The Brilliant podcast series on Egoism

  • Posted on: 14 June 2018
  • By: aragorn

We have just completed a series (part of the over-arching theme of The Brilliant in 2018) on egoism. Egoism is core theoretical concept in anarchist thinking and this series attempts to understand why from some engaged

Post-left anarchism is a modern, North American, veneer on egoism. The Situationists, while arguably marxist, were also using thematic elements from egoism (especially The Treatise). Several prominent North American anarchists have been working on Stirner and the general concepts around egoism for decades.

Episode 69: For anyone following the themes we cover in The Brilliant, post-left anarchism, or Stirner our guest this episode needs no introduction. Wolfi Landstreicher has been a translator, writer, and merry interlocutor for decades. He has been an inspiration for my own projectuality for a long time and I count him as a friend. Our conversation in this issue is centered on the effort Wolfi made in translating The Unique and all the details around it.

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-69-egoism-i-wolfi-landstreicher/

Episode 70: The natural answer of “What is to be done?" from an egoist perspective is illegalism. We discuss this arena of questions with the editor of the LBC book Enemies of Society. We discuss the context of France around the turn of the 20th century. Bonnot and crew are discussed. Shoplifting and other modest acts of illegalism are discussed. We discuss hope and the future (ha).

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-70-egoism-ii-an-enemy-of-society/

Episode 71: In this third episode my goal was to talk to someone who was newer to egoist ideas. My hope was to see how these ideas layer over time, but at an earlier time slice. Daniel/birds was gracious enough to sit through this conversation but I suspect they were agitated at the idea that they were a newbie to egoist ideas. Of course they aren’t. They are infinite!

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-71-egoism-iii-birds/

Episode 72: Bellamy Fitzgerald is the former cohost of The Brilliant podcast. He has recently written a chapter and verse renunciation of Anarcho-Primitivism called Corrosive Consciousness. He is also one of the editors to the exciting new publication Backwoods. We begin our discussion with Bellamy with a slightly off-topic discussion about catastrophe and leaf cutter ants (and eusocial insects). Around minute thirteen the Stirner begins. There is a quibble about the new title (and some nerdy translation talk). There is some history talk (Proudhon and Marx are discussed).

http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-72-egoism-iv-bellamy/

Enjoy.

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This series was edited by our newest sound engineer. Welcome Daniel (birds)!

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Comments

incredibly enjoyable series! looking forward to seeing how their projects, perspectives, lives (continue to) develop over time. hopefully a follow up with each unique individual occurs… one day

(or exquisite venom)

I know I sound like a spectator, but it has been fun and enlightening observing the evolution and refinement of bellamy's trajectory and critique.

I dont have time to expound further at the moment

Yo, Brill.

I'm lovin the new punk af intros/outros.

J/K
@spectator - thanks for reminding me Bellamy was involved, or still is? I got as far as 8 (gotta get back), but I listened to all the FRR, FrFr .

So much is said about being "unique" yet sooo many follow the popular beliefs, the gays, the feminists, the leftists, the Idpol, the Antifa, the alt-right, yet only a few of us genuine brave individualists (and I think you know who Im referring to on this site)dare to go outside the mold of even the radical milieu who have actually become almost the normative now. And we few Stirnerians suffer the abuse of the sheep who rail against our uniqueness, as if they are jealous of our autonomous freedom from restraint, our total inner emancipation from all spooks and laws. I am even beyond pity for you weak sheepish ones !

Mr. T was unique and he had a fear of flying, his teammates had to dose him to get him on a plane and he was always so pissed when he arrived at the destination.

Not sure if srs...

reply to 16:19

Upon reflection: my assessment? Not srs.

16:19 replying.
Oh nooo, even when I'm serious I am being scoffed away as a joke, a denial on your part that I exist, that I am really unique. I no longer pity the blindness of the philistine !

Spooklord, begone!

