The recent essay by Alexander Reid Ross, titled “Left Overs,” is so shockingly bad in its journalism and ideas that I almost lost faith in Anarchism all together.

What do you say when a paper describing itself to be a “history” hasn’t read the majority of the subjects it claims to write about? How do you reconcile a university teacher from the whitest city in the United States telling Insurrectionists across the globe that it is THEIR ideas that are susceptible to the “entryism” of fascism when, by the author’s own admission, the AltRight is looting terms and ideas so common to the Woke Left of the American university crowd?

How do you respond to that with anything less than the most derisive of laughter?

What follows is my sincere attempt to gather an educated and through response to Alexander’s hatchet job, one already problematic because the same crowd that loved his essay will most certainly not like this one. As I will show Alexander and his kin are not interested in a discussion, and most certainly not a debate, with the vast and myraid philosophies they lump together as the “Post-Left.” We mad fools and criminals, lost in the American wastelands between the West Coast and New York must be brought to heel, must be shown that our ideas are far too dangerous to be left alone to our own devices. They are merely informing we misguided heretics of the Holy Church of Anarchism of our grave and mortal sins, though kind enough to allow us room to repent.

I am but one voice among many, though neither college educated or even wealthy enough to attempt such an endeavor, and so perhaps this response will be written off as another “misguided” and “confused” internet “manarchist” who just couldn’t understand what his enlightened superiors had to say.

The responses to this article will be telling of the state of Anarchism, a philosophy that outside of the putrid halls of American Intellectualism is still dangerous. I invite anybody reading this to share it as well as their interpretation of my words.

It’s the least the Popes of Privilege could do.

“Donny, You’re Out of Your Element.”

I was coming home from work when I first heard about Alexander’s essay. Our schedule, already light, had been damaged by a call out and a request from management to get out early because the floors needed to be waxed. I watched, painfully, as a crew who had already been stripped bare on hours to keep the company “competitive” noddingly made sacrifices to make the lives and schedules of their bosses easier. By the time I got home I was drenched in the kind of woeful feeling so common to the American Precariot, a quiet acknowledgement that the same workers Lenin once called “revolutionary” preferred to talk television shows on Netflix, discuss corporate sponsored sports, and get out early to make sure the “team” obeyed it’s commands.

My inbox was full with wild-eyed and almost incoherent rage about the article in question, some alleging Post-Leftists had been equated to Nazis while still others were confused as to what Post-Left Alexander was even talking about. I myself was an Egoist, albeit a Communist one at that, and was confused as to why the works of Stirner and Novatore were being placed among Zerzan and his computer-hating ilk. I had done actual journalism on the Anarchists influenced by Max Stirner and barring a few rogue wings of ELF and ALF was confused to see so many thoughts lumped together.

“Surely this is a mistake,” I can remember telling my wife. “He can’t actually mean any of this?” She lightly shrugged her shoulders, a ray of nihilism protruding from her eyes.

“He teaches at a university. In PORTLAND. What else would you expect?”

Alexander’s thesis in The Left Overs is that troublesome philosopher Max Stirner and his “belief in the supremacy of the European individual over and against nation, class, and creed” are some kind of mutant disease lurking within the Post-Left that is slowly leading people to Fascism. Nietzsche gets a few mentions in the essay, as many names as can be remembered are dropped, and all in all the Anarchist scenes in Portland and Seattle are put on notice that scary individualists are particularly weak to “entryism” and the fascist creep.

This is patently ridiculous. I feel like I wrote the world’s most terrible children’s book just typing that paragraph. This is evidence enough that Alexander Reid Ross has not read anything in regards to what he is talking about.

The big signal that everything is wrong about this essay is right in the beginning, and is very important because it is from here Alexander will base his entire polemic:

“belief in the supremacy of the European individual over and against nation, class, and creed”

Stirner never advocated any European anything. Ever. This is an outright LIE, the kind of elephant shit story you’d expect out of the National Enquirer. I’ve checked all of Stirner’s works and nothing of the sort Alex is claiming exists; Stirner went so far as to reject all things German and European, the whole point of his entire book is to point out how these things were all mental fictions people were fighting for.

