STIRNER’S CRITIQUE OF TRANSCENDENTALISM AND THE FIXED IDEA

73cc186df0b4ba84a7ed87ac17a0fe4cTo understand Stirner’s attack on the authority of the state, his attitude toward the Western philosophic tradition must be examined. Stirner treated the Western conception of the ‘idea’ as an historical phenomenon. It has changed from the early Greek civilisation to the present. The ancient sophists understood that the mind was a weapon, a means to survival.

Truth was generated as the mind interacted with nature. But the world of nature was characterised by flux and change. It was not stable. Therefore, truth must also be in a constant state of transition.

This is an unsettling position for philosophy. Philosophy has treated the inability to have fixed and eternal truth as a fundamental flaw in the human character. To overcome this weakness, Western philosophers since Plato have created the illusion of stability. This ‘error’ continues within the ‘modern’ traditions in philosophy as well.

Modern culture has lost touch with the tradition that Stirner identified with sophism and scepticism. It has sought the safety of the ‘fixed idea.’ By a fixed idea Stirner means a concept, principle, or maxim that represents some aspect of the human character or that elaborates an ethical norm or standard which is not subject to historical circumstance. ‘Fixed’ means eternal, unchanging, and absolute. In the contemporary world, according to Stirner, we have adopted the belief in this folly.

In the modern period humans beings have abandoned the sophist’s notion that truth does not present itself in absolutes. Stirner lays much of the blame for this illusion at the doorstep of Christianity. It is the rise of Christianity that created the lie of ‘spirit’ and separated humans from contact with the world (pp.24-25). Spirit now becomes the focal point of human life and activity. Once we create this folly, the ‘wheels in the head’ of spirituality, we are beckoned to the fixed idea (p.43).

When human beings invented the idea of ‘spirit’ in order to give themselves spirituality, the foundation was laid for the fixed idea. The spirit within the individual is perceived to be that which endures in the human being. The spirit transcends the body and the finite character of corporeal existence. But spirituality teaches humans not to respect what is in the individual, but to care only for the image of ‘Man’ as a higher enduring essence (p.42). Human beings come to see each other as ghosts and spirits rather than flesh and blood.

The spirituality of Christianity is mirrored and reinforced in the philosophic search for the fixed idea. Humanism is just the most recent metamorphosis of Christianity (p. 173). The common link is transcendentalism. While Stirner does not specifically mention Kant, the transcendental philosophy of Kant elaborates precisely what Stirner finds so offensive. In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant develops a demonstration of how the mind is capable of engaging in thought outside the natural stimuli from the environment.

Kant claims that reason alone can tell us that when we take away the sense impression left by an object it must still have extension in space and time? This demonstration of transcendental reasoning also leads to the conclusion that human beings cannot know essences from their contact with objects, but essences lie only in a transcendental realm beyond our reach. What Kant hoped to deliver with his project was a ‘mode of knowing’ concepts that are fixed and unchanging. In constructing such a system, Kant has established a secular defence of the fixed idea and laid the foundation for modern humanism.

In a similar fashion to Christian thought, Kant’s creation of a transcendental foundation for thought establishes the basis for a universalist morality. Adding only the assumption of ‘free will’ as the first principle of morality, Kant was then prepared to give his universalist formulation of the Categorical Imperative: ‘Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a general law of nature, and the more specific Practical Imperative: ‘Act so as to treat man, in your own person as well as in that of anyone else, always as an end, never merely as a means.’ It is these fixed, transcendental claims that lay the groundwork for Kant’s universalist claims in law and politics.

Law can be constructed according to transcendentally conceived notions that have no relation to experience, historical condition, or social custom. Reached transcendentally, conclusions regarding the law are not subject to critique based on any experiential knowledge. Morality and law have been divorced from actual lived sensation. The result is that the fixed transcendental idea now has the power to shape human life. From an anarchist perspective, real human beings are now under the power of that which is only an aberration. This is precisely how Stirner approached the issue.

This naive transcendentalism also produces political consequences. Universal ethics also provides the basis for a universal conception of human history. In the case of Kant, it is argued that human beings have the same basic characteristics, especially the equal power to engage in reasoning. Based on this assumption, a transcendental moral system can be ‘discovered’ through reason by which individuals can order their lives. Further, if human beings have the same character and are subject to the same unchanging, a priori principles of action, it is now possible to create a universal society and a universal history based on that fact.

