Max Stirner: "You only have the courage to be destructive"

Max Stirner: "You only have the courage to be destructive"

How happy I was as a child to lie on green fields and look up into  blue skies. The sweet smells of Spring would waft through the air as  dreamed of my bright future. I dreamed of becoming a great man. I would  throw fistfuls of gold out of my carriage and masses of poor and stunned  people would worship me. I would build fairy palaces and alhambras.  Rosy girls would attend to my every need in flowering gardens. Had I  been able to throw myself directly into the work force I should have  indeed become a rich and famous man. But alas, I would have only have  had the possibility of becoming it, and was therefore not a great man.  --- Afterall who does not feel great Hope fill his breast? Whose heart  does not ache with sweet impatience when he reads page after page about  the great things the German people could do and about how everything  could potentially become? Yes, we are referred to the following quote:  "Hegemony: the German nature carries the stamp of intellectual supremacy  and is uniquely blessed with an abundance of talent. Yet how is it that  in such a union there is no nation? We are politically and militarily,  philosophically and scientifically, poetically and artistically,  musically and linguistically, industrially and nautically, and  technically gifted. We are so rich in our talents that we outdo other  peoples in uniting the individuals pieces of society. Germany identifies  as belonging to the constitutional monarchy of the great polity of  Europe" (pg. 169). Alas, one must be incapable of desiring blossoming  hopes and one must cash in all sweet enthusiasm for homeland and  humanity, if one did not want to longingly demand, contemptuously  despise, joyously expect, and youthfully dream with the author. And I  demanded, despised, expected and dreamed with him. I nourished my love  on his enthusiasm and strengthened my beliefs on his hopes. I have lived  in rich abundance -- Then why am I still discontented, discontented  with this book?

Therefore, because I do not find passion here, the passion that wakes  the soul of men, therefore, because even here I meet the same  well-meaning half-measure, that wants to reconcile before dividing that  has come not to send the sword like Christ did, but rather to send  peace. therefore, because wrath and hate do not burn here; therefore,  because even this enthusiasm is nothing more than fleeting excitement  and even this prediction of revival is nothing more than the political  and diplomatic sayings of sly politics. Finally, I am discontented  because instead of demanding us to look inside ourselves and to look at  the disgrace of our broken souls the author speaks only of our future  prospects. On a single page (pg. 171; for the flimsy second chapter is  hardly worthy of our attention), the author dismisses our afflictions,  and what horrid afflictions they are! The "Stader Zoll", Hannover's and  Mecklenburg's refusal to step up to the German Customs Union ect.; is  only incidentally thought of in court constitution and press terms. Then  he swiftly concludes : "Let us turn away from this sad view and look to  the vision the future has to offer us." He excuses this tenderness with  the following: "It is of less use to illuminate single deficiencies  where evil has taken root, not because it isn't necessary or worth the  effort, but rather because the Illumination of said deficiencies here is  less effective than anywhere else; Because the nation has the clearest  insight on countless things, whose repeal imposes the most simple  understanding, and which in spite of the most outspoken will of the  public voice spreads nevertheless.

"The nation has the clearest insight!" Tell me, where is the nation  supposed to have attained this insight? For example, how many Prussians  read more than just the national newspaper or other popular newspapers  of the inland? Nothing is discussed in these newspapers but frivolous  festivities. The atrocities committed by the rotten people are  completely ignored. When will the decisive ideas of our modern age, like  freedom of press, transparency, and self-determination be discussed in  an inclusive manner. So far these ideas have only been negotiated in  alienated chambers, as if these notions had no direct impact on us. Go  into the provinces and be shocked to learn about the inexpressible  efficacy of censorship. Such a widespread ignorance in regard to the  holy as well as unholy questions of political life is hard to find  elsewhere. And this ignorance is so ingrained that no quiet ray of  reason may ever penetrate this wild darkness, and only a blazing bolt of  lightning that starts a fire that burns everything to the ground will  brink clarity and light. Already, I see a little cloud rising on the  horizon. To be sure it is still inconspicuous and desperate. But many  others see it too, although it is only visible to the Sunday children.  There could be a pretty thunderstorm after the muggy days.

