Individualistic anarchism

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The individualist anarchism (also individual anarchism is called) a deterioration caused in the 19th century in North America tradition of thought which the autonomy of the individual stressed and in opposition to the collectivist anarchism is. Benjamin Tucker is considered to be its main founder . Individualistic anarchism can be viewed as an extreme form of liberalism .


For advocates of individualistic anarchism, the state and every institutionalized (forced) form of superiority and subordination are the main obstacles to a free society for all. In their eyes, it unnecessarily restricts the members of society, supports privileges and enables monopolies (including monopoly on money , land, customs and patents ). The monopolies created and maintained by the state by means of violence led to a distortion of the labor market to the detriment of the non-privileged, with the consequence that they did not receive the natural wages for their work, i.e. that they cheated out of a large part of the income from their work would. The state should be abolished in order to achieve an optimum of freedom and justice. All desired social tasks would be fulfilled better and more effectively without monopolies and with free competition. In addition, participation in the tasks would be voluntary and not forced, which is in the tradition of the demands of the US independence movement .

Individualistic anarchism rejects the use of violence and relies on educating the population, so it does not necessarily consider a revolution to be expedient. His followers held in the 19th and 20th centuries z. B. the refusal to pay taxes for a suitable weapon.


John Henry Mackay

Important forerunners of individualistic anarchism were the North American writers Josiah Warren , Lysander Spooner , Stephen Pearl Andrews , Henry David Thoreau and Ezra Heywood .

Benjamin Tucker , who also referred to European authors, initially to Proudhon and later to a greater extent to Max Stirner , is considered to be the founder, namesake and, through his journal Liberty, the most influential representative of individualistic anarchism . - Max Stirner himself, who knew the term “anarchist” only as Proudhon's self-designation (1840 in Qu'est-ce que la propriété? ), Expressed himself critically about him. However, he already implicitly anticipated the criticism of the later individualistic anarchism by rejecting the demand for external freedom for internally unfree people as inconsistent.

In France, Émile Armand , Han Ryner and Albert Libertad took an individual anarchist position in the first half of the twentieth century , in Russia Alexei Borovoi and Lev Tschorny , in Italy Renzo Novatore . In England, individualistic anarchism had an active representative in Sidney E. Parker from around 1960 .

In Germany, the poet and writer John Henry Mackay , who mainly referred to Max Stirner and was friends with Tucker, and, following him in the 1970s, Kurt Zube , represented individualistic anarchism. The journal Der Einzige , founded in 1919 and published sporadically until 1925 , also represented an individual anarchist position.

See also



  • John Henry Mackay: Max Stirner - his life and his work . Berlin 1898, ext. 1910, exp. 1914; Repr. 1977 published by the Mackay Society; ISBN 3-921388-16-3 .
  • Uwe Timm : Max Stirner - A nuisance? In: Jochen Knoblauch , Peter Peterson (Ed.): I have put 'Mein' Sach 'on nothing. Texts on Max Stirner's topicality. Karin Kramer Verlag , Berlin 1996; ISBN 3-87956-212-1 .
  • Günter Bartsch : Anarchism in Germany. 1945-1965 . Volume 1. The magazines: Call of young individualists ; Pages 235–236 and The Young Anti-Authoritarian , Pages 229, 236–237. Fackelträger-Verlag, Hanover 1972; ISBN 3-7716-1331-0


  • H. Gebert (Ed.): The anarchist . Hamburg 1921
  • Benedict Lachmann (ed.): The individualistic anarchist . 1919, 12 issues.
  • Bernhard Zack (Hrsg.): Correspondence sheet of the association of individualistic anarchists . 1911
  • John Henry Mackay, Bernhard Zack (ed.): Propaganda of individualistic anarchism (in German), series of publications. 1907-1919
  • Anselm Ruest (ed.): The only one ; appeared, intermittently, 1919–1925. Reprint of all editions in one volume: Munich, Kraus Reprint 1980
  • Uwe Timm (ed.): Call of young individualists . Hamburg 1954
  • Uwe Timm, Willy Huppertz (ed.): The young anti-authoritarian . Mülheim / R., 1954–1955

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