GET THEE BEHIND ME!

at the end of this last one bellamy starts sounding like a spinozist a little bit. sort of an interesting way to go when taking stirner/egoism along. wonder if he's actually influenced in that direction or if im just projecting that

It's hilarious that A! is doing a series of podcasts on egoism. For the most part, they lack actually interesting dialogue and critique. Did he actually just ask bellamy what the difference between forest gardening and permaculture is like he cares at all? I don't care either, but i also wouldn't ask. Also, come on aragorn, you are talking about permacutlure like you actually know something about the rise and fall of the movement....you don't, it is ok not to know something, especially something about a subject you don't even care about. Bellamy keeps going on about ethics and values and has clearly separated nihilism from his egoism(which was BARELY discussed in an hour podcast on egoism) without discussing this on the podcast, which actually could have been interesting even if it is ridiculous. Bellamy mentions several times ethics and that not all values are equal....not all values are equal to a subject, but they are equal in terms of their insignificance universally or generally or inherently.
Furthermore, is it just me or do deep ecologists start sounding like humanists at the end of the day saying things like... "we should care about all organisms because we are all connected and we can't live without them." This smells of humanism to me. Why should I care if bees go extinct, I'm not having chlidren and i don't take any ownership over bees, I got enough to deal with. The other side of this is...why do I care if humans go extinct? Is it not the ultimate negation to refuse the most base instinct of all life on this planet, which is reproducing? I would argue that it is. fuck the future of humanity or bees or whatever.

The podcast with wolfi was a huge disappointment. You get wolfi on the mic for an hour and the best you can do is some half assed shitty history of Christianity in america with aragorn demonstrating his lack of knowledge or lack thereof of the religious history of america?! are you kidding me! You could have talked about anything, what the fuck! What a waste of an hour. Why no discussion on differing positions and applications of egoism? even just talk about novatore for 15 minutes....anything but that worthless conversation on religion.

If this is the best anarchy has to offer right now color me disappointed. The narratives were simplistic, the "facts" were often wrong, and in general it felt lazy, poorly researched, and like not enough effort went in for something that is being shared. Are post-left anarchists so starved for content that they consider this good? Are most of you so insecure in your scenes and friendships to speak your true opinions so that anyone remotely saying anything you agree with is a hero to you because you are afraid of isolating yourself? Maybe all the interesting people have found something better than anarchism...which isn't hard to imagine.

Also final point. Bonnot was not doing propaganda of the deed. It was obvious bellamy hasn't read the books on the bonnot gang. It was a fucking angry pissed off dude getting his, it was apolitical. To assign that shit to him is fucking heinous.

There is more to say here, but something needed to be said. The discourse even among post left psuedo nihilist anarchists is depressing as fuck. Why do a podcast if you refuse to be honest about your opinions ! How do you let klee benally or scott crow ramble on for an hour each about their boring ass leftist garbage politics without intervening? What a nightmare.

" "we should care about all organisms because we are all connected and we can't live without them." This smells of humanism to me. "

As in... like, EVERYTHING!

But I'm always interested to hear what those dissing humanism gotta barter it with, in exchange. Identity politics? Anti-speciesm? Tranhumanism? Marxism? Ego-narcissism? You got something to hide, me thinks!

Everybody has something to hide except for me and my monkey.

Someone get this person on thr show!

Put up or shut up

What a nightmare!!!!!!!!!
fucking heinous!!!!!
you are afraid!!!!!
worthless conversation!!!!!

*flaps arms wildly*
*touches self angrily*
*cries self to sleep*

Eh, nobody is claiming expertise. Its a fucking podcast, not some news room with some actually successful and intelligent anarchists. This is just some people trying their hardest to put out a relevant show worthy of listening and thought. Compared to all other anarchist shows, this is the best. Prove me wrong.

This.

I agree the episode with Wolfi was kind of a missed opportunity... but there's no doubt atleast in my mind that this is still the best @ media out there. Period. The only thing I'd add is that its' somewhat unfortunate da brill does these "series", because it seems to imply that once a given subject is "addressed" in a series (exclusion, technology, egoism, etc.), the subject is... closed? which sucks because I feel like there's still so much that could be said about all of these subjects in an actually focused way (ahem, *cough* technology *cough*). Da Brills' not perfect yo, but idk, I still enjoy it overall haha.

Crimethinc's podcast, on the hand... oh gawd, that shit is hella boring. and Submedia? Their shit, for a long time now, just seems like its' increasingly being designed for a nimrod audience of fucking delusional statue-painting, cricket-releasing imbeciles.

