The German Ideology by Marx and Engels
The first thing we learn about the “spirit” is that it is not the spirit but “the realm of spirits” that “is immensely large”. Saint Max has nothing to say immediately of the spirit except that “an immensely large realm of spirits” exists — just as all he knows of the Middle Ages is that this period lasted for “a long time”. Having presupposed that this “realm of spirits” exists, he subsequently proves its existence with the help of ten theses.
1. The spirit is not a free spirit until it is not occupied with itself alone, until it is not ,,solely concerned” with its own world, the “spiritual” world (first with itself alone and then with its own world).
2. “It is a free spirit only in a world of its own."
3. “Only by means of a spiritual world is the spirit really spirit."
4. “Before the spirit has created its world of spirits, it is not spirit."
5. “Its creations make it spirit.” ...
6. “Its creations are its world.” ...
7. “The spirit is the creator of a spiritual world.” ...
8. “The spirit exists only when it creates the spiritual.” ...
9. “Only together with the spiritual, which is its creation, is it real.” ...
10. “But the works or offspring of the spirit are nothing but — spirits” (pp. 38-39).
In thesis 1 the “spiritual world” is again immediately presupposed as existing, instead of being deduced, and this thesis 1 is again preached to us in theses 2-9 in eight new transformations. At the end of thesis 9 we find ourselves exactly where we were at the end of thesis 1 — and then in thesis 10 a “but” suddenly introduces us to “spirits”, about whom so far nothing has been said.
“Since the spirit exists only by creating the spiritual, we look around for its first creations” (p. 41),
According to theses 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9, however, the spirit is its own creation. This is now expressed thus, the spirit, i.e., the first creation of the spirit,
“must arise out of nothing it must first create itself its first creation is itself, the spirit” (ibid,). “When it has accomplished this creative act there follows from then on a natural reproduction of creations just as, according to the myth, only the first human beings had to be created and the rest of the human race was reproduced of itself” (ibid.).
“However mystical this may sound, we nevertheless experience this daily. Are you a thinking person before you think? In creating your first thought, you can create yourself, the thinker for you do not think until you think, — i.e. — have some thought. Is it not your singing alone that makes you a singer, your speech that makes you a speaking person? Well, in the same way only the creation of the spiritual makes you spirit.”
Our saintly conjurer assumes that the spirit creates the spiritual in order to draw the conclusion that the spirit creates itself as spirit; on the other hand, he assumes it as spirit in order to allow it to arrive at its spiritual creations (which, “according to the myth, are reproduced of themselves” and become spirits). So far we have the long-familiar orthodox-Hegelian phrases. The genuinely “unique” exposition of what Saint Max wants to say only begins with the example he gives. That is to say, if Jacques le bonhomme cannot get any further, if even “One” and “it” are unable to float his stranded ship, “Stirner” calls his third serf to his assistance, the “You”, who never leaves him in the lurch and on whom he can rely in extremity. This “You” is an individual whom we are not encountering for the first time, a pious and faithful servant, [Matthew 25:21] whom we have seen going through fire and water, a worker in the vineyard of his lord, a man who does not allow anything to terrify him, in a word he is: Szeliga. [cf. Die Heilige Familie, oder Kritik der kritischen Kritik, where the earlier exploits of this man of God have already been set forth.] When “Stirner” is in the utmost plight in his exposition he cries out: Szeliga, help! — and trusty Eckart Szeliga immediately puts his shoulder to the wheel to get the cart out of the mire. We shall have more to say later about Saint Max’s relation to Szeliga.
It is a question of spirit which creates itself out of nothing, hence it is a question of nothing, which out of nothing makes itself spirit. From this Saint Max derives the creation of Szeliga’s spirit from Szeliga. And who else if not Szeliga could “Stirner” count on allowing himself to be put in the place of nothing in the manner indicated above? Who could be taken in by such a trick but Szeliga, who feels highly flattered at being allowed to appear at all as one of the dramatis personae? What Saint Max had to prove was not that a given “you”, i.e., the given Szeliga, becomes a thinker, speaker, singer from the moment when he begins to think, speak, sing — but that the thinker creates himself out of nothing by beginning to think, that the singer creates himself out of nothing by beginning to sing, etc., and it is not even the thinker and the singer, but the thought and the singing as subjects that create themselves out of nothing by beginning to think and to sing. For the rest, “Stirner makes only the extremely simple reflection” and states only the “extremely popular” proposition (cf. Wigand, p. 156) that Szeliga develops one of his qualities by developing it. There is, of course, absolutely nothing “to be wondered at” in the fact that Saint Max does not even “make” correctly “such simple reflections”, but expresses them incorrectly in order thereby to prove a still much more incorrect proposition with the aid of the most incorrect logic in the world.
Far from it being true that “out of nothing” I make myself, for example, a “speaker”, the nothing which forms the basis here is a very manifold something, the real individual, his speech organs, a definite stage of physical development, an existing language and dialects, ears capable of hearing and a human environment from which it is possible to hear something, etc., etc. Therefore, in the development of a property something is created by something out of something, and by no means comes, as in Hegel’s Logik, from nothing, through nothing to nothing. [cf. G.W.F. Hegel. Wissenschaft der Logik, Th. I, Abt. 2]
Now that Saint Max has his faithful Szeliga close at hand, everything goes forward smoothly again. We shall see how, by means of hi ‘ S “You”, he again transforms the spirit into the youth, exactly as he earlier transformed the youth into the spirit; here we shall again find the whole history of the youth repeated almost word for word, only with a few camouflaging alterations — just as the “Immensely large realm of spirits” mentioned on page 37 was nothing but the “realm of the spirit”, to found and enlarge which was the “aim” of the spirit of the youth (p. 17).
“Just as you, however, distinguish yourself from the thinker, singer, speaker, so you distinguish yourself no less from the spirit and are well aware that You are something else as well as spirit. However, just as in the enthusiasm of thinking it may easily happen that sight and hearing fail the thinking ego, so the enthusiasm of the spirit has seized you too, and you too, and you now aspire with all four might to become wholly spirit and merged in spirit. The spirit is your ideal, something unattained, something of the beyond: spirit: means your — God, — God is spirit [John 4:24] ... You inveigh against yourself, you who cannot get rid of ‘a relic of the non-spiritual. Instead of saving: I am more than spirit, you say contritely: I am less than spirit, and I can only envisage spirit, pure spirit, or the spirit which is nothing but spirit, but I am not it, and since I am not it, then it is an other, it exists as an other, whom I call ‘God’.”