A book has appeared in the press-free country of Switzerland that we  should not ignore just because we are ashamed. Rather, we should allow  it to dismantle the hypocritical priesthood of the wolf soul. Neither  tirades, admonitions, nor boring discussions gnaw at the heart and  kidneys of the naked child. So exposed is this child that the cutting  winter frost begins to freeze his limbs until his spirit begins to hunt  helplessly for protection and shelter. There is a forty-seven page book,  which I cannot name, but that has become as popular as the "Spener'she"  Newspaper and has extinguished more than twenty years of this  revolution.

Paper: which is to this day unsurpassed in the incomparably simple  manner by which to revolutionize the spirits and awaken conviction.  There is nothing that proves that we belong to the best race and that  this race is blessed by God. But this was asked four times and answered  four times. The author could have taken a hint from this and been more  popular. But he is a German with skin and hair. On page 201 he says,  "First the human soul must be dissected, its structure known, its  functions described, its development explained; first we should work out  the lessons we can learn from the spirit, the individual, races,  nations, tribes, and families. Only then will humanity be able to open  its eyes for the first time: It will get to know itself, the time of its  emancipation has arrived. The more their self awareness grows, the more  generally the psychological consciousness of the masses can understand  themselves, the greater the possibility of attain the best of history --  the perfect country. It must appear almost deceitful that I selected  this laughable passage, in which the author recommended that the masses  study psychology, in order to finally arrive at the "perfect State".  Unfortunately this is no incidental idea, no excusable side note, but  rather it forms the base of the book. Can it amaze us that the Author is  so enthusiastic about German-nature, when we recognize that he himself  is such a thoroughly German man? Understand (this is about how Mr.  Rohmer speaks) the character and the meaning of the Russians and Polish,  the Frenchmen, Englishman and Spaniards, the Chinese and Indian, indeed  all peoples of the earth, understand and compare yourself to them: then  you will see that you are called to hegemony as the "most blessed"  people, and you will fly on this knowledge and obtain it through unity.  My book should help you come to every understanding in which peoples are  reviewed and measured and it should seep into your heart. In this way  unity will be found, and then you my German People cannot fail to be  comfortable, for "the greatness in you must and will awake".

No matter what, the "Holy Ghost" will come but no sooner than the  time is right. And does the time come without any reason? We must make  the time come. Pass through the country, go into each cottage, preach  discord and even violence, not dull unity and comfortable contentment.  We must wake the drowsy souls, not with fleeting hope of comfort, no,  and with the knowledge that you are informing them of the gruesome  happenings, the secret, forbidden stories, keep in mind that these  trusting citizens didn't even know to suspect such things.

What for does Mr. Rohmer plea we need connection? Are we Germans not  connected? Do we not sing the same song: "what is our German Vaterland"?  Do not all Germans happily great one another as friends and trust each  other, and do we not feel connected in the idea or meaning of the word  "German"? This Mr. Rohmer knows as well as we do; and still he says we  do not possess this connection. With what right? Sadly, with one that is  all too true! We are as connected as a herd of sheep. We graze in  incomparable calm next to one another and defecate in masses in the  barnyard and eat our meals while we allow our coats to be cut. From time  to time, a wolf takes one of us as his meal, and in these times the  cowardly insidious rascal might dress up like one of the sheep, as  though this were necessary, and be unable to choose his meal because  none seem to mind being chosen.

Sheep are connected, but they have to will. Rip one of our submissive  people into shreds and we will all be filled with a feeling of  connectedness with that individual.Show the horrors committed by the  authorities elected by the people, those living in their comfortable  homes with their children and do not wish to be imposed upon with these  events, and these people will undermine every belief short of the one in  the spirit to forget what they have heard and so they are dependent.  Only when a human feels lost and alone will he rise up and realize such  things; an urge will then flow through his muscles and his courage will  swell and he will realize who he is and the power he possesses. Bravely  he will no longer follow with blind trust and beliefs, and only those  stripped of their blind will to follow will experience freedom. Have the  courage to be destructive and you will soon see which wonderful flowers  grow out of the ashes of what you have torn down.

