Alexander Hope

Principles of Egoism and of the Idler(A work In progress *Draft*)

— 1 —

What is Egoism?

Egoism is that which cannot be defined by doctrine and therefore implies the liberation from norms, dogma, society and presents the individual with the conditions necessary for the liberation of the unique one from all that which is ‘‘Fixed’’

— 2 —

What is the Egoist?

The Egoist is that unfixed individual in society which lives entirely day by day through freeing himself from all constraints. The Egoist is that which has become ‘‘Conscious’’ of his egoism, and has also become conscious that society benefits from him through it’s abstractions. The egoist’s sole existence depends on his freeing himself from every chain and fetter that bind him and therefore this unstrained freedom allows him to proclaim himself as unique and to make the entire world his property.

— 3 —

Have Egoists always existed?

Indeed yes, Egoists have always existed from the beginnings of the human race. There have always been egoists that are suppressed by society and executed for their idleness and their disobedience. However, the modern egoists which are developing today are so doing under new material conditions. In the age of feudalism there was much talk of ‘‘capitalism’’ — and there were also small hints of ‘‘Communist talk’’ — meanwhile in the age of capitalism, there is much talk of ‘‘Communism’’ — but there are also small hints of ‘‘egoist talk’’ in the shadows. If we analyze this through historical and dialectical materialism, we would not how under feudalism, the spirit of capitalism was very strong, but there were also those few individual men that were already thinking about ‘‘Communism’’ — such as ‘‘The Diggers’’ for instance in the 17th century that could be defined as more or less ‘‘Agrarian Socialism’’ — While in the 17th century, most of the world was still dominated by feudalism, in England we could already see the birth of republicanism, the rise of the mercantile class and petit-bourgeoisie, we could see in detail the rise of the spirit of capitalism. Capitalism in the 17th century was the topic of ‘‘Discussion’’ in every household, yet with the emergence of radical capitalist thought — there also came those who hinted at ‘‘Communism’’ — In the capitalist age of the 19th and 20th century, there is much talk of ‘‘Communism’’ as it is discussed in every household, but we also know that there are also hints of ‘‘Egoist talk’’ — one of the first men to clearly highlight this was Max Stirner himself, who in an age of capitalism where communist talk was popular, he got himself familiar with Egoism. In the same manner, once the masses grapple with socialism and then communism, the more egoism will become a topic of discussion and the more egoism will rise in order to replace communism.

Engels claims, that the poor and working classes have always existed, even in the Roman empire, he claims in his principles of communism, that ‘‘There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today;’’[1] — but he also claims that working men under industrial revolutionary conditions are referred to as ‘‘Proletarians’’ — In the same manner, using the same argument by Engels, — There have always been ‘‘Egoists’’ — but the true unique ones will develop in the age of communism when the means of production have been collectivized by society. Communist revolutionaries develop best under capitalism, not under any other age such as feudalism. The Diggers for instance today would be regarded as ‘‘Utopian socialists’’ — this is because they were not yet living under the conditions of capitalism. The Egoists living under capitalism can still be egoists, but the true unique ones will develop in an age of communism. That being said, in the 20th there has been a major socialist victory, both by Marxists and Anarchists, — Socialism had been put into practice and therefore since the 20th century neared itself closer to the realization of communism, therefore the horizon of egoism could be seen even more clearly. In the 21st century however, most of these 20th century experiments have been expired by revisionism, clearly a result of capitalist restoration under the Marxist-Leninist system, — in places which practiced anarchism such as Zapastias there has been no revisionism whatsoever, and no capitalist restoration of any kind. Some people try to revert progress and go back to capitalism after a socialist proletarian revolution, such people are called ‘‘Revisionists’’ — but these revisionists can only exist in so far as there is a state apparatus one can abuse, without a state apparatus, there can be no revisionists whatsoever and therefore anarchism is much more secure from the reality of capitalist restoration.

When it comes to Rojava, we know that it’s misguided in the sense that it’s not anarchist, but rather democratic confederalist. It takes a lot of theory and practice from Anarchism, but it is not anarchism per excellence, and therefore Rojava is more in danger. The more it ‘‘bolshevizes itself’’ or ‘‘liberalizes itself’’ in the liberal sense, the more chance of capitalist restoration in Rojava. There has been much criticism on ‘‘Platformism’’ in Anarchist circles, some even went as far to call the Platformists, ‘‘Anarcho-Bolsheviks’’ — Yet I find this criticism hypocritical, most modern anarchist together flock together at the ideas of democratic confederalism, not realizing that the democratic confederalists are more authoritarian than the platformists. Therefore, in some social experiment or another whether it had success or whether it failed, socialism as an idea was implemented and therefore brought me and others to think more about the ideas of egoism — Me and other uniques can observe egoism from a horizon that is waving at us and crystallizing in the sky. Therefore, any egoist theory that develops in the 21st century is directly the result of being molded as a human race by the experience of scientific socialism in the 20th century, whether of a Marxist or Anarchist kind.