Feel the stirn.

is basically devoid of meaning. my dead grandma could do a better anarchist podcast than Crimethinc or IGD, or submedia. Those are 3 of the most ridiculous pandering and embarassing podcasts out there. It is not a compliment to compare, even favorably, a project to those wastes of space. If the brilliant is the best anarchist media then fuck anarchist media, which is probably fine actually. There is almost no deep conversation or discourse on the brilliant, A! holds a different position than most of the people on the show, but it isn't discussed..sure the "ideas" are deeper than those other shitty podcasts, but once again that's not saying much.

Do you really want to be in conversation with the anarchist corporate media for the social revolution(igd, crimethinc, submedia)? I don't

Sooo get on the show and spar with aragorn then.

Or start your own show, sounds like you've thought a lot about what you DON'T want in a podcast (which is always easier than doing the thing).

Or just keep posting these comments to the same 6 people like it fucking matters

hah! Aragorn was taking the piss from Scott Crow throughout that interview you tone-deaf jackass. It was done graciously so they could share a chuckle about it, you wouldn't understand because you're just too badass for pleasant banter, right badass?

"Did he actually just ask bellamy what the difference between forest gardening and permaculture is like he cares at all? I don't care either, but i also wouldn't ask. "

Don't have a cow, man. A little cognitive dissonance never hurt anyone.

Stirnerians are a rare breed, they're not churned out of the nurturing mill in great numbers, it seems that they are in fact forces of nature, born with the attribute of being able to retain the unadulterated innocence of childhood and yet mature socially and knowledgeably into whatever complex relational dynamic put before them, to grasp that quintessential instinctual spontaneity and give it an aesthetically graceful creative expression. No wonder they stand out in the crowds of sheepish civilians, and they are justified in posing aloof, free of the labor and cussing throng of the herd, pursuing their own creative nothing. Many sheep approach me and say " Are you not lonely being a Stirnerian?" And I reply " Certainly not fool, my unique self is not polluted by your petty morals, I take when I need, I throw my surplus and seed to the wind, I don't burden myself with tiresome responsibilities, I am the king of my own ass, no one rules my actions, I am not ordered by the boss or by any GOD, I just don't give a FUCK about anyone except myself, and I'm not selfish cos I deprive no one. Now be gone crawling Statist religious indoctrinated spook worshipping moron, you are spoiling the meditations of my unique consciousness!"

The “Stirnerians” you caricature are a rare breed indeed, existing in your fevered imagination where your baseless projections are jumbled with the usual marxist, humanist, (pseudo) anarcho-leftist misreadings and incomprehension.
Straw man arguments; how do they work?

Ohhhh nooo, one only has to observe the spook generated world and all its ignorant servants to know that my argument stands uniquely alone and infallible, unattached and pristine in imaginative creative energy.

10/10 for dat sweet, sweet prose

Ohhhh nooo!

We Stirnerians are an articulate and well versed breed of maverick thinkers which sets us apart from the foolish hoi polloi which their peurile lusts and petty fetishes.

Too weird to live... Too rare to die.

6:50 is me by the way. I supposed some of the regulars here guessed so much?

given the level of stick he receives? I know you read the comments. Aragorn!, don't get too hung up on them.

Yo,

I concede that although the wall-of-text criticizer in this thread made a few excellent points, but I gotta say that overall: if A! were to suddenly drop out of everything he's doing (LBC, @news, The Brilliant) -- NA anarchy would definitely suffer for it.

And I don't want that?

I only say this bc I know how these little things can add up and how small gestures of appreciation and respect can actually go a very long way.

Anyways, thnx for the pods!

What were the excellent points?

They maybe weren't "excellent" points, plus they were kinda being jerks about it (even tho I resonate with the spirit of what they have to say)

...but I more or less agree with their assessment of the wolfi pod. Again, y'all could've talked about anything. Yo, I heard a rumor once that the legendary Novatore wasn't even a real person, but basically a larger than life egoist action-hero invented by Wolfi Landstreicher and that somebody at the LBC compound was learning italian in order to verify his alleged existence. I mean, really, what proof is there that he wasn't just a myth? I'm just supposed to take Wolfis' word for it? This pod would've been a good opportunity to put the mf on the spot.

...

That's pretty much it I guess. There's other things, maybe. Some are small things, others are things I don't have the computer knowledge to feel safe openly discussing online haha and others still are criticisms I'd rather direct towards Bellamy thru email.

---------

As for YOU! TextWall person!

