The German Ideology by Marx and Engels
Chapter Three: Saint Max

II. Rebellion

The criticism of society brings to an end the criticism of the old, holy world. By means of rebellion we make a leap into the new, egoistical world.

We have already seen in “Logic” what rebellion is in general; it is refusal to respect the holy. Here, however, rebellion acquires in addition a distinct practical character.

Revolution = holy rebellion.
Rebellion = egoistical or wordly revolution.
Revolution = transformation of existing conditions.
Rebellion = transformation of me.
Revolution = a political or social act.
Rebellion = my egoistical act.
Revolution = overthrow of the existing [state of affairs].
Rebellion = existence of overthrow.

Etc., etc. Page 422 et seq. The method hitherto used by people to overthrow the world in which they found themselves had, of course, also to be declared holy, and a peculiar” method of smashing the existing world had to be asserted against it.

Revolution “consists in a transformation of the existing conditions [Zustand — state of affairs] or status, of the state or society; hence it is a political or social act”. “Although ‘the inevitable consequence” of rebellion “is a transformation of existing conditions, it is not this transformation that is its starting-point, but people’s dissatisfaction with themselves”.It is an uprising of individuals, a rising without regard for the arrangements that develop out of it. Revolution aimed at new arrangements; rebellion leads to a position where we no longer allow others to arrange things for us, but arrange things for ourselves. It is not a struggle against what exists, for if it prospers what exists will collapse of itself; it is only the setting free of me from what exists. If I abandon what exists, then it is dead and putrefies. But since my aim is not to overthrow something that exists, but for me to rise above it, my aim and action are not political or social, but egoistical for they are directed solely towards me and my peculiarity” (pp. 421, 422).

Les beaux esprits se rencontrent. [noble minds think alike] That which was proclaimed by the voice crying in the wilderness [Mark 1:3] is now come about. The impious John the Baptist “Stirner” has found his holy Messiah in the shape of “Dr. Kuhlmann from Holstein”. Listen:

“You should not tear down or destroy what stands in your way, but avoid it and abandon it. And when you have avoided and abandoned it, it will disappear of itself, for it will no longer find sustenance” (Das Reich des Geistes, etc., Genf, 1845. p. 116).

The difference between revolution and Stirner’s rebellion is not, as Stirner thinks. that the one .s a political and social act whereas the other is an egoistical act. but that the former is an act whereas the is no act at all. The whole senselessness of the antithesis that Stirner puts forward is evident at once from the fact that he speaks of the Revolution” as a juridical person, which has to fight against “what exists”, another Juridical person. If Saint Sancho had studied the various actual revolutions and revolutionary attempts perhaps he might even have found in them the forms of which he had a vague inkling when he created his ideological “rebellion”; he might have found them, for example, among the Corsicans, Irish, Russian serfs, and in general among uncivilised peoples. If, moreover, he had concerned himself with the actual individuals “existing” in every revolution, and with their relations, instead of being satisfied with the pure ego and “what exists”, i.e., substance (a phrase the overthrow of which requires no revolution,. but merely a knight-errant like Saint Bruno), then perhaps he would have come to understand that every revolution, and its results, was determined by these relations, by needs, and that the “political or social act” was in no way in contradiction to the “egoistical act”.

The depth of Saint Sancho’s insight into “revolution” is shown in his statement:

“Although the consequence of rebellion is a transformation of existing conditions [...] this transformation is not its starting-point.”

This implies, by way of antithesis, that the starting-point of the revolution is “a transformation of existing conditions”, i.e., that revolution originates in revolution. “The starting-point” of rebellion, on the other hand, is “people’s dissatisfaction with themselves”. This “dissatisfaction with oneself” fits admirably with the earlier phrases about peculiarity and the “egoist in agreement with himself”, who is always able to go “his own way”, who is always delighted with himself and who at every instant is what he can be. Dissatisfaction with oneself is either dissatisfaction with oneself within the framework of a definite condition which determines the whole personality, e.g., dissatisfaction with oneself as a worker, or it is moral dissatisfaction. In the first case, therefore, it is simultaneously and mainly dissatisfaction with the existing relations; in the second case — an ideological expression of these relations themselves, which does not at all go beyond them, but belongs wholly to them. The first case, as Sancho believes, leads to revolution; for rebellion there remains, therefore, only the second case — moral dissatisfaction with oneself. “What exists” is, as we know, “the holy”; hence, “dissatisfaction with oneself” reduces itself to moral dissatisfaction with oneself as a holy one, i.e., one who believes in the holy, in what exists. It could only occur to a discontented school-master to base his arguments about revolution and rebellion on satisfaction and dissatisfaction, moods that belong wholly to the petty-bourgeois circle from which, as we continually find, Saint Sancho derives his inspiration.

We already know what meaning “going beyond the framework of what exists” has. It is the old fancy that the state collapses of itself as soon as all its members leave it and that money loses its validity if all the workers refuse to accept it. Even in a hypothetical form, this proposition reveals all the fantasy and impotence of pious desire. It is the old illusion that changing existing relations depends only on the good will of people, and that existing relations are ideas. The alteration of consciousness divorced from actual relations — a pursuit followed by philosophers as a profession, i.e., as a business, is itself a product of existing relations and inseparable from them. This imaginary rising above the world is the ideological expression of the impotence of philosophers in face of the world. Practical life every day gives the lie to their ideological bragging.

In any event, Sancho did not “rebel” against his own state of confusion when he wrote those lines. For him there is the “transformation of existing conditions” on one side, and “people” on the other side, and the two sides are entirely separate from each other. Sancho does not give the slightest thought to the fact that the “conditions” have always been the conditions of these people and it would never brave been possible to transform them unless the people transformed themselves and, if it has to be expressed in this way, unless they became “dissatisfied with themselves” in the old conditions. He thinks he is dealing a mortal blow at revolution when he asserts that it aims at new arrangements, whereas rebellion leads to position where we no longer allow others to arrange things for us, but arrange things for ourselves. But the very fact that “we” arrange things for “ourselves”, that it is “we” who rebel, denotes that the individual. despite all Sancho’s repugnance”, has to “allow” that “we” “arrange things” for him, and that therefore the only difference between revolution and rebellion is that in the former this is known, whereas in the latter people harbour illusions about it. Next Sancho leaves it open whether the rebellion “prospers” or not. One cannot understand why it should not “prosper”, and even less why it should prosper, since each rebel goes his own way. Worldly conditions would have to intervene to show the rebels the necessity of a joint act, one which would be “political or social”, irrespective of whether it arises from egoistical motives or not. A further “trashy distinction”, based again on confusion, is that drawn by Sancho between the “overthrow” of what exists and “rising” above it, as though in overthrowing what exists he does not rise above it, and in rising above it, he does not overthrow it, if only insofar as it exists in him himself. Incidentally, neither “overthrow” by itself nor “rising” by itself tells us anything; that “rising” also take place in revolution Sancho could have seen from the fact that “Levons-nous!"[109] was a well-known slogan in the French Revolution.

