Jason McQuinn's egoist essays on Immediatism Podcast

The outstanding essay, "Clarifying the Unique and Its Self-Creation: An Introduction to Stirner's Critics and The Philosophical Reactionaries," is now available in podcast form. Jason McQuinn is an egoist and post-left anarchist critical theorist, known for his writings on critical self-theory, which have been spotlighted previously in Immediatism episodes 17 and 95. For even more Jason McQuinn essays, see The Anarchist Library.

"Critical self-theory is completely con-religious, non-ideological, non-self-alienating theory, and as such is the only consistent form of libertarian (anarchist) theory if we consider such theory to entail the refusal of all forms of enslavement. It is the only form of theorthat does not demand our subjugation to any real or imagined outside forces. It is a theory for negotiating the construction [of] our mutual social reality with others without the assumption and enforcement of any fixed, present rules, roles, and relationships."
~ Jason McQuinn BASTARD Chronicles 2015

Intro to Stirner's Critics part 1
Intro to Stirner's Critics part 2https://immediatism.com/archives/podcast/177-clarifying-the-unique-and-i...

Critical Self-Theory: Toward an Anarchist Critical Theory of the Self and Society
Not Utopia: Critical Self-Theory in Practice, presented at BASTARD Conference 2015

Jason McQuinn at The Anarchist Library

Stirner's Critics at LittleBlackCart.com
BASTARD Chronicles 2015 at LittleBlackCart.com

Feedback and requests to Cory@Immediatism.com

There are 36 Comments

i like much of jason's critique.

however, his hyper-verbosity often serves to distract rather than elucidate.

case in point - his intro to "stiirner's critics". almost as long as the rest of the book. definitely several times too long.

The world revolves around me.


The End.

Signed, a United States of America person.

This is my interpretation of Stirner's Unique, and how it obliterates class and the elitism of the prodigy and genius identity which is nothing more than privileged obsessive training and repetition. Imagine a world without Mozart, Einstein, Shakespeare and Leonado Da Vinci, yes, quite nice actually without their repetitive narrow obsessive relationships with abstract concepts.
What if any child was taken off its mother at birth, fed by nurses, coached 6 hrs a day from the age of 5 years of age, restricted from mixing with the other poor children beyond the walls, who was nurtured as a freakish product of high society anď spent their life entertaining royalty, and we are meant to marvel at the ingenuity of the child's skills and place them at the top of a hierarchy of children who have by comparison no skiĺl and must be fated to work as dumb laborers producing food for the upper elitists.
So Stirner destroys this fictional narrative of prodigy and genius and replaces it with the uniqueness of EVERY child born, the creative nothing is the potential of 100% children, not a few "prodigies" given concentrated nurturing to create a false concept of innate a priori consciousness.

It's not enough to suggest that everyone automatically shows uniqueness. It becomes a calling ritual, which attempts to make the existence manifest itself by breaking down the metaphysical basis; for others, the act of attack appears on its own. This is only a kind of narcissism of intellectuals (such as Heidegger) staying in the knowledge and critical theory. Deconstruction realizes the flow of consciousness, but in its rituals, the nation always comes back again.

In the theorization and modernization of logos, people will only become slaves automatically. Deconstruction is just against logos in vain. It's like a parent saying to their child, you're unique, so have fun. Then the children gradually socialize and eventually become mediocre people. But is the harsh education of the traditional elite more desirable? The will of the king is the will of the people. The modern elite seems to be born to "represent the people" and "fight for the people". Of course, these are lies. In fact, the king just monopolized logos and created a centralized system.

It is only by returning to Heraclitus that we can understand logos better. The original intention of logos is to change and struggle. Logos is the rule of chaotic universe. Only through great struggle can people become unique and form their own style. This is not to define oneself through struggle, but to realize struggle through creation.

But that leads to another problem. For example, I'm unique in a way that makes me narcissistic. So I always attract attention. But in fact, I suppressed the more creative individuals.

First of all, it misunderstands the meaning of struggle, because struggle is not achieved by hating the enemy, but by wanting more enemies. This requires a kind of humility, but it is not humility to the truth, but "becoming disadvantageous".

Second, it is a sad complacency. Because it doesn't know how to discover the uniqueness of others.

