Non-conscious egoists ... all egoists!
A few days ago I discovered an interesting conference in audiovisual format by a professor and writer, founder or one of the founders of “damned philosophers,” Rodrigo Merino.
Merino addressed the figure of the German thinker Max Stirner, the talk given was pleasant although it can be said that it was more focused on those who are starting or want to delve into the figure of Max Stirner; pseudonym of Johann Caspar Schmidt and best known for his most important work “The One and His Property” (hereinafter “The One”), and that has influenced subsequent generations of individualists, egoist and anarcho-individualists around the globe.
I said “thinker” because Stirner in any case never considered himself a philosopher and in fact did not hesitate to repeatedly “shoot” at them from the pages of “The One.”
Leaving this brief introduction and entering into the matter of Rodrigo’s exposition, Merino alludes to Stirner when he says (he said) that “he needs an egoist who is aware of it, a conscious egoist and that we are all egoistic even though we are not aware of it.” ... despite what has been said, rightly so and citing “passages” from his reference work on the fly, Merino, in my opinion, falls into a contradiction with what he explains in his exposition when he refers to the religious people and says that they are “beings with zero consciousness of egoists who know that their life does not belong to them ...,” also the example of a soldier who surrenders to the state, “the martyr who gives his life for and for” or “the religious to whom his life does not belong and leaves it in the hands of God ”… that these beings are NOT egoist because“ they are spiritualized by God, the state, money, fashion…, they are given over to phantasmagorical projects ”,“ You don’t they are selfish “highlights the founder of” philosophers cursed ”in an added homegrown allegory.
But instead, of course these people are egoists! We must not forget that Max Stirner referred to and considered at least six types of egoists as among them these people that we can say that they do not have that consciousness of selfishness, not subtracting that they are, they are, therefore, unconscious egoists because they do not know their character in such condition; All the actions of surrender to their various causes have a selfish background because they seek to satisfy and feed their innermost “I,” their ego, it is selfish (although unconscious) who surrenders to a religious cause and going beyond who becomes a martyr (the example that Merino cites) achieves his own self-satisfaction, fulfills his ego and obtains an inner gratification with for example the passage to a hypothetical paradise. Stirner considers (ba) the existence (as I said before) of various types of egoists such as the egoist-conscious, the unconscious, the transitory or the involuntary, among others. Max Stirner, therefore, admitted the existence of egoists who did not know that they had such a condition.
The act of charity of any individual towards a “vulnerable” or needy person, the donation to a charitable association or the “voluntary” participation in a soup kitchen, are also exercises of a egoist nature because with this they obtain an inner peace, a calm with himself for that “good work” done. The altruist is a egoist person and Stirner considered altruism as a form of egoism, altruism, cooperation, life in community… they are made because they serve our own and respective egos; For Stirner, altruism, as well as cooperativism and even life in community were forms of egoist act since they serve and benefit our ego in a certain way, in addition to acquiring a certain reciprocity in them, a “if I give, then I’ll receive”…
The soldier who fights “body and soul” for his country, that soldier returns home or to the barracks feeling that he has given the best of himself, of his I, for his cause, is undoubtedly also egoist. He has satisfied his ego and is “inflated” with his own “national pride” already outside of personalistic considerations that we can apart from this objective consideration of the selfish character of such a subject as those mentioned above.
Finally, to say that there are writings that very erroneously and daringly attribute to Max Stirner being “the first anarcho individualist” and even “the creator of anarcho individualism” ... in no way Stirner ever proclaimed himself as an anarchist, nor did he take any kind of party, but undoubtedly Stirner with his “Unique” has been the glass from which we have been drinking the following and successive anarchic generations with individualistic predilection throughout the world, anarcho individualists based precisely on what we consider the maximum expression of anarchy that blooms from “The One” ...