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Max Stirner (1806 – 1856)


Born Johann Kaspar Schmidt, was a German philosopher who was a major influence on the nineteenth century development of ideas of nihilism, existentialism and individualist anarchism.
Max Stirner
"Freedom" awakens your rage against everything that is not you; "egoism" calls you to joy over yourselves, to self-enjoyment.
Stirner quotes
Everything sacred is a tie, a fetter.
Stirner
Revolution is aimed at new arrangements; insurrection [Empörung] leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged, but to arrange ourselves, and set no glittering hopes on “institutions.”




Stirner Max quotes
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.
Stirner Max
Man with the great M is only an ideal, the species only something thought of.
Max Stirner quotes
If one awakens in men the idea of freedom then the free men will incessantly go on to free themselves; if on the contrary, one only educates them, then they will at all times accommodate themselves to circumstance in the most highly educated and elegant manner and degenerate into subservient cringing souls.
Max Stirner
I say: liberate yourself as far as you can, and you have done your part; for it is not given to every one to break through all limits, or, more expressively, not to everyone is that a limit which is a limit for the rest. Consequently, do not tire yourself with toiling at the limits of others; enough if you tear down yours. [...] He who overturns one of his limits may have shown others the way and the means; the overturning of their limits remains their affair.
Stirner Max quotes
In the pedagogical as in certain other spheres freedom is not allowed to erupt, the power of the opposition is not allowed to put a word in edgewise: they want submissiveness. Only a formal and material training is being aimed at and only scholars come out of the menageries of the humanists, only "useful citizens" out of those of the realists, both of whom are indeed nothing but subservient people. Our good background of recalcitrancy [sic] gets strongly suppressed and with it the development of knowledge to free will. The result of school is then philistinism.
Stirner
Thus the radii of all education run together into one center which is called personality.
Stirner Max
The difficulty in our education up till now lies, for the most part, in the fact that knowledge did not refine itself into will, to application of itself, to pure practice. The realists felt the need and supplied it, though in a most miserable way, by cultivating idea-less and fettered "practical men." Most college students are living examples of this sad turn of events. Trained in the most excellent manner, they go on training; drilled they continue drilling.
Max Stirner
What matters the party to me? I shall find enough anyhow who unite with me without swearing allegiance to my flag.




Max Stirner quotes
[...] then the necessary decline of non-voluntary learning and rise of the self-assured will which perfects itself in the glorious sunlight of the free person may be somewhat expressed as follows: knowledge must die and rise again as will and create itself anew each day as a free person.
Max Stirner
[...] Because the Egoist is to himself the warder of the human, and has nothing to say to the state except: "Get out of my sunshine!"
Stirner quotes
Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man's lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self.
Stirner Max
Just as the schoolmen philosophized only inside the belief of the church, … without ever throwing a doubt upon this belief; as authors fill whole folios on the State without calling in question the fixed idea of the State itself; as our newspapers are crammed with politics because they are conjured into the fancy that man was created to be a zoon politicon,—so also subjects vegetate in subjection, virtuous people in virtue, liberals in humanity, etc., without ever putting to these fixed ideas of theirs the searching knife of criticism. Undislodgeable, like a madman’s delusion, those thoughts stand on a firm footing, and he who doubts them—lays hands on the sacred!
Stirner Max quotes
It would be foolish to assert that there is no power above mine. Only the attitude that I take toward it will be quite another than that of the religious age: I shall be the enemy of every higher power, while religion teaches us to make it our friend and be humble toward it.
Max Stirner
Yes, so it is that knowledge itself must die in order to blossom forth again in death as will; the freedom of thought, belief, and conscience, these wonderful flowers of three centuries will sink back into the lap of mother earth so that a new freedom, the freedom will, will be nourished with its most noble juices.
Max Stirner quotes
But let the individual man lay claim to ever so many rights because Man or the concept man ‘entitles’ him to them, because his being man does it: what do I care for his right and his claim? If he has his right only from Man and does not have it from me, then for me he has no right. His life, for example, counts to me only for what it is worth to me. I respect neither a so-called right of property (or his claim to tangible goods) nor yet his right to the ‘sanctuary of his inner nature’ (or his right to have the spiritual goods and divinities, his gods, remain un-aggrieved). His goods, the sensuous as well as the spiritual, are mine, and I dispose of them as proprietor, in the measure of my — might.
Max Stirner
Apart from any other basis which might justify a superiority, education, as a power, raised him who possessed it over the weak, who lacked it, and the educated man counted in his circle, however large or small it was, as the mighty, the powerful, the imposing one: for he was an authority.
Stirner Max
The young are of age when they twitter like the old; they are driven through school to learn the old song, and, when they have this by heart, they are declared of age.


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