49 Facts About Max Stirner


Johann Kaspar Schmidt, known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness.


Max Stirner was the only child of Albert Christian Heinrich Schmidt and Sophia Elenora Reinlein, who were Lutherans.


Max Stirner's father died of tuberculosis on 19 April 1807 at the age of 37.


When Max Stirner turned 20, he attended the University of Berlin, where he studied philology.


Max Stirner attended the lectures of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who was to become a source of inspiration for his thinking.


Max Stirner attended Hegel's lectures on the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion and the subjective spirit.


Max Stirner then moved to the University of Erlangen, which he attended at the same time as Ludwig Feuerbach.


Max Stirner returned to Berlin and obtained a teaching certificate, but he was unable to obtain a full-time teaching post from the Prussian government.


Max Stirner met with Engels many times and Engels even recalled that they were "great friends," but it is still unclear whether Marx and Max Stirner ever met.


The most-often reproduced portrait of Max Stirner is a cartoon by Engels, drawn forty years later from memory at biographer Mackay's request.


Max Stirner worked as a teacher in a school for young girls owned by Madame Gropius when he wrote his major work, The Ego and Its Own, which in part is a polemic against Feuerbach and Bauer, but against communists such as Wilhelm Weitling and the anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.


Max Stirner resigned from his teaching position in anticipation of controversy from this work's publication in October 1844.


Max Stirner wrote a compilation of texts titled History of Reaction in 1852.


Max Stirner died in 1856 in Berlin from an infected insect bite.


Max Stirner influenced illegalists, feminists, nihilists and bohemians, as well as fascists, right-libertarians and anarcho-capitalists.


Max Stirner's egoism argues that individuals are impossible to fully comprehend, as no understanding of the self can adequately describe the fullness of experience.


Max Stirner has been broadly understood as containing traits of both psychological egoism and rational egoism.


Unlike the self-interest described by Ayn Rand, Max Stirner did not address individual self-interest, selfishness, or prescriptions for how one should act.


Max Stirner urged individuals to decide for themselves and fulfill their own egoism.


Max Stirner did not believe in the one-track pursuit of greed, which as only one aspect of the ego would lead to being possessed by a cause other than the full ego.


Max Stirner did not believe in natural rights to property and encouraged insurrection against all forms of authority, including disrespect for property.


Max Stirner advocated egoism and a form of amoralism in which individuals would unite in Unions of egoists only when it was in their self-interest to do so.


Max Stirner sees no rationality in taking the interests of others into account unless doing so furthers one's self-interest, which he believes is the only legitimate reason for acting.


Max Stirner suggested that communism was tainted with the same idealism as Christianity and infused with superstitious ideas like morality and justice.


Max Stirner did not subscribe to libertarian communism, because it did not exist when he was writing and so he was directing his critique against the various forms of state communism which did.


Max Stirner concludes that "the relevance of Max Stirner to anarcho-communism was to drop the communism part".


Max Stirner criticizes conventional notions of revolution, arguing that social movements aimed at overturning established ideals are tacitly idealist because they are implicitly aimed at the establishment of a new ideal thereafter.


The Union is understood as a non-systematic association, which Max Stirner proposed in contradistinction to the state.


Unlike a "community" in which individuals are obliged to participate, Max Stirner's suggested Union would be voluntary and instrumental under which individuals would freely associate insofar as others within the Union remain useful to each constituent individual.


Scholars such as Douglas Moggach and Widukind De Ridder have stated that Max Stirner was obviously a student of Hegel, like his contemporaries Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer, but this does not necessarily make him an Hegelian.


Contrary to the Young Hegelians, Max Stirner scorned all attempts at an immanent critique of Hegel and the Enlightenment and renounced Bauer and Feuerbach's emancipatory claims as well.


Max Stirner refused to conceptualize the human self, and rendered it devoid of any reference to rationality or universal standards.


Max Stirner explains that education in either the classical humanist method or the practical realist method still lacks true value.


Max Stirner's argument explores and extends the limits of criticism, aiming his critique especially at those of his contemporaries, particularly Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer, at popular ideologies, including communism, humanism, liberalism, and nationalism as well as capitalism, religion and statism, arguing:.


Max Stirner's Critics was published in September 1845 in Wigands Vierteljahrsschrift.


The article was signed G Edward and its authorship has been disputed ever since John Henry Mackay "cautiously" attributed it to Stirner and included it in his collection of Stirner's lesser writings.


And, indeed, as Mackay went on to argue, Max Stirner never refuted this attribution.


Everything that in any way, whether it be external force, belief, or mere idea, places itself above the individual and his caprice, Max Stirner rejects as a hateful limitation of himself.


Max Stirner lays so much stress upon the will, in fact, that it appears as the root force of human nature.


The relationship between Nietzsche and Max Stirner seems to be much more complicated.


Max Stirner had a destructive impact on left-Hegelianism, but his philosophy was a significant influence on Marx and his magnum opus became a founding text of individualist anarchism.


Max Stirner's philosophy was important in the development of modern anarchist thought, particularly individualist anarchism and egoist anarchism.


Later in the 1960s, Daniel Guerin says in Anarchism: From Theory to Practice that Max Stirner "rehabilitated the individual at a time when the philosophical field was dominated by Hegelian anti-individualism and most reformers in the social field had been led by the misdeeds of bourgeois egotism to stress its opposite" and pointed to "the boldness and scope of his thought".


The name was taken from the writings of Max Stirner and refers to Max Stirner's concept of "self-ownership" of the individual.


Mackay used the works of Max Stirner to justify "man-boy love" and the abolition of the age of consent.


Feminists influenced by Max Stirner include anarchist Emma Goldman, as well as Dora Marsden who founded the journals The Freewoman, The New Freewoman, and The Egoist.


Marx's lengthy ferocious polemic against Max Stirner has since been considered an important turning point in Marx's intellectual development from idealism to materialism.


However, there is no indication that he actually read it as no mention of Max Stirner is known to exist anywhere in Nietzsche's publications, papers or correspondence.


However, the idea that Nietzsche was influenced in some way by Max Stirner continues to attract a significant minority, perhaps because it seems necessary to explain the oft-noted similarities in their writings.