A small proposal. And this may seem a bit convoluted at first, but it’s my sincere desire in following posts to make this more clear.
Given the conceptual, moralistic, and emotional baggage the word ‘egoism’ carries, I’d like to propose a neologism to stand in for the Stinerian project: adaugeoism. I hate ‘ism’ terminology, but as much as I like Jason McQuinn’s explication of Stirner in the form of ‘critical self-theory,’ I simply find the phrase cumbersome. This may prove to be the case with adaugeoism as well, but we can’t be worse off for the attempt.
Why not ‘egoism?’
Well, as I said in the opening lines ‘egoism’ is too laden with baggage to have much use in conversation. It has such contradictory meanings. ‘Egoism’ may mean to some the ‘rugged individualist’ of capitalist propaganda, particularly of the American variety. It may mean what John Zerzan and others refer to as ‘the free-floating ego’ or solipiscism (even though it’s been explained otherwise on more than one occasion). It may be synonymous with gluttony and sexual-orgies to the religious fundamentalist. Whatever the case may be, ‘egoism’ is fraught with a moral sense of evil. For me, ‘egoism’ is completely at odds with all the above.
The word ‘adaugeo’ is Latin in origin and means to increase, to nourish, to enlarge, augment (of which it’s related), strengthen; all of which indicates, nicely I think, what McQuinn refers to as ‘the big self’ in contradistinction to a reified image or representation of what one should be, the ‘little self,’ or ‘narcissism’ as Bellamy of FRR uses the latter term.
This is more than a semantic concern, however. It’s practicality, I think, lies in a ‘turn’ we of western persuasion may wish to consider if we wish not to continue to undermine our own lives by way of undermining all planetary life by way of expressing those sets of reifications known as Western Civilization. By way of turning our present inclination for consuming the world-as-things around to augmenting self so that we recognize self-as-world, we may say: ‘all things are no-thing to me.’
All that we presently gaze upon as ‘not-self,’ as ‘other’ as ‘things,’ may potentially become relations, inter-weavings, by which this place, this self-as-place or -nexus, participates fully and yet uniquely, since ‘one’s own,’ one’s property, is no longer a question of possession, but of quality. Self is neither sought nor determined as a ‘what’ (a ‘thing,’ an ‘essence’) nor analyzed as a ‘why’ (a ‘reason,’ a ’cause’) but simply occurs as a ‘where,’ a ‘how,’ and a unique ‘who,’ inseparable from ‘all things.’
This self is so enlarged self and world become singular. We begin ‘here’ so to speak, where we stand, since nearly all pre-/un-modern indigenous peoples already find themselves enmeshed in a host of relationships. It’s their world. Ours is a history of an isolated soul-concept and a far away owner-father god. We’ve gone so far inward and found nothing while all we are dissipate into an absolute nihilistic Here! We’ve desired that which is so far beyond as to find our grasp empty with every skyward clawing. The absolute There never-ending.
To re-approach all those things–until they are ‘things’ no more, they become qualities of self, this uniqueness, sensing and feeling its ownness. To augment this unique instance, oneself… all things are no-thing to me!