Can we discuss "might makes right" again?

Submitted by Kiwisandoranges in Egoism (edited )

Look, I'm not trying to prove "might makes right"(MMR) to be true. I want to approach it from another angle and ask some questions. Frankly I'm almost convinced by Stirner's egoism, and am considering making it into my property, even if I don't considered it sufficient anarchist theory by itself.

  1. Does Stirner says MMR?

In Wolfi's translation: "This means nothing else than: what you have the power to be, you have the right to."

I have the book in several translations (for the languages i can read) and in some, this part is translated very closely to MMR.

Does anyone here can read german and see how close to MMR the statement is?

  1. How important is it that he says it?

I think the question for most anarchists is that this statement is often used by fascists, defenders of colonialism. . . to justify domination. Obviously this justification is not compatible with egoism, because justification is ultimately only granted by the unique.

Is the word "rights" used in that section just one big joke? Is he trying to destroy rights (and justification, legitimacy, authority along with it) by using a language of rights, thus the use of MMR means "might is a thing".

If this all just means "might is a thing", then other things can change reality, like "might" of love, "might" of comradery, "might" of exchange, "might" of mutual reasoning. These "mights" interfere in my use of might, because I realize it is in my self interest to use might differently (those mights are not phantasms because they are not above me, they simply affect me, not rule me. I choose if I consume those mights or if I throw them away. Am I missing something here?)

Non egoists, is this version of MMR something biggots would use?

  1. Why do you thing biggots try to appropriate Stirner, if their ideas are completely opposed to theirs?

Stirner never says you should not dominate, morality is nothing to him. He also doesn't say you shouldn't lie, truth is just a phantasm that will serve the unique, not dominate him. And as far as I understand, power and freedom are the same for Stirner, am I wrong? If not then the unique can dominate through lies to get power.

May it be that the fascist leader is an egoist dominating a unconscious egoist mass?

If that's the case it would explain why fascists are drawn to it (Mussolini was). There can not be a fascist egoist people, but there can not be an unconscious egoist fascist leader. Then the biggest obstacle to the egoist leader is an egoist army. Could it be that the egoist anarchists should be more in the "social anarchist" camp (in the sense of trying get to maximum amount of people), these are just curious thoughts.

Further, I've seen on youtube fascist attemps to "unspook the right", meaning converting libertarians, ancaps, conservatives to fascism. The only reason I can come up for that is. . . they are trying to create leaders. Is youtube the best place for that? Are they just freaking out? Are they simply trying to get a superficial reading of Stirner to get to their followers, focusing on the parts he says edgy stuff against socialism and communism (omitting the clarification in Stirner's critics, about himself being simply against "sacred socialism", or do they consider their "socialism" as non-sacred?)? If none of this is true then I may be wrong, or maybe Stirner is wrong, I would love that you would discuss this part.

And look, I do want to be able to lie to the police to get free. But isn't the same logic useful to the ones that try to enslave me? Is that a problem for you? Will all this backfire to the fascists? I tend to think that in the end the fascists would act in the same way with or without consciousness of their own egoism, wether they know the things fascist ideology preaches about are phantasms or not.

I wrote this because I really want to get the conversation going on this stuff, hope you all reply.



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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I haven't read any Stirner but I appreciate these questions being asked.

Why is it important to know or correctly interpret what exactly Stirner himself said, btw? I imagine that egoism would be something separate from Stirner, that he might get elements of it wrong but still convey the basic idea that reified abstractions shouldn't mediate our lives.


Kiwisandoranges OP wrote

For me what Stirner said is not the most important thing for sure. But it has some degree of importance.

I find he's theory quite elegant. The book is not an easy read, but, once the basic idea is grasped it's quite easy to apply to any relationship of domination, be it material or spiritual. It puts forward conception of freedom that is very explanatory of even the most contradictory aspects of freedom. And for me he is quite convincing to the point it gets scary.

I know several people who read the unique and his property and didn't get him because he flips language around. Many people think he is a trojan horse to fascism and I want to be completely sure about what they got wrong (or what they didn't get wrong if that's the case).

What he said exactly is more of a curiosity, that has a small amount of importance. What he meant by that is much more important, but of course, we can update the bad parts in his theory. Still, I have some concerns about the update disrupting the elegance.

Also another thing, we could compare him to Nietzsche, and say he wasn't an anarchist, but found stuff useful for anarchists. But I'm getting that, unlike Nietzsche, he was in fact an anarchist (even if he never said that), and I wan't to be sure of that, because if true, that fact is very powerful against the fascist appropriation.