After previously, for a long time occupying ourselves with the trick of making something out of nothing, we now suddenly, perfectly naturally”, come to an individual who is something else as well as spirit, consequently is something, and wants to become pure spirit, i.e., nothing. This much easier problem, i.e., to turn something into nothing, once again poses the whole story of the youth, who “has yet to seek the perfect spirit”, and one needs merely to repeat the old phrases from pages 17-18 to be extricated from all difficulties. Particularly, when one has such an obedient and gullible servant as Szeliga, on whom “Stirner” can impose the idea that just as “in the enthusiasm of thinking it may easily” (!) “happen that sight and hearing fail” him, “Stirner”, so he, Szeliga, has also been “seized with the enthusiasm of the spirit” and he, Szeliga, “is now aspiring with all his might to become spirit”, instead of acquiring spirit, that is to say, he now has to play the role of the youth as presented on page 18. Szeliga believes it and in fear and trembling he obeys; he obeys when Saint Max thunders at him: The spirit is your ideal — your God. You do this for me, you do that for me. Now you “inveigh”, now “you say” now “you can envisage”, etc. When “Stirner” imposes on him the idea that “the pure spirit is an other, for he” (Szeliga) “is not it”, then in truth, it is only Szeliga who is capable of believing him and who gabbles the entire nonsense after him, word for word. Incidentally, the method by which Jacques le bonhomme makes up this nonsense was already exhaustively analysed when dealing with the youth. Since you are well aware that you are something else as well as a mathematician, you aspire to become wholly a mathematician, to become merged in mathematics, the mathematician is your ideal, mathematician means your — God. You say contritely: I am less than a mathematician and I can only envisage the mathematician, and since I am not him, then he is an other, he exists as an other, whom I call “God”. Someone else in Szeliga’s place would say — Arago.
“Now, at last, after” we have proved Stirner’s thesis to be a repetition of the “youth”, “one can state” that he “in truth originally set himself no other task” than to identify the spirit of Christian asceticism with spirit in general, and to identify the frivolous esprit, for example, of the eighteenth century with Christian spiritlessness.
It follows, therefore, that the necessity of spirit dwelling in the beyond, i.e., being God, is not to be explained, as Stirner asserts, “because ego and spirit are different names for different things, because ego is not spirit and spirit is not ego” (p. 42). The explanation lies in the “enthusiasm of the spirit” which is ascribed without any grounds to Szeliga and which makes him an ascetic, i.e., a man who wishes to become God (pure spirit), and because he is not able to do this posits God outside himself. But it was a matter of the spirit having first to create itself out of nothing and then having to create spirits out of itself. Instead of this, Szeliga now produces God (the unique spirit that makes its appearance here) not because he, Szeliga, is the spirit, but because he is Szeliga, i.e., imperfect spirit, unspiritual spirit, and therefore at the same time non-spirit. But Saint Max does not say a word about how the Christian conception of spirit as God arises, although this is now no longer such a clever feat; he assumes the existence of this conception in order to explain it.
The history of the creation of the spirit “has in truth originally set itself no other task” than to put Stirner’s stomach among the stars.
“Precisely because we are not the spirit which dwells within us, for that very reason we had to ...
Precisely because we are not stomach which dwells within us, for that the very reason we had to ...
that put it outside of ourselves; it was not us, and therefore we could not conceive it as existing except outside of ourselves, beyond us, in the beyond” (p, 43).
It was a matter of the spirit having first to create itself and then having to create something other than itself out of itself; the question was: What is this something else? No answer is given to this question, but after the above-mentioned “various transformations” and twists, it becomes distorted into the following new question:
“The spirit is something other than the ego. But what is this something other?” (p. 45).
Now, therefore, the question arises: What is the spirit other than the ego? whereas the original question was: What is the spirit, owing to its creation out of nothing, other than itself? With this Saint Max jumps to the next “transformation”.
Without realising it, Saint Max has so far done no more than give instruction in the art of spirit-seeing, by regarding the ancient and modern world only as the “pseudo-body of a spirit”, as a spectral phenomenon, and seeing in it only struggles of spirits. Now, however, he consciously and ex professo gives instruction in the art of ghost-seeing.,
Instructions in the art of seeing spirits. First of all one must become transformed into a complete fool, i.e., imagine oneself to be Szeliga, and then say to oneself, as Saint Max does to this Szeliga: “Look around you in the world and say for yourself whether a spirit is not looking at you from everywhere!” If one can bring oneself to imagine this, then the spirits will come “easily”, of themselves; in a “flower” one sees only the “creator”, in the mountains — a “spirit of loftiness”, in water — a “spirit of longing” or the longing of the spirit, and one hears “millions of spirits speak through the mouths of people”. If one has achieved this level, if one can exclaim with Stirner: “ Yes, ghosts are teeming in the whole world,” then “it is not difficult to advance to the point” (p. 93) where one makes the further exclamation: “Only in it? No, the world itself is an apparition” (let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil [Matthew 5: 37] i.e., a logical transition), “it is the wandering pseudo-body of a spirit, it is an apparition.” Then cheerfully “look near at hand or into the distance, you are surrounded by a ghostly world.... You see spirits”. If you are an ordinary person you can be satisfied with that, but if you are thinking of ranking yourself with Szeliga, then you can also look into yourself and then “you should not be surprised” if, in these circumstances and from the heights of Szeligality, you discover also that “your spirit is a ghost haunting your body”, that you yourself are a ghost which “awaits salvation, that is, a spirit”. Thereby you will have arrived at the point where you are capable of seeing “spirits” and “ghosts” in “all” people, and therewith spirit-seeing “reaches its final goal” (pp. 46, 47).
The basis of this instruction, only much more correctly expressed, Is to be found in Hegel, inter alia, in the Geschichte der Philosophie, III, pp. 124, 125.
Saint Max has such faith in his own instruction that as a result he himself becomes Szeliga and asserts that
“ever since the word was made flesh [John 1:14], the world is spiritualised, bewitched, a ghost” (p. 47).
“Stirner” “sees spirits”.
Saint Max intends to give us a phenomenology of the Christian spirit and in his usual way seizes on only one aspect. For the Christian the world was not only spiritualised but equally despiritualised as, for example, Hegel quite correctly admits in the passage mentioned, where he brings the two aspects into relation with each other, which Saint Max should also have done if he wanted to proceed historically. As against the world’s despiritualisation in the Christian consciousness, the ancients, “who saw gods everywhere”, can with equal justification be regarded as the spiritualisers of the world — a conception which our saintly dialectician rejects with the well-meaning warning: “Gods, my dear modern man, are not spirits” (p. 47). Pious Max recognises only the holy spirit as spirit.