Here’s what Stirner has to say about “race” and nationality:

“Now the Nationals are exerting themselves to set up the abstract, lifeless unity of beehood; but the self-owned are going to fight for the unity willed by their own will, for union. This is the token of all reactionary wishes, that they want to set up something general, abstract, an empty, lifeless concept, in distinction from which the self-owned aspire to relieve the robust, lively particular from the trashy burden of generalities. The reactionaries would be glad to smite a people, a nation, forth from the earth; the self-owned have before their eyes only themselves. In essentials the two efforts that are just now the order of the day — to wit, the restoration of provincial rights and of the old tribal divisions (Franks, Bavarians, Lusatia, etc.), and the restoration of the entire nationality — coincide in one. But the Germans will come into unison, i.e. unite themselves, only when they knock over their beehood as well as all the beehives; in other words, when they are more than — Germans: only then can they form a “German Union.” They must not want to turn back into their nationality, into the womb, in order to be born again, but let every one turn in to himself. How ridiculously sentimental when one German grasps another’s hand and presses it with sacred awe because “he too is a German!””

Stirner goes even deeper, making it clear that any descriptor of the individual that exists outside of the actual real person(the Real, or whatever the fuck Zizek might jabber on about) is itself a limiting fiction. This extends to all things: race, nation, god, even manhood. Stirner was lightyears ahead of his time and far beyond even Marx in his understanding of the oppression inherent in social mores and constructs, going so far as to make one of the first critiques of gender:

“If Stirner had said: You are more than a living essence or animal, this would mean, you are still an animal, but animality does not exhaust what you are. In the same way, he says: ‘You are more than a human being, therefore you are also a human being; you are more than a male, but you are also a male; but humanity and masculinity do not express you exhaustively, and you can therefore be indifferent to everything that is held up to you as ‘true humanity’ or ‘true masculinity.’”

This is literally fundamental to Stirner’s entire thought process, the placement of the individual above any racial, regional, or gender sterotypes and Alexander fucks it up in the second god-damn paragraph.


This question weighed mightily on me, and after 3 bottles of Sailor Jerry’s and several re-readings it becomes clear Alexander’s initial insistence on Stirner advocating for “European” individuality above any others can only mean a few things:

  1. He has never actually read any Stirner beyond the Wikipedia article he linked to, and is just going on what other people have said, thus writing about nothing in particular but educated guesses on something he knows nothing about.

  2. He is intentionally misleading the audience in the usual Tumblr-style of loaded language to achieve ideological ends, a typical move of the “Woke Left” and it’s love of Identity Politics.

Both of these are quite possible, perhaps in unison. Alexander has written for “Waging Non-Violence” a wonderfully liberal website where you can learn the “Art of Protest” and how you can use vietnam-era tactics to keep the Black Bloc out of your no-doubt revolutionary marches. In a piece co-authored by Alexander about fascists using “safe space” terminology, something he fails to call “entryism,” it’s remarked:

“For decades, both the institutional and radical left in the United States has relied on campus activism as a key part of its organizing base. From the antiwar movement of the 1960s to the development of feminist and queer politics to the growing youth labor and Black Lives Matter movement, colleges have been a center for political encounters and mobilizations. The radicalization of students has often leaned to the left because the left’s challenges to systems of power seem like a perfect fit for people expanding their understanding of the world.”

This should raise red flags as to the bias and historical blindness the Anarchists of Privilege usually have. Universities may have been hotbeds of radical politics but so were inner cities. Black Lives Matter has much more to do with poor people in Ferguson and Baltimore than anything currently seen on campus grounds. No word either on the fact that the only thing that got college kids pissed in the 60’s was the idea that they might have to die along poor, black, and latino kids because of the draft.

The Woke Left, a term growing in popularity to describe the “leftism” of city-based children of bourgeoisie backgrounds, is itself a puzzling beast, and born in the same “scene” Alexander immerses himself in. It is a Left with almost no class consciousness, no economic underpinning, and one that prefers battles over language and protest marches to actual combat. These are the same people that claimed the Black Bloc was a “patriarchal” and “racist” form of protest because it was favored by Europeans used to actually fighting the ruling class instead of writing letters to the local newspaper editor.

In one move Alexander, rather than analyze ideas, hopes to sway the reader that since Max Stirner was a “European male” his ideas could not possibly be good, and outs himself as a member of the college based “Woke Left.” Instantly it is clear that ideology will blind him from looking at anything objectively.

