Writings Related to Egoist Communism
To accept that humankind is inherently selfish is not to
abandon the idea of class struggle, rather it underlines how
neccesary it is. The working class individual must strive
for his or her own interests, or the goal is not worth fighting for.
With egoist communism, it is the ego, the self
which comes first... it is a given that the rational self-interests
of the individual member of the working class, and the very definitions of
liberty and freedom are quite different from that of
the capitalist class. Collectivism and Individualism are not polar
opposites, but rather two possible orientations which are appropriate
at different times, under different conditions. Egoist communists accept
collective organization by choice, as a neccessary response
to the high level of collective organization inherent in capitalist
structures. Situationist theory, at it's best, is
a strongly egoist type of communism (in some ways, more Stirner than Marx)
and resolves many of the contradictions in the traditional "Communist"
movement. Egoist communists are also hedonistic: for the communist egoist,
fighting capitalism is fun, it's what he or she wants to do.
After all, no one should be doing something they do not want to do!
The communist-egoist identifies with workers and fights uncompromisingly against
capitalism as a member of the working class, while striving to preserve
as much freedom and individual liberty as possible.
There are a number of texts which touch on the concept of egoistic
communist theories. Some focus on the issue of the individual vs.
the collective, and work toward resolving the contradictions.
Other writings attack the concept of "work" in industrial
society, and affirm the working class individual's right to be
independant of capitalism's ideological and physical influence
and think for themselves.
Some of this type of writing leaves something to be desired: while
the concept of communist-egoism can have great appeal to the
self-interested, it does not mean that overthrowing capitalism
will be easy, or
that people only need to sit back and hide in a "Temporary Autonomous
Zone" and wait for capitalism's collapse. To expect something in
ones lifetime is to fight for it.
Individualism vs. Individualism
by Laure Akai
Lauri explains what Individualist Anarchism is, and what it is not.
This essay has one vital flaw: Stirner was no moralist, rather
his individualism was amoral. However, this article still underlines
the basic definition of untainted individualistic anarchism.
The Right to be Lazy
by Paul LaFargue
"A classic, written by Karl Marx's son-in-law. A masterpeice of critical
thoery and rip-roaring humour."
Published by Charles H. Kerr
$9 from AK Distribution
The Right to be Greedy:
Theses on the Practical Necessity of Demanding
by For Ourselves
"A communist defense of pure greed? Out of the Situationist
movement of the 1970's comes a challenging attempt to reconcile
Marxist communism with capitalist egoism. The authors propose
that selfishness is the highest form of communism, that all
morality is a form of self-sacrifice, that the true egoist
transcends petty materialism for a more rewarding form of self-
fulfillment. One of the most challenging books you will ever
5-1/2 x 8-1/2, 94 pp, soft cover.
Situationist writing first published in 1974.
$6.95 from AK Distribution
The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times
A Position Paper by Hakim Bey
An interesting essay...
What is Communist Anarchism?
by Alexander Berkman
This book, along with Malatesta's
Anarchy, gives a good
explanation of the concept of anarchism.
$6.95 from AK Distribution
The Abolition of Work
by Bob Black
While Bob Black's writing is generaly suffused with an over-abundance of
"anti-organizational" ideology (as with some other individualist anarchist writers,
such as Hakim Bey) nevertheless, he occasionaly says something
decent. The greatest flaw with Bob Black's The Abolition of Work
is that it is not made clear enough that it is the alienating, exploitive activity
that is called "work" which is the problem, but not the concept
of physical effort, let alone work that is enjoyable.
Should be available as a pamphlet, or online.
The False Principles Of Our Education
by Max Stirner
Realism, the Egoist way. A classic essay from Stirner.
Pamphlet published by Ralph Myles
$2.50 from AK Distribution
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Last update: 5/13/96. Send comments to jah AT iww.org