“Revolution bids” (!) “us to create institutions, rebellion urges us to rise or rise up. [Einrichtung — arrangement, institution; sich aufrichten and emporrichten — to stand up, to raise oneself, to rise] Revolutionary minds were occupied with the choice of a constitution, and the entire political period teems with constitutional struggles and constitutional questions, just as socially-gifted persons revealed extraordinary inventiveness as regards social institutions (phalansteries and such-like). To be without a constitution is the endeavour of the rebel” (p. 422).

That the French Revolution brought institutions in its train is a fact; that Empörung is derived from the word empor [Empörung — rising, rebellion; empor — up, upwards] is also a fact . that during the revolution and after it people fought for constitutions is another fact, and equally so that various social systems were outlined; and it is no less a fact that Proudhon spoke about anarchy. From these five facts Sancho has concocted the above-quoted passage.

From the fact that the French Revolution led to “Institutions”, Sancho concludes that this is a “bidding” of revolution in general. From the fact that the political revolution was a political one in which the social transformation had also an official expression in the form of constitutional struggles, Sancho — faithfully following his history-broker [i.e. Bruno Bauer] — deduces that in it people fought over the best constitution n. To this discovery he links, by means of the words “just as”, a mention of social systems. In the epoch of the bourgeoisie, people occupied themselves with constitutional questions, “just as” in recent times various social systems have been devised. This is the train of thought in the above-quoted passage.

It follows from what was said above against Feuerbach that previous revolutions within the framework of division of labour were bound to lead to new political institutions; it likewise follows that the communist revolution, which removes the division of labour, ultimately abolishes political institutions ; and, finally, it follows also that the communist revolution will be guided not by the “social institutions of inventive socially-gifted persons”, but by the productive forces.

But “to be without a constitution is the endeavour of the rebel"! He who is “born free”, who is from the outset rid of everything, endeavours at the end of time to get rid of the constitution.

It should be mentioned also that all sorts of earlier illusions of our bonhomme contributed to Sancho’s concept of “rebellion”. They include, among others, his belief that the individuals who make a revolution are linked by some ideal bond and that their “raising the standard of revolt” is limited to inscribing on it a new concept. fixed idea, spectre, or apparition — the holy. Sancho makes them get this ideal bond out of their heads, whereby in his imagination they become a disorderly mob which can now only “rebel”. In addition, he has heard that competition is a war of all against all, [Hobbes, De Cive] and this proposition, mixed with his desanctified revolution, constitutes the main factor of his “rebellion”.

“When, for the sake of clarity, I try to think of a comparison, there comes to my mind, against my expectation, the foundation of Christianity” (p. 423). “Christ”, we learn here, “was not a revolutionary but a rebel who rose. Therefore, he was concerned about one thing alone: ‘be ye wise as serpents'”. (ibid.).

In order to suit the “expectation” and the “alone” of Sancho the second half of the biblical text quoted (Matthew 10: 16) “and harmless as doves” ought not to exist. Christ has to figure here for the second time as a historical person in order to play the same role as the Mongols and Negroes played above. Whether Christ is meant to clarify the rebellion or the rebellion to clarify Christ is not known. The Christian-German gullibility of our saint is concentrated in the statement that Christ “drained the sources of life of the entire heathen world, and without them” (this ought to read: without him) “the existing state was anyway bound to wither” (p. 424). A withered flower of pulpit eloquence! See above on the “ancients”. For the rest, credo ut intelligam, [I believe in order to understand. — Anselm of Canterbury] or, in order to find a “comparison for the sake of clarity”.

Countless examples have already shown us that everywhere nothing but sacred history comes into our saint’s mind and, indeed, in precisely those passages where the reader “has not expected” it. “Against expectation” it occurs to him again even in the “Commentary”, where Sancho on page 154 makes the “Judaic reviewers” in ancient Jerusalem exclaim in opposition to the Christian definition “God is love": “Thus You see that it is heathen God that is proclaimed by the Christians; for if God is love, then he is the God Amor, the God of love! “ — “Against expectation”, however, the New Testament was written in Greek, and the “Christian definition” reads: o qeos agaph estin [God is love] (1 John 4:16), whereas “the God Amor, the God of love” is called “Erws. Sancho has, therefore, still to explain how it is that the “Judaic reviewers” were able to achieve the transformation of agaph into erws. In this passage of the “Commentary”, Christ — again “for the sake of clarity” — is compared with Sancho, and at any rate it must be admitted that they have a striking resemblance to each other, both are “corpulent beings” and the joyful heir at least believes in the existence, or the uniqueness, of both of them. Sancho is the modern Christ, at this “fixed idea” of his the whole historical construction is “aimed”.

The philosophy of rebellion, which has just been presented to us in the form of bad antitheses and withered flowers of eloquence, is in the final analysis only a boastful apology for the parvenu system (parvenu, Emporkömmling, Emporgekommener, Empörer [pun on Stirner’s synonymy: Emporkömmling — upstart, Emporgehommener — one who has raised himself up, and Empörer — rebel]). Every rebel in his “egoistical act” is faced by a particular existing reality, over which he endeavours to rise, without regard to the general conditions. He strives to get rid of the existing world only insofar as it is a fetter, for the rest, he endeavours, on the contrary, to appropriate it. The weaver who “rises” to become a factory-owner thereby gets rid of his loom and abandons it; for the rest, the world goes on as before and our “prosperous” rebel offers to others only the hypocritical moral demand that they should become parvenus like himself. Thus, all Stirner’s belligerent rodomontades end in moral deductions from Gellert’s fables and speculative interpretations of middle-class wretchedness.

So far we have seen that rebellion is anything you like, except action. On page 342 we learn that

“the procedure of seizure is not contemptible, but expresses the pure action of the egoist in agreement with himself”.

This should surely read: of egoists in agreement with one another, since otherwise seizure amounts to the uncivilised “procedure” of thieves or to the civilised “procedure” of the bourgeois, and in the first case does not prosper, while in the second case it is not rebellion”. It is to be noted that corresponding to the egoist in agreement with himself, who does nothing, we have here the “pure” act, certainly the only act which could be expected from such an inactive individual.

We learn by the way what created the plebs, and we can be sure in advance that it was created by a “dogma”, and faith in that dogma, in the holy, a faith which here for a change appears as consciousness of sin:

“Seizure is a sin a crime — this is the dogma that alone creates a plebs ... the old consciousness of sin alone is to blame” (p. 342).

The belief that consciousness is to blame for everything is his dogma, which makes him a rebel and the plebs a sinner.

In contrast to this consciousness of sin, the egoist incites himself, respectively the plebs, to seizure as follows:

“I tell myself: where my power extends, that is my property, and I claim as my property everything that I feel strong enough to reach,” etc. (p. 340).