That or he had a seizure mid-essay and just began typing whatever words filtered into his head. Consider the following:

During the late-19th Century, Stirnerists conflated the “Superman” with the assumed responsibility of women to bear a superior European race—a “New Man” to produce, and be produced by, a “New Age.”

Sounds terrible, no? Some fascist, nazi shit dressed up as Anarchism? Too bad it never actually happened.

Alexander is literally just saying things with no evidence and no documentation for the theoretical underpinnings of the “danger” inherent in Post-Leftism. No sources, no names of individuals or papers where these thoughts were supposedly shared. Much of the Alexander’s article is just that: drivel without any hard evidence.

Let’s do some actual journalism and take a look at an early 1900’s publication called “The Eagle and the Serpent,” one that called itself Egoist and that actually featured the first English translations of Stirner’s The Ego and His Own. Surely it’s stated “creed and aim,” printed upon every issue, might allow us to have a feel for what Egoists might believe?


Well, what have we here? A call for the exploited(the “working class” the Woke Left seems to forget) to rise up and stop slaving away for the betterment of their masters in pursuit of their own desires? Is this the “New Man” the Stirnerites were seeking to create?

Pray tell, what was wrong with that?

Stirner’s genius was to tell the Working Class it needed to stop worrying about the morality and “needs” of the wealthy parasites above them and start caring about themselves, rather than hoping for an entire species to come around to a single idea(something that has never been seen before in human history and is still unseen today). This was further elucidated by the Illegalists in early 20th century France:

“By refusing us the right to free labor society gives us the right to steal. In taking possession of the wealth of the world the bourgeois give us the right to take back, however we can, what we need to satisfy our needs. Anti-authoritarian, we have the burning determination to live free without oppressing anyone, without being oppressed by anyone.

The craziest thing about this is much of what Tankies and Woke Lefties have to talk about the “Post-Left” would agree with. We want the end of capitalist exploitation and an end to the enslavement of an entire species.

Where the difference lies is where we each sees the “end” of oppression.

Just as the Marxist-Leninist believes the hierarchy of the State can be put into worker control, so too does the “Woke” Anarchist believe that the manufactured society based on nothing more than old State institutions can be “liberated” and made into a tool for human development. For the Egoist nothing but the total emancipation of the individual will do.

And that’s why the Woke Left is scared: it knows it’s scared cows are on the chopping block.


I expected alot of the Woke Left to champion Alexander’s essay. After all, it made the guilt-ridden collectives the “right” Anarchism and assured them that all those dirty little individualists were just a breath away from fascism. Of course anybody familiar with Stirner was pissed, which was to be expected when someone wrote about a topic they know nothing about just kind of makes it up as they go along.

But whenever I did see a weak acknowledgement of Alexander’s perceived lack of inquiry into anything about the Post-Left one quote did seem to get alot of play. In no less than four comment threads by different users I saw the same response almost word-for-word.

“Okay but the post-left hasn’t sufficiently addressed passages from Stirner like this:

“The history of the world, whose shaping properly belongs altogether to the Caucasian race, seems until now to have run through two Caucasian ages, in the first of which we had to work out and work off our innate Negroidity; this was followed in the second by Mongoloidity (Chineseness), which must likewise be terribly made an end of. Negroidity represents antiquity, the time of dependence on things (on cocks’ eating, birds’ flight, on sneezing, on thunder and lightning, on the rustling of sacred trees, and so forth); Mongoloidity the time of dependence on thoughts, the Christian time. Reserved for the future are the words, ‘I am owner of the world of things, and I am owner of the world of mind’”

This again betrays Alexander’s audience: because Stirner used bad words he is bad, a classic of the “Woke Left” whose battles primarily involve language rather than physical existence. These are the same “Anarchists” claiming that Huckleberry Finn needs to be banned from libraries and calling Mark Twain a racist.

Interestingly enough most of these people have never read Mark Twain because they would know he was violently anti-imperialist and very much opposed to the racial caste system of the American South. Noticing a pattern here?

Let’s humor our less-read “comrades” and actually dissect this.