Finally, there is no concept of education. The great educator Arthur Schopenhauer was great because he found the meaning of loneliness. People are mediocre because of socialization.

Yes lonliness is unique, socialization is mediocre, these, if the unique reveals themself, they are executed or imprisoned.

Or become infamous. But loneliness is not isolation. Many people are forced to be isolated. And although it can easily be understood as petty bourgeois sentiment, in fact, revolution and loneliness are both inside and outside. It wants to rebuild the community and then become primitive and rugged. Warriors and clusters from plateau, desert and forest are powerful because they have their own lonely struggle. The masses are not the same. They have leaders, they are centralized, they are crowding each other to occupy space.

Yes the masses are mediocre and have leaders and the cults of personality, including the cults of prodigy and genius to worship. Their phantasms and spooks is the belief in the spooks, geniuses and gods superiority. Only the lonely warriors or poets in the wilderness are unique.

I disagree because its sorta ironic how Stirner irl was mediocre, even died mediocrely by bee-sting, so I'm leaning to what poster 1 said, that the unique are 100% of masses who don't realise it because they are brainwashed away from embracing the own individual unique mediocrity and either pursue excellence or prodigy or drown their own low-self-esteem by following leaders, gods or celebrities. This supports Nietzsche's amor fati in its loving oneselve's fate and mediocrity.

It is a kind of sophistry to regard a philosopher as mediocrity: because I can't compare him in wisdom, his plain life proves his mediocrity. This denial of other people's merits actually removes all uniqueness, denies other people's strengths, finds out his weaknesses, and then proves that he is mediocre. But in fact, you won't appreciate others' merits, which will only lead to your own mediocrity. Just because you are mediocre, everyone should embrace mediocrity and try to prove that there is uniqueness in mediocrity. If mediocrity comes from homogenization, how can we find uniqueness? It's like you want to find 2 in a group of 1 and unique in mediocrity. ——What a stupid dialectic! It takes Nietzsche's "Amor Fati" as if most people accept the established rules: some have talent, but most don't. This is not Amor Fati, because it denies the contingency of fate and turns it into the mediocrity of necessity!

The difference is free. What we need is to affirm the difference and the advantages of others. But dialectics does not evaluate the difference in the nature of power, it only judges things from symptoms and quantity. But the nature of 1 determines that it will not become 2! It's just the dialectician's mediocrity: either that the prodigy is due to some rare talent, or that most people don't have it, so it's best to embrace their "unique mediocrity.". This mediocre mass education denies advantages, denies pleasure from differences, denies all freshness, and opposes children's competition in games! In fact, it will only kill the character of children! This kind of mediocrity is exactly what Lenin needs, because Lenin needs the public soul deep in the individual heart. Such a stupid education method has brought countless disasters to mankind!

Even I know what you want to say next. Embracing justice is not mediocre. Even being an ordinary hero can be one's interest. ——No! A thousand no! It's just a cowardly self defense. It is not an evil interest, but the oppression of the will of most people!

Now maybe you know what I'm going to say next.

Mozart's music is crap and psuedo-intellectual and prodigies learn by privileged or repetitive rote not by emotional engagement or knowledge.

The worship of child prodigy and the maintenance of mediocrity actually come from the aging society. On the one hand, homogeneous science provides standardized tests for "intelligence quotient"; on the other hand, the worship and greed of theoretical culture and knowledge encourage people to instill these into children. So, essentially, the education system (especially in East Asia) competes in mediocrity. Then, in order to provide more advantages for children, they try their best to cultivate "prodigies". But such a genius is actually a mirror image of mediocrity. Including many great men in history, it is also an illusion constructed from mediocrity. Therefore, we should criticize mediocrity and the mirror of genius it constructs. And recognize that it comes from a kind of Socratic theoretical culture and homogenized science, as well as an aging society.

Worship of anything but oneself is suspect, but in and of itself child prodigy is harmless and creative. Anything which occupies the child voluntarily in a relationship with aesthetics could only ever be amusing.

And to elaborate, why are not the primitive paintings of children hanging in the Louvre or selling for thousands of dollars? You're definitely in the right direction with the idea that aged capitalist values manufacture the fiction of creative value when creations are free. Only my own being has value.

