman, the same is true with respect to himself (i.e. God is now a supporter of England, and talks to the Englishman in his support). The American replies “well the Englishman believes God is on his side, but God is actually on my side”. And how does the American know this? Well, he believes it too, but is not conscious of it. For, what a man believes, he “knows”. To that man, what another man knows is only matter of his belief.
I am neither an “American” nor an “Englishman” by these (or any other useful standards). I am not “possessed” by these ideals. Just in the same way I am not White, Christian, etc. These are labels that have a context around them. The reason I differentiate myself from what I am is that my ego, or self, should not be restrained by these systems. Because, if it was said that my ego was White, Christian, American, etc, then my self interest would be the self interest of the White race, the Christian faith, and the American spirit.
However, these causes are not mine. If I was White, then White must be me. I am not possesed by White-ness, not called to “further the White race”. I am not called to “further the Christian faith”, and I am not called to “further the American spirit”. Because I do not identify with the ideals and aspirations of these labels, I am not these labels. My skin color may be white, but Whiteness is not my cause or concern. Only my cause is my concern.
The egoist has no race, faith, nor nationality. These causes are alien to the egoist. The egoist takes no pride in the success of Caucasions, not in the evangelicism of the Christians, and most certainly not the domination caused by America’s culture and military. Because those are not him, those are away from his own interests. The egoist looks to further himself, his ideas, and his aspirations, free from these systems of control. As such, he has to get rid of “spooks”, which include: racism, faith, sexism, gender roles, nationalism, and indeed all higher causes antithetical to his uniqueness.
On the other hand, the objectivist (or egotist) looks to further himself materially. He sees racial supremacy of a gain to him, not for him. He is endowed with White priviledge, and so supports White supremacy as a matter that supports him, so he supports the cause. But, he is caught up with a cause that ultimately is not him. He has given himself into a system (White supremacy) that will ultimately restrain his thought. He now must bow to the dogma of racial supremacy, and has given up his uniqueness, given up his freedom to think about what is true and good for him; now, the objectivist is concerned what is true and good for the White race, and has become a slave to an alien cause.
Think of the supremacist that says “Whites rule the world, so I rule the world, because of the virtue of my Whiteness”. Does he? Tell me, should he decide to change the world, will the world change? No, because he does not control the world. White people would not control the world, Whiteness would control the world, not the supremacists who hoisted it. This idea, White-ness, has now taken corporeal form, and now controls both the victims and followers of White supremacy. The followers of any doctrine are not free to break from it, because they have taken up it’s cause. The egoist takes up no causes alien to himself, and so is not controlled by causes alien to him.
“But what about the good cause?”, you may ask. “Surely I can agree that racism, sexism, nationalism, etc are bad, but what about charity, altruism?”. Surely, egoism is the “denouncer of altruism”. And, it is! But, there is a distinction. Are you called to charity, or does it give you enjoyment? Are you forced, by some moral code, to give to someone else, or are you doing it because it warms your heart? I think Stirner has said it best:
I love them [others] with the consciousness of my egoism; I love them because love makes me happy, I love because loving is natural to me, it pleases me. I know no ‘commandment of love’. I have a fellow-feeling with every feeling being, and their torment torments, their refreshment refreshes me too
The egoist is capable, and willing to love and aid. In fact, it is a deeper connection, for the egoist is not called to love, nor to aid. He chooses his actions, whereas the possesed man is called to his action. It is akin to the charitable Christian giving because he is Christian. So, it is not the person that loves and is caring, but that “Christian-ness” within him. Such is forced love! An egoist’s love is his own, not of his race-ness, class-ness, nor his nation-ness. A possessed love is a love from a concept. “I must love you, for my faith prescribes that I ‘love thy neighbor’”. Who is the person? Do they control themselves, or do they solely exist as their faith? The egoist is his own self, not possesed by causes that shroud his own self, and so is not limited to love “of a cause”.
Similarly, the egoist helps those in needs because he enjoys it. The egoist feels good about helping people, so he does it! No magic or shamanism required! Such it should be for you, unless you wish to be the possesed man who does not know himself. Accepting and embracing egoism allows you to shed off these ‘fixed ideas’, and calls you to take control of yourself. Don’t let concepts, like faith, racism, nationalism, rule you.
How Can You “Embrace Egoism”?
How do you free yourself (after all, that is the goal of egoism)? The answer is somewhat simple, but can be difficult to be realized. The answer is that you must examine all assumptions you have about the world, people, and ideas. And not in some “spiritual trip”, or other activity. Consciously, throughout your day and life, be evaluating what you are doing and why. If the cause seems ‘alien’ to you, discard it and its restraints on you (as best as you can).
Let us talk of the church-going teenager. They are under the direction of their parental figure, as they have been most of their life, and as a result have been coerced as “Christians”, and now “believe it”. They go to Church every week because they feel “called”. Ultimately, however, this is a “spook”, a ghost in the way of themself. And as such, I regard, as objectively as possible, church membership as a damaging and alienating experience.
Church, or most systems of association, have the implicit goal of building a community, in which the members can feel “at home”. But, to be part of that system, they must give up their uniqueness; they must throw away the part of their self that opposes church to be part of church. And, every member of such a group does this, consciously or not. All that is needed to take control of one’s life in this respect is to think “church is not me, and is in fact opposed to my cause. I should stop supporting this association”, and then act on that thought. This is a neccessary first step to egoistic liberation and resulting freedom.