Enemies of Society

An Anthology of Individualist & Egoist Thought

This book tells the story of the most neglected tendency in anarchist thought; egoism. The story of anarchism is usually told as a story of great bearded men who had beautiful ideas and a series of beautiful failures, culminating in the most beautiful failure of them all in the Spanish Civil War. A noble history of failed ideas and practice.

Egoism, and individualist anarchism, suffers a different kind of fate. It is not a great history and glorious failure but an obscure series of stories of winning. Victory defined by the only terms that matter, those who lived life to their fullest and whose struggle against the existing order defined them. This struggle was not one of abstractions, of Big Ideas, but of people attempting to claim an authentic stake in their own life.

Inspired by the writings of Stirner’s “The Ego and His Own” the assertion these people make it not of the composition of a better world (for everyone) but of how the machinations of society, especially one of abstractions and Big Ideas, have shaped the individual members of that society. How everything that we know and believe has been shaped by structure and intent into a conformed, denatured shadow of what we could be.

Individualists anarchists have always argued that anarchism should not be a version of heaven on earth but a “plurality of possibilities”. This has relegated their activity to the actions that people make in their lives rather than participating in political bodies and formations that shape, and participate in, society. Egoists have gone to war with this world, robbed banks, practiced free love, and won everything except those things worth nothing: history, politics, & acceptance by society.

People like you have been denounced as “enemies of society”. No doubt you would indignantly deny being such and claim that you are trying to save society from the vampire of the State. You delude yourselves. Insofar as “society” means an organized collectivity having one basic norm of behavior that must be accepted by all (and that includes your libertarian communist utopia) and insofar as the norm is a product of the average, the crowd, the mediocre, then anarchists are always enemies of society. There is no reason to suppose that the interests of the free individual and the interests of the social machine will ever harmonize, nor is it desirable that they should. Permanent conflict between the two is the only perspective that makes any sense to me. But I expect that you will not see this, that you will continue to hope that if you repeat “the free society is possible” enough times then it will become so.

Paper, $20.00, 5.5″x8.5″, 400 pages

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Corrected Table of Contents

Preamble: First Blood vii

1. Rejecting the Stamp of Group Approval: first wave individualists in the US and Europe

James L. Walker: A Unique One 2
What is Justice? by James L. Walker 3
On Rights, by James L. Walker 6
Stirner on Justice, by Tak Kak 7
Selfhood Terminates Blind Man?s Bluff, by Tak Kak 11
Egoism in Sexual Relations, by Tak Kak 13
Egoism, by John Beverley Robinson 14
Biographical note: John Beverley Robinson 17
The Land of the Altruists: a parable for the infant class, by John Beverly Robinson 18
Posterity: the New Superstition, by Benjamin De Casseres 20
Zo d’Axa’s Heresy 24
Individualism, by Pierre Chardon 31
Biographical note: Pierre Chardon 33
What do the Individualists Want? by The “Reveil De L’Eschlave Group of Paris 34
Renzo Novatore Outlaw Anarchist, by Daniel Giraud 36
Iconoclasts, Forward! 38
Cry of Rebellion, by Renzo Novatore 39
In the Kingdom of the Spooks, by Renzo Novatore 47
Biographical note: Renzo Novatore 45
The Bonnot Gang: A Reminiscence, by E. Bertran 49
Notes on Individualism, by E. Bertran 53
Three European Invidividualists: some notes on Armand, Martucci, and Novatore, by S.E. Parker 57
Individualist Perspectives, by E. Armand 63
Is the Anarchist Ideal Realizable? by E. Armand 67
Biographical note: E. Armand 68
An Introduction to E. Armand; what he was for, what he was against, by S.E. Parker 70
E. Armand: sexual liberationist, by Catherine Campousy 75
Letter to E. Armand, by Améca Scarfó83
On Sexual Equality: Edward Carpenter & Oscar Wilde, by E. Armand 87
Individual Differences: my polemic with E. Armand, by Enzo da Villafiore 93
In Praise of Chaos, by Enzo Martucci 98
Manifesto dei Fuorigregge 103
Individualist-Anarchism, by S.E. Parker 107

