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Individualist anarchism

Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems.[1][2] Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a group of individualistic philosophies that sometimes are in conflict. Thereafter, it expanded through Europe and the United States. Benjamin R. Tucker, a famous 19th-century individualist anarchist, held that "if the individual has the right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny."[3]

Contents

  • Overview 1
  • Name 2
  • Selected references 3

Overview

Liberty (1881–1908), US individualist anarchist publication edited by Benjamin Tucker
Among the early influences on individualist anarchism were William Godwin,[4] Henry David Thoreau (transcendentalism),[5] Josiah Warren ("sovereignty of the individual"), Lysander Spooner ("natural law"), Pierre Joseph Proudhon (mutualism), Anselme Bellegarrigue,[6] Herbert Spencer ("law of equal liberty"),[7] and Max Stirner (egoism).[8]

Individualist anarchism of different kinds have a few things in common. These are:

1. The concentration on the individual and his/her will in preference to any construction such as morality, ideology, social custom, religion, metaphysics, ideas or the will of others.[9][10]

2. The rejection of or reservations about the idea of revolution, seeing it as a time of mass uprising which could bring about new hierarchies. Instead they favor more evolutionary methods of bringing about anarchy through alternative experiences and experiments and education which could be brought about today.[11][12] This is also because it is not seen as desirable for individuals to wait for revolution to start experiencing alternative experiences outside what is offered in the current social system.[13]

3. The view that relationships with other persons or things can be in one's own interest only and can be as transitory and without compromises as desired since in individualist anarchism sacrifice is usually rejected. In this way, Max Stirner recommended associations of egoists.[14][15] Individual experience and exploration therefore is emphasized.

The egoist form of individualist anarchism, derived from the philosophy of Max Stirner, supports the individual doing exactly what he pleases — taking no notice of God, state, or moral rules.[16] To Stirner, rights were spooks in the mind, and he held that society does not exist but "the individuals are its reality" — he supported property by force of might rather than moral right.[17] Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw "associations of egoists" drawn together by respect for each other's ruthlessness.[18]

For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, American individualist anarchism "stresses the isolation of the individual — his right to his own tools, his mind, his body, and to the products of his labor. To the artist who embraces this philosophy it is "aesthetic" anarchism, to the reformer, ethical anarchism, to the independent mechanic, economic anarchism. The former is concerned with philosophy, the latter with practical demonstration. The economic anarchist is concerned with constructing a society on the basis of anarchism. Economically he sees no harm whatever in the private possession of what the individual produces by his own labor, but only so much and no more. The aesthetic and ethical type found expression in the transcendentalism, humanitarianism, and romanticism of the first part of the nineteenth century, the economic type in the pioneer life of the West during the same period, but more favorably after the Civil War."[19] It is for this reason that it has been suggested that in order to understand American individualist anarchism one must take into account "the social context of their ideas, namely the transformation of America from a pre-capitalist to a capitalist society ... the non-capitalist nature of the early U.S. can be seen from the early dominance of self-employment (artisan and peasant production). At the beginning of the 19th century, around 80% of the working (non-slave) male population were self-employed. The great majority of Americans during this time were farmers working their own land, primarily for their own needs." and so "Individualist anarchism is clearly a form of artisanal socialism ... while communist anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism are forms of industrial (or proletarian) socialism."[20] Contemporary individualist anarchist Kevin Carson characterizes American individualist anarchism saying that "Unlike the rest of the socialist movement, the individualist anarchists believed that the natural wage of labor in a free ==Taxonavigation== Species: Individualist anarchism

Name

  • Individualist anarchism Franceschi, 1928

Selected references

  • Muniain, C.; Ortea, J. 1998: The taxonomic status and redescription of Polycera marplatensis Franceschi, 1928 (Nudibranchia: Polyceratidae) from Argentina. Veliger, 41(2): 142-147. BHL
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