Stirner rejected such a strategy. It moves in precisely the wrong direction.

The type of universal society described by the liberalism of either Kant or Marx is an affront to the ‘ownness’ that can only be within the individual. What is needed, according to Stirner, is not a society of men, but a union of egos (p.179). Only such a union could really validate the distinct character of each individual. Only such an organisation could really respect the differences represented by each unique being.

 

 

 

Cult of the Individual

67148_1_800The individual, destabilized, demands that itself come before all else. For this reason it demands an order that supports the cult of the individual; a crowd of uniques, a mob of iconoclasts, an army of freestylers. We refer to “individualism” as the philosophy which (a) puts the individual above all else and (b) interprets all else through its impact on an individual considered alone and isolated from all other factors.

The individual wants first of all recognition: the individual wants to be told that whatever its physical or mental failings, it is just as important as any other individual and just as likely to succeed. The individual wants to be judged on its personality, not physical factors like strength, intelligence, health or ability — and yes, these are physical factors, since they are determined by the brain and body in design. You can educate a moron but he will still be a moron. You can exercise a cripple but he will still be a cripple. So the individual wants to be judged — well, they don’t want to be judged at all, but since it’s inevitable — they want to be judged by their personality and their hairstyle and their possessions: all things they can regulate.

The individual next wants reality to work his way or her way. Individuals, if the choice was up to them, would all be kings, although the best king would be one who rules not for individual reasons but for the best of the country — people, land, customs, values — as a whole. Every individual a king, and since we cannot rule other individuals or they cannot be kings, we want to be in our own island kingdoms, isolated from all else. If we need other people, we will pay them, and so convince ourselves that we are not intruding upon their kingship (it’s only fair that we all work and earn money to be kings; money, like time spent at a job, is equally accessible to all king-individuals).

The individual wants gratification of desires in such a way that does not intrude upon this kingship. There should be no critique of gluttony, because a king does not deserve critique. Similarly, no one should stop us from accumulating whatever possessions we desire, whether shiny new objects (for the less wealthy) or objects of cryptic nostalgia value (for the bored middle classes). We want drugs and if those are evil, alcohol and cigarettes, and we want sex in such a way that there’s no obligation — best of all is for every king to be a slut also, so that sex is available without any feeling that maybe our time would be better vested in longer-term relationships or loves.

The individual wants “freedom,” so that his or her choices cannot be critiqued as being selfish, insane, corrupt, or inane. This helps the individual hide where it is broken and disguise that pathological behavior as a “choice,” when in fact it is the acting out of past trauma. I am not having group sex in my own feces while being whipped by midgets because I was raped as a child, King Individual proclaims, but because I want to! People living in mediocre cities with mediocre jobs and mediocre friends can use this cognitive dissonance to argue away the thought, mostly in themselves, that they could with some effort have a more fulfilling life.

The individual wants no reminders of mortality or its extended process, natural selection. We do not mention our deficiencies or physical deformations, or how plain and boring we are with sunglasses and trendy clothing and haircut removed. We do not want to be placed into any competition where our inherent abilities are revealed, because this reminds us too much of natural selection. We want an end to all rank, to all hierarchy, so that our deficiencies are masked behind the equalizing factor of recognition. I will never die.

It is the collective need of individuals for these rules to be upheld that bonds them together into a mob, and removes their individualism in favor of adherence to the dogma of individualism, like someone confusing the signal of an event for its reality. The individual, in knowing only itself and interpreting all reality through itself, not only destroys itself but obscures reality behind unrealistic rules and seeds the path of our collective destruction.

Notes on Stirner and Nietzsche

hjDuring the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of this there was a great awakening of interest in the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche. At the same time there began an assiduous search for his precursors. The philosopher of egoism, Max Stirner, was one of those suggested and some commentators even went so far as to claim that Nietzsche was his disciple. Others vehemently rejected this claim and argued that either Nietzsche knew nothing about Stirner or, if he did, was not influenced by him. It is certainly true that there are parallels between the thinking of Stirner and Nietzsche on some points, but are these enough to identify one with the other? I do not think so.