— 4 —

How did the Modern Egoist originate?

The Egoists like Max Stirner and others before him never ‘‘Originated’’ — Human beings are naturally unique. Yet the unique ones under different economic conditions will experience different types of ‘‘uniqueness’’ — an egoist under feudalism will differ than an egoist in capitalism or communism. Stirner makes it historically clear that Egoists have always existed for example in the ancient world, Stirner refers to ‘‘Greek law, on which the Greek states rested, had to be perverted and undermined by the egoists within these states, and the states went down that the individuals might become free, the Greek people fell because the individuals cared less for this people than for themselves.’’[2] When we say Modern Egoist however, we are refering specifically to either egoists who have experienced scientific socialism in the 20th century or the future communists when communism is actually achieved. The 21st century egoists are the first sparks of the modern egoists and much of what the egoists will proclaim in this era will be relevant in the future.

Max Stirner’s egoism developed as a direct criticism of Utopian socialism at its climax, but it also addressed slightly the scientific socialism that was just about forming in Stirner’s time with Proudhon’s scientific socialism and to an extension, the early works of Marx and Engels. As socialist theory develops, so does egoism in retrospect. Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism and Communism are only temporary stages of history, meanwhile Egoism has been since the dawn of mankind, since the primitive era of tribal societies, and egoism develops in each and every stage, — the unique is in constant motion throughout every stage of society. Society is transformed from one mode to another and then it ceases to exist — the unique one however transforms into a more unique version of himself and as such never ceases to exist. Feudalism transformed into capitalism, then socialism, finally it is transformed into communism — The highest peak of society’s liberation. Society is free, but the individual is not — the individual develops as direct antithesis to society and the synthesis of the unity of opposites creates the unique ones. The unique ones have always existed, but the unique one finds his largest climax and fulfillment when he frees himself from the fetters of communist society. Societies are not eternal, civilizations develop and die, likewise the communist society will also develop and eventually die, — communism being the highest climax of society will find itself in a ‘‘fixed position’’ — unable to develop any further and therefore the unfixed egoist finding himself in contradiction to the fixedness of communist society will emancipate himself from that society. Society is temporary, the unique is in an eternal motion of self-liberation. The egoists have been liberating themselves with each stage in societies, throughout tribal society, feudalism, capitalism, socialism and communism — eventually they will find themselves in such a society where the only fetter to the unique one from fulfilling himself is precisely that communist society. The liberal emancipates himself from the nobility, the socialist emancipates himself from the bourgeoisie, the communist emancipates himself from state, class and money. The egoist emancipates himself from the fixed nature of communist society and from the individual’s role as a laborer. The laborers have also emancipated themselves throughout the different historical stages of societies — but the laborer is merely the mask of the ‘‘egoist’’ — class struggle is only a mask for the inner individualist desires of one egoists, — without self-interest, there can be no class-interest just as without the individual, there can be no societies. Eventually in the egoist insurrection against communism, the mask of ‘‘proletarian or laborer’’ will be shed away and the individual will instead embrace his true self as a unique one.

— 5 —

How did the Idler originate?

Perhaps this is a more appropriate question we should be asking of ourselves. The Idler has always existed in relation and contradiction to the hard-working and dutiful laborer who views his labor as something sacred. Throughout history, ‘‘Idlers’’ have all been known by different terms.

— 6 —

The Idler in Tribal society (Or Primitive communism)?