But even if he had given us this phenomenology (which after Hegel is moreover superfluous), he would all the same have given us nothing. The standpoint at which people are content with such tales about spirits is itself a religious one, because for people who adopt it religion is a satisfactory answer, they regard religion as causa sui [its own cause] (for both “self-consciousness” and “man” are still religious) instead of explaining it from the empirical conditions and showing how definite relations of industry and intercourse are necessarily connected with a definite form of society, hence, with a definite form of state and hence with a definite form of religious consciousness. If Stirner had looked at the real history of the Middle Ages, he could have found why the Christian’s notion of the world took precisely this form in the Middle Ages, and how it happened that it subsequently passed into a different one; he could have found that “Christianity” has no history whatever and that all the different forms in which it was visualised at various times were not “self-determinations” and “further developments” “of the religious spirit”, but were brought about by wholly empirical causes in no way dependent on any influence of the religious spirit.
Since Stirner “does not stick to the rules” (p. 45), it is possible, before dealing in more detail with spirit-seeing, to say here and now that the various “transformations” of Stirner’s people and their world consist merely in the transformation of the entire history of the world into the body of Hegel’s philosophy; into ghosts, which only apparently are an “other being” of the thoughts of the Berlin professor. In the Phänomenologie, the Hegelian bible, “the book”, individuals are first of all transformed into “consciousness” [and the] world into “object”, whereby the manifold variety of forms of life and history is reduced to a different attitude of “consciousness” to the “object”. This different attitude is reduced, in turn, to three cardinal relations: 1) the relation of consciousness to the object as to truth, or to truth as mere object (for example, sensual consciousness, natural religion, Ionic philosophy, Catholicism, the authoritarian state, etc.); 2) the relation of consciousness as the true to the object (reason, spiritual religion, Socrates, Protestantism, the French Revolution); 3) the true relation of consciousness to truth as object, or to the object as truth (logical thinking, speculative philosophy, the spirit as existing for the spirit). In Hegel, too, the first relation is defined as God the Father, the second as Christ, the third as the Holy Spirit, etc. Stirner already used these transformations when speaking of child and youth, of ancient and modern, and he repeats them later in regard to Catholicism and Protestantism, the Negro and the Mongol, etc., and then accepts this series of camouflages of a thought in all good faith as the world against which he has to assert and maintain himself as a “corporeal individual”.
Second set of instructions in spirit-seeing. How to transform the world into the spectre of truth, and oneself into something made holy or spectral. A conversation between Saint Max and his servant Szeliga (pp. 47, 48).
Saint Max: “You have spirit, for you have thoughts. What are your thoughts?"
Szeliga: “Spiritual entities."
Saint Max: “Hence they are not things?"
Szeliga: “No, but they ‘are the spirit of things, the important element in all things, their innermost essence, their idea."
Saint Max: “What you think is, therefore, not merely your thought?"
Szeliga: “On the contrary, it is the most real, genuinely true thing in the world: it is truth itself; when I but truly think, I think the truth. I can admittedly he mistaken about the truth and fail to perceive it, but when I truly perceive, then the object of my perception is the truth."
Saint Max: “Thus, you endeavour all the time to perceive the truth?"
Szeliga: “For me the truth is sacred.... The truth I cannot abolish; in the truth I believe, and therefore I investigate into its nature; there is nothing higher than it, it is eternal. The truth is sacred, eternal, it is the holy, the eternal."
Saint Max (indignantly): “But you, by allowing yourself to become filled with this holiness, become yourself holy.”
Thus, when Szeliga truly perceives some object, the object ceases to be an object and becomes “the truth”. This is the first manufacture of spectres on a large scale. — It is now no longer a matter of perceiving objects, but of perceiving the truth; first he perceives objects truly, which he defines as the truth of perception, and he transforms this into perception of the truth. But after Szeliga has thus allowed truth as a spectre to be imposed on him by the threatening saint, his stern master strikes home with a question of conscience, whether he is filled “all the time” with longing for the truth, whereupon the thoroughly confused Szeliga blurts out somewhat prematurely: “For me the truth is sacred.” But he immediately notices his error and tries to correct it, by shamefacedly transforming objects no longer into the truth, but into a number of truths, and abstracting “the truth” as the truth of these truths, “the truth” which he can now no longer abolish after he has distinguished it from truths which are capable of being abolished. Thereby it becomes “eternal”. But not satisfied with giving it predicates such as “sacred, eternal”, he transforms it into the holy, the eternal, as subject. After this, of course, Saint Max can explain to him that having become “filled” with this holiness, he “himself becomes holy” and “should not be surprised” if he now “finds nothing but a spectre” in himself. Then our saint begins a sermon:
“The holy, moreover, is not for your senses” and quite consistently appends by means of the conjunction “and": “never will you, as a sensuous being, discover its traces”; that is to say, after sensuous objects are “all gone” and “the truth”, “the sacred truth”, “the holy” has taken their place, “But” — obviously, — “for your faith or more exactly for your spirit” (for your lack of spirit), “for it is itself something spiritual” (per appositionen), “a spirit” (again per appos.), “is spirit for the spirit”.
Such is the art of transforming the ordinary world, “objects”, by means of an arithmetical series of appositions, into “spirit for the spirit”. Here we can only admire this dialectical method of appositions — later we shall have occasion to explore it and present it in all its classical beauty.
The method of oppositions can also be reversed — for example here, after we have once produced “the holy”, it does not receive further oppositions, but is made the apposition of a new definition; this is combining progression with equation. Thus, as a result of some dialectical process “there remains the idea of another entity” which “I should serve more than myself” (per appos.), which for me should be more important than everything else” (per appos.), “in short — a something in which I should seek my true salvation” (and finally per appos. the return to the first series), and which becomes “something ‘holy'” (p. 48). We have here two progressions which are equated to each other and can thus provide the opportunity for great variety of equations. We shall deal with this later. By this method too, “the sacred”, which hitherto we have been acquainted with only as a purely theoretical designation of purely theoretical relations, has acquired a new practical meaning as “something in which I should seek my true salvation”, which makes it possible to make the holy the opposite of the egoist. Incidentally we need hardly mention that this entire dialogue with the sermon that follows is nothing but another repetition of the story of the youth already met with three or four times before.
Here, having arrived at the “egoist”, we need not stick to Stirner’s “rules” either, because, firstly, we have to present his argument in all its purity, free from any intervening intermezzos, and, secondly, because in any case these intermezzi (on the analogy of “a Lazaroni” — Wigand, p. 159, the word should be Lazzarone — Sancho would say intermezzi’s) will occur again in other parts of the book, for Stirner, far from obeying his own requirement “always to draw back into himself”, on the contrary expresses himself again and again. We shall only just mention that the question raised on page 45: What is this something distinct from the “ego” that is the spirit? is now answered to the effect that it is the holy, i.e., that which is foreign to the “ego”, and that everything that is foreign to the “ego” is — thanks to some unstated appositions, appositions “in themselves” — accordingly without more ado regarded as spirit. Spirit, the holy, the foreign are identical ideas, on which he declares war, in the same way almost word for word as he did at the very outset in regard to the youth and the man. We have, therefore, still not advanced a step further than we had on page 20.
