I’ll be open and admit that I will probably never like Proudhon. We’re axiomatically different in too many ways, but that doesn’t mean that I have to believe everything he thinks is wrong.
In particular, the section that Michael Malice has excerpted for The Anarchist Handbook (Amazon affiliate link) contains a relatively pure expression of anarchist thought with few of his other theories coming into play.
As the third writer covered, he’s the first to write as an avowed anarchist (Godwin and Stirner not really quite fitting the category), and is also probably the easiest so far to understand without some background reading.
I’m going to work through the essays in The Anarchist Handbook (Amazon affiliate link), written/edited by Michael Malice, over the course of the next several weeks. It’s a collection of works by an eclectic brand of thinkers who align, at times, only on their opposition to the state.
Because Malice organized The Anarchist Handbook in chronological order, the enigmatic Max Stirner is the second person to be covered in the anthology. I like Stirner, but he’s difficult to follow. This is not entirely accidental.
There’s a reason why I joke “Never go Max Stirner, just go a little Stirner.”
I’ve been thinking about risk recently.
There are things in life that are always attended by some risk.
In fact, depending on whether we go by perceived risk or actual risk, it’s probably fair to say that there are valid perspectives in which everything carries risks. There may be examples where all the possible and varied outcomes of something have no negative connotations for the actor, but this is rare and generally involves things that people don’t think about.
I’ve been pushing my writing too far back into my bedtime, and that makes things hard because I want to continue through my series of reflections on Jordan Peterson’s Beyond Order but I also don’t want to miss things as I go through.
Although I think I’m still coherent enough to communicate my thoughts, I don’t think there’s enough time left in the day to touch on that, so instead I’m going to write down something that has been on my mind recently.
I hate compromise.
Positivity is the underlying foundation of great human endeavors.
People do not do that which they believe to be impossible. Whether it is really impossible is often secondary to the opinion. We’ve changed the world often enough, and in enough ways, that we should know that plausible goals are almost always achievable.
Sometimes the costs of this are too great. I’m not a fan of utopian social engineering, for instance, because the eggs cracked to make that omelet are people.
But the fact remains that great things can be achieved.
How do I know this? We achieve them all the time without even thinking about them.
Last night I was woken by a terrible dream.
I was in a hospital, or a hotel, or a care-home for the elderly. In truth, it was a mixture of all three. My companion, a young woman, had fallen into some medical distress and needed care.
The doctor struck me as being one of two possible things.
In one case, he was pretentious, but a masterful doctor. Limited by his own demons, he would care for my companion adequately, but without regard for what I needed or the comfort of his patient.
In the other case, he was a bungler and a fool with a mask of confidence. Not only was he a danger and a threat, but he would bring misery and death upon my companion.
Yesterday, I went over a chapter of Beyond Order in which Jordan Peterson covered the purpose of rules and tradition.
During this chapter, he mentioned the Ten Commandments as examples of traditions that you should understand to avoid moral error.
The one that I found most interesting and has been consuming my thoughts is the injunction against taking the Lord’s name in vain.