Stirner is not talking about races. At all. He is talking about time periods in human thought using language that we know to be terrible but was actually normal for the time period. If you’d actually bothered to read a bit more you’d see he says this:

“Custom having once given the name of “the ancients” to our pre-Christian ancestors, we will not throw it up against them that, in comparison with us experienced people, they ought properly to be called children, but will rather continue to honor them as our good old fathers. But how have they come to be antiquated, and who could displace them through his pretended newness?…

…the ancients mounted to spirit, and strove to become spiritual. But a man who wishes to be active as spirit is drawn to quite other tasks than he was able to set himself formerly: to tasks which really give something to do to the spirit and not to mere sense or acuteness, which exerts itself only to become master of things. The spirit busies itself solely about the spiritual, and seeks out the “traces of mind” in everything; to the believing spirit “everything comes from God,” and interests him only to the extent that it reveals this origin; to the philosophic spirit everything appears with the stamp of reason, and interests him only so far as he is able to discover in it reason, i. e., spiritual content.”

So when Stirner says “Negroidity represents antiquity, the time of dependence on things (on cocks’ eating, birds’ flight, on sneezing, on thunder and lightning, on the rustling of sacred trees, and so forth)” he is referring to the time period THAT WAS BELIEVED AT THE TIME to be a tribal existence WHICH WAS BELIEVED AT THE TIME to be exemplified by the people of Africa.

Let me be the first Egoist to apologize that Max Stirner lived during the 1840’s. I’m sorry he wasn’t as “woke” as Anarchists are in this century. You’d know this of course if you actually read his book, BUT HEY, this is the internet. Fuck all that noise, we got memes.

The idea that the Post-Left hasn’t “sufficiently addressed” the critiques of others implies the Post-Left owes them anything or needs to explain itself to same grand, organizing body of Anarchism. Alexander and the Woke Left of the West Coast has determined that no matter what Stirner readers might say it is always, always wrong, and that they need to come back into the “right” kind of Anarchism.

Which is actually kind of racist.

Y’all Got Any More of Those Mass Generalizations?

The rest of Alexander’s essay dribbles on about famous Anarchist authors who I’ve never read, some eco-terrorists who I couldn’t give a shit about, and finally the idiot Jack Donovan who has the audacity to call himself an “anarcho-fascist.” If Alexander has the audacity to link any of those people to the ideas of Max Stirner or Egoism one might easily call Karl Marx and Lenin one of the founding pillars of National-Bolshevism.

The sad part is the essay might actually be half-way decent if it wasn’t a shallow attempt to link together as many ideas and authors on the “Post-Left” to a bunch fascists. Zerzan has NOTHING to do with Egoism. Primitivism has NOTHING to do with Max Stirner. What Alexander sees is a bloc of ideology where frankly there is NONE.

Novatore wanted “to create spiritual beauty, teach the poor the shame of their poverty, and the rich the shame of their wealth,” not live in a hut and piss in a pepsi bottle, but to the Woke Anarchists they are literally the same thing. Probably because Zerzan and Novatore both happen to pee standing up.

Alexander is literally chasing a ghost, a spook, a figment of his imagination. Egoists see no need to join with anybody. Alexander has decided we’re kin to primitivists simply because we don’t want to work in a goddamn factory or uphold the wretched consumer society he clearly sees worth saving.

The crown jewel on the essay is Alexander’s description of the philosophy of Egoism, a half-way glance at this very lack of unconditional solidarity:

“Derived from Stirnerism and Nietzschean philosophy, egoism can reify the social alienation felt by an individual, leading to an elitist sense of self-empowerment and delusions of grandeur. When mixed with insurrectionism and radical green thought, egoism can translate into “hunter versus prey” or “wolves versus sheep” elitism, in which compassion for others is rejected as moralistic.”

Only that’s not what Stirner, the guy who literally coined the term Egoism, said at all:

“But “the egoist is someone who thinks only of himself!” — This would be someone who doesn’t know and relish all the joys that come from participation with others, i.e., from thinking of others as well, someone who lack countless pleasures — thus a poor sort. But why should this desolate loner be an egoist in comparison to richer sorts? Certainly, for a long time, we were able to get used to considering poverty a disgrace, as a crime, and the sacred socialists have clearly proven that the poor are treated like a criminals. But sacred socialists treat those who are in their eyes contemptibly poor in this way, just as much as the bourgeoisie do it to their poor.