Saint Max now begins to deal seriously with the “spirits” that are “offspring of the spirit” (p. 39), with the ghastliness of everything (p. 47). At any rate, he imagines so. Actually, however, he only substitutes a new name for his former conception of history according to which people were from the outset the representatives of general concepts. These general concepts appear here first of all in the Negroid form as objective spirits having for people the character of objects, and at this level are called spectres or — apparitions. The chief spectre is, of course, “man” himself, because, according to what has been previously said, people only exist for one another as representatives of a universal — essence, concept, the holy, the foreign, a the spirit — i.e., only as spectral persons, spectres, and because, according to Hegel’s Phänomenologie, page 25 and elsewhere, the spirit, insofar as for man it has the “form of thinghood”, is another man (see below about “the man”).
Thus, we see here the skies opening and the various kinds of spectres passing before us one after the other. Jacques le bonhomme forgets only that he has already caused ancient and modern times to parade before us like gigantic spectres, compared with which all the harmless fancies about God, etc., are sheer trifles.
Spectre No. 1: the supreme being, God (p. 53). As was to be expected from what has preceded, Jacques le bonhomme, whose faith moves all the mountains’ of world history, believes that “for thousands of years people have set themselves the task”, “have tired themselves out struggling with the awful impossibility, the endless Danaidean labour” — “to prove the existence of God”. We need not waste any more words on this incredible belief.
Spectre No. 2: essence. What our good man says about essence is limited — apart from what has been copied out of Hegel — to “pompous words and miserable thoughts” (p. 53). “The advance from” essence “to” world essence “is not difficult”, and this world essence is, of course,
Spectre No. 3: the vanity of the world. There is nothing to say about this except that from it “easily” arises
Spectre No. 4: good and evil beings. Something, indeed, could be said about this but is not said — and one passes at once to the next:
Spectre No. 5: the essence and its realm. We should not be at all surprised that we find here essence for the second time in our honest author, for he is fully aware of his “clumsiness” (Wigand, p. 166), and therefore repeats everything several times in order not to be misunderstood. Essence is here in the first place defined as the proprietor of a “realm” and then it is said of it that it is “essence” (p. 54), after which it is swiftly transformed into
Spectre No. 6: “essences”. To perceive and to recognise them, and them alone, is religion. “Their realm” (of essences) “is — a realm of essences” (p. 54). Here there suddenly appears for no apparent reason
Spectre No. 7: the God-Man, Christ. Of him Stirner is able to say that he was “corpulent”. If Saint Max does not believe in Christ, he at least believes in his “actual corpus”. According to Stirner, Christ introduced great distress into history, and our sentimental saint relates with tears in his eyes “how the strongest Christians have racked their brains in order to comprehend him” — indeed,
“there has never been a spectre that caused such mental anguish, and no shaman, spurring himself into wild frenzy and nerve-racking convulsions, can have suffered such agony as Christians have suffered on account of this most incomprehensible spectre”.
Saint Max sheds a sympathetic tear at the grave of the victims of Christ and then passes on to the “horrible being”,
Spectre No. 8, man. Here our hold writer is seized with immediate “horror” — “he is terrified of himself”, he sees in every man a “frightful spectre”, a “sinister spectre” in which something “stalks” (pp. 55, 56). He feels highly uncomfortable. The split between phenomenon and essence gives him no peace. He is like Nabal, Abigail’s husband, of whom it is written that his essence too was separated from his phenomenal appearance: “And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions [wesen (essence) — in Luther’s Bible Wesen means “possession"] were in Carmel”. (1 Samuel 25: 2.) But in the nick of time, before the “mental anguish” causes Saint Max in desperation to put a bullet through his head, he suddenly remembers the ancients who “took no notice of anything of the kind in their slaves”. This leads him to
Spectre No. 9, the national spirit (p. 56), about which too Saint Max, who can no longer be restrained, indulges in “frightful” fantasies, in order to transform
Spectre No. 10, “everything”, into an apparition and, finally, where all enumeration ends, to hurl together in the class of spectres the “holy spirit”, truth, justice, law, the good cause (which he still cannot forget) and half a dozen other things completely foreign to one another.
Apart from this there is nothing remarkable in the whole chapter except that Saint Max’s faith moves an historical mountain. That is to say, he utters the opinion (p. 56):
“Only for the sake of a supreme being has anyone ever been worshipped, only as a spectre has he been regarded as a sanctified, i.e.” (that is!) “protected and recognised person.”
If we shift this mountain, moved by faith alone, back into its proper place, then “it will read": Only for the sake of persons who are protected, i.e., who protect themselves, and who are privileged, i.e., who seize privileges for themselves, have supreme beings been worshipped and spectres sanctified. Saint Max imagines, for example, that in antiquity, when each people was held together by material relations and interests, e.g., by the hostility of the various tribes, etc., when owing to a shortage of productive forces each had either to be a slave or to possess slaves, etc., etc., when, therefore, belonging to a particular people was a matter of “the most natural interest” (Wigand, p. ) — that then it was only the concept people, or “nationality” that gave birth to these interests from itself; he imagines also that in modern times, when free competition and world trade gave birth to hypocritical, bourgeois cosmopolitanism and the notion of man — that here, on the contrary, the later philosophical construction of man brought about those relations as its “revelations” (p. 51). It is the same with religion, with the realm of essences, which he considers the unique realm, but concerning the essence of which he knows nothing, for otherwise he must have known that religion as such has neither essence, nor realm.
In religion people make their empirical world into an entity that is only conceived, imagined, that confronts them as something foreign. This again is by no means to be explained from other concepts, from “self-consciousness” and similar nonsense, but from the entire hitherto existing mode of production and intercourse, which is just as independent of the pure concept as the invention of the self-acting mule and the use of railways are independent of Hegelian philosophy. If he wants to speak of an “essence” of religion, i.e., of a material basis of this inessentiality, then he should look for it neither in the “essence of man”, nor in the predicates of God, but in the material world which each stage of religious development finds in existence (cf. above Feuerbach).
All the “spectres” which have filed before us were concepts. These concepts — leaving aside their real basis (which Stirner in any case leaves aside) — understood as concepts inside consciousness, as thoughts in people’s heads, transferred from their objectivity back into the subject, elevated from substance into self-consciousness, are — whimsies or fixed ideas.
Concerning the origin of Saint Max’s history of ghosts, see Feuerbach in Anekdota II, p. 66 [Ludwig Feuerbach, “Verläufige Thesen zur Reformation der Philosophie”], where it is stated:
“Theology is belief in ghosts. Ordinary theology, however, has its ghosts in the sensuous imagination, speculative theology has them in non-sensuous abstraction.”