Nothing can heal a person better than the power of a great thought,  the kind that fills our souls with an incredible will that pushes us to  act. Where in us lies this obligated desire that comes from a great  idea, that no matter what, is unstoppable in creating a new world and  being within ourselves? We Germans have great pride, which can become  vanity and bring us to shame. But pride --- pride we can only possess  for one thing: we can only be proud of a freedom we have accomplished  through thought, pride for the meaning of "I". And still we are only  free in a matter of thought and we are not yet proud of this freedom. No  civilization has a greater right to describe their "I" with larger  letters than the Germans, but we do not capitalize it: we leave it  hidden and allow the English language to have the capital advantage. Let  us accept the German "Ich" as the most important because the English  "I" remains under the despotism and authority of the Church and the  French is fading under the influence of the gloire --- let us  internalize this right and become proud. The pride is what we lack and  the pride alone. Away with the humility, that harms itself! A man is  independent! Stop asking for duties that become offerings; make your  owns laws and then follow with your own will, knowing that you are then  free.

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But the time is coming that I address the reasons for this book: the  groups that have refreshed my faith and if it were radical enough, and  it must be because all else is too mainstream, I would attempt to  explore these deep thoughts. The idea that Germany may be obligated to  reach hegemony becomes like a red thread through the whole thought  process. This same idea brings Germany a worldview that it must compare  itself to other nations, to ask them what to do in order to establish a  national character. In the introduction, the German consciousness is  designated as that "more politically minor-ness"; out of the story on  the one hand, the German's intellectual salaries are indicated  henceforth in rather wide comprehensiveness and with witty reflection.  The situation with Europe, on the other hand, whose view forms the  second part of the story, the occupation of Germany is supposed to be  demonstrated. From this story, which was written with fairly clear  detail and reflection, the opinions of Europe, which can be found in the  second part of the book, should finally become the opposite of those of  Germany. The story shows that Germany always made decisions and stood  as the heart of Europe; now, finally, the Germans should, now that other  nations are facing destruction, grow and build. Protestantism, like  someone who has searched high and low for truths, must be at the center  of principles as the only answer to the deepest questions and the  solution to the most extreme problems. Protestantism must be freely  accepted as part of the German identity. This principle will become the  greatest yearning for all mankind, the kind of longing for a righteous  word view, a knowing that there is a connection between man and God  (Verf.). But it is not so simple; the longing does not occur for a  correct or righteous world view, not for a theoretical contentment;  instead, the longing is for a right to one self, and the ability to act  as oneself. Each of Goethe's hardships was absolved through the  following and Shiller's bragging was thereby extinguished. The question  is not how should man behave towards God but how should God as a free  entity be viewed by man and this is a question of yearning for time.  "The millennium brings a ring of the natural reasoning for the true  state" says Verf. (44). This goal, in regard to Mr. Rohmer's idea,  misleads us many times over and only so long as we want to produce  something other then ourselves, we must make ourselves, manifest  ourselves. To inform us and become honest souls will create a true  state. We cannot create the state because the state is made up of the  souls of its people that offer themselves freely as souls of the state.  It is necessary for the people to come together, to see what belongs to  themselves as belonging to the state and the other people and this is  what is known as a state; the free connection of the people. The type of  state that one can make like a college course pales in comparison to  the former in terms of freedom just as the Church would. With such lack  of freedom the church and the state become invisible. Mr. Rohmer  asserts, however, that men should move ever more towards a stage in  which their worth and health is established and the freedom of trade is  theirs. It is to be accomplished through a condition focused on the  persons (status -- country), in which they should find its welfare and  pains.

If on their part, the story now showed to which important roll  Germany is appointed, the same results from a review of the loyalty of  other peoples.  "The political situation of Europe, the role of the  people and countries, the state of its ambitions, should show us their  occupation, as is inferred by Germany's central position in Europe. In  truth, since the Reformation, at least for those given a sharp  impression and see only the surface, since the revolution, Europe is  seen as an incessant fermentation pot: Everything only transitional,  only crisis or intermezzo; the new Age in which strives, the innumerable  spasms of humanity, must yet be born. The pains of birth, here  violently convulsive, though gradually borrowed, has depicted the story  of Europe (not to say: the earth) since 1789."