Thus, Saint Sancho tells himself that he wants to tell himself something, calls on himself to have what he has, and formulates his real relation as a relation of power — a paraphrase which in general is the secret of all his rodomontades. (See “Logic”) Then he — who at each instant is what he can be, and therefore has what he can have — distinguishes his realised, actual property, which he has in his capital account, from his possible property, his unrealised “feeling of strength”, which he enters in his profit and loss account. This is a contribution to the science of book-keeping of property in the extraordinary sense.

The meaning of his solemn “telling” was revealed by Sancho in a passage already quoted:

I tell myself ... then that is, properly speaking, empty talk.”

Sancho continues:

“Egoism” says “to the propertyless plebs” in order to “exterminate” it: “Seize and take what you need!” (p. 341).

How “empty” this “talk” is can be seen at once from the following example:

“I as little regard the wealth of the banker as something alien, as Napoleon did the lands of the kings. We” (“I” is suddenly transformed into “we”) “are not at all afraid to conquer this wealth, and we also seek the means to do so. Thus, we divest it of its alien character which we were afraid of” (p. 369).

How little Sancho has “divested” the wealth of the banker of its “alien character” he proves at once by his well-meaning advice to the plebs to “conquer” it by seizure. “Let him seize and see what is left in his hands! “ Not the wealth of the banker but useless paper, the “corpse” of that wealth which is no more wealth than “a dead dog is a dog”. The wealth of the banker is wealth only in the framework of the existing relations of production and intercourse and can be “conquered” only in the conditions of these relations and with the means which are valid for them. And if Sancho were to turn to some other wealth, he would find that the prospect was no better. Thus, the “pure act of the egoist in agreement with himself” amounts in the final analysis to an extremely impure misunderstanding. “That is where one can get with the spectre” of the holy.

Having told himself what he wanted to tell himself, Sancho makes the rebellious plebs say what he has prompted it to say. The fact is that in case of a rebellion he has drawn up a proclamation together with instructions as to its use, which should be posted up in all village ale-houses and distributed throughout the countryside. The proclamation claims a place in Der hinkende Bottle [110] and in the Duchy of Nassau’s country almanac. For the time being Sancho’s tendances incendiaires are limited to the countryside, to propaganda among agricultural labourers and dairy maids, not touching the towns, which is a further proof of the extent to which he has “divested” large-scale industry of its “alien character”. Nevertheless we should like here to give as detailed an account as possible of this valuable document, which ought not to be lost, in order “to contribute to the spread of a well-deserved fame insofar as it lies in our power” (Wigand, p. 191).

The proclamation is printed on page 358 et seq. [of “the book"] and begins as follows:

“But what is it due to that your property is safe, you privileged ones?... It is due to the fact that we refrain from attacking, consequential, it is due to our protection.... It is due to the fact that you use force against us.”

First it is due to the fact that we refrain from attacking, i.e., to the fact that we use force against ourselves, and then to the fact that you use force against us. Cela va à merveille! Let us continue.

“If you desire our respect, then buy it at a price acceptable to us.... We only want good value.

First the “rebels” want to sell their respect at an “acceptable price” and then they make “good value” the criterion of the price. First an arbitrary price, then a price determined independently of arbitrariness by commercial laws, by the costs of production and the relation between supply and demand.

“We agree to leave you your property provided you properly compensate this leaving.... You will shout about force if we help ourselves.... without force we shall not get them” (i.e., the oysters that the privileged enjoy)....... We intend taking nothing from you, nothing at all.”

First we “leave” it to you, then we take it away from you and have to use “force”, and finally we prefer taking nothing from you after all. We leave it to you in the event of your giving it up yourself; in a moment of enlightenment, the only one we have, we see that this “leaving” amounts to “helping oneself” and use of “force”, but in the end we cannot be reproached with “taking” anything from you. And there the matter must rest.

“We toil for twelve hours in the sweat of our brows and you offer us a few pence for it. In that case you should take an equal amount for your work too.... No equality at all!

The “rebellious” agricultural labourers reveal themselves as true Stirnerian “creations”.

“You do not like that? You imagine that our work is more than adequately paid with those wages, but that yours, on the other hand, deserves a wage of several thousand. But if you did not put such a high value on Your work and allowed us to realise a better value for ours, we would, if need be, achieve something more important than you do for many thousand taler, and if You received only such wages as ours, you would soon become more diligent in order to earn more. If you were to do something that appears to us to be ten and a hundred times more valuable than our own work, ah” (ah, — you good and faithful servant!) “then you should get a hundred times more for it; we, for our part, are also thinking of making you things for which you will pay us more than the usual daily wage.”

First the rebels complain that they are paid too little for their work. At the end, however, they promise that only if they receive a higher daily wage, they will perform work for which it will be worth paying more than the usual daily wage”. Further, they believe they would achieve extraordinary things if only they were to receive better wages, although at the same time they expect extraordinary achievements from the capitalist only if his “ wage” is reduced to the level of theirs. Finally, after having performed the economic feat of transforming profit — this necessary form of capital, without which they would perish together with the capitalist — into wages, they perform the miracle of paying “a hundred times more” than they receive for “their own work”, i.e., a hundred times more than they earn. “This is the meaning” of the above phrase, if Stirner “means what he says”. But if this is only a stylistic error on his part, if the rebels intend jointly to offer the capitalist a hundred times more than each of them earns, then Stirner is only making them offer the capitalist what each capitalist already has nowadays. For it is clear that the work of the capitalist, in combination with his capital, is worth ten or a hundred times more than that of a single person who is merely a worker. Hence in this case, as always, Sancho leaves everything as it was before.

“We shall get on with one another if only we agree that no one any longer needs to present anything to someone else. Then we shall presumably go as far as to pay a decent price even to cripples, the sick and the aged, to prevent them from dying of hunger and want, for if we wish them to live it is fitting that we should pay for the fulfilment of our desire. I say pay for, hence I do not mean any miserable alms.”

This sentimental episode about cripples, etc., is intended to prove that Sancho’s rebellious agricultural labourers have already “risen” to those heights of middle-class consciousness where they do not wish to present anything or be presented with anything, and where the,,, consider that the dignity and interests of the two parties in a relation .ire assured as soon as this relation is turned into a purchase.

This thunderous proclamation of the people who, in Sancho’s imagination, are in rebellion, is followed by directions for its use in the form of a dialogue between a landowner and his labourers, the master this time behaving like Szeliga and the labourers like Stirner. In these directions the English strikes and the French workers’ coalitions are interpreted a priori in the Berlin manner.

Spokesman of the labourers: “What have you got?"
Landowner: “I have an estate of 1,000 morgen,"
"And I am your labourer and henceforth I will only cultivate your land for a wage of a taler a day.
Landowner: “In that case I shall hire someone else."
Spokesman: “You won’t find anyone, for we labourers will not work in future on any other conditions, and if you find anyone who agrees to take less, let him beware of us. Even a servant-girl now demands as much, and you will no longer find anyone for a lower wage."
Landowner: “Oh! Then I shall be ruined!"
Labourers (in chorus): “Don’t be in such a hurry! You are sure to get as much as we get. And if not, we'll deduct sufficient for You to live like us, — We are not talking of equality!"
Landowner: “But I am accustomed to better living!"
Labourers: “We have nothing against that, but that’s not our concern; if you can save more, all right. Do we have to hire ourselves out at a reduced price so that you can live well?"
Landowner: “But you uneducated people do not need so much!"
Labourers: “Well, we shall take a little more so as to be able to get the education that we may, perhaps, need."
Landowner: “But if you ruin the rich, who will support the arts and sciences?"
Labourers: “Well, our numbers must see to that. We'll all contribute, it will make a good round sum. Anyway, you wealthy people now buy only the trashiest books and pictures of tearful madonnas or a pair of nimble dancer’s legs."
Landowner: “Oh, miserable equality!"
Labourers: “No, dear worthy master, we are not talking of equality! We only want to be appraised according to our worth, and if you are worth more, then after all you will also be appraised more highly. We only want good value and intend to show ourselves worth the price you will pay.”

At the end of this dramatic masterpiece Sancho admits that, of course, “unanimity of the labourers” will be “required”. How this will come about we are not told. What we do learn is that the agricultural labourers have no intention of changing in any way the existing relations of production and intercourse, but merely want to _force the landowner to yield them the amount by which his expenditure exceeds theirs. It is a matter of indifference to our well-meaning bonhomme that this excess of expenditure, if distributed over the mass of the proletarians, would give each of them a mere trifle and not improve his position in the slightest. The stage of development of agriculture to which these heroic labourers belong becomes evident immediately after the conclusion of the drama, when they are transformed into “domestic servants”. They are living, therefore, under patriarchal conditions in which division of labour is still very little developed, and in which, incidentally, the whole conspiracy “will reach its final goal” by the landowner taking the spokesman into a barn and giving him a thrashing, whereas in more civilised countries the capitalist ends the matter by closing his enterprise for a time and letting his workers go and “play”. Sancho’s highly practical way of constructing his work of art, his strict adherence to the limits of probability, is evident not only from his peculiar idea of arranging a turn-out of agricultural labourers, but especially from his coalition of “servant-girls”. And how complacent to imagine that the price of corn on the world market will depend on the wage demands of these agricultural labourers from Further Pomerania and not on the relation between supply and demand! A real sensation is caused by the surprising discourse of the labourers about literature, the latest art exhibition and the fashionable dancer of the day, surprising even after the unexpected question of the landowner about art and science. They become quite friendly as soon as they touch on this literary subject and for a moment the harassed landowner even forgets his threatened ruin in order to demonstrate his dévoûment to art and science. Finally the rebels give him an assurance of their upright character and make the reassuring statement that they are guided neither by vexatious interests nor subversive tendencies, but by the highest moral motives. All they ask is price according to worth and they promise on their honour and conscience to be worthy of the higher price. All this has the sole aim of ensuring for each his own, his honest and fair earnings, “honestly earned pleasure”. That this price depends on the state of the labour-market, and not on the moral rebellion of a few literary-minded agricultural labourers, is, of course, a fact which our worthy folk could not be expected to know.

These rebels from Further Pomerania are so modest that despite their “unanimity”, which gives them the power to do something very different, they prefer to remain servants with the “wage of a taler a day” as their highest desire. It is quite consistent, therefore, that they do not cross-examine the landowner, who is in their power, but he cross-examines them.

The “firm spirit” and “strong self-consciousness of the domestic servant” find expression also in the “firm”, “strong” language in which he and his comrades speak. “Perhaps — well — our numbers must see to that — a good round sum — dear worthy master — after all.” Previously we read in the proclamation: “If need be — ah — we are thinking of making — perhaps, maybe, etc.” One would think that the agricultural labourers had also mounted the wonderful steed Clavileño.

Our Sancho’s whole noisy “rebellion”, therefore.. reduces itself in the final analysis to a turn-out, but a turn-out in the extraordinary sense, viz., a turn-out on Berlin lines. Whereas in civilised countries the real turn-out plays a smaller and smaller role in the labour movement, because the more widespread association of workers leads to other forms of action, Sancho tries to depict the petty bourgeois caricature of a turn-out as the ultimate and highest form of the world-historic struggle.

The waves of rebellion now cast us on the shore of the promised land, flowing with milk and honey, where every true Israelite sits beneath his fig-tree and where the millennium of “agreement” has dawned.

III. Union

In the section on rebellion we first of all collected examples of Sancho’s bragging, and then traced the practical course of the “pure act of the egoist in agreement with himself”. With regard to “union”, we shall do the opposite: we shall first of all examine the actual institutions and then compare them with the illusions of our saint about them.

1. Landed Property

“If we no longer wish to leave the land to the landed proprietors, but want to appropriate it for ourselves, then we unite to this end and form a union, société” (society), “which makes itself the owner, if we are successful, the landed proprietors cease to be such.” The “land” will then be the “property of the conquerors.... And the attitude to the land of these individuals collectively will be no less arbitrary than that of an isolated individual or so-called propriétaire. Hence, in this case too, property continues to exist, and indeed even as ‘exclusive’ property, since mankind, that great society, excludes the individual from its property, leasing to him, perhaps, only a part of it, as a reward.... So it remains and so it will come to be. That in which all want to have a share will be taken away from the individual who wants to have it for himself alone and turned into common property. Since it is common property each has his share in it and this share is his property. Thus in our old conditions, a house belonging to five heirs is likewise their common property; one-fifth part of the income, however, is the property of each of them” (pp. 329, 330).

After our brave rebels have formed a union, a society, and in this form have won a portion of land for themselves, this “société”, this juridical person, “makes itself “ the “proprietor”. To avoid any misunderstanding, he adds at once that “this society excludes the individual from the property, leasing to him, perhaps, only a part of it, as a reward”. In this way Saint Sancho appropriates for himself and his “union” his notion of communism. The reader will recall that Sancho in his ignorance reproached the communists for wanting to make society the supreme owner that gives each individual his “property” in feudal tenure.

Further, Sancho offers his recruits the prospect of a “share in the common property”. On a later occasion, this same Sancho says, again against the communists:

“Whether wealth belongs to the whole community, which allows me a portion of it, or to separate owners, for me the compulsion is the same, since in both cases I am powerless to decide about it”

(for this reason, too, his “collective” “takes away” from him what it does not want him to have in his exclusive possession, and so makes him feel the power of the collective will).

Thirdly, we here again encounter the “exclusiveness” with which he has often reproached bourgeois property, so that “even the miserable spot on which he stands does not belong to him”. On the contrary, he has only the right and power to squat on it as a miserable and oppressed corvée peasant.

Fourthly, Sancho here appropriates the feudal system which, to his great annoyance, he has discovered in all hitherto existing or proposed forms of society. The “society,” of conquerors behaves much as did the “unions” of semi-barbarian Germans who conquered the Roman provinces and introduced there a crude feudal system which was still strongly alloyed with the old tribal mode of life. It gives every individual a piece of land “as a reward”. At the stage where Sancho and the sixth-century Germans are, the feudal system still coincides in many respects with the system of “reward”.

It goes without saying, incidentally, that the tribal property which Sancho here restores afresh to honour would be bound before long to be dissolved again in the conditions now existing. Sancho feels this himself, for he exclaims: “So it remains and” (a beautiful “and"!) “so it will come to be”, and finally, he proves — by his great example of the house belonging to five heirs — that he has not the slightest intention of going outside the framework of our old relations. His whole plan for the organisation of landed property has only the aim of leading us by ‘historical detour back to petty-bourgeois hereditary tenure and the family, property of German imperial towns.

Of our old relations, i.e., those now existing, Sancho has appropriated only the legal nonsense that individuals, or propriétaires, behave “arbitrarily” in relation to landed property. In the union”, this imagined “arbitrariness” is to be continued by society”. To the “union” it is so much, a matter of indifference what happens to the land that “perhaps” “society” leases plots of land to individuals, or perhaps not. All that is quite immaterial.

Sancho, of course, cannot know that a definite structure of agriculture is linked lo a definite form of activity and determined by a definite stage of the division of labour. But anyone else can see how little the small corvée peasants, as proposed here by, Sancho, are in a position where “each of them can become an omnipotent ego”, and how little their ownership of a miserable plot of land resembles the greatly praised “ownership of everything”. In the real world, the intercourse of individuals depends on their mode of production, and therefore Sancho’s “perhaps” completely overthrows — perhaps — his whole union. But “perhaps”, or rather undoubtedly, there emerges here Sancho’s real view concerning intercourse in the union, namely, the view that the basis of egoistical intercourse is the holy.

Sancho brings to light here the first “institution” of his future union. The rebels who strove to be “without a constitution”, “arrange things for themselves”, by “choosing” for themselves a “constitution” of landed property. We see that Sancho was right in not placing any brilliant hopes in new “Institutions”. At the same time, however, we see that he ranks highly among the “socially-gifted persons” and is “extraordinarily inventive in regard to social institutions”.

2. Organisation of Labour

“The organisation of labour concerns only such work as can be done for us be others, such as cattle-slaughtering, ploughing, etc.; other work remains egoistical because, for example, no one can compose your music for you, complete the sketches for your paintings, etc. No one can do Raphael’s works for him. These are works of a unique individual which only this unique person is capable of producing, whereas the former work deserves to be called human” (on page 356 this is made identical with “generally useful”), “since peculiarity is of little consequence here and almost every person can be trained to do it” (p.

“It is always expedient for us to come to an agreement about human labour, in order that it should not claim all our time and effort, as is the case under competition,.... For whom, however, should time be gained? For what purpose does a human being need more time than is required to restore his exhausted labour-power? To this communism gives no reply. For what purpose? In order to enjoy himself as the unique, having done his share as a human being” (pp. 356, 357).

“Through work I can fulfil the official duties of a president, minister, etc.; these posts require only a general education, namely, the education that is generally accessible.... Although, however, anyone could occupy these posts, it is only the unique power of the individual, peculiar to him alone, that gives them, as it were, life and significance. For performing his duties not as an ordinary man would do, but by exerting the power of his uniqueness, he does not get paid, if lie is paid only as an official or minister. If he has acted to your satisfaction, and you wish for your benefit to retain this power of the unique person, which is worthy of gratitude, then you ought to pay him not simply as a man who performs a merely human task. but as one who accomplishes something unique” (pp. 362, 363),

“If you are in a position to afford joy to thousands of people, then thousands will remunerate you for it; for it is in your power not to do it and therefore they have to pay you for the fact that you do it” (p. 351).

“One cannot establish any general rate of payment forms, uniqueness, as can be done for work I perform as a man. Only for the latter can a tariff be fixed. Therefore you may fix a general tariff for human work, but do not deprive your uniqueness, of what is due to it” (p. 363).

As an example of the organisation of labour in the union, the public bakeries already mentioned are cited on page 365. Under the conditions of vandal parcellation presupposed above, these public institutions must be a real miracle.

First of all human labour must be organised and thereby shortened so that Brother Straubinger,[111] having finished his work early, can “enjoy himself as the unique” (p. 357), but on page 363 the “enjoyment” of the unique one ‘s reduced to his extra earnings.

On page 363 it is stated that the vital activity of the unique person does not have to take place subsequently to human labour; the latter can be performed as unique labour, and in that case it requires an additional wage. Otherwise the unique one, who is interested not in his uniqueness but in a higher wage, could shelve his uniqueness and to spite society be satisfied with acting as an ordinary person, at the same time playing a trick on himself.

According to page 356, human labour coincides with generally useful labour, but according to pages 351 and 363 unique labour shows its worth by being paid for additionally as generally useful or, at least, useful to many people.

Thus, the organisation of labour in the union consists in the separation of human labour from unique labour, in the establishment of a tariff for the former and in haggling for an additional wage for the latter. This addition is again twofold, one part being for the unique performance of human labour and the other for the unique performance of unique labour. The resulting bookkeeping is the more complicated because what was unique labour yesterday (e.g., spinning cotton thread No. 200) becomes human labour today, and because the unique performance of human labour requires a continual moucharderie [spying] upon oneself in one’s own interest and universal moucharderie in the public interest. Hence this whole great organisational plan amounts to a wholly petty-bourgeois appropriation of the law of supply and demand, which exists at present and has been expounded by ail economists. The law which determines the price of those types of labour that Sancho declares unique (e.g., that of a dancer, a prominent physician or lawyer), he could have found already explained by Adam Smith, and a tariff fixed for it by the American Cooper. Modern economists explain on the basis of this law the high payment for what they call travail improductif and the low wages of the agricultural day-labourer, and in general all inequalities in wages. Thus, with God’s help, we have again arrived at competition, but a competition which has so much come down in the world that Sancho can propose a fixed rate, the establishment of wages by law, as was the case of old in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

It deserves mention also that the idea which Sancho puts forward here is also to be found as something completely new in the Herr Messiah — Dr. Georg Kuhlmann of Holstein.

What Sancho here calls human labour is, apart from his bureaucratic fantasies, the same thing as is usually meant by machine labour, labour which, as industry develops, devolves more and more on machines. True, because of ‘the above-described organisation of landownership, machines are an impossibility in the “union” and therefore the corvée peasants in agreement with themselves prefer to reach an agreement with one another about this work. As regards “presidents” and “ministers”, Sancho — this poor localised being, as Owen puts it — forms his opinion only by his immediate environment.