And since Saint Max shares the belief of all critical speculative philosophers of modern times that thoughts, which have become independent, objectified thoughts — ghosts — have ruled the world and continue to rule it, and that all history up to now was the history of theology, nothing could be easier for him than to transform history into a history of ghosts. Sancho’s history of ghosts, therefore, rests on the traditional belief in ghosts of the speculative philosophers.
“Man, there are spectres in your head!... You have a fixed idea!” thunders Saint Max at his slave Szeliga. “Don’t think I am joking,” he threatens him. Don’t dare to think that the solemn “Max Stirner” is capable of joking.
The man of God is again in need of his faithful Szeliga in order to pass from the object to the subject, from the apparition to the whimsy.
Whimsy is the hierarchy in the single individual, the domination of thought “in him over him”. After the world has confronted the fantasy-making youth (of page 20) as a world of his “feverish fantasies”, as a world of ghosts, “the off-springs of his own head” inside his head begin to dominate him. The world of his feverish fantasies — this is the step forward he has made’ now exists as the world of his deranged mind. Saint Max — the man who is confronted by “the world of the moderns” in the form of the fantasy-making youth — has necessarily to declare that “almost the whole of mankind consists of veritable fools, inmates of a mad-house” (p.. 57).
The whimsy which Saint Max discovers in the heads of people is nothing but his own whimsy — the whimsy of the “saint” who views the world sub specie aeterni [under the aspect of eternity — see Spinoza, Ethics] and who takes both the hypocritical phrases of people and their illusions for the true motives of their actions; that is why our naive, pious man confidently pronounces the great proposition: “Almost all mankind clings to something higher” (p. 57).
“Whimsy” is “a fixed idea”, i.e., “an idea which has subordinated man to itself” or — as is said later in more popular form — all kinds of absurdities which people “have stuffed into their heads”. With the utmost ease, Saint Max arrives at the conclusion that everything that has subordinated people to itself — for example, the need to produce in order to live, and the relations dependent on this — is such an ,absurdity” or “fixed idea”. Since the child’s world is the only “world of things”, as we learned in the myth of “a man’s life”, everything that does not exist “for the child” (at times also for the animal) is in any case an “idea” and “easily also” a “fixed idea”. We are still a long way from getting rid of the youth and the child.
The chapter on whimsy aims merely at establishing the existence of the category of whimsy in the history of “man”. The actual struggle against whimsy is waged throughout the entire “book and particularly in the second part. Hence a few examples of whimsy can suffice us here.
On page 59, Jacques le bonhomme believes that
our newspapers are full of politics, because they are in the grip of the delusion that man was created in order to become a zoon politikon [political animal — Aristotle]”.
Hence, according to Jacques le bonhomme, people engage in politics because our newspapers are full of them! If a church father were to glance at the stock exchange reports of our newspapers, he could not judge differently from Saint Max and would have to say: these newspapers are full of stock exchange reports because they are in the grip of the delusion that man was created in order to engage in financial speculation. Thus, it is not the newspapers that possess whimsies, but whimsies that possess “Stirner”.
Stirner explains the condemnation of incest and the institutions of monogamy from “the holy”, “they are the holy”. If among the Persians incest is not condemned, and if the institution of polygamy occurs among the Turks, then in those places incest and polygamy are “the holy”. It is not possible to see any difference between these two “holies” other than that the nonsense with which the Persians and Turks have “stuffed their heads” is different from that with which the Christian Germanic peoples have stuffed their heads. — Such is the church father’s manner of “detaching himself” from history “in good time”. — Jacques le bonhomme has so little inkling of the real, materialist causes for the condemnation of polygamy and incest in certain social conditions that he considers this condemnation to be merely the dogma of a creed and in common with every philistine imagines that when a man is imprisoned for a crime of this kind, it means that “moral purity” is confining him in a “house of moral correction” (p. 60) — just as jails in general seem to him to be houses for moral correction — in this respect he is at a lower level than the educated bourgeois, who has a better understanding of the matter — cf. the literature on prisons. “Stirner’s” “jails” are the most trite illusions of the Berlin burgher which for him, however, hardly deserve to be called a “house of moral correction”.
After Stirner, with the help of an “episodically included” “historical reflection”, has discovered that
“it had to come to pass that the whole man with all his abilities would prove to be religious” (p. 64) “so, too, in point of fact” “it is not surprising” — “for we are now so thoroughly religious” — “that” the oath “of the members of the jury condemns us to death and that by means of the ‘official oath’ the police constable, as a good Christian, has us put in the clink”.
When a gendarme stops him for smoking in the Tiergarten , the cigar is knocked out of his mouth not by the royal Prussian gendarme who is paid to do so and shares in the money from fines, but by the “official oath”. In precisely the same way the power of the bourgeois in the jury court becomes transformed for Stirner — owing to the pseudo-holy appearance which the amis du commerce assume here — into the power of making a vow, the power of the oath, into the “holy”. “Verily, I say unto you: I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10)
“For some persons a thought becomes a maxim, so that it is not the person who possesses the maxim, but rather the latter that possesses him, and with the maxim he again acquires a firm standpoint.” But “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9: 16).
Therefore Saint Max has on the same page to receive several thorns in the flesh [2 Corinthians 12:7] and must give us a number of maxims: firstly, the maxim [to recognise] no maxims, with which goes, secondly, the maxim not to have any firm standpoint; thirdly, the maxim “although we should possess spirit, spirit should not possess us”; and fourthly, the maxim that one should also be aware of one’s flesh, “for only by being aware of his flesh is man fully aware of himself, and only by being fully aware of himself, is he aware or rational”.
We now go back to the beginning of the “unique” historical scheme and nomenclature. The child becomes the Negro, the youth — the Mongol. See “The Economy of the Old Testament”.
“The historical reflection on our mongolhood, which I shall include episodically at this point, I present without any claim to thoroughness or even to authenticity, but solely because it seems to me that it can contribute to clarifying the rest” (p. 87).
Saint Max tries to “clarify” for himself his phrases about the child and the youth by giving them world-embracing names, and he tries to “clarify” these world-embracing names by replacing them with his phrases about the child and the youth. “The Negroid character represents antiquity, dependence on things” (child); “the Mongoloid character — the period of dependence on thoughts, the Christian epoch” (the youth). (Cf. “The Economy of the Old Testament”.) “The following words are reserved for the future: I am owner of the world of things, and I am owner of the world of thoughts” (pp. 87, 88). This “future” has already happened once, on page 20, in connection with the man, and it will occur again later, beginning with page 226.