In Chinua Achebe’s novel, ‘‘Things Fall Apart’’ analyzing Igbo society, the idler is represented by Okonkwo’s father, ‘‘Unoka’’ whom African communal society at large detested due to his laziness. In Igbo culture the term ‘‘Agbala’’ is used to describe a woman, but it is also an insult to a man that is probably an idler and a debtor. It is clear that many tribal primitive communist society viewed the idler as separate from themselves and therefore ostracized from society — the same thing shall happen to the idler in late-stage communism. As long as there are workers, there will always be those who idle, while those who work do so because work is a necessity for survival, the idler indulges in leisure because he has attained other means of survival. The modern-day land lord under capitalism is an idler because he has other means of sustenance in contradiction with the worker who has to sell his labor in exchange for a wage. The Idler like the worker has always existed but under different conditions in each society. In tribal primitive communist society, the idler benefited from the labor of the workers and as such the worker felt entitled and superior to the idler in such a manner that the idler was ostracized. In the earliest stage of tribal society, one could not afford to be an idler, the homo Sapien had to combat against the forces of nature and in order to survive, he had to work hard, — however we must first define what we mean by the word labor, if labor means work that produces things, then the homo Sapien that merely hunts for food is not a worker but merely a person that survives off the labor of nature herself but if we characterize the laborer as someone who has to use manual force in order to achieve something, like hunting a deer or building a house, then even the tribal hunter-gatherer is a laborer. The Idler in the earliest stages of tribal society was neither respected nor hated — he was merely left behind as he slowed down the rest, or he merely died due to his idleness. Idleness increases in the age of abundance, during tribal society the world and its ecology was plenty abundant but mankind did not have the necessary tools to exploit the earth and its resources. During the agricultural revolution, mankind developed new productive forces, innovated new tools and new means of production that could exploit the earth’s resources, and therefore during the latest stages of tribal society, we experience a stage of abundance, a new method of farming and maintainance of cattle. The agricultural revolution brought about an abundance never seen before, and therefore idleness increased. At this stage in communal agricultural society, the idler was hated and often ostracized from his family.

— 7 —

The Idler in the Ancient World?

After Tribal society, comes into full view, the ancient world. The idlers in the Ancient world were philosophers and thinkers, — the pre-Socratic philosophers such as Democritus, the father of atomism also known as the laughing philosopher in contrast with another Pre-Socratic Philosopher known as Heraclitus who is the father of dialectics and also known as the weeping philosopher. These Pre-Socratics had something in common — all of them were philosophers but at the same time they indulged in idleness, they were not part of the ‘‘ruling elite’’ in the ancient world, rather they were an often than not ostracized group, for instance, Democritus was largely hated by Plato and also upon arriving to Athens, no one knew his name and nobody even cared. Democritus was born in a noble family, but he was not interested in the fixed social position of noble family, rather he used his father’s inheritance to sustain his thirst for knowledge, and therefore Democritus didn’t labor, but rather idled and thus became a philosophers. With the coming of Socrates and Plato however, philosophy would not just be an activity of thought in ‘‘Idleness’’ — Socrates marked a change in philosophy and Plato transitioned Socratic oral philosophy into the written form. Plato specifically was the largest turning point in philosophy, because it was no longer just an activity of the idle person but rather became a laborious and very fixed social task — Plato no longer wanted philosophers to be idlers, but rather he wanted them to become ‘‘Rulers’’ and ‘‘Philosopher Kings’’ — the idea that only the wise should lead the polis. In the opposite side of the world in Asia, we have Confucius, who developed more or less a similar sociological theory of society, the idea of philosopher kings. Confucius and Plato are like the Pre-Marx of the Ancient world, however, everyone has the irreconcilable enemy that is the ‘‘individual’’ — with the rise of Plato and Confucius as ‘‘hard-working philosophers’’ — there was also at a rise the antithesis that opposed Platonic and Confucian philosophy. The idler that mocked Plato was precisely Diogenes and the idler that mocked Confucius was precisely Lao Tzu. We can say that every Marx must have a Stirner figure that opposes him. The Idlers in the ancient world were deep thinkers, — some of them were hedonists, others were epicurean or even Taoists. The idler philosopher was respected by the ancient world’s elite, such as Alexander the Great who deeply admired Diogenes, in contrast Diogenes completely disrespected the elite, because it was precisely the elite Diogenes wanted to stay away from. In contrast, in Feudalism, the idler respects the elite catholic church and in return the catholic church respects the monastic idler in return. The ascetic form of life is already seen in development in the ancient world, such as in Zeno of Citium whom although was wealthy rejected the life of wealth in pursuit of a life of peace and idleness. From the Ancient world into feudalism, there is a transformation of the idler, no longer is the idler a ‘‘philosopher’’ but rather the idler is a religious and spiritual person. The idlers were more free in the ancient world, because virtually everyone could pursue a life of idleness without being pursued by the state or the elite. Everyone could become a philosopher and to an extension an idler — however when this idleness was weakening the polis, it meant that the polis would lose economic and militaristic strength and therefore over time, the states developed a machinery of oppression against the idlers. In Feudalism, you could only become an idler under the guidance of the elite, under the guidance of the catholic church. In many ways, under feudalism you have a mark or a passport or permission granted by the authorities to act as an idler or as a monastic. This marks that moment in history when the elite is starting to restrict idlers more and more, but up to feudalism, idlers were very large in number, in capitalism, the story would change, an idler becomes an expense and is no longer respected, and thus he degenerates to a role we today call a ‘‘Lumpen proletariat’’.