Both Stirner and Nietzsche are outspoken iconoclasts. Both emphatically reject the Judeo-Christian-humanist moral code. Both savage the idiocies of democratic egalitarianism. Both express anti-statist sentiments, but both scorn anarchists-Stirner in the figure of Proudhon, one of the first theoreticians of anarchism, and Nietzsche anarchists in general. Indeed, so often do they appear to speak with one voice that the claim that Nietzsche was a disciple of Stirner seems, at first glance, plausible. A few examples will show their similarities.

For Stirner, as for Nietzsche, “truth” is an instrument, not a sacred “thing-in-itself”. Stirner writes “before me truths are as common and indifferent as things … There exists not even one truth … that has stability before me, and to which I subject myself” (The Ego and His Own -all quotations from Stirner are from this, his main work). This is not to say that there are no truths in the sense of the “fact of the matter” since “for thinking and speaking I need truths and words as I do food for eating,” but that “all truths beneath me are to my liking; a truth above me, a truth I should have to direct myself by, I am not acquainted with”. Nietzsche, too, states that the truths he proclaims are “my truths” (Beyond Good and Evil).

Stirner rejects possession by fixed ideas. When an idea becomes a “maxim” for a man

he himself is made a prisoner of it, so that it is not he that has the maxim, but rather it has him … The doctrines of the catechism become our principles before we find it out, and no longer brook rejection.

For Nietzsche, also, convictions are prisons:

The man of faith, any kind of ‘believer’, is necessarily subservient to something outside himself: he cannot posit himself as an end … Any kind of faith is the expression of self-denial, and of estrangement from self. (The Anti-Christ)

Both Stirner and Nietzsche proclaim an “ethic of power”. Stirner states:

Might is a fine thing, and useful for many purposes; for ‘one goes further with a handful of might than with a bagful of right’. You long for freedom? You fools! If you took might, freedom would come of itself.

According to Nietzsche life is “appropriation, injury, conquest of the strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of its own forms, incorporation, and, at least, putting it mildest, exploitation. (Beyond Good and Evil) When Stirner writes “what I can get by force I get by force, and what I do not get by force I have no right to, nor do I give myself airs, or consolation with my imprescriptible right” one cannot imagine Nietzsche disagreeing.

However, despite their apparent agreement about certain matters, Stirner and Nietzsche are not one but two and their destinations lie in different directions. Both, for example agree that “God is dead”, but their responses to this realization are not the same. For Stirner it is not enough that “God is dead” – “Man” must also perish in order to make way for himself, the unique one.

At the entrance to modem times stands the God-man. At its exit will only the God in the God-man evaporate? They did not think of this question, and thought they were through when in our days they brought to a victorious end the work of the Illumination, the vanquishing of God; they did not notice that Man has killed God in order to become now -‘sole God on high’.

For Nietzsche, on the other hand, the “death of God” creates an anguishing moral void that must be filled with a new ideal for”mankind”: the creation of the Superman. ” All beings have created something beyond themselves, are ye going to be the ebb of this great tide? Behold I teach you Superman” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). Indeed the language he uses to describe the advent of his ideal being is that of religious prophet:

Awake and listen ye lonely ones! From the future winds are coming with a gentle beating of wings, and there cometh good tidings for fine ears/Ye lonely ones of today, ye who stand apart, ye shall one day be a people; from you, who have chosen yourselves, a chosen people shall arise and from it Superman. (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

In order to achieve this “elevation of the type man” (Beyond Good and Evil) Nietzsche demands the sacrifice of self. Stirner, in contrast, repudiates any setting up a goal for future being and does not worry himself about “Man”. For him the question is: “Why will you not take courage now to really make yourselves the central point and the main thing altogether?” The Stirnerian egoist’s reply to the Nietzschean ideal is succinctly put by J. L. Walker: “We will not allow the world to wait for the overman. We are the overmen” (The Philosophy of Egoism).

Again, Nietzsche, for all of his fierce onslaughts on Judeo-Christian morality, is a moralist. In place of the leveling doctrines preached by the pious of the pulpit and the political platform, Nietzsche seeks to create two types of morality: that of the masters and that of the slaves. In negating existing morality his concern is to replace it with a new morality. Although Zarathustra is a “destroyer” and breaks “value to pieces”, he does so in order “to be a creator of good and evil”. Stirner, too, negates existing morality, but he does so not that he may cleanse it of any poison he believes infects it, but that he can put his own satisfaction in its place. He does not wish to submit to any moral principle no matter what fixed idea is invoked to sanction it: God, Man or Superman. However much Stirner might have relished reading Nietzsche’s caustic criticism of current moralizing his conclusion would have been that Nietzsche is incapable of ridding himself of the domination of morality itself and so remains-a possessed man. The conscious egoist is literally “beyond good and evil” and accepts with an untroubled mind that all things within his power are “permissible” even if they are not all expedient.