…And now if someone — we leave it open whether such a one can be shown to exist — doesn’t find any “human” interest in human beings,if he doesn’t know how to appreciate them as human beings, wouldn’t he be a poorer egoist with regard to this interest rather than being, as the enemies of egoism claim, a model of egoism? One who loves a human being is richer, thanks to this love, than another who doesn’t love anyone.” – Stirner’s Critics (penned by Stirner himself)

And further:

“Egoism, as Stirner uses it, is not opposed to love nor to thought; it is no enemy of the sweet life of love, nor of devotion and sacrifice; it is no enemy of intimate warmth, but it is also no enemy of critique, nor of socialism, nor, in short, of any actual interest. It doesn’t exclude any interest. It is directed against only disinterestedness and the uninteresting; not against love, but against sacred love, not against thought, but against sacred thought, not against socialists, but against sacred socialists, etc.” – Stirner’s Critics

Why is something so basic, the literal ideas of a philosopher, so fundamentally off base? What are we to make of an essay that isn’t only wrong but gleefully so?

That it serves a purpose.

Alexander is not a journalist, he is an ideologue whose one-time outing of a fascist has him seeing them everywhere. Alex and his ilk are threatened by the rise of Post-Left thought because it’s a beast uncomfortably foreign to them: it requires no apologizing, it puts no groups above any others, and it dispenses with any savior-complex about “The People.” Egoism simply says that you and you alone determine what is good, that you owe the world nothing, and if you want something you better well take it. This was reiterated by Emma Goldman, whose love for Nietzsche and Stirner clearly mark her as a fascist sympathizer:

The individual is the true reality in life. A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State, nor for that abstraction called “society,” or the “nation,” which is only a collection of individuals. Man, the individual, has always been and, necessarily is the sole source and motive power of evolution and progress. Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against “society,” that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship..

The interests of the State and those of the individual differ fundamentally and are antagonistic. The State and the political and economic institutions it supports can exist only by fashioning the individual to their particular purpose; training him to respect “law and order;” teaching him obedience, submission and unquestioning faith in the wisdom and justice of government; above all, loyal service and complete self-sacrifice when the State commands it, as in war. The State puts itself and its interests even above the claims of religion and of God. It punishes religious or conscientious scruples against individuality because there is no individuality without liberty, and liberty is the greatest menace to authority.”

This is in direct opposition to the key tenet of Woke Anarchism: Identity Politics.

Anarchism, as it exists among the privileged and “Woke” Americans in Portland and other liberal enclaves depends upon certain “sacred” things. It is an “Anarchism” where certain things must never be questioned, certain lines must always be upheld, and above all the opinion of the community at large must be put first. It is an Anarchism of laws, rules, and little miniature cliques that get to describe who’s in and who’s out. And above all YOU are not an individual but a member of an “identity” and that literally determines everything about you.

Consider the editors of Anti-Fascist News were quick to call those that had legitimate issues with the article “a parade of angry white dudes mansplaining about ‘edgy’ books that almost no one has read and were written over a hundred years ago” and it becomes clear why a Post-Left even exists.

Stirner, in The Ego and His Own, wrote:

Every community has the propensity, stronger or weaker according to the fullness of its power, to become an authority to its members and to set limits for them: it asks, and must ask, for a “subject’s limited understanding”; it asks that those who belong to it be subjected to it, be its “subjects”; it exists only by subjection. In this a certain tolerance need by no means be excluded; on the contrary, the society will welcome improvements, corrections, and blame, so far as such are calculated for its gain: but the blame must be “well-meaning,” it may not be “insolent and disrespectful” — in other words, one must leave uninjured, and hold sacred, the substance of the society.”

Stirner’s ideas are opposed to all the “Anarchists” in favor of writing laws, building prisons, and otherwise developing their own religious dogma pretending to be a political philosophy. It is opposed to spending your time at universities in Portland apologizing for having dreads or any group whatsoever dictating who can speak and when. It is about seizing what you require and attacking.

You know, ACTUALLY revolutionary stuff.

The Woke Left knows it can’t compete with letter-bombs and arson, so it does what it does best: complain and whine to some external force to GIVE it respect.