— 8 —

The Idler in the Middle Ages?

It is often hypothesized that one of the criteria of why the Roman Empire fell was due to the idleness that had developed throughout the Roman Empire. Notwithstanding that the Roman Empire fell because of many factors, but during the course of this question we are mainly interested in the ‘‘idleness question’’ Historically it is a fact that the Roman people no longer fought their own wars, instead they relied on Barbarian mercenaries to fight their wars, men whose only loyalty was to Gold, the Roman people lost their will to defend their homes. Patriotism no longer haunted the Roman’s head, instead his only loyalty was to himself and to his gold. The Roman became an egoist and an idler and as consequence the Roman Empire fell. The abundance of the Roman Empire meant that the Romans no longer needed to fight their own wars, but meant that they could hire people to fight wars for them. As Niccolò Machiavelli highlights in his book, ‘‘The Prince’’ and Sun Tzu in his book, ‘‘The Art of War’’ — hired mercenaries could never replace the efficiency of a militarized standing army. The Mercenaries’s only loyalty is to Gold and the loyalty of the one who hired him is also loyal to Gold, henceforth, both the mercenaries and the Roman Empire itself became egoist in character and no longer cared for society at large or for the political and economic structure and standing of the Empire. The Roman empire lost itself, it went from a project to rid the world of Barbarism, to something much weaker, a state led by a military leader without an army to call his own. The barbarians Rome swore to destroy, became Rome’s main fighting force. People which would have once fought for the Empire, no longer did so due to the Empire’s conversion to a “foreign” faith. Furthermore, since the Army was just a bunch of Mercenaries, Taxes skyrocketed, further turning the Romans against the Roman government. The Crisis of the Third century has significantly weakened the Central government leading to Diocletian splitting the empire into 4 regions, led by 2 western leaders and 2 eastern leaders and one of these 4 men was the Senior Augustus, basically the emperor. These Men almost never agreed, which eventually led to the splitting of the Empire. There was a gradual decline of Roman birthrates, One of the Reasons why the Empire relied on Mercenaries. Latin was no longer spoken throughout the empire, In the east, Latin was practically dead even among the Roman officials. You had the Christian morality constantly combatting with the Pagan Morality embedded within the Roman culture. It was impossible for Rome not to fall. The Crisis of the Third century doomed the Empire. At least in the west. This was the victory of the idlers and the loss of the proletarians.

This shows us how Idleness is always egoist in its character and it’s the enemy of the proletariat, the hard worker, the enemy of generalities and societies, it cares only about itself, maintains only itself and through its attention solely to itself, it causes the fall and destruction of society. We must point out however, that egoists don’t condemn egoism itself, we could care less whether the Roman Empire falls.

The Roman Empire was conquered through the means of hard labor and war, while what brought about its fall was the idleness of the Roman Empire itself and its inhabitants. In contrast the hard-working Nordic forces were quickly conquering parts of the empire. The idle Romans were at risk as being conquered by the busy barbarian forces, but before this could happen, there was the diaspora of Christianity and therefore the idleness of the Christian way of life converted the North from their pagan way of life. Idleness had won a major victory against the busy proletarians (Both from the North and even throughout the Roman Empire) — The idlers would carry out this victory throughout the rest of the Middle Ages, till finally the proletarians would strike back during the protestant reformation.

Under feudalism, the idler was the ‘‘Christian’’ — that monk or the monastic and aesthetic that avoided labor all together in order to pursue a perfect life in Christ. Throughout many religious practices in all the world, whether Hinduism, Christianity or Buddhism, monasticism meant that one would pursue a life of non-labor and therefore an idler by definition. However, unlike the idler in primitive communism that was ostracized, the Christian idler in feudalism was a highly respected member of society, on the other hand, the busy worker, or the hard-working craftsman, merchant etc were viewed with disrespect as unchristian, because they were trying always to increase their capital and maximizing their profit. The Monastic asks for charity as a means of survival and under feudal society he is immediately attended with the most extreme hospitality, one such hospitality was given to Sir Gawainn in the poem, ‘‘Sir Gawainn and the Green Knight’’ and of course charity towards the monastic was a very common practice in the middle ages. The idler in social democratic society that asks for hospitality today is most likely ignored, charity is no longer a virtue, the only thing that can sustain the idler under capitalism is sometimes state welfare or some sort of state unemployed benefit. The masses in capitalism see the virtue in paying taxes in order to aid the idler, but they no longer see the feudal virtue of charity as an important proponent of society. The Idler in highly liberal places like America are ignored and left for dead. This unbridled capitalism means that capitalists are attempting to make the idler suffer in order so that the idler rejoins the working force. The capitalists leaves the individual only two choices, ‘‘Starvation or wage-slavery’’

