By Charlie Lee, Springtime of Nations
Communism is the economic system characterized by “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Bizarrely, it has become increasingly popular in recent years to claim that the champion of Egoism, Max Stirner, supported this system or at least that it is compatible with his thought. It’s not, and that should be obvious to anyone who has read him, but since it seems not to be, here we go.
Max Stirner hated Communism, possibly even more than Proudhon did, which is really saying something.
Stirner writes in The Ego and His Own “Communism, by the abolition of all personal property, only presses me back still more into dependence on another, viz., on the generality or collectivity; and, loudly as it always attacks the ‘State,’ what it intends is itself again a State, a status, a condition hindering my free movement, a sovereign power over me. Communism rightly revolts against the pressure that I experience from individual proprietors; but still more horrible is the might that it puts in the hands of the collectivity.”
Please note that far from supporting communism, Stirner writes that communism is “still more horrible” than the present capitalistic society in which he lived.
Stirner wrote “According to the Communists’ opinion the commune should be proprietor. On the contrary, I am proprietor, and I only come to an understanding with others about my property. If the commune does not do what suits me, I rise against it and defend my property… Property, therefore, should not and cannot be abolished; it must rather be torn from ghostly hands and become my property.”