In his The Philosophy of Nietzsche Georges Chatterton-Hill claims that Nietzsche “depasses” Stirner because “with Stirner the individual is himself the ultimo ratio and his own individual satisfaction constitutes the justification of his egoism.” With Nietzsche “the egoism of the individual is justified only in the light of its ultimate value to the race … Nietzsche has gone out beyond Stirner. He has adopted Stirner’s conception and depassed it.” Chatterton-Hill is wrong. Nietzsche does not adopt “Stirner’s conception” and hence cannot “depass” it. At bottom Stirner and Nietzsche are two disparate facts that cannot be reasoned into one. Despite Nietzsche’s scintillating idol-smashing he is haunted by yet another idol: the idol of an abstractified “Man” scheduled for redemption by the creation of the Superman. Nietzsche’s championing of “egoism” is conditioned by the achievement of this goal and he frankly states that when an individual does not correspond to his prescriptive ideal of an “ascending course of mankind” then “it is society’s (sic) duty to suppress egoism” .(The Will to Power) This is not the view of an egoist, but that of a moralist demanding that a choice be made of his view that “mankind” is more important than individuals. Nietzsche’s philosophy implies that supra-individual “entities” like “mankind” or “race” are entitled to the subordination of my interests and even the sacrifice of my life. Stirner, on the contrary, rejects all such sacrificial creeds. He joyfully prizes himself as more important than “mankind” or its “ascending course” . He does not concern himself with myths of human redemption, but with the real world of his own, unique being.

S. E. Parker

 

 

 

Nietzsche: Antichrist?

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(All quotations from Nietzsche, unless otherwise stated, are from the edition of The Antichrist published by Haldeman-Julius in 1930)

There have been many great attacks upon Christianity, strong and effective in their different ways, and one hesitates to distinguish any one of them by the superlative ‘greatest’, but if I were to use this superlative – especially with respect to sheer blasting force of inspired denunciation – I should apply it to The Antichrist of Friedrich Nietzsche. .. One is not only impressed intellectually, but one is thrilled and moved to the depths by the splendid, sweeping fervor of his attack.

It is with these words that the renowned American freethinker and publisher, E. Haldeman-Julius, begins the introduction to his 1930 edition of The Antichrist. That Nietzsche is anti-Christian -that is, anti-the Christian Church- is apparent to anyone who has read him. The question I want to ask, however, is he really anti-Christ as he claimed to be? Before giving my answer it may be useful to briefly outline the way in which Nietzsche viewed Christianity.

Nietzsche does not primarily concern himself with the usual questions regarding the dating of the Christian gospels, their consistency or inconsistency, or whether Christ did or did not exist. In other words, the validity of the documentary evidence for Christianity. Nor does he concern himself with the argument’s for or against the existence of God, although he calls himself an atheist. He adopts what he describes as a “psychological” approach which revolves around the question: Does Christianity enhance or depreciate life? He writes:

“What is good?- -everything that increases the feeling of power, the will to power, and power itself, in men. What is evil? -everything based in weakness. What is joy? -the emotion of power increasing, of a resistance overcome. Not contentedness, but more power! Not peace at any price, but war! Not ‘goodness’, but more ability!….The weak and the misbegotten shall sink to the ground: that is our humanitarian slogan; and they should be helped to sink. What is the most harmful vice?-pity, shown to the misbegotten and the feeble-Christianity.”

Nietzsche argues that the attacks made upon Christianity up to his time have not only been timid but false. Christianity is a crime against life and the problem of its “truth” is of no value unless it leads to a consideration of the validity of its morality.

Christianity attempts to reverse natural selection. The Christian is a sick and degenerate individual who tries to thwart the natural course of evolution and wants to make the unnatural into law. He seeks to preserve the physiologically botched, those who are weak, and to strengthen their instinct to preserve each other. Those who do n.at regard this attitude as immoral belong to the same sickly crowd.