2. Rebels Building Dreams: second wave individualists reflect on their predecessors

John Henry Mackay’s Appreciation of Stirner 112
poem: Anarchy, by John Henry Mackay 117
poem: To Max Stirner, by John Henry Mackay 117
Biographical note: John Henry Mackay 120
John Henry Mackay, by E. Armand 124
The Anarchists, by Jim Kernochan 125
Men against the State: the expositors of individualist anarchism in America, 1827-1908,
a review by S.E. Parker 130
Pioneering Egoist Texts, by S.E. Parker 132
The Influence of Tucker?s Ideas in France, by E. Armand 137
Stirner on Education, by S.E. Parker 141
Voltairine de Cleyre, by S.E. Parker 145

3. Smashing Fossils: individualists & egoists critique leftism and its heritage

Anarchism vs Socialism, by S.E. Parker 150
Social Totalitarianism, by Francis Ellingham 154
Stirner, Marx, and Fascism, by S.E. Parker 158
Enzo Martucci on Communism 163

4. Savage Summit: egoist perspectives on Nietzsche Nietzsche, by Enzo Martucci 168

Notes on Stirner & Nietzsche, by S.E. Parker 172
Stirner on Nietzsche, by J.N. Figgis 176
Stourzh on Stirner and Nietzche, by Herbert Stourzh 178
Nietzsche: Antichrist? by S.E. Parker 181

5. A Maze to Trap the Living: society & the unique one

Anarchism and Individualism, by Georges Palante 190
Biographical note: Georges Palante 212
Anarchism, Society, and the Socialized Mind, by Francis Ellingham 204
A Note on Authority, by Enzo Martucci 217
A Letter to a Friend, by Laurance Labadie 218
Superstition and Ignorance vs Courage and Self-Reliance, by Laurence Labadie 224
Joseph Labadie: Archivist, Poet 235
poem: Imperialism, by Joseph Labadie 227
Some Notes on Anarchism and the Proletarian Myth, by S.E. Parker 229
Enemies of Society: An Open Letter to the Editors of Freedom, by S.E. Parker 234
Anarchism, Individualism, and Society: Some Thoughts, by Scepticus 238
Anarchy and History: An Existentialist View, by N.A.W. 241
Freedom and Solitude, by Marilisa Fiorina 245
The Morality of Cooperation, by S.E. Parker 246
In Defence of Stirner, by Enzo Martucci 250
Enzo Martucci: Italian Lightbearer 264
Brief Statements, by Renzo Ferrari 269
Malfew Seklew: The Jester Philosopher of Egoism, by S.E. Parker 270
Brand: An Italian Anarchist and His Dream, by Peter Lamborn Wilson 274
Down with Civilization, by Enrico Arrigoni (aka Frank Brand) 312
My Anarchism, by S.E. Parker 317

Appendix A:

Archists, Anarchists and Egoists, by S.E. Parker 323
Flaming Resurrections of a Charred Alphabet 328
(a glossary of basic terms)
To Sketch the Echo and To Paint the Link! 360
(a reading list)

Anarchy Works

by Peter Gelderloos

Anarchism is the boldest of revolutionary social movements to emerge from the struggle against capitalism, it aims for a world free from all forms of domination and exploitation. But at its heart is a simple and convincing proposition: people know how to live their own lives and organize themselves better than any expert could. Others cynically claim that we need a government to protect us. They claim anarchy is impractical and utopian: it would never work. On the contrary, anarchist practice already has a long record, and has often worked quite well. The histories in this book show that an anarchist society can succeed at enabling all its members to meet their needs and desires.