First “historical reflection without claim to thoroughness or even to authenticity": Since Egypt is part of Africa where Negroes live, it follows that “included” “in the Negro era” (p. 88) are the “campaigns of Sesostris”, which never took place, and the “significance of Egypt” (the significance it had also at the time of the Ptolemics, Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, Mohammed All, the Eastern question, the pamphlets of Duvergier de Haurannes, etc.), land of North Africa in general” (and therefore of Carthage, Hannibal’s campaign against Rome, and “easily also”, the significance of Syracuse and Spain, the Vandals, Tertuilian, the Moors, AI Hussein Abu Ali Ben Abdallah Ibn Sina, piratical states, the French in Algeria, Abd-el-Kader, Père Enfantin  and the font. new toads of the Charivari) (p. 88). Consequently, Stirner clarifies the campaigns of Sesostris, etc., by transferring them to the Negro era, and he clarifies the Negro era by “episodically including” it as a historical illustration of his unique thoughts “about our childhood years”.
Second “historical reflection": “To the Mongoloid era belong the campaigns of the Huns and Mongols up to the Russians” (and Wasserpolaken); thus here again the campaigns of the Huns and Mongols, together with the Russians, are “clarified” by their inclusion in the “Mongoloid era”, and the “Mongoloid era” — by pointing out that it is the era of the phrase “dependence on thoughts”, which we have already encountered in connection with the youth.
Third “historical reflection":
In the Mongoloid era the “value of my ego cannot possibly be put at a high level because the hard diamond of the non-ego is too high in price, because it is still too gritty and impregnable for it to be absorbed and consumed by my ego. On the contrary, people are simply exceptionally busy crawling about on this static world, this substance, like parasitic animalcules on a body from whose juices they extract nourishment, but nevertheless do not devour the body. It is the bustling activity of noxious insects, the industriousness of Mongols. Among the Chinese indeed everything remains as of old, etc.... Therefore” (because among the Chinese everything remains as of old) “in our Mongol era every change has only been reformatory and corrective, and not destructive, devouring or annihilating. The substance, the object remains. All our industriousness is only the activity of ants and the jumping of fleas ... juggling on the tightrope of the objective”, etc. (p. 88. Cf. Hegel, Philosophie der Geschichte, pp. 113, 118, 119 (unsoftened substance). p. 140, etc., where China is understood as “substantiality”).
We learn here, therefore, that in the true Caucasian era people will be guided by the maxim that the earth, “substance”, the “object”, the “static” has to be devoured, “consumed”, “annihilated”, “absorbed”, “destroyed”, and along with the earth the solar system that is inseparable from it. World-devouring “Stirner” has already introduced us to the “reformatory or corrective activity” of the Mongols as the youth’s and Christian’s “plans for the salvation and correction of the world” on page 36. Thus we have still not advanced a step. It is characteristic of the entire “unique” conception of history that the highest stage of this Mongol activity earns the title of “scientific” — from which already now the conclusion can be drawn, which Saint Max later tells us, that the culmination of the Mongolian heaven is the Hegelian kingdom of spirits.
Fourth “historical reflection”. The world on which the Mongols crawl about is now transformed by means of a “flea jump” into the “positive”, this into the “precept”, and, with the help of a paragraph on page 89, the precept becomes “morality”. “Morality appears in its first form as custom” — hence it conies forward as a person, but in a trice it becomes transformed into a sphere:
“To act in accordance with the morals and customs of one’s country means here” (i.e., in the sphere of morality) “to be moral....... Therefore” (because this occurs in the sphere of morality as a custom) “pure, moral behaviour in the most straightforward form is practised in ... China! “
Saint Max is unfortunate in his examples. On page 116 in just the same way he attributes to the North Americans the “religion of honesty”. He regards the two most rascally nations on earth, the patriarchal swindlers — the Chinese, and the civilised swindlers — the Yankees, as “straightforward”, “moral” and “honest”. If he had looked up his crib he could have found the North Americans classed as swindlers on page 81 of the Philosophie der Geschichte and the Chinese ditto on page 130.
“One” — that friend of the saintly worthy man — now helps him to arrive at innovation, and from this an “and” brings him back to custom, and thus the material is prepared for achieving a masterstroke in the
Fifth historical reflection: “There is in fact no doubt that by means of custom man protects himself against the importunity of things, of the world” — for example, from hunger;
“and” — as quite naturally follows from this —
“founds a world of his own” — which “Stirner” has need of now —
“in which alone he feels in his native element and at home”, — “alone”, after he has first by “custom” made himself “at home” in the existing “world” —
“i.e., builds himself a heaven” — because China is called the Celestial Empire.
“For indeed heaven has no other significance than that of being the real homeland of man” — in this context, however, it signifies the imagined unreality of the real homeland —
“where nothing alien any longer prevails upon him”, i.e., where what is his own prevails upon him as something alien, and all the rest of the old story. “Or rather”, to use Saint Bruno’s words, or “it is easily possible”, to use Saint Max’s words, that this proposition should read as follows:
Stirner’s proposition without claim to thoroughness or even to authenticity
“There is in fact no doubt that by means of custom man protects himself against the importunity of things, of the world, and founds a world of his own, in which alone he feels in his native element and at home, i.e., builds himself a heaven.
For indeed ‘heaven’ has no other significance than that of being the real homeland of man, where nothing alien any longer prevails upon him and rules over him, no earthly influence any longer estranges him from himself, in short, where earthly dross is thrown aside and the struggle against the world has come to an end. where, therefore, nothing is forbidden him any more” (p. 89).
“There is in fact no doubt” that because China is called the Celestial Empire, because “Stirner” happens to be speaking of China and as he is “accustomed” by means of ignorance “to protect himself against the importunity of things, ,f the world, and to found a world of his own, in which alone he feels in his native element and at home” — therefore he “builds himself a heaven” out of the Chinese Celestial Empire. “For indeed” the importunity of the world, of things, “has no other significance than that of being the real” hell of the unique, “in which” everything “prevails upon him and rules over him” as something “alien”, but which he is able to transform into a “heaven” by “estranging himself” from all “earthly influences”, historical facts and connections, and hence no longer thinks them strange; “in short”, it is a sphere “where the earthly”, the historical “dross is thrown aside”, and where Stirner “does not find” in the “end” “of the world” any more “struggle” — and thereby everything has been said.
Sixth “historical reflection”. On page 90, Stirner imagines that
“in China everything is provided for; no matter what happens, the Chinese always knows how he should behave, and he has no need to decide according to circumstances; no unforeseen event will overthrow his celestial calm”.
Nor any British bombardment either — he knew exactly “how he should behave”, particularly in regard to the unfamiliar steamships and shrapnel-bombs.
Saint Max extracted that from Hegel’s Philosophie der Geschichte, pages 118 and 127, to which, of course, he had to add something unique, in order to achieve his reflection as given above.
“Consequently,” continues Saint Max, “mankind climbs the first rung of the ladder of education by means of custom, and since it imagines that by gaining culture, it has gained heaven, the realm of culture or second nature, it actually mounts the first rung of the heavenly ladder” (p. 90).
“Consequently”, i.e., because Hegel begins history with China, and because “the Chinese does not lose his equanimity”, “Stirner” transforms mankind into a person who “mounts the first rung of the ladder of culture” and indeed does so “by means of custom”, because China has no other meaning for Stirner than that of being the embodiment of “custom”. Now it is only a question for our zealot against the holy of transforming the “ladder” into a “heavenly ladder”, since China is also called the Celestial Empire. “Since mankind imagines” (“wherefrom” does Stirner “know everything that” mankind imagines, see Wigand, page 189) — and this ought to have been proved by Stirner — firstly that it transforms “culture” into the “heaven of culture”, and secondly that it transforms the “heaven of culture” into the “culture of heaven” — (an alleged notion on the part of mankind which appears on page 91 as a notion of Stirner’s and thereby receives its correct expression) — “so it actually mounts the first rung of the heavenly ladder”. Since it imagines that it mounts the first rung of the heavenly ladder — so — it mounts it actually! “Since” the “youth” “imagines” that he becomes pure spirit, he does actually become such! See the “youth” and the “Christian” on the transition from the world of things to the world of the spirit, where the simple formula for this heavenly ladder of “unique” ideas already occurs.
Seventh historical reflection, page 90. “If Mongolism” (it follows immediately after the heavenly ladder, whereby “Stirner”, through the alleged notion on the part of mankind, was able to ascertain the existence of a spiritual essence [Wesen]), “if Mongolism has established the existence of spiritual beings [Wesen]” (rather — if “Stirner” has established his fancy about the spiritual essence of the Mongols), “then the Caucasians have fought for thousands of years against these spiritual beings, in order to get to the bottom of them”. (The youth, who becomes a man and “tries all the time” “to penetrate behind thoughts”, the Christian, who “tries all the time” ‘,to explore the depths of divinity”.) Since the Chinese have noted the existence of God knows what spiritual beings (“Stirner” does not note a single one, apart from his heavenly ladder) — so for thousands of years the Caucasians have to wrangle with “these” Chinese “spiritual beings”; moreover, two lines below Stirner puts on record that they actually “stormed the Mongolian heaven, the tien”, and continues: “When will they destroy this heaven, when will they finally become actual Caucasians and find themselves?”
Here we have the negative unity, already seen earlier as man, now appearing as the “actual Caucasian”, i.e., not Negroid, not Mongolian, but as the Caucasian Caucasian. This latter, therefore, as a concept, as essence, is here separated from the actual Caucasians, is counterposed to them as the “ideal of the Caucasian”, as a ,,vocation” in which they should “find themselves”, as a “destiny”, a “task”, as “the holy”, as “the holy” Caucasian, “the perfect” Caucasian, “who indeed” is the Caucasian “in heaven — God”.
“In the sedulous struggle of the Mongolian race, men had built a heaven” — so “Stirner” believes (p. 91), forgetting that actual Mongols are much more occupied with sheep than with heaven — “when the people of the Caucasian stock, so long as they ... have to do with heaven ... undertook the business of storming heaven.” Had built a heaven, when ... so long as they have... [they] undertook. The unassuming “historical reflection” is here expressed in a comecutio temporum which also does not “lay claim” to classic form “or even” to grammatical correctness; the construction of the sentences corresponds to the construction of history. “Stirner’s” “claims” “are restricted to this” and “thereby achieve their final goal”.
Eighth historical reflection, which is the reflection of reflections, the alpha and omega of the whole of Stirner’s history: Jacques le bonhomme, as we have pointed out from the beginning, sees in all the movement of nations that has so far taken place merely a sequence of heavens (p. 91), which can also be expressed as follows: successive generations of the Caucasian race up to the present day did nothing but squabble about the concept of morality (p. 92) and “their activity has been restricted to this” (p. 91). If they had got out of their heads this unfortunate morality, this apparition, they would have achieved something; as it was, they achieved nothing, absolutely nothing, and have to allow Saint Max to set them a task as if they were schoolboys. It is completely in accordance with his view of history that at the end (p. 92) he conjures up speculative philosophy so that “in it this heavenly kingdom, the kingdom of spirits and spectres, should find its proper order” — and that in a later passage speculative philosophy should be conceived as the “perfect kingdom of spirits”.
Why it is that for those who regard history in the Hegelian manner the result of all preceding history was finally bound to be the kingdom of spirits perfected and brought into order in speculative philosophy — the solution of this secret “Stirner” could have very simply found by recourse to Hegel himself. To arrive at this result ‘,the concept of spirit must be taken as the basis and then it must be shown that history is the process of the spirit itself” (Geschichte der Philosophie, III, p. 91). After the “concept of spirit” has been imposed on history as its basis, it is very easy, of course, to “show” that it is to be discovered everywhere, and then to make this as a process “find its proper order”.
After making everything “find its proper order”, Saint Max can now exclaim with enthusiasm: “To desire to win freedom for the spirit, that is Mongolism”, etc. (cf. p. 17: “To bring to light pure thought, etc. — that is the joy of the youth”, etc.), and can declare hypocritically: “Hence it is obvious that Mongolism ... represents non-sensuousness and unnaturalness”, etc. — when he ought to have said: it is obvious that the Mongol is only the disguised youth who, being the negation of the world of things, can also be called unnaturalness”, “non-sensuousness”, etc.
We have again reached the point where the “youth” can pass into the “man": “But who will transform the spirit into its nothing? He, who by means of the spirit represented nature as the futile, the finite, the transitory” (i.e., imagined it as such — and, according to page 16 et seq., this was done by the youth, later the Christian, then the Mongol, then the Mongoloid Caucasian, but properly speaking only by idealism), “he alone can also degrade the spirit” (namely ‘it his imagination) “to the same futility” (therefore the Christian, etc.? No, exclaims “Stirner” resorting to a similar trick as on pages 19-20 in the case of the man). “I can do it, each of you can do it who operates and creates” (in his imagination) “as the unrestricted ego”, “in a word, the egoist can do it” (p. 93), i.e., the man, the Caucasian Caucasian, who therefore is the perfect Christian, the true Christian, the holy one, the embodiment of the holy.
Before dealing with the further nomenclature, we also “should like at this point to include an historical reflection” on the origin of Stirner’s “historical reflection about our Mongolism”; our reflection differs, however, from Stirner’s ‘n that it definitely “lays claim to thoroughness and authenticity”. His whole historical reflection, just as that on the “ancients”, is a concoction out of Hegel.