We have noted how in the Ancient world, the idler was respected or hated depending on different time period of the ancient world, while in the middle ages and under classical feudalism, almost everyone had stability, and almost everyone was enslaved by the same system. Feudalism as a result has more stability than capitalism, and therefore laborers always had work and therefore for the major part had secure material security. That being said, idlers still existed in religious institutions and to be an idler on earth meant to be a laborer in heaven and serving God. Beggars, Monastics, Monks in seclusion and Ascetic were highly respected people. Monasticism is usually characterized by living in poverty, seclusion and isolation from the rest of the world — The monastic person is a highly involuntary egoist as Stirner would say. This is because the egoist aspires for a life apart from the other and not for communal life — therefore the monastic person is the proto-egoist, an involuntary egoist who lives apart from communal society, all he required is himself and God, if only the monastic had done away with God, he would have probably achieved the status of a voluntary egoist. The monastic was the egoist of the middle ages, and the idler philosopher was the egoist of the ancient world. There were many fake philosophers who tried to construct morality, construct spooks in order to fit their ‘‘proletarian role’’ and thus they subverted idle philosophy and made philosophy a laborious task. In similar manner, there were those who sought to subvert the idle religion of the monastics and made religion into a laborious task — the transformation of Catholicism into Protestantism and to an extension Puritanism. After all it was Martin Luther himself who from 1505–1511 lived as a monk himself and lived in similar egoist idler fashion — but he himself subverted this role and made religion into a laborious task and resigned the previous idleship of monastic Catholicism. The same place where Luther was a monk was St. Augustine’s monastery in Germany, founded in 1277, carrying a long tradition of idle monasticism, but ironically because of the dialectical features of society in motion, St. Augustine’s monastery was also the cradle of the reformation.

Monastics started their idle role in the early middle ages guided by Desert Theology or the way of the Desert Monastics. These lived a life of total seclusion from the world as hermits, this was the earliest stage of monasticism known predominantly as Eremitic Monasticism. Throughout the Middle Ages, this developed into Cenobitic monasticism, were although these monastics lived in isolation from the world, the monastics came together in little communities, like the earliest Desert Fathers. We can exponentially observe a subversion from the idle ship of the earlier Eremitic Monastics into the Cenobitic Monastics, but the worst subversion is found when monasticism during the latest stage of Cenobitic monasticism when religious rules were introduced on how people should carry out their monasticism. No longer where monastics free to pursue their own individual freedom to walk their own hermetic path, no longer where they allowed to be idlers. This was during the book of precepts called ‘‘The Rule of Saint Benedict’’ in 515 A.D written by Benedict of Nursia. These were a set of rules presented in order to control the idle monastic communities that had formed. These rules were not in effect in 515 A.D, in fact Benedict of Nursia never intended for his rules to be enforced and he never intended to construct a religious order that enforces these rules. Monastics from the late middle ages would actually construct this the order of Saint Benedict in order to enforce these rules. One of the fundamental classical rules of Benedict was ‘‘Ora et labora’’ — Which in English signifies, ‘‘Pray and Work’’ — already we can see a deep contrast between the earlier monastics that didn’t labor at all, and spend most of their time in prayer and idleness when compared to Benedict’s rules of monastic community, where the members are expected to work and pray. This is the ‘‘Proletarianisation’’ of the idle monastics and therefore historically we can affirm that the worker (Proletarian) has always been the enemy of the idler (the individualist egoist). Benedict himself hated the idlers with the passion, in fact St. Benedict begins Chapter 48 with an aphorism, ‘‘Otiositas inimica est animae — “Idleness is the enemy of the soul.”, and it becomes crystal clear that Benedict sought to subvert the idle monk and transform him into a proletarian monk. That being said, Benedict didn’t deny the time for leisure, in fact he believed that the day should be split between laborious task and leisure tasks, divided into times of idleness and times of labor, this is because dialectically Benedict was still affected by the echoes of the idle past, but also effected by the laborious future. The dialectical law of the negation of the negation states that at certain moments in history, when a new age is being born and the old age withers away, there is a precise moment in the new age, where old customs resurface again, and therefore Benedict’s balance between ‘‘Labor and idleness’’ seem to represent this precise moment in history. After Benedict, society would start to reject idleness and leisure totally and move towards a society that values labor above all else. There is a dialectical tension in Benedict’s balance between idleness and labor, but he maintains his insistence, that there should be sanctum otium — a “holy leisure” but at the same time we must do the work of God (Opus Dei) — This dialectical tension between thesis and antithesis, between labor and idleness would meet its climax during the reformation, when finally monasticism is abandoned almost totally by the protestants and instead the direct opposite is worshipped — namely what in modernist times people called, ‘‘The Protestant Work-Ethic’’ — The idler lost a major victory against the proletarian during the protestant reformation and this defeat was carried throughout the Renaissance, throughout Victorian England, until finally during the industrial revolution, the idler would resurface as the ‘‘Lumpen Proletariat’’ in contradiction with the Industrial Proletariat.

