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Individualist anarchism

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There are several classical anarchist thinkers, such as Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Max Stirner, Dora Marsden[?] and Albert Jay Nock[?], who are known as individualist anarchists. These works argue for the sovereignty of each individual within their own life. Other such writers include Henry David Thoreau.

Individualist anarchists and private property

Individualist anarchists are claimed as part of their tradition by anarcho-capitalists as well as by libertarian socialists, who criticize differently the works of these authors. In turn, they claim many works by anarcho-capitalists and libertarian socialists as part of their tradition, though without forcibly fully adhering to them.

Libertarian socialists insist that many of these authors, after Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, rejected essential foundations of capitalism, namely the right to property (as opposed to the mere right to use) 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, which made even Proudhon modify his position with time.

Max Stirner who is arguably the most philosophically oriented of these individual anarchists, 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" posessions, see The Ego and His Own.)

Modern individualist anarchists tend to tell both libertarian socialists and anarcho-capitalists to stop arguing just leave each other be, for in a free society, each and every one would live under the system one prefers, and experience would teach every individual which system he personally prefers to live in. It doesn't matter which system is chosen by the majority, as long as each individual's freedom to choose is respected.

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