In the fourteen chapters of the second part, European unity is  discussed multilaterally. The most important of these uncovered, would  bring the reader an enjoyment, to whom we urgently summon to be minded  insofar; it would also be in vain effort, to want to hint at such rich  material so briefly and unpleasantly.  The sum is as follows:  "Unite --  and two great powers will be inspired out of your will, and it will  become a single power with two arms. Unite-- and Holland will sacrifice  the old rigid spirit for you, and, what in Belgium and Switzerland is  German nature, will itself become the new light with or without the  desire to do so. Unite -- and Scandinavia will grasp your hand.   Unite  -- and England will seek your alliance at the first sign of danger.   Unite -- and Russia will tremble, while Poland finds hope. Unite -- and  Austria, the substructure that supports Germany and Hungary, will rise  at your will to the law in the question of the orient.  Unite -- and  Italy will desire the support of your forces in the future; and yes  through your unity, Portugal, Spain and France will be compelled to  unite as well.  If only you were to unite -- you would be the first  people of the earth".  (Pg.  161)

But how do we achieve this unity?  By what means is it supposed to be  created?  "One principle requires time, in order to destroy the demands  of falsehood, and to create and proclaim the new truth.  "And the  creator of this principle -- that even Mr. Rohmer himself recognizes,  that no philosopher can in any manner name --- this is how the  philosophy should be.  "We all know that only the German philosophy can  lay for us the cornerstone of a higher future."  (pg.188) We arrived at  this conclusion in the final chapter of the book.  How one must regret  here, that the author knows so little of the subject that he discusses!   He wants only to describe to be sure, the "general effect of the  philosophy on the time and people;" however, how would he recognize the  effects without understanding the causes? He will not look at the  innumerable effects of the philosophy or see all its effluences in the  same way, because his eyes have never perceived the [its] source.   As a  spectator from a distance he makes ingenious observations and opens us  up to many a bitter truth; he does not however, touch on the essence  anywhere, and, what pertains uniquely to the meaning of Hegelian  philosophy. In so doing his negligence allows for naivety and  ignorance-- traits of which we already so long are accustomed to by our  most valiant southern brothers. "Spruce"  is to him "an entirely other  and only man", and certainly "he should reverently hold the German  nation eternally as one of the rescuers arising out of deep need; if  however Hegel is admittedly of the same motto, certainly the people are  no longer under the foreign currency:  For King and Homeland! Igniting a  war of revenge, he knows -- yet in the whereto I become lost. Should I,  like the author, only factor in the effects of the same right of Hegel  and philosophy? I esteem him highly but repeat that his book, with all  its joy, does not come from inertness of the heart --- for of those  matters he understands nothing.  He, who knows for example only a  "Burdachian" or "Schubertian" psychology, not to mention Hegelian and  subsequent psychologies, the psychology that we now possess, can only as  "a miserable conglomerate of notices and observations" and that "none  can name a science that would possess that courage"?  The  fantasticalities Mr. Rohmer generally understands under psychology, is  already indicated above.  This he calls "the apprenticeship of the  spirit", and expects its implementation in the golden days.  On pg. 200  he prescribes not only the problem of the philosophy, but rather also  the results to which it must lead; that wholly arises out of the needs  of the heart, although shortly before (pg.196) he did not want to hold  scholasticism for philosophy as such. -- Certainly the philosophy and  newer development does not have all the effects, that the author wishes  would become fulfilled; but what lies just in these wishes, is that, as  already mentioned, reconciliation comes without divisiveness, and the  old concepts from "the unification of country and church, sovereign  force etc." separate of new, or rather not -- are radical.

Unfortunately we cannot fend off the sad outlook that the author  preaches his prophetic world view throughout the entire book to mostly  dumb ears. Those who, enthused by it (i.e., the world view) might move  toward its implementation, have only a sense for their own violence and  its justification, without thinking and intending anything cosmopolitan.  The others, however, who are only to be won over to it (i.e., the  author's world view), are still far away from freeing themselves from  their subservience (Bedientenhaftigkeit) of opinion to think of ideas as  something more than an entertaining fancy/enthusiasm. Only the youth  and the youthful spirits remain, and in their hearts, this sowing --  that we hope for -- so luxuriously, will rise that the weeds of the  selfish power-holders -- and they amount to millions -- cannot  proliferate any further.

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