Flowers in the Desert

God is only one of the aberrations of the I, or more precisely of what I am. Socrates, Jesus, Descartes, Hegel, all the prophets and philosophers, have done nothing but invent new methods of deranging what I am, the I. The history of the universe is nothing but a continual offense to the unique principle that “I am” — a living, concrete principle, a triumphant principle that the world has always wanted to subject to the yoke of successive abstractions — God, the State, society, humanity.

For Stirner, philanthropy is a hoax. Atheistic philosophies, which culminate in the cult of the State and of Man, are only “theological insurrections.” “Our atheists,” says Stirner, “are really pious folk.” There is only one religion that exists throughout all history, the belief in eternity. This belief is a deception. The only truth is the Unique, the enemy of eternity and of everything, in fact, which does not further its desire for domination.

Even revolution, revolution in particular, is repugnant to this rebel. To be a revolutionary, one must continue to believe in something, even where there is nothing in which to believe. To dedicate oneself to humanity is no more worth while than serving God. Moreover, fraternity is only “Communism in its Sunday best.” During the week, the members of the fraternity become slaves. Therefore there is only one form of freedom for Stirner, “my power,” and only one truth, “the magnificent egotism of the stars.”

In this desert everything begins to flower again. “The terrifying significance of an unpremeditated cry of joy cannot be understood while the long night of faith and reason endures.” This night is drawing to a close, and a dawn will break which is not the dawn of revolution but of insurrection. Insurrection is, in itself, an asceticism which rejects all forms of consolation. The insurgent will not be in agreement with other men except in so far as, and as long as, their egotism coincides with his. His real life is led in solitude where he will assuage, without restraint, his appetite for existing, which is his only reason for existence.

Albert Camus — The Rebel


Published by Diogenes

Can solipsism be discussed?