The Egoist


Entry 2978


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Revolt Library Anarchism The Egoist

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(1854 - 1944)

: Charlotte M. Wilson was an English Fabian and anarchist who co-founded Freedom newspaper in 1886 with Peter Kropotkin, and edited, published, and largely financed it during its first decade. She remained editor of Freedom until 1895. Born Charlotte Mary Martin, she was the daughter of a well-to-do physician, Robert Spencer Martin. She was educated at Newnham College at Cambridge University. She married Arthur Wilson, a stockbroker, and the couple moved to London. Charlotte Wilson joined the Fabian Society in 1884 and soon joined its Executive Committee. At the same time she founded an informal political study group for 'advanced' thinkers, known as the Hampstead Historic Club (also known as the Karl Marx Society or The Proudhon Society). This met in her former early 17th century farmhouse, called Wyldes, on the edge of Hampstead Heath. No records of the club survive but there are references to it in the memoirs of several of those who attended. In her history of Wyldes Mrs Wilson records the names of some of those who visited the house, most of whom are known to have been present at Club meetings. They included Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, Sydney Olivier, Annie Besant, Graham Wa... (From:

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The Egoist

 Photo by Matthew and Heather, CC BY-NC-ND License

Photo by Matthew and Heather,
CC BY-NC-ND License

He possessed everything necessary to render him the scourge of his family.

He came into the world healthy and rich-and healthy and rich he remained during the whole of his long life. No offense was ever brought home to him; he committed no fault whatever either in word or in deed.

He was of stainless character. And proud in the consciousness of his character, he pressed with it every one to earth--relations, friends, acquaintances.

His character was to him capital. And with this capital he dealt at usurious interest.

This character gave him the right to be pitiless, and to do nothing beyond the good ordained by law.

And pitiless he was, and did no good. For benevolence prescribed by law is not benevolence.

He never paid the slightest regard to any but his own so perfect person; and he became seriously angry when others were not equally zealous in caring for him.

However, he did not regard himself as an Egoist; and there was nothing he more bitterly condemned and pursued than egoism and egoists. And this was natural, for the egoism of others stood in the way of his own.

Knowing himself to be free from the slightest weakness, he could neither understand nor tolerate the weakness of others. Indeed, he understood nothing and no one, for on all sides, above and below, in front and behind, he was surrounded by his own personality.

He did not even understand what it was to forgive. To himself be had forgiven nothing; why should he need to forgive another?

Before the judgment-seat of his own conscience, before the countenance of his own god, this miracle, this monster of virtue, raised his eyes towards heaven, and with firm, clear voice exclaimed "Yes, verily, I am a worthy and a moral man."

These words he will repeat on his dying bed; and even in the supreme moment nothing will be affected in that heart of stone--in that heart without fault or stain.

O vileness of self-conscious unbending, cheaply-bought virtue? Art thou not more hateful than the open vileness of vise?

Translated from Tourgenieff's Prose Poems.

Freedom: A Journal of Anarchist Socialism
Vol. 1 -- No. 9,
JUNE, 1887

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June 1, 1887
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