Here, as always, Sancho is again unlucky with his practical examples. He thinks that “no one can compose your music for you, complete the sketches for your paintings. No one can do Raphael’s works for him”. Sancho could surely have known, however, that it was not Mozart himself, but someone else who composed the greater part of Mozart’s Requiem and finished it, [112] and that Raphael himself “completed” only an insignificant part of his own frescoes.

He imagines that the so-called organisers of labour[113] wanted to organise the entire activity of each individual, and yet it is precisely they who distinguish between directly productive labour, which has to be organised, and labour which is not directly productive. In regard to the latter, however, it was not their view, as Sancho imagines, that each should do the work of Raphael, but that anyone in ‘ whom there is a potential Raphael should be able to develop without hindrance. Sancho imagines that Raphael produced his pictures independently of the division of labour that existed in Rome at the time. ff he were to compare Raphael with Leonardo da Vinci and Titian, he would see how greatly Raphael’s works of art depended on the flourishing of Rome at that time, which occurred under Florentine influence, while the works of Leonardo depended on the state of things in Florence, and the works of Titian, at a later period, depended on the totally different development of Venice. Raphael as much as any other artist was determined by the technical advances in art made before him, by the organisation of society and the division of labour in his locality, and, finally, by the division of labour in all the countries with which his locality had intercourse. Whether an individual like Raphael succeeds in developing his talent depends wholly on demand, which in turn depends on the division of labour and the conditions of human culture resulting from it.

In proclaiming the uniqueness of work in science and art, Stirner adopts a position far inferior to that of the bourgeoisie. At the present time it has already been found necessary to organise this “unique” activity. Horace Vernet would not have had time to paint even a tenth of his pictures if he regarded them as works which “only this unique person is capable of producing”. In Paris, the great demand for vaudevilles and novels brought about the organisation of work for their production; this organisation at any rate yields something better than its “unique” competitors in Germany. In astronomy, people like Arago, Herschel, Encke and Bessel considered it necessary to organise joint observations and only after that obtained some moderately good results. In historical science, it is absolutely impossible for the “unique” to achieve anything at all, and :in this field, too, the French long ago surpassed all other nations thanks to organisation of labour. Incidentally, it is self-evident that all these organisations based on modern division of labour still lead to extremely limited results, and they represent a step forward only compared with the previous narrow isolation.

Moreover, it must be specially emphasised that Sancho confuses the organisation of labour with communism and is even surprised that “communism” gives him no reply to his doubts about this organisation. just like a Gascon village lad is surprised that Arago cannot tell him on which star God Almighty has built his throne.

The exclusive concentration of artistic talent in particular individuals, and its suppression in the broad mass which is bound up with this, is a consequence of division of labour. Even if in certain social conditions, everyone were an excellent painter, that would by no means exclude the possibility of each of them being also an original painter, so that here too the difference between “human” and “unique” labour amounts to sheer nonsense. In any case, with a communist organisation of society. there disappears the subordination of the artist to local and national narrowness, which arises entirely from division of labour, and also the subordination of the individual to some definite art, making him exclusively a painter, sculptor, etc.; the very name amply expresses the narrowness of his professional development and his dependence on division of labour. In a communist society there are no painters but only people who engage in painting among other activities.

Sancho’s organisation of labour shows clearly how much all these philosophical knights of “substance” content themselves with mere phrases. The subordination of “substance” to the “subject” about which they all talk so grandiloquently, the reduction of “substance” which governs the “subject” to a mere “accident” of this subject, is revealed to be mere “empty talk”. Hence they wisely refrain from examining division of labour, material production and material intercourse, which in fact make individuals subordinate to definite relations and modes of activity. For them it is in general only a matter of finding new phrases for ‘Interpreting the existing world-phrases which are the more certain to consist only of comical boasting, the more these people imagine they have risen above the world and the more they put themselves in opposition to it. Sancho is a lamentable example of this.

3. Money

“Money is a commodity and indeed an essential means or faculty, for it protects wealth against ossification, keeps it fluid and affects its circulation. If you know of a better means of exchange, all right., but it too will be a variety of money” (p. 364).

On page 353 money is defined as “marketable property or property in circulations.

Thus the “union” retains money, this purely social property which has been stripped of all individuality. The extent to which Sancho is in the grip of the bourgeois outlook is shown by his question about a better means of exchange. Consequently, he first of aft assumes that a means of exchange is necessary, and moreover he knows of no other means of exchange except money. The fact that ships and railways, which serve to transport commodities, are also means of exchange does not concern him. Hence in order to speak not merely of means of exchange, but particularly of money, he has to include the other attributes of money; that it is a means of exchange that is universally marketable and in circulation, that it keeps all property fluid, etc. These bring in also economic aspects which Sancho does not know but which actually constitute money; and with them the whole present situation, class economy, domination of the bourgeoisie. etc.

First of all, however, we learn something about the — extremely odd — course of monetary crises in the union.

The question arises:

“Where is money to be obtained?... People pay not with money, of which there may be a shortage, but with their ability [Vermögen], thanks to which alone we are wealthy [vermögend].... it is not money that harms you, but your inability [Unvermögen] to obtain it.”

Now comes the moral exhortation:

“Let your ability [Vermögen] have its effect, brace yourself, and you will not lack money [Geld], your money, money of your coining.... Know then that you have as much money as you have power; for the extent to which You can assert yourself [Dir Geltung verschaffst] determines how much you are worth [giltst]"(pp. 353, 364) [Geld — money; sich Geltung verschaffen — to assert oneself; gelten — to be worth]

The power of money, the fact that the universal means of exchange becomes independent in relation both to society and to individuals, reveals most clearly that the relations of production and intercourse as a whole assume an independent existence. Consequently, Sancho as usual knows nothing about the connection of money relations with production in general and intercourse. As a good citizen, he unhesitatingly keeps money in force; indeed it could not be otherwise with his ‘view of division of labour and the organisation of landed ownership. The material power of money, which is strikingly revealed in monetary crises and which, in the form of a permanent scarcity of money, oppresses the petty bourgeois who ;s “inclined to make purchases”, is likewise a highly unpleasant fact for the egoist in agreement with himself. He gets rid of the difficulty by reversing the ordinary idea of the petty bourgeois, thus making it appear that the attitude of individuals to the power of money is something that depends solely on their personal willing or running. [114] This fortunate turn of thought then gives him the chance of reading a moral lecture, buttressed by synonymy, etymology and vowel mutation, to the astounded petty bourgeois already disheartened by lack of money, thus debarring in advance all inconvenient questions about the causes of the pecuniary embarrassment.