Genuine love of mankind, [he writes] exacts sacrifice for the good of the species: it is hard, full of self-control because it needs sacrifice. Continue reading

Nietzsche

a_king_alone____by_art2mys-d4flzdtNietzsche was a great philosopher and a fine poet. His individualism has much in common with mine. His exaltation of the individual, his evaluation of egoism, his negation of all the religious, moral and social bonds that oppress the personality, his recognition that force legitimizes every action because it is the only means by which the ego can obtain all that it desires – all these constitute a common platform between us.

Even the idea that ” man is a bridge between the brute and the overman, a bridge above a deep gulf” is common to us both-even if for Nietzsche the bridge leads to a type like Alexander the Great, Caesar, or Napoleon, and for me a type like Corrado Brando or Jules Bonnot.

Both anarchism and imperialism are children of individualism inasmuch as they are born of the need which prompts the individual to be free and not to submit to anyone or anything, to expand life to the fullest extent, even oppressing others if the individual thinks it necessary and has the force to do so.

Beginning like Corrado Brando the individual can end in the tyranny of a Caesar. Yes, but egoism can be awakened in everyone. If individualist sentiments are generalized, if humanity dissolves into separate personalities, free, resolute and independent, each one of whom will not submit to others, then imperialism becomes practically impossible as a form of domination. Each individual would resist those who wanted him to submit. If he fell in battle he would not become a slave, and if he succeeded in repelling the attack he would preserve his freedom and continue to live without masters. Continue reading

Anarchism and Individualism

The 24bbc5dc077c1c36303373f8284b29cdwords anarchism and individualism are frequently used as synonyms. Many thinkers vastly different from each other are carelessly qualified sometimes as anarchists, sometimes as individualists. It is thus that we speak indifferently of Stirnerite anarchism or individualism, of Nietzschean anarchism or individualism, of Barresian anarchism or individualism, etc. In other cases, though, this identification of the two terms is not looked upon as possible. We commonly say Proudhonian anarchism, Marxist anarchism, anarchist syndicalism. But we could not say Proudhonian, Marxist, or syndicalist individualism. We can speak of a Christian or Tolstoyan anarchism, but not of a Christian or Tolstoyan individualism.

At other times the two terms have been melted together in one name: anarchist individualism. Under this rubric M. Hasch designates a social philosophy that it differentiates from anarchism properly so-called, and whose great representatives, according to him, are Goethe, Byron, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Carlyle, Emerson, Kierkegaard, Renan, Ibsen, Stirner and Nietzsche. This philosophy can be summed up as the cult of great men and the apotheosis of genius. It would seem to us to be arguable whether the expression individualist anarchism can be used to designate such a doctrine. The qualification of anarchist, in the etymological sense, can be applied with difficulty to thinkers of the race of Goethe, Carlyle and Nietzsche, whose philosophy seems on the contrary to be dominated by ideas of hierarchical organization and the harmonious placing of values in a series. What is more, the epithet of individualist can’t be applied with equal justice to all the thinkers we have just named. If it is appropriate for designating the egotist, nihilist and anti-idealist revolt of Stirner, it can with difficulty be applied to the Hegelian, optimist and idealist philosophy of a Carlyle, who clearly subordinates the individual to the idea.

There thus reigns a certain confusion concerning the use of the two terms anarchism and individualism, as well as the systems of ideas and sentiments that these terms designate. We would here like to attempt to clarify the notion of individualism and determine its psychological and sociological content by distinguishing it from anarchism …

Individualism is the sentiment of a profound, irreducible antinomy between the individual and society. The individualist is he who, by virtue of his temperament, is predisposed to feel in a particularly acute fashion the ineluctable disharmonies between his intimate being and his social milieu. At the same time, he is a man (or whom life has reserved some decisive occasion to remark this disharmony. Whether through brutality, or the continuity of his experiences, (or him it has become clear that for the individual society is a perpetual creator of constraints, humiliations and miseries, a kind of continuous generation of human pain. In the name of his own experience and his personal sensation of life the individualist feels he has the right to relegate to the rank of utopia any ideal of a future society where the hoped-for harmony between the individual and society will be established. Far from the development of society diminishing evil, it does nothing but intensify it by rendering the life of the individual more complicated, more laborious and more difficult in the middle of the thousand gears of an increasingly tyrannical social mechanism. Science itself, by intensifying within the individual the consciousness of the vital conditions made for him by society, arrives only at darkening his intellectual and moral horizons. Qui auget scientiam augel et dolorem. Continue reading

In The Kingdom Of The Spooks

Beksinski-ris-018”There exist only beauty and force, but to hold themselves in equilibrium the brutal and the weak invented justice”

Raffaele Valente

Once I thought it to be only a fearful dream, but it was in fact a bloody reality.

