Might Is Right
|Might Is Right|
|Publisher||Dil Pickle Press|
|Media type||Hardcover, Paperback|
Might Is Right, or The Survival of the Fittest, is a book by pseudonymous author Ragnar Redbeard. First published in 1890, it heavily advocates amoralism, and psychological hedonism. In Might is Right, Redbeard rejects conventional ideas of human and natural rights and argues that only strength or physical might can establish moral right (à la Callicles or Thrasymachus).
Individual Anarchist historian James J. Martin called it "surely one of the most incendiary works ever to be published anywhere." This refers to the controversial content such as the viewpoint that weakness should be regarded with hatred and the strong and forceful presence of Social Darwinism in the text. There are also controversial parts of the book that deal with race and male/female relations, claiming that the woman and the family as a whole is the "property" of the man.
- "The substance of this book, as it is expressed in the editor's preface, is that to measure "right" by the false philosophy of the Hebrew prophets and "weepful" Messiahs is madness. Right is not the offspring of doctrine, but of power. All laws, commandments, or doctrines as to not doing to another what you do not wish done to you, have no inherent authority whatever, but receive it only from the club, the gallows, and the sword. A man truly free is under no obligation to obey any injunction, human or divine. Obedience is the sign of the degenerate. Disobedience is the stamp of the hero."
- "Expressed in the form of a doctrine these positions startle us. In reality they are implied in the ideal of art serving beauty. The art of our upper classes has educated people in this ideal of the over-man, --- which is in reality the old ideal of Nero, Stenka Razin, Genghis Khan, Robert Macaire or Napoleon and all their accomplices, assistants, and adulators --- and it supports this ideal with all its might.
- It is this supplanting of the ideal of what is right by the ideal of what is beautiful, i.e. of what is pleasant, that is the fourth consequence, and a terrible one, of the perversion of art in our society. It is fearful to think of what would befall humanity were such art to spread among the masses of the people. And it already begins to spread."
||The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. The dispute is about The supposed controversy surrounding the author's identity. (December 2010)|
Some, such as S. E. Parker, suspect Ragnar was a pen name for radical New Zealander Arthur Desmond, a prominent advocate of Henry George's Single Tax. Some see it as hard to reconcile the difference in their politics. Most who believe that Desmond was Redbeard believe the book to have been a work of satire.
Others believe that Jack London wrote Might is Right. As with Desmond the difference in politics is great (London's political activism started in the Marxist Socialist Labor Party and ended in the Socialist Party), and mainstream London-scholars have not supported the assertion that Redbeard was London. However, London's politics did not prevent him from populating his fiction with rugged individualist heroes. Another discrepancy in the evidence for London's authorship is the time of publication. London would have only been 14 at the time of the manuscript's publication, making it unlikely, though not impossible, for it to be authored by him. Claims that London was Redbeard come, in part, from Satanists; Anton LaVey who thought him "the most likely candidate".
Portions of Might Is Right comprise much of the "Book of Satan" section of the Satanic Bible, authored by Anton LaVey of the Church of Satan. The first edition of The Satanic Bible did not cite sources, but did include a dedication to Redbeard that was taken out of the current Avon editions.
Today most Satanists, including non-LaVeyans, consider Might is Right to be an important book representing the Satanic view of nature.
|1896||A. Uing Publisher|
|1903||A. Mueller Publishers|
|1910||W.J. Robbins Co. Ltd|
|1921||Ross’ Book Service|
|1927||Dil Pickle Press|
|1962||unknown publisher||18-page abridged edition|
|1969||same unknown publisher||Expanded 32-page edition|
|1972||Revisionist Press||Reprint of 1927 Dil Pickle edition. ISