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Individualist anarchism

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Individualist anarchism is a variety of anarchism that emphasises the importance of the individual. Several classical anarchist thinkers, such as Josiah Warren, Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Max Stirner, Dora Marsden and Joseph Labadie, are known as individualist anarchists. Voltarine De Cleyre in her early career was also an individualist anarchist.

Their works argue for the sovereignty of the individual within their own life. Other such writers include Henry David Thoreau and John Henry Mackay.

Individualist anarchists and private property

Individualist anarchists are claimed as part of their tradition by anarcho-capitalists, in turn, some individualist anarchists claim some works by anarcho-capitalists as part of their tradition, though without fully adhering to them.

Libertarian socialists insist that many of these authors, after and including Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, rejected essential foundations of capitalism, namely the legalism of private property (as opposed to the mere right to use), particulary with regard to land, and the charging of interest or rent.

Anarcho-capitalists appreciate the emphasis given by these thinkers on individual rights and liberty, and on market-based approaches rather than collectivism; they agree with Frederic Bastiat in his responses to Proudhon.

Max Stirner rejected Proudhon's ideas about property as a collective good, but also rejected all kinds of liberalism and the idea of rights to personal properties as an illusion or "ghost", clearly stating that there is no divine right to own anything, you only have what you have and that's it. In Stirner's view there are no moral obligations attached to property, or anything else for that matter. Thus he deems both Proudhon's concept of "individual property as theft" (paraphrased) and the libertarian idea of property as a natural principle as founded in superstitious beliefs. (In this concept he also explicitly included all "immaterial" or "spiritual" possessions, see The Ego and His Own.)

See also


External links

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