By Keith Preston
German intellectual culture of the early nineteenth century produced an amazing variety of thinkers whose influence would continue to be felt two centuries later. Among the most interesting of these were those influenced in various ways by G.W.F. Hegel, but who utilized Hegel merely as a starting point for the widely diverse direction their individual thought would assume. Karl Marx was one of these thinkers, and perhaps the one with the most far reaching and durable influence. However, another fascinating thinker from this time period was an individual that in many ways could be considered the ultimate counterpart to Marxian communism, and to such a degree that a significant part of Marx’s The German Ideology is devoted to attacking his ideas. The individual in question was a dissolute figure who wrote under the curious pseudonym of Max Stirner.