"It is only a matter of time before the nihilists roll up and destroy everything" ---Lenin

Well put.

Personally, as a parent of four children, my goal is to encourage expression and help them analyze and reject expectations as they see fit.

Raising immoral children is hard work.

Why do you wanna raise them to be immoral.

Not only that sounds just as moralist, but also.... you really badly want your kids to be cheap target for sex pervs, or become super-capitalist crooks?

Da fuck I'm reading on this site, sometimes...

I think anon 09:26 is illiterate/naive and thinks immoral means amoral.
Genius is fine if someone wants to entertain and endure the associated anxieties.

Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy Of Morality is helpful. Whether for personal growth or for revolutionary struggle. You might think I've been talking about other things, but actually I've been talking about revolution. Because I started thinking from external.

> the elitism of the prodigy

idk why you mention shakespeare here. shakespeare had humble beginnings, trouble with the law as an adolescent, started writing for the stage when plays were throwaway entertainment and theatres were rowdy dens, etc. it was only later in his life that he was recognised by the aristocracy, and a century after his death that his work was colonised by academia.

You're correct, though he did prostitute his talents for the monarchy and was an anti-Semitic, but hey, isn't everyone, and wasn't really a genius, cossss
Its not that hard,
To be a rhyming bard,
Compared to illiterate plebs,
Who never troubled their heads,
With trying to make words rhyme,
Within stressed and unstressed time,
The skill required to place words and when,
Does writing alot make a genius then?

> was an anti-Semitic

High school interpretation of Merchant of Venice

Nooo, I think it quite reasonable to say that the hoi polloi in X-tian England in the Edwardian era were anti-Semitic, and there is ample historical evidence of pogroms throughout Europe from the time of the Crusades and afterwards which make Hitler look like a choirboy.

I like some of your ideas but you are over intellectualizing a quite simple condition of mental minimalism.

If these people are such singular geniuses, what are they doing on anarchistnews.org?

They are not geniuses, just mediocre, which is how it should be. Excellence is fakeness, take the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Illiteracy is good, the music played by a novice is more spontaneous and honest and less rationally structured and technologically unfeeling.

But what about YOU? You are a genius to see the falseness of genius, The mediocre paradox of idiotic brilliance, incredible and plain dumb! I love you you moronic dumbass hahaaa!

"Critical self-theory is completely con-religious, non-ideological, non-self-alienating theory, and as such is the only consistent form of libertarian (anarchist) theory if we consider such theory to entail the refusal of all forms of enslavement. It is the only form of theorthat does not demand our subjugation to any real or imagined outside forces. It is a theory for negotiating the construction [of] our mutual social reality with others without the assumption and enforcement of any fixed, present rules, roles, and relationships."

Translation: USA late-middle aged males can now wallow in a pretentious and clownish philosophy that dovetails nicely with the prevalent values of Donald Trump's 'Murica. Ah, larger abject social worthlessness, how do I spell thy name?

> dovetails nicely with the prevalent values of Donald Trump's 'Murica

Funny how 'Hitler did/thought X, therefore everyone who thinks X is Hitler' has become 'Trump does/think X, therefore everyone who thinks X is Trump' as the goto line for keyboard warriors.

I got a little way into the podcasts, maybe the device I use is not ideal, podcast stall, slow, technophobia, anyway, I know enough about Stirner to not over-intellectualize his ideas, one has to actually "feel" the emotional content of the freedom package he is presenting to us. During the era of the Enlightenment other thinkers like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer had attacked traditional belief systems by referring to the infant's pre-philosophical consciousness and the natural tendencies towards social equilibrium which exists before religious and moral indoctrination. Know thyself intimately or become enslaved.
As one commenter said crudely it is good to be illiterate and a novice in the field of technical aesthetics, true up to the point where starvation and death persuade one to create skills to dominate ones personal space and the doorways traversing it.

Know thy shadow

With all the things going on in this society right now, Jason McQuinn's Egoist Essays are the sort of stuff that the self-involved propeller-topped beanie-wearing cranks in this scene can get jazzed up about. Hail Freedonia!

propeller beanie caps.... So after that elusive sharp orange winter cap, is this the new egoist fashion in the southwest!?

Hey anarchists, stop talking! There are things going on right now!

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