The Whim-worshipper and his Playthings
Max Stirner

The Whim-worshipper
and his Playthings

by Max “Hogeye” Stirner

All Human Values are Bullshit

Every cause and ideal and transcendent value is supposed to be my concern! First are all those "good causes" like saving the planet, or curing cancer, or ending war or solving world hunger. Then for some there is God's cause. Then there's cause of mankind, the great humanitarian crusade. Then there are the high ideals of truth, and freedom, and justice. On top of that, there is the patriotic cause of my people, my leader, or my fatherland. And of course there is the cause of mind, of reason itself, and a thousand other causes. What about me? Only my cause is ignored, never to be my concern. All of these causes say “Shame on the selfish asshole who thinks only of himself!”

It is revealing to note that the very things we are told to be concerned with, are themselves primarily concerned with their own purely egoistic cause. Even God is that way.

What is God's cause, which we are called to serve? He has burdened us, made us his sheep, and commandeered a monopoly on truth and justice. You are shocked by this? By theists' own logic, because he is all in all, all is his cause, including truth and justice. But we, we are not all in all, and our cause is altogether little and contemptible; therefore we must “serve a higher cause.”

Now it is clear, God cares only for what is his, busies himself only with himself, thinks only of himself, and has only himself before his eyes; woe to all that is not well pleasing to him. He serves no higher person, and satisfies only himself. God's cause is – a purely egoistic cause.

Now what about mankind, humanity, whose cause we are supposed to champion? Does the cause of Mankind put other causes ahead of itself? No, mankind looks only at itself. Mankind will promote the interests of mankind only. Mankind is its own cause. That it may develop, it causes nations and individuals to wear themselves out in its service, and, when they have accomplished what mankind needs, it throws them on the dung-heap of history in gratitude. Is not mankind's cause – a purely egoistic cause?

I have no need to take up every possible great cause someone can throw out, and show that it is concerned only with itself, not with us, and only with its good, not with ours. Examine it for yourself. Do truth, freedom, humanity, and justice, desire anything other than that you grow enthusiastic and serve them?

All these wonderful causes do quite well when they receive zealous homage. Just observe the nation that is defended by devoted patriots. The patriots fall in bloody battle or in the fight with hunger, disease, and want; what does the nation care for that? By the manure of patriots' corpses, the nation's wealth and power blooms! The individuals have died “for the great cause of the nation.” The nation mumbles some words of thanks over them, and – receives all the profit. I'd call that a paying kind of egoism!

The primary purpose of human institutions and causes is (or inevitably becomes) self-preservation. They act egoistically. Institutions, movements, and "good causes" behave as if they are egoistic persons.

Just look at the rulers of State, the presidents and prime ministers and dictators and princes. They care so lovingly for their people. Is the glorious leader not pure unselfishness itself, and does he not hourly sacrifice himself for his people? Oh, yes, the key words being “his people.” If you show defiance and stay true to yourself, you will go to jail for breaking away from his egoistic will. The State has set its cause on nothing but itself; all is the State, and there is no toleration for people who dare not to be one of “his people.”

Learn from these brilliant examples. The egoist does best! I for my part learned my lesson from them. Instead of further unselfishly serving those great egoists, I'd rather be the egoist myself. As Janis Ian said, “We have no need of a god; each of us is his own.”

God and humanity have concerned themselves with nothing but themselves. Let me do likewise and concern myself for my Self. I equally with God am my own ultimate evaluator. I am my all, the ultimate evaluator, the one and only whim-worshipper.

If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves, to create their own world from nothing, then I will, too. I start with nothing, but not in the sense of emptiness, but in the sense of an empty canvas, and I myself as creator and author of my own life.

So, then, fuck all those "good causes" that are not my cause! What's good? What's bad? I am my concern, and I am neither good nor bad. Good and bad have no meaning for me. Let God worry about his shit, and let mankind worry about man's. My concern is not with God, man, truth, good, justice, freedom, or any other cause, but solely Self. I am a unique autonomous whim-worshipper.

Nothing is more important to me than myself!