The monetary crisis consists primarily in the fact that all “wealth” [Vermögen] suddenly becomes depreciated in relation to the means of exchange and loses its “power” [Vermögen] over money. A crisis is in existence precisely when one can no longer pay with one’s “wealth” [Vermögen], but must pay with money. And this again does not happen because of a shortage of money, as is imagined by the petty bourgeois who judges the crisis by his personal difficulties, but because the specific difference becomes fixed between money as the universal commodity, the “marketable property and property in circulation”, and all the other, particular commodities, which suddenly cease to be marketable property. It cannot be expected that, to please Sancho, we shall analyse here the causes of this phenomenon. Sancho first of all consoles the moneyless and hopeless small shopkeepers by saying that it is not money that causes the scarcity of money and the . whole crisis, but their inability to obtain it. It is not arsenic that is to blame for someone dying who takes it, it is the inability of his organism to digest it.

After first defining money as an essential and indeed specific form of wealth [Vermögen], as the universal means of exchange, money in the ordinary sense, Sancho suddenly turns the thing round when he sees the difficulties this would lead to and declares all ability, [Vermögen] to be money, in order to create the appearance of personal power. The difficulty during a crisis is precisely that “all wealth” [Vermögen] has ceased to be “money”. Incidentally, this amounts to the practice of the bourgeois who accepts “all wealth” as means of payment so long as it is money, and who only begins to raise difficulties when it becomes difficult to turn this “wealth” into money in which case he also ceases to regard it as “wealth”. Further, the difficulty in time of crisis is precisely that you, petty bourgeois, whom Sancho addresses here, can no longer put into circulation the money of your coining, your bills of exchange; but you are expected to pay with money, not coined by you and which shows no evidence that it has passed through your hands.

Finally, Stirner distorts the bourgeois motto “You are worth as much as the money you possess” into “You have as much money as you are worth”, which alters nothing, but only introduces an appearance of personal power and thus expresses the trivial bourgeois illusion that everyone is himself to blame if he has ne, money. Thus Sancho disposes of the classic bourgeois saying: L'argent n'a pas de maitre [money has no master], and can now mount the pulpit and exclaim: “Let your ability have its effect, brace yourself, and you will not lack money.” Je ne connais pas de lieu à la bourse où se fasse le transfers des bonnes intentions [I do not know a place at the stock exchange where people trade in good intentions]. He had but to add: Obtain credit; knowledge is power ; it is harder to earn the first taler than the last million; be moderate and save your money and, most important of all, do not multiply overmuch, etc. — to reveal not one ass’s ear, but both at once. In general, the man for whom everyone is what he can be and does what he can do, ends all chapters with moral exhortations.

The monetary system in Stirner’s union is, therefore, the existing monetary system expressed in the euphemistic and gushingly sentimental manner of the German petty bourgeois.

After Sancho has paraded in this way with the ears of his ass, Don Quixote-Szeliga draws himself up to his full height and delivers a solemn speech about the modern knight-errant, in the course of which money is transformed into Dulcinea del Toboso and the manufacturers and commerçants en masse into knights, namely, into chevaliers d'industrie. The speech has also the subsidiary aim of proving that because money is an “essential means”, it is also essentially a daughter”.* And he stretched out his right hand and said:

“On money depends fortune and misfortune. In the bourgeois period it is a force because like a maiden” (a dairymaid; per appositionem Dulcinea) “it is only wooed but is not indissolubly joined in marriage to anyone. All the romance and chivalry of wooing a dear object is revived in competition. Money, an object of ardent desire, is abducted by the bold chevaliers d'industrie” (p. 364).

Sancho has now arrived at a profound explanation why money in the bourgeois epoch is a power, namely, because in the first place fortune and misfortune depends on it and, secondly, because it is a maiden. He has further learned why he can lose his money, namely, because a maiden is not indissolubly joined in marriage to anyone. Now the poor wretch knows where he stands.

Szeliga, who has thus made the burgher into a knight, now in the following way makes the communist into a burgher and indeed into a burgher husband.

“He on whom fortune smiles leads the bride home. The ragamuffin is fortunate, he takes her into his household, society, and destroys the maiden. In his home she is no longer a bride, but a wife, and her maiden name disappears with her maidenhood. As a housewife, the money-maiden is called labour, for labour is the name of the husband. She is the property of the husband.

“To complete the picture, the child of labour and money is again a girl” (“essentially a daughter”), “an unmarried girl” (has Szeliga ever known of a girl coming “Married” out of the maternal womb?) “and therefore money” (according to the above proof that all money is an “unmarried girl”, it is self-evident that “all unmarried girls” are “money”) — “therefore money, but having its definite descent from labour, its father” (toute recherche de la paternité est interdite [any investigation regarding paternity is forbidden — the formula used in article 340 of the Code Napoléon]).The shape of the face, the image, bears a different stamp” (pp. 364, 365).

This story of marriage, burial and baptism is surely of itself sufficient proof that it is “essentially a daughter” of Szeliga, and indeed a daughter of “definite descent”. Its ultimate basis, however, lies in the ignorance of his former stableman, Sancho. This is clearly seen at the end, when the orator is again anxiously concerned about the “coining” of money. thereby betraying that he still considers that coins are the most important medium of circulation. If he had taken the trouble to examine a little more closely the economic relations of ,none Y, instead of weaving a beautiful. leafy bridal wreath for it, he would have known that — without mentioning state securities, shares, etc. — the major part of the medium of circulation consists of bills of exchange, whereas paper money forms a comparatively small part, and coin a still smaller part. In England, for example. fifteen times as much money circulates in the form of bills of exchange and bank-notes as in the form of coin. And even as regards coin, it is determined exclusively by the costs of production, i.e., labour. Hence Stirner’s elaborate process of procreation was superfluous here.

Szeliga’s solemn reflections about a means of exchange based on labour but, nevertheless’, different from the money of today, which he claims to have discovered among certain communists, only prove once again the simplicity with which our noble couple believe everything they read without even examining it.

When the two heroes ride homewards after this “knightly and romantic” campaign of “wooing”, they are bringing back no “fortune”, still less the “bride”, and least of all “money”, but at best one “ragamuffin” is bringing home the other.

4. State

We have seen that Sancho retains in his “union” the existing form of landownership, division of labour and money, in the way in which a petty bourgeois conceives these relations in his imagination. It is clear at a glance that with such premises Sancho cannot do without the state.

First of all his newly acquired property will have to assume the form of guaranteed, legal property. We have already heard his words:

“That in which all want to have a share will be taken away from the individual who wants to have it for himself alone” (p. 330).

Here, therefore, the will of the whole community is enforced against the will of the separate individual. Since each of the egoists in agreement with themselves may turn out to be not in agreement with the other egoists and thus become involved in this contradiction, the collective will must also find some means of expression in relation to the separate individuals —

“and this will is called the will of the state” (p. 257).

Its decisions are then legal decisions. The enforcement of this collective will in its turn requires repressive measures and public power.