— 8 —

The Idler in the Renaissance up to the Protestant Reformation?

The protestant reformation allowed a split in the church and therefore allowed the freedom to construct one’s own protestant church voluntarily and in so doing, property was divided and more divided, with the Protestant Reformation we observe the division of church and state property but we also observe a division of labor allocated per division of property, of course the division of labor would fully formulate itself much later when capitalism was developing. During the initial stages of the Renaissance, we already observe a change from the old catholic order, during the time of Marsilio Ficino and Cosimo De Medici. The Renaissance is said to have been born in Italy, Florence circa 1340 A.D until at least the 16th century. Even during the reign of Catholicism we still observe that a social change is about to occur. The Renaissance pretty early on, already formulated the concept of the ‘‘Renaissance man’’ which was in contradiction to the ‘‘Idle Man’’, — the Renaissance man whom like Cosimo De Medici was an innovator, a banker, a politician and patron of the arts — the Renaissance man was like the Proto-Capitalist or mercantilist. It was also in this period that the word ‘‘Lazy’’ had be constructed in contradiction with the busy Renaissance man. The etymological meaning of the word lazy has its origins in 1540 A.D, as (laysy), of persons, “averse to labor, action, or effort,” a word of unknown origin. In 19c. thought to be from lay (v.) as tipsy from tip. Skeat is responsible for the prevailing modern view that it probably comes from Low German, from a source such as Middle Low German laisch “weak, feeble, tired”[3] According to an Online Etymology Dictionary. All these definitions point out to a feeble and possibly sick person, perhaps a better word to use is the word ‘‘Idle’’ — because for me the word ‘‘Idle’’ has a direct connection with the ‘‘Ego’’ Of Stirner. The Ego of Stirner destroys all towards nothing and emptiness. In the same like manner, the word idle also implies ‘‘emptiness’’ According to the same online dictionary, Idle comes from Old English meaning, ‘‘idel “empty, void; vain; worthless, useless,” from Proto-West Germanic *idla- (source also of Old Saxon idal, Old Frisian idel “empty, worthless,” Old Dutch idil, Old High German ital, German eitel “vain, useless, mere, pure”), a word of unknown origin.’’[4]

*Still a work in progress*

— 9 —

The Idler in the Industrial Revolution under Capitalism?

*Still a work in progress*

— 10 —

The Idler in 20th century Socialism in the Modernist Period?