"If this is the best anarchy has to offer right now color me disappointed. The narratives were simplistic, the "facts" were often wrong, and in general it felt lazy, poorly researched, and like not enough effort went in for something that is being shared. Are post-left anarchists so starved for content that they consider this good? Are most of you so insecure in your scenes and friendships to speak your true opinions so that anyone remotely saying anything you agree with is a hero to you because you are afraid of isolating yourself? Maybe all the interesting people have found something better than anarchism...which isn't hard to imagine. "

Yo, you got that hot shit on the lo' fam? Well ffs lets see it then! Don't hold out on us broh!

>I heard a rumor once that the legendary Novatore wasn't even a real person, but basically a larger than life egoist action-hero invented by Wolfi Landstreicher and that somebody at the LBC compound was learning italian in order to verify his alleged existence. I mean, really, what proof is there that he wasn't just a myth? I'm just supposed to take Wolfis' word for it?

On the off chance you're not joking:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renzo_Novatore

"He did not adjust to school discipline and quit in the first year never coming back after that."
Wow, at the age of 6 in level 1, post-kindergarten, he led and individualist Stirnerian revolt against the authoritarian education regime, scaled the wall of the Catholic convent, and made his escape to the hugs of his mom. I'm impressed by his autonomous fervour!

and is slammed for the egoism series, Aragorn! what do you take from this: whatever you do, it seems you will be slammed or is the content just not good enough?

I welcome comments, criticism (including wall o' text diatribes), and suggestions at the above e-mail address. Thanks to everyone who listens - I am always learning from my critics and commenters and appreciate it all.

Stop talking, and start doing. Or at least talk about what you're doing, if you're doing anything at all, otherwise who gives a fuck?

I maintain the exact opposite: stop doing and start *thinking.* If what you're doing is worth thinking about, then talking about it won't be such a bore. Otherwise, what you're doing probably isn't worth doing in the first place.

Or cultist worshipper... who aren't very different to activists, indeed.

Your delusion of grandeur lies is in how you are so convinced that pages worth of nitpicky ramblings about Delayed Return, among other very important debates around questions that were never asked, aren't useless borefests as well.

Any worldview that rests on a disinclination to ask questions doesn't warrant my attention. Carry on as you were, but we probably have nothing to discuss.

Walking, we ask questions.

Well, some of us do, anyway.

*Reclines in chair and begins questioning things*

on listening to podcast 72 are way more similar than not. It's sad that these minds don't work together...being divided only supports the ruling status quo.

The ruling status quo can change or be taken down if you sit down on your armchair enough and ask questions about some specific matters.

Maybe if we all go out and smash enough Starbucks windows, the status quo will magically evaporate by the end of next week. None of this hoity-toity theorizing crap for me. Onward to Anarcho-Lefty Revolution!

I live in a block of 10 one-bedroom flats. Some guy had his music blaring. I told him to turn it down as I don't want to hear it. Living in a small block, as much as one may want to, being noisy is not an option. Egoism would contravene this, right? Down to the wire, egoism would contravene this, right? This is why egoism doesn't work. It's a nice idea: the idea that I will I will I will. Well, if you live next door to me, you won't you won't you won't unless you want a punch in the face! So, now what you gonna do? Do it again and I will break your cd player, whatever. There is mutual consideration, there has to be. I feel many egoists believe, once they've read Stirner, that they have licence to I will I will I will... only to get a rude awakening (especially if you lived next to me). Wolfi wouldn't get punched because he doesn't play his music loud, because he knows he may get punched and, so he has compromised (rightly) his egoism for the sake of his face not getting punched! Anarcho-communists have to compromise to the individual and the egoist has to compromise to the anarcho-communist...boring I know and it doesn't sell books. Compromise, it seems, is such a dirty word these days.

I don't have to compromise with anarcho-communists because I choose not to spend time in their company. Problem solved.

@16:05:
Self-parodic strawman; how does it work?
For a person allegedly wedded to compromise as a political principle, you are amazingly oblivious to the possibility that the egoist who wants quiet and the egoist who wants to listen to loud music might negotiate and find a way to cooperate for their mutual benefit — if you knew anything at all, you’d know this is what Stirner called a Union of Egoists. In good (bourgeois and/or socialist) humanist style, you presume competition and a hunger for domination as essential to humans.