“In this matter also” (in the matter of property) “the unions will multiply the means of the individual and safeguard his disputed property” (they guarantee, therefore, guaranteed property, i.e., legal property, i.e., property that Sancho possesses not “unconditionally”, but “holds on feudal tenure” from the “union”) (p. 342).

Obviously, the whole of civil law is re-established along with the relations of property, and Sancho himself, for example, sets forth the theory of contract fully in the spirit of the lawyers, as follows:

“It is of no importance, too, that I deprive myself of one or other freedom, for example, through any contract” (p. 409).

And in order to “safeguard” “disputed” contracts, it will also “be of no importance” if he has again to submit himself to a court and to all the actual consequences of a civil court case.

Thus, “little by little out of the twilight and the night” we come closer again to the existing relations, but only as these relations exist in the dwarfish imagination of the German petty bourgeois.

Sancho admits:

“In relation to freedom there is no essential difference between state and union. The latter cannot arise and exist without restricting freedom in various ways just as the state is incompatible with boundless freedom. Restriction of freedom is always unavoidable, for it is impossible to get rid of everything; one cannot fly like a bird just because one would like to fly, etc.... In the union there will still be a fair amount of compulsion and lack of freedom, for its aim is not freedom which, on the contrary, it sacrifices for the sake of peculiarity, but only for the sake of peculiarity” (pp. 410, 411).

Leaving aside for the time being the strange distinction between freedom and peculiarity, it should be noted that Sancho, without intending to do so, has already sacrificed his “peculiarity” in his union owing to its economic institutions. As a true “believer in the state”, he sees a restriction only where political institutions begin. He lets the old society continue in existence and with it also the subordination of individuals to division of labour; in which case he cannot escape the fate of having a special “peculiarity” prescribed for him by the division of labour and the occupation and position in life that falls to his lot as a result of it. If, for example, it fell to his lot to work as an apprentice fitter in Willenhall, [115] then the “peculiarly” imposed on him would consist in a twisted hip-bone resulting in a “game leg”; if the “title spectre [Marie Dähnhardt, Stirner’s wife] of his book” [116] has to exist as a female throstle spinner, then her “peculiarity” would consist in stiff knees. Even if our Sancho continues his old vocation of a corvée peasant, already assigned to him by Cervantes, and which he now declares to be his own vocation, which he calls upon himself to fulfil, then, owing to division of labour and the separation of town and countryside, he will have the “peculiarity” of being a purely local animal cut off from all world intercourse and, consequently, from all culture.

Thus, in the union, owing to its social organisation, Sancho malgré lui loses his peculiarity if, by way of exception, we take peculiarity in the sense of individuality. That owing to its political organisation, he then surrenders his freedom as well is quite consistent and only shows still more clearly how much he strives to retain the present state of affairs in his union.

Thus, the essential distinction between freedom and peculiarity constitutes the difference between the present state of affairs and the “union”. We have already seen how essential this distinction is. The majority of the members of the union, too, will possibly not be particularly embarrassed by this distinction and will hasten to decree their “riddance” from it, and if Sancho is not satisfied with that, they will show him on the basis of his own “book” that, firstly, there are no essences, but that essences and essential differences are “the holy”; secondly, that the union does not have to trouble about the “nature of the matter” and the “concept of the relation”; and, thirdly, that they in no way encroach on his peculiarity but only on his freedom to express it. They will perhaps prove to him, if it is his “endeavour to be without a constitution”, that they restrict only his freedom by putting him in prison, striking blows at him, or tearing off his leg, and that he remains partout et toujours “peculiar”, so long as he is still able to show the signs of life of a polyp, an oyster or even a galvanised dead frog. They will “set a definite price” on his work, as we have already heard, and “will not allow a truly free” (!) “realisation of his property”, for thereby they restrict only his freedom, not h . is peculiarity. These are things for which Sancho, on page 338, reproaches the state. “What then should” our corvée peasant Sancho “do? He should be firm and pay no attention” to the union (ibid.). Finally whenever he begins to grumble about the restrictions imposed on him, the majority will suggest that so long as he has the peculiarity of declaring that freedoms are peculiarities, they can take the liberty of regarding his peculiarities as freedoms.

Just as the difference mentioned above between human and unique labour was only a miserable appropriation of the law of supply and demand, so now the difference between freedom and peculiarity is a miserable appropriation of the relation between the state and civil society or, as Monsieur Guizot says, between liberté individuelle and pouvoir public. This is so much the case that in what follows he can copy Rousseau’ almost word for word.

“The agreement [...] according to which everyone must sacrifice a part of his freedom” occurs “not at all the sake of something universal or even for the sake of another person”, on the contrary, “I only concluded it out of self-interest. As far as sacrificing is concerned, after all I merely sacrifice what is not in power, i. e. I sacrifice nothing at all” (p. 418).

Our corvée peasant in agreement with himself shares this quality with all other corvée peasants and, in general, with every individual, who has ever lived on the earth. Compare also Godwin, Politica; Justice.

Incidentally, Sancho appears to possess the peculiarity, of imagining that according to Rousseau individuals concluded the contract for the sake of the universal, which never entered Rousseau’s head.

One consolation, however, remains for him.

“The state is holy ... the union, however, is ... not holy.” And herein lies the “great difference between the state and the union” p. 411).

The whole difference, therefore, amounts to this, that the union is the actual modern state, and the “state” is Stirner’s illusion about the Prussian state, which he confuses with the state in general.

5. Rebellion

Sancho quite rightly has so little faith in his subtle distinctions between state and union, holy and not holy, human and unique, peculiarity and freedom, etc., that in the end he takes refuge in the ultima ratio of the egoist in agreement with himself — in rebellion. This time, however, he rebels not against himself, as he earlier asserted, but against the union. just as earlier Sancho sought to achieve clarity on all points in the union, so he does here, too, as regards rebellion.

“If the community treats me unjustly, I rebel against it and defend my property” (p. 343)

If the rebellion does not “prosper”, the union will “expel (imprison, exile, etc.) him” (pp. 256, 257).

Sancho here tries to appropriate the droits de 1'homme of 1793, which included the right of insurrection [117] -a human right that, of course, bears bitter fruits for him who tries to make use of it at his “ own” discretion.

Thus Sancho’s whole union amounts to the following. Whereas in his previous criticism he regarded existing relations only from the aspect of illusion, when speaking of the union he tries to get to know the actual content of these relations and to oppose this content to the former illusions. In this attempt, our ignorant school-master was of i course bound to fall ignominiously. By way of exception, he did once endeavour to appropriate the “nature of the matter” and the “concept of the relation”, but he failed to “divest” any matter or any relation of its “alien character”.

Now that we have become acquainted with the union in its real form, it only remains for us to examine Sancho’s enthusiastic ideas about it, i.e., the religion and philosophy of the union.