An Exchange with a Left Wing Critic

From “Rosa Luxemburg Comics“:

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Letter To Keith Preston: No, You’re Not a Stirnerite

So when I was browsing on Anti-Fascist News, I came across a bizarre article about a “left anarchist” named Keith Preston. And the really weird thing about Keith is his version of panarchism, while panarchism was originally defined as a synthesis of different socialist anarchist factions, it was then ruined and twisted by a right-wing “libertarian” known as Kant, but Keith’s panarchism is so different that it can barely be called “anarchism”. He advocates the unification of left-anarchists, “anarcho”-capitalists, national-“anarchists”, and even “anarcho”-feudalists! I’m not going to prove that Keith is obviously not an anarchist because Anti-Fascist News did that already, but I am going to prove that Preston is certainly not a Stirnerite.

To be clear there are many Stirnerites including myself who mix egoist-anarchism with other ideas. There are Marxist-Stirnerites, Luxemburgist-Stirnerites, and Syndicalist-Stirnerites. I, myself identity as a Buddhist-Stirnerite, but I will explain how these two ideas are compatible to me in a future post. How a Stirnerite accepts a different idea or group is by asking him/herself “Does this idea/group actually benefit me?” While Keith does call himself a Stirnerite, but he clearly hasn’t been thinking of his own ego, due to the fact he allies with capitalists, feudalistic, and nationalists. Stirner was very critical of capitalism, feudalism, and nationalism because they all shared one thing in common: to subjugate and exploit the majority of the people while having a small group of powerful privileged minorities. These three ideologies were considered to be extremely authoritarian spooks by Max Stirner because the small privileged minorities create an artificial safety net to preserve their power of exploitation.

That’s why Max Stirner and any real Stirnerite will always fight against capitalism, feudalism, and nationalism. Keith Preston, you’re not a Stirnerite, you’re delusional.

Please like my article. What did you think of my criticism to Keith? Did you guys like the meme I made? And please share this post to any pseudo-“panarchists”.

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My Response:

Interesting. I consider pan-anarchism to be an umbrella for all forms of anarchism, decentralism, libertarianism, anti-statism, or anti-authoritarianism. When it comes to left/right divisions between these, I am for free association, decentralization, federalism, or mutual self-separation. Beyond, that I am for developing society-wide consensuses for pan-decentralization (i.e. cantons, provinces, autonomous regions, statelets, city-states, villages, federations of towns and communes, etc).

I also favor a concept I call pan-secessionism as a means of achieving this, which basically combines secession by regions and communities with something akin to the old syndicalist idea of a general strike.

“Marxist-Stirnerites, Luxemburgist-Stirnerites, and Syndicalist-Stirnerites. I, myself identity as a Buddhist-Stirnerite”

I am familiar with these, and with pan-anarchism there were would communes, homelands, and territories for these along with the same for “left-anarchists, “anarcho”-capitalists, national-“anarchists”, and even “anarcho”-feudalists.”


RLC Replies:

Keith Preston, if you cared about your well being, and individuality, then you would not side with a group that will suppress your freedom through “voluntarism”. I guarantee that the “anarcho”- capitalists, “anarcho”-feudalists, and especially national “anarchists” will stab you in the back and exploit you. Also quit complaining about the “degeneracy” of culture. Culture is a spook.

And My Second Response:

And leftists never do anything like that, right? See the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Spanish, Revolution, Chinese Revolution, Cuban Revolution, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Look at it this way. If you don’t like what’s going on in the anarcho-capitalist, anarcho-feudalist, anarcho-nationalist, etc communities you can always either migrate elsewhere or organize anarcho-syndicalist unions and peasant revolts, or agitate for more multiculturalism.

2 replies »

  1. I do not think RCP (or anyone on the internet going around posting Spooky memes and presenting themselves as the gatekeeper of all that makes someone a proper Stirnerite) has read Stirner, or at least, if he or she has read Stirner, has absolutely no understanding of him.

    For one, RCP claims that a proper Stirnerite considers his self interest and chooses his collateral commitments upon that reflection. RCP is aware Mr. Preston is claiming that his pan-secessionism is precisely the result of this egoistic reflection upon ends and means. But RCP merely asserts that, I guess, Mr. Preston is wrong to think this way regarding HIS ends and means. Obviously RCP can only maintain this line of attack through implicit appeal to Values or Ideas outside of Mr. Preston (i.e. an attack stemming from a criticism of values via appeal to some value above-and-beyond the individuals to whom the argument is directed). This is precisely the type of thing Stirner rejected doing.

    “Keith Preston, if you cared about your well being, and individuality, then you would not […]”

    This is another example of what I mean. To presume to declare what “individuality” means and dictates is to appeal to Fixed Ideas. To persist in this matter in the face of Mr. Preston’s claim that he is following his self interest and individuality is an attempt to compare the man (Preston) to RCP’s idea of the Stirernite Man, a la what Stirner meant by the comparison of a man to Man.

    Lastly, “Culture is a Spook.” When people say things like this I have a hard time not assuming they are making a parody. Culture is not imaginary. It is the egoists feeling of commitment, duty, or necessity towards “culture” that makes the relationship one of a machine in the head. There are other ways of talking about Culture that do not run afoul of Stirner, for instance, culture as practical and/or empirical element of experience which we have reason to evaluate for our instrumental purposes.

  2. Too bad for RLC that a ” Buddhist-Stirnerite” is an oxymoron. How can one seek to annihilate the ego and at the same time raise it to the level of divinity?

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