Anarch (sovereign individual)
The Anarch is a metaphysical ideal figure of a sovereign individual, conceived by Ernst Jünger in his novel Eumeswil (1977). Jünger was greatly influenced by individualist anarchist Max Stirner. Indeed, the Anarch starts out from Stirner's conception of the unique (der Einzige), a man who forms a bond around something concrete rather than ideal, but it is then developed in subtle but critical ways beyond Stirner's concept. The concept is developed (and may best be studied) through the actions and reflections of Manuel Venator, the protagonist of Eumeswil.
Here are few of the countless quotes in Eumeswil regarding the anarch:
The Anarch is the positive counterpart of the anarchist.
I am an anarch – not because I despise authority, but because I need it. Likewise, I am not a nonbeliever, but a man who demands something worth believing in.
The anarch sticks to facts, not ideas. He suffers not for facts but because of them, and usually through his own fault, as in a traffic accident. Certainly, there are unforeseeable things – maltreatments. However, I believe I have attained a certain degree of self-distancing that allows me to regard this as an accident.
As I have said, I have nothing to do with the partisans. I wish to defy society not in order to improve it, but to hold it at bay no matter what. I suspend my achievements – but also my demands.
Although I am an anarch, I am not anti-authoritarian. Quite the opposite: I need authority, although I do not believe in it. My critical faculties are sharpened by the absence of the credibility that I ask for. As a historian, I know what can be offered.
The term "anarch" had been used for two years (1963–64) by students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon to designate the official representative of their living units. The position of Anarch rotated every two weeks, and the new Anarch was selected by the drawing of cards from the deck. The Anarch was presumed to be all-powerful during his term of office; in practice, it generally meant that one might get listened to slightly more often. This is an instance of independent invention of the term, which was not pursued at the time.
- Macklin, Graham D. (September 2005). "Co-opting the counter culture: Troy Southgate and the National Revolutionary Faction". Patterns of Prejudice (.pdf) 39 (3): 301–326. doi:10.1080/00313220500198292.
- Warrior, Waldgänger, Anarch: An essay on Ernst Jünger's concept of the sovereign individual by Abdalbarr Braun, accessed 22 December 2007.
- An exposition of the figure of the Anarch through citations from Juenger's Eumeswil.
- Blog discussing Jünger´s anarch through excerpts from Eumeswil
- Association Eumeswil, a Florentine cultural association dedicated to the study of Ernst Jünger´s life and works.
- Eumeswil epub