This book takes examples from around the world, picking through history and anthropology, showing that people have, in different ways and at different times, demonstrated mutual aid, self-organization, autonomy, horizontal decision making, and so forth–the principles that anarchy is founded on–regardless of whether they called themselves anarchists or not. Too well documented to be strictly mythology, and too expansive to be strictly anthropology, this is an inspiring answer to the people who say that anarchists are utopian: a point-by-point introduction to how anarchy can and has actually worked.

Paper, $16.00, 5.5″x7.5″, 280 pages

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Willful Disobedience

by Wolfi Landstreicher

The collected writings of Wolfi Landstreicher’s Willful Disobedience. Originally published as a zine from 1996 to 2006, Willful Disobedience was a continuously evolving provocation directed towards anarchists and fellow vagabonds to dig deeper into critical thought and joyous rebellion.

During the ten years of publication, Willful Disobedience wove together a web of ideas situation in the following threads: an anarchism based in Stirner-influenced egoism; an insurrectionary approach that sees individual insurrection to be as important as social insurrection; a non-primitivist critique of civilization that provides no program or model for a future society; explorations into a class analysis that rejects marxian categories, seeking to understand social relationships as they actually exist; insisting upon the need for anarchists to develop a coherent practice of theory capable of calling everything into question, including one’s own ideas; and an anti-political perspective, critical of leftism, democracy, identity politics and political correctitude.

Paper, $15.00, 5.5″x8.5″, 306 pages

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Nihilist Communism

A critique of optimism
by Monsieur Dupont

Originally self-published in 2003, now edited and designed by Ardent Press, still one of the most hard-nosed books to call the left to account — with scathing, thoughtful rebuttals to those who continue to believe that the revolution is just a matter of consciousness-raising and recruitment, or that identity politics has anything to do with Marxist thought.

Many will reject the materialism inherent in this analysis, but we appreciate the logical consistency (and the occasional brilliance of writing) of Monsieur Dupont; so refreshing in a world in which people withdraw to muddle-headedness in incoherent attempts to fit all topics into some kind of grab bag, attempts seemingly designed to avoid offense rather than to follow ideas through to their logical (or even illogical) conclusions.

Unlike so many people who either reject theory all together (rather, who obscure the theory that they work from), or who embrace theory and ignore the ways reality doesn’t fit their ideas, Msr Dupont reflected on their experience (and that of others) and changed their theory to suit their lives. We need more people who are willing to be unpopular, who work an idea until it groans, who reflect on real life experiences and then acknowledge the ways in which prevailing theory doesn’t make sense, and who are then capable of challenging prevailing theory to be more coherent, more realistic, and more useful.

species being could be considered a companion text to Nihilist Communism, or vice versa: reading them together has been helpful for some. Nihilist Communism refers more to specific political occurrences, and species being fleshes out some of the more esoteric ideas.

Paper, $14.00, 5.5″x7.5″, 280 pages

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species being and other stories

by frére dupont

species being and other stories takes on the questions that tantalize and torment politically aware and active people. species being is a wide-reaching and strikingly original collection of essays from frére dupont, one of the authors of Nihilist Communism, and sets out some of the ways in which people resist and comply with an oppressive status quo.

In species being frére dupont uses a variety of forms — poetic, dramatic, allegorical and biographical as well as the standard expository — to make points and ask questions. frére dupont looks unflinchingly at the illusions that revolutionaries use to protect themselves, and offers new perspectives, and with them, new hope for strategies that can address the reality we live in.

SPECIES BEING AND OTHER STORIES brings together insights from philosophy, politics, psychology and years of thinking about why and how people behave the way that they do, and more specifically, don’t behave the way that good radical rhetoric says that they will and should.

frére dupont is the pen name of a British author who has been involved in anti-state communism and anarchy since the 1980s. frére dupont represents both a continuation of, and a departure from, monsieur dupont, an improvisation that is based on the continuation of circumstances requiring more speech when all that was necessary to say has already been said.

Paper, $12.00, 4.5″x6.5″, 158 pages

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