I am surrounded and caught between a double circle of fanatics, rabble and fools.

The world is a foul, pestiferous church where all are expected to worship an idol as if it were a fetish, and where rises an altar on which they must sacrifice themselves. Even those who light the iconoclastic pyre on which to burn the cross with its god-man, even these have yet to understand the call of life or the cry of freedom.

After the legendary Christ had spat at the face of man the most bloody of insults by urging him to deny himself so as to be nearer God, along came the French Revolution which in savage irony, made the same appeal by proclaiming the ”rights of man”.

According to Christ and the French Revolution, man is imperfect. The cross of Christ symbolizes the possibility of becoming man; the rights of man symbolize exactly the same thing. To attain true perfection it is necessary, according to the first, to become divine, according to the second, to become human.

But Christ and the French Revolution are at one in proclaiming the imperfection of the individual man, the real ego, by affirming that it is only by attaining the ideal that man can reach the magic peaks of perfection.

Christ tells you: ”If you patiently climb up desolate Calvary and have yourself nailed upon the cross, becoming my image, the image of the man-god, you will become perfect, being fit to sit at the right hand of my father who is in heaven.” And the French Revolution tells you: ” If you enter into the symbolic cloister of human justice, in order to be sublimated and humanized by the grace of the moral rule of social life, you will become a citizen, and I will grant you your rights and proclaim you man.” But he who dares to throw the cross and its man-god, or the clumsy tablets of the Rights of Man, into the fire and proclaim the free individual – such a man is an upstart, an evil-doer who is threatened by two sinister spooks, the Divine and the Human.

On the right the sulphurous and eternal flames of Hell, which punish sin; and on the left the dull grinding of the guillotine, which punishes crime.

The cold and spineless cowardice of human fear, produced by subjugation to mystical and morbid sentiments, has succeeded in conquering the healthy and primitive injustice which was force and beauty, youth and audacity. So called progress, so-called civilization, so-called religion, so-called idealism have entombed life in a deadly circle where the most repugnant spooks have established their rule.

The hour for the end has come. We must break out of the deadly circle and escape. If the chimeras of divine legends have terribly influenced human history; if human history has involved the mutilation of the real individual man – then we rebel! It is not our fault if the symbolic wounds of Christ have given birth to the social infection that proclaimed the rights of man. If men want to stagnate in systematized dens of social putrefaction, then they must put up with them. We others love the sun, and we want to give ourselves freely to the violent ardor of its kiss.

When I look around me I want to vomit. On the one hand, there is the scholar in whom I must believe if I am not to be ignorant. On the other, the moralist and philosopher whose commandments I must accept in order not to be a brute. Then there is the genius I must glorify and the hero before whom I must bow.

Then come the comrade and friend, the idealist and the materialist, the atheist and the believer, and a host of definite and indefinite apes who bear down on me with their advice and want to put me on the right path. Because, it must be understood, the way I am is bad, as are my thoughts, my ideas – all of me.

”I am a man who has deceived himself”. These poor madmen are obsessed by the idea that life has intended them to be pontiffs officiating at the largest mission because humanity has been called to great destinies.

These poor and pitiful animals, deceived by false ideals and transformed by lunacy, have never been able to understand the tragic and joyous miracle of life, any more than they have been able to see that humanity is not called to any great destiny.

If they would learn from what has gone before, they would at least know that their would-be fellows do not share their desire to break their backs jumping the abyss that separates one from the other.

But I am what  I am, and the rest is of little importance.

And the croaking of these multi-colored chatterers only serves to deepen my noble and personal wisdom.

O apostolic apes of humanity and social progress, do you not hear that which sounds above your spooks?

Listen, O’ listen! It is my laughter which rises and echoes furiously in the heights!

Renzo Novatore

(English version by J.R. and S.E.P., from a French translation by E. Armand. First published in L’Unique, Nov-Dec 1954)