The Negroid state is conceived as “the child” because Hegel says on page 89 of his Philosophie der Geschichte:
“Africa is the country of the childhood of history.” “in defining the African” (Negroid) “spirit we must entirety discard the category of universality” (p. 90) — i.e., although the child or the Negro has ideas, he still does not have the idea. “Among the Negroes consciousness has not yet reached a firm objective existence, as for example God, law, in which man would have the perception of his essence” ... “thanks to which, knowledge of an absolute being is totally absent. The Negro represents natural man in all his lack of restraint” (p. 90). “Although they must be conscious of their dependence on the natural” (on things, as “Stirner” says), “this, however, does not lead them to the consciousness of something higher” (p. 91).
Here we meet again all Stirner’s determinations of the child and the Negro — dependence on things, independence of ideas and especially of “the idea”, “the essence”, “the absolute” (holy) “being”, etc.
He found that in Hegel the Mongols and, in particular, the Chinese appear as the beginning of history and since for Hegel, too, history is a history of spirits (but not in such a childish way as with “Stirner”), it goes without saying that the Mongols brought the spirit into history and are the original representatives of everything “sacred”. In particular, on page 110, Hegel describes the “ Mongolian kingdom” (of the Dalai-Lama) as the “ecclesiastical” realm, the “kingdom of theocratic rule”, a “spiritual, religious kingdom” — in contrast to the worldly empire of the Chinese. “Stirner”, of course, has to identify China with the Mongols. In Hegel, on page 140, there even occurs the “Mongolian principle” from which “Stirner” derived his “Mongolism”. Incidentally, if he really wanted to reduce the Mongols to the category of “idealism”, he could have “found established” in the Dalai-Lama system and Buddhism quite different “spiritual beings” from his fragile “heavenly ladder”. But he did not even have time to look properly at Hegel’s Philosophie der Geschichte. The peculiarity and uniqueness of Stirner’s attitude to history consists in the egoist being transformed into a “clumsy” copier of Hegel.
What we here call Catholicism, “Stirner” calls the “Middle Ages”, but as he confuses (as “in everything”) the pious, religious character of the Middle Ages, the religion of the Middle Ages, with the actual, profane Middle Ages in flesh and blood, we prefer to give the matter its right name at once.
“The Middle Ages” were a “lengthy period, in which people were content with the illusion of having the truth” (they did not desire or do anything else), “without seriously thinking about whether one must he true oneself in order to possess the truth”. — “In the Middle Ages people” (that is, the whole of the Middle Ages) “mortified the flesh, in order to become capable of assimilating the holy” (p. 108).
Hegel defines the attitude to the divine in the Catholic church by saying
“that people’s attitude to the absolute was as to something purely external” (Christianity in the form of externality) (Geschichte der Philosophie, Ill, p. 148, and elsewhere). Of course, the individual has to be purified in order to assimilate the truth, but “this also occurs in an external way, through redemptions, fasts, self-flagellations, visits to holy places, pilgrimages” (ibid., p. 140).
“Stirner” makes this transition by saying:
“In the same way, too, as people strain their eyes in order to see a distant object ... so they mortified the flesh, etc.”
Since in “Stirner’s” “book” the Middle Ages are identified with Catholicism, they naturally end with Luther (p. 108). Luther himself is reduced to the following definition, which has already cropped up in connection with the youth, in the conversation with Szeliga and elsewhere:
“Man, if he wants to attain truth, must become as true as truth itself. Only he who already has truth in faith can participate in it.”
Concerning Lutheranism, Hegel says:
“The truth of the gospel exists only in the true attitude to it...... The essential attitude of the spirit exists only for the spirit.... Hence the attitude of the spirit to the content is that although the content is essential, it is equally essential that the holy and consecrating spirit should stand in relation to this content” (Geschichte der Philosophie, III, p. 234). “This then is the Lutheran faith — his” (i.e., man’s) “faith is required of him and it alone can truly be taken into account” (ibid., p. 230). “Luther ... affirms that the divine is divine only insofar as it is apprehended in this subjective spirituality of faith” (ibid., p. 138). “The doctrine of the” (Catholic) “church is truth as existent truth” (Philosophie der Religion, II, p. 331).
“Accordingly, with Luther the knowledge arises that truth, because it is thought, exists only for the thinking man, and this means that with regard to his object — thought — man must adopt a totally different standpoint, a pious” (per appos.), “scientific standpoint, or that of thinking” (p. 110).
Apart from the repetition which “Stirner” again “includes” here, only the transition from faith to thinking deserves attention. Hegel makes the transition in the following way:
“But this spirit” (namely, the holy and consecrating spirit) “is, secondly, essentially also thinking spirit. Thinking as such must also have its development in it”, etc. ([Geschichte der Philosophie,] p. 234).
“This thought” (“that I am spirit, spirit alone”) “pervades the history of the Reformation down to the present day” (p. 111).
From the sixteenth century onwards, no other history exists for “Stirner” than the history of the Reformation — and the latter only in the interpretation in which Hegel presents it.
Saint Max has again displayed his gigantic faith. He has again taken as literal truth all the illusions of German speculative philosophy; indeed, he has made them still more speculative, still more abstract. For him there exists only the history of religion and philosophy — and this exists for him only through the medium of Hegel, who with the passage of time has become the universal crib, the reference source for all the latest German speculators about principles and manufacturers of systems.
Catholicism = attitude to truth as thing, child, Negro, the “ancient”.
Protestantism = attitude to truth in the spirit, youth, Mongol, the “modern”.
The whole scheme was superfluous, since all this was already present in the section on “spirit”.
As already mentioned in “The Economy of the Old Testament”, it is now possible to make the child and the youth appear again in new transformations” within Protestantism, as “Stirner” actually does on page 112, where he conceives English, empirical philosophy as the child, in contrast to German, speculative philosophy as the youth. Here again he copies out Hegel, who here, as elsewhere in the “book”, frequently appears as “one”.
“One” — i.e., Hegel — “expelled Bacon from the realm of philosophy.” “And, indeed, what is called English philosophy does not seem to have got any farther than the discoveries made by so-called clear intellects such as Bacon arid Hume” (p. 112).
Hegel expresses this as follows:
“Bacon is in fact the real leader and representative of what is called philosophy in England and beyond which the English have by no means gone as yet” (Geschichte der Philosophie, III, p. 254).
The people whom “Stirner” calls “clear intellects” Hegel (ibid., p. 255) calls “educated men of the world” — Saint Max on one occasion even transforms them into the “simplicity of childish nature”, for the English philosophers have to represent the child. On the same childish grounds Bacon is not allowed to have “concerned himself with theological problems and cardinal propositions”, regardless of what may be said in his writings (particularly De Augmentis Scientiarum, Novum Organum and the Essays). On the other hand, “German thought ... sees life only in cognition itself” (p. 112), for it is the youth. Ecce iterum Crispinus!
How Stirner transforms Descartes into a German philosopher, the reader can see for himself in the “book”, p. 112.