Real Stirnerians know about martial arts enough to block punches to the face. I will I will I will dood.

Also, punching the face is rutting sheep behavior. We Stirnerians have risen above displays of machismo and aggressive assertion, our will power will contentedly inhabit a tranquil Nothing impervious to the racket of sound generated by others. The creative abyss absorbs any sounds like nectar, the car crash is music, the song bird is nectar.

'mutual benefit' surely means mutualism? So why be egoist, be mutualism? I'm not egoist so I prefer to warn, then, punch, then smash to pieces any noise making equipment. So, no fuckin' egoist who happens to live next me will be playing loud music. I like peace, the solitude. The ego will not have it's way where my solitude is concerned. I will crush your egoism.

you're going to have to try harder than this.

nobody is going to believe you're this dumb and have this little understanding of what egoism means before coming into a conversation about egoism.

points for dedication tho.

Bah, you sussed me!

for your creative writing skills. Still, you would feel a punch in the face, I guarantee you that! I may not be as poetic as you but I don't need to be ;-)

StirnerMan! I can imagine it: Godzilla v StirnerMan. I emphasise the man because I don't hear of women professing undying requited love for the Max. It is definitely a bro-bonding deal, a bit like soccer in Britain or football in the USA. That's right, time to break open a beer or two, kick back and the dudes talk of Stirner, like Wolfi and Aragorn! in the Brilliant. Brokeback Mountain and an' all the jizz, oops, I mean't jazz.

^ tries to read stirner, doesn't understand.
gets anger boner, takes to the anews comments!

you are like the incel equivalent of an intelligence human. an inint, if you will.

also, dummy: "The political superstition is still holding sway over the hearts and minds of the masses, but the true lovers of liberty will have no more to do with it. Instead, they believe with Max Stirner that man has as much liberty as he is willing to take. Anarchism therefore stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral. But defiance and resistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of man. Everything illegal necessitates integrity, self-reliance, and courage. In short, it calls for free, independent spirits, for "men who are men, and who have a bone in their backs which you cannot pass your hand through." " (emma goldman)

So, pollution, you name it, climate change, extinction rates, rape, whatever is all Stirner. We cannot escape our Stirner. All Stirner did was put words to our condition, right? Even charity is a Stirner. That nun, sister, can't remember her name and I can't be arsed to look it up, she was a Stirner. You cannot put others before yourself, it is impossible. It makes us feel good, that's why we do it. Job done.

I'm sorry, you seem to have confused me with someone who actually cares about your opinion. As a general rule, I don't place much stock in the disgruntled ravings of special ed students who were left unsupervised in the computer lab during lunch hour.

As I keep saying, Stirnerians are exceptional forces of nature, born into an unwelcoming orthodoxy. The structure of social morals appear like walls of negative energy to their free roaming spirit, and their first challenge is to vault over the cultural obstructions of traditional values. Any idea which places a blindfold upon the Stirnerian aesthetic sense sends signals of grotesque restriction over the innate interpretation of chaotic natural beauty (Stirnerians are nauseated by uniformity and cosmetic ornamentation).
And so, do not treat lightly the unique disposition of the Stirnerian relational dynamic, any attempt to stifle it will result in immediate discomfort and the agony of cerebral diarrhea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWe9T7Y9mek
This makes sense to me. We need to help each other and ourselves or/and help ourselves and each other. The divisive comments on 'egoism' I imagine stem from American individualism. It's appreciated that Dr Bones understands something anarcho-communists have understood. No a-c wants to dominate anyone's sense of self.

"This makes sense to me"

of course it does. of course it does…

dr. bones doesn't understands a thing.

there is no "egoist"-communism.

ego communists? Do you own the definition of egoism? No, but it sounds like you do. Are you a Randian egoist?

yes, in fact. i own the definition of egoism. it is mine. uniquely mine.

there is nothing randian about it. but also, You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

because I'm talking 'egoist-communist.' Incidentally, it all comes down to wordplay. There is a good example of this on YouTube. We've got all your egoist needs. We have 'Ethical Egoism,' including sub-divisions. Grab your fancy? No. OK, we've got a line in 'Psychological Egoism' and a cheeky little number called 'Philosophical Egoism.' And, of course, 26 letters with which you can create all the caveats you can think of.

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