When Alexander says “Anarchists must abandon the equivocations that invite the fascist creep” he’s really saying the Post-Left must return to the ideological guidance of it’s enlightened white vanguard. He didn’t say “please stop talking to fascists,” didn’t say “please cull them from your ranks,” but basically called for the abandonment of any ideas they might steal to be thrown away. When Alexander says we must “reclaim anarchy as the integral struggle for freedom and equality” he means HIS anarchy, the kind favored by white intellectuals on liberal campuses, the only kind that “works.”

Never mind comrades the world over in the FAI, the leading Insurrectionary-Anarchist organization, have found Stirner and his thoughts on individualism and action a guiding light. The Woke Left of the West Coast has quickly denied them agency, the privileged white liberals who enjoy police protection of Vegan Days down at the park claiming yet again the audacity to dictate to Insurrectionists in South America, Greece, and Indonesia that their politics must be wary of “entryism” while white men are thrown out of Anarchist discussions in the US and into the arms of the Alt-Right.

What is THAT but liberal colonialism at it’s finest?

Do fascists try to use Leftist thought to further their own agenda? Absolutely. They’ve been doing it since Hitler decided to call his particular brand of goosestep “National Socialism.” Anybody that would believe Hitler’s policies proved a problematic “entryism” in Marx’s ideas should probably have their head examined.

It’s first world politics at its worst and Alexander doesn’t acknowledge it at all. His Woke Left privilege has left him blind to the glaring error in his own Identity-centered politics, something the Queer Insurrectionists in Bash Back! and indeed much of the larger world has been eager to point out:

Identity Politics are rooted in the ideology of victimization, and thus celebrate and comes to enforce norms surrounding what activity people are allowed or able to participate in. This plays out by reinforcing certain mythologies about struggle (i.e. “only cis-white-men participate in black blocs or “oppressed people are incapable of certain strategies of revolt”)….A queer in prison has more in common with their straight cellmate than with some scumbag gay senator, and yet the mythology of the “queer community” serves to suffocate enemies of society and subjugate them to their self-appointed representatives.

Identity Politics are fundamentally reformist and seek to find a more favorable relationship between different subject positions rather than to abolish the structures that produce those positions from the beginning.”

Alexander’s essay is piss-poor journalism with almost zero understanding of the philosophers he’s clearly afraid of, and no manner of books he’s sold in Portland or elsewhere are going to change that. His attempt to rope Egoism and Stirner with every half-baked theory he could think of and asshole he could find is nothing short of a smear campaign in the hopes more people will return to the pointlessness Anarchism is normally afflicted with. In my line of business we call those people “terrible writers,” “not journalists,” or to use the industry term “fucking assholes,” and it immediately makes everything else suspect.

Alexander and the Woke Left haven’t read Stirner nor will they, they are unfamiliar with Nietzsche and they will continue to be, they’ve never heard of Dora Marsden and don’t care to, because they are convinced we are wrong and they are right. Individualism is responsible for “fascist-creep” while the wholesale alienation of wide swathes of the Earth’s population is totally okay and not at all responsible for the widespread laughing-stock Leftism has become.

And you know what? That’s okay.

It’s okay because Alexander and his ilk are the reason Trump has been elected and the reason Insurrectionism is on the rise, it’s the reason Anarchists the world over are dumping the protest marches and IWW branch meetings his folks enjoy and starting to buy guns. Woke Anarchists want to keep what little power they’ve won in a small and marginal community because they are afraid of what the Post-Left offers to the oppressed people of the world: that only the individual, not assemblies, parties, or organizations, can make themselves free; that Alexander and other “leaders” will do nothing but maintain their own leadership at the cost of real-world results.

Ultimately Alexander penned the essay because he knows Anarchists in the US will make a choice:

The Tumblr feuds, safe spaces, and groupthink of the Woke Left or the real world militancy, self-interest, and individualism proposed by Max Stirner; marches led by former CIA-agents and lauded by Huffington Post or the concrete struggles of oppressed comrades not afraid to break the law and find revolution today?

Can you guess which one American Anarchists have been doing for 20+ years with almost no results?

Rather than focus on why a Post-Left even exists they are content to whine and complain as they’ve continually done while people of color continue to be killed by police and automation effectively makes the term “worker” obsolete.

South America, Mexico, and Europe have made their choice and it’s to leave the classroom-bound theories of Seattle and Portland in the garbage heap of history.

I say it’s time American Anarchists learn some real solidarity and join them.