During the capitalist stage, the Proletariat is the main driving force of the world, but we are already seeing how the lumpen proletariat rises up and increases with every capitalist crisis there is — the implementation of socialism is merely the proletariat’s way to assert his dominance again over the Lumpen Proletariat. Capitalism favors the industrial proletariat over the Lumpen Proletariat, however due to Capitalism’s instabilities, the lumpen proletariat rises and starts to take over the industrial proletariat, in order for the industrial proletariat to maintain his dominance on the idler, he must battle against the instabilities of capitalism and thus constructs socialism. The Lumpen proletariat and Industrial proletariat are in constant struggle under capitalism — at certain moments the Lumpen Proletariat seem to be victorious, at other moments, the industrial proletariat take over power again. The Bolshevik Revolution proved to be a victory of the Proletariat in the east, meanwhile in the east, the capitalist crisis of the Great Depression of the 30’s proved to be a Lumpen Proletariat Victory in the Western world. A few years later, the Chinese Communist Revolution was a victory of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry. Socialism is a means to secure the dominance of the proletariat from the instabilities of capitalism, and also to secure the proletarian role of society, to omit the transformation of proletarian into Lumpen proletarian and vice versa. Under most socialist states like China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam and the like, almost all citizens were employed, therefore almost no lumpen proletariat or unemployed individuals were to be found — therefore socialism can also be defined as a means to secure proletarian dominance, in order to secure a fixed material status of the proletarian. While under capitalism, the proletariat is unsure whether he will have the same job he had yesterday, or whether he will end up on the streets on the next day, under socialism, one’s job is always secured. Under Capitalism, the lumpen proletariat can become an industrial proletariat and vice versa an industrial proletariat can become a lumpen proletariat, in other cases, labor aristocrats can be transformed into the industrial proletariat or seek to join the bourgeoisie by becoming themselves petit bourgeoisie, and finally the petit bourgeoisie can either end up becoming a proletarian himself or become part of the national bourgeoisie, in extension the national bourgeoisie and compradors can make their way to becoming imperialists. In 20th century socialism, in its initial stages we observe that socialists abolished these ‘‘instable transformations’’ we see in capitalism, instead in socialist state, the proletarian was sure that he was stable and financially secure. As the years passed however, all the socialist states hereby enacted suffered a surge of revisionism and therefore capitalist restoration was inevitable, no longer was the proletariat secure in his material position, instead he found himself once more in an unstable position of the lumpen proletariat. Of course, we cannot blame the idlers for this instability, it is capitalism itself that is unstable not the lumpen proletariat themselves. The Lumpen Proletariat are merely the idlers under the conditions of capitalism — the conditions of the lumpen proletariat under the conditions of socialism would be different. Under Socialism, The Lumpen Proletariat are almost inexistant, because the socialist state makes sure that almost every citizen has a job. On the other hand, the stateless and classless communism cannot make sure that everyone has a job, because there is no state and no institution by which it can make sure that everyone labors, therefore communism is the climax of proletarian victory but also the turning point which will allow the egoist idlers to completely destroy the proletariat forever and transform themselves into idlers.

During the Modernist period, the Idler and proletarian struggle was at a stalemate, similar to how in the mid — Middle Ages, the monastics like the Benedictine monks were at a stalemate or at a dilemma whether they should be ‘‘Idlers or whether they should be proletarians’’ — eventually the proletarians won, and likewise in 20th century socialism, the proletarians won — however with the death of most socialist experiments into the post-modernist era, we observe the Lumpen proletariat were on the rise again and winning back their world of idleness from the hands of the busy workers.

— 11 —

The Idler in Post-Modernism?

*Still a work in progress*

— 12 —

The Idler in Post-Post-Modernism (Our time)?

*Still a work in progress*

— 13 —

The Idler in the Automaton’s Revolution?

*Still a work in progress*

— 14 —

The Idler in Communism?

