quotes from “Clarifying the Unique and Its Self-Creation: An introduction to “Stirner’s Critics” and “The Philosophical Reactionaries”” by Jason McQuinn

“The process of self-alienation—of separating an idea or representation of oneself from one’s living self and then subordinating one’s living self to that image—which Stirner describes and criticizes is so ubiquitous and fundamental to the functioning of modern societies that it permeates nearly every aspect of social life.”

This separation of an idea (or representation) of oneself from one’s living self and then subordinating one’s living self to that image “is not just the foundation of modern life or modernity, it is also the foundation of so-called “traditional” societies, basically from the neolithic age onwards up to modernity.”

“Though it appears it was precisely not the foundation for the earlier (one could argue more aptly-named “traditional”) paleolithic and, later, gathering and hunting societies that are now usually called “primitive.””

“What distinguishes non-primitive traditional societies from modern societies can be characterized as the intensity and ever-wider dispersion of this self-alienation throughout all aspects of life, including every social institution and form of social practice.” reminds me of The Society of the Spectacle

“Although it is proper to call Max Stirner the most radical, coherent and consistent critic of modernity, it would be incorrect to understand him as defending these traditional institutions or life-ways. He is equally a critic of premodern traditional and modern societies. (Given the limits of archeological [sic (archaeological, submitted this and the last correction to the library)] and anthropological knowledge in his time, it is not surprising that Stirner never mentions or hazards any guesses regarding what are now called “primitive” societies.)”

I don’t really like the author’s use of the word slave and other forms of the word like enslaving when talking about people who aren’t in prison or otherwise owned or trafficked as an actual slave. In this thread, I’ve been trying to reword the booklet, but maybe we are slavish. Instead of looting, we are supposed to sell ourselves to employers, but we had no choice in making that surplus that keeps us working.

“Enslaving oneself to a fixed idea or imaginary ideal (or any number of them) is not a simple thing. It requires an immense amount of effort to work itself out in practice. This effort, in large part, it has been the primary function of all religion, philosophy and ideology to facilitate from the earliest days of symbolic communication. This effort also is embodied in a large number of habits, attitudes, modes of thought, and techniques of subordination that must be and have been learned and perfected by the masses of people in contemporary societies. And it is enforced by the sanctions of social, economic, political and military institutions that are constructed and maintained through the same types of self-alienated acts en masse.” (should be en masse which means “as a whole”)