*Still a work in progress*

Lenin in his The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism remarked how, ‘‘Capitalism has triumphed all over the world, but this triumph is only the prelude to the triumph of labour over capital.’’[1] — he justifies this, through class struggle and dialectics in history. Of course, we as egoists can use the same method Lenin uses in order to justify our egoism, and I can likewise say, ‘‘Communism shall triumph all over the world, but this triumph is only the prelude to the triumph of idleness over labour’’ — it is true that Lenin’s statement is correct regarding the triumph of labour over capital — socialism and communism are indeed that thing. According to Lenin, ‘‘Capital, created by the labour of the worker, crushes the worker, ruining small proprietors and creating an army of unemployed’’[2] — this army of the unemployed are the lumpen proletariat or as I prefer to characterize them, the ‘‘Idlers’’ under the conditions of capital and the industrial revolution. Now I ask the question, ‘‘What shall happen to the idlers under the conditions of labour in communism and the automaton’s revolution?’’ — the answer for me is simple, just as it was simple for Marx and Lenin. Just like socialism and communism do away with ‘‘capital’’ and to an extension capitalism itself, egoism will do away with ‘‘labour’’ and to an extension communist society itself. The communists shall triumph over capital through their labour and using the same argument the egoists shall triumph over labour through their idleness. The Labourer in capitalist society creates capital itself, this ‘‘capital’’ is indeed a form of abundance, but this form of abundance is owned by the bourgeoisie and they control this abundance as they see fit — as a consequence, capital destroys the proletariat and gives life to the idlers and lumpen proletariat, as the reserve army of laborers or else, the army of the unemployed. If ‘‘capital’’ through abundance creation is able to create such idlers, then how much will communist society free from the shackles of capital, and free to produce and equalize this abundance, how much more will it create idlers in it’s wake. Lenin is incorrect when he says, capital destroys the proletariat, because a more correct explanation would be, that capital transforms the industrial proletariat into a lumpen proletariat and vice versa. Capitalist society transforms the labourer through capital, but in so transforming labourers into lumpen proletariat, it also destroys capitalism itself, it allows the workers to consciously unite together to overthrow capitalism. Capitalism can never destroy the laborer fully — because at it stands today under industrial conditions, capitalism can only transform the proletariat into a lumpen proletariat and when it needs more labourers, it will simply employ the abandoned lumpen proletariat and transform them back to industrial proletariat. The only social system that can destroy the proletariat is ironically communism itself. Communist society destroys the labourer through the labour act and in so doing, communists society also destroys itself, by allowing the idlers to take over the communist mode of production and living. Only capitalist society can construct the conditions by which capital is abolished, and likewise only communist society can construct the conditions by which labourers and labour are abolished either through automation, struggle between egoist idlers and busy proletarian communists, or because communist society is able to produce such abundance through little labour, that labour will slowly become extinct. I personally believe in a combination of these three factors that will lead to the transformation of communist society, into an egoist world, namely — the productive forces will develop and jump from the industrial revolution into another sort of revolution, i.e (The Automaton’s revolution), secondly the struggle between idler and proletariat, and finally the cycles of abundance in communist society.

*Still a work in progress*

— 15 —

The Idler in Egoism?

*Still a work in progress*

— 16 —

Summary of the Idler Origins

In primitive communism — Workers are respected, Idlers are ostracized, under feudalism, the other way round — Idler respected, worker was observed suspiciously. In Capitalism both workers and idlers become financial components, the worker becomes a commodity, and the idler becomes an expense. In communism, the idler benefits from the labor of the workers and as such both of them develop in opposing poles in relationship to each other.

In capitalism we are presented with the opposites of feudalism — Capitalist society views the maximization of profit as a virtue and the idlers as an irresponsible debtor, and as an expense of society. Under capitalism, no one is given respect, everything becomes a ‘‘commodity’’- everything becomes unhuman. For the capitalist, the worker is a commodity that can help me produce more profit, while the idler is an expense that is quickly written off.

The industrial revolution meant that craftmanship was slowly decaying and most craftsmen petit-bourgeoisie, either became bourgeoisie themselves, or mostly they found themselves as proletarians as a result of the development of towns in the industrial revolution. In communism, the division of labor is abolished as Kropotkin in the Conquest of Bread remarked, and therefore the need for craftmanship and the expression of the individualist act of production is born yet again but this time under communist conditions and a communist mode of production. Capitalism paves the way towards communism, the social act of production is indeed born under capitalism, but these are the seeds of socialism that are used to destroy capitalism itself. In the same manner, communism utilizes the social act of production, but since communism is wholly opposite to the unbridled competition and isolation of capitalism, communism will also abolish the division of labor. The abolition of the division of labor, implies that products are no longer produced through a division of labor, but rather every individual gets to produce one product as a whole in itself. For example, a whole wooden table or a wooden chair. The abolition of the division of labor implies a return to craftmanship under communist conditions, this implies that each laborer in communism will mass produce products, but not in a way that is divisive, — if there is a factory that makes bread, each individual produce his own bread under his own fashion. Under capitalism, labor is divided, rather than having workers produce bread altogether, some workers produce yeast, others prepare the dough, some collect water, some mix the mixture, some workers are responsible for baking. In communism, every worker will prepare bread under his own design and will — that being said, while under communism the worker designs his labor according to his own fashion, the fact that he labors is not the first thing on his mind — The first thing on his mind is ‘‘Leisure and idleness’’ — but society through the compulsion of the masses forces him to labor first, and leisure later, otherwise he risks being ostracized. One does not need a state or capitalism to enforce labor, the necessity of labor and the societal psychological compulsion is strong enough by itself to enforce people to labor even though they might not want too labor themselves.

[1] Engels, Principles of communism p.77

[2] The Ego and Its own

[3] Online Etymology Dictionary

[4] Online Etymology Dictionary

[5] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism

[6] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism

I am a platformist anarcho-communist, a writer and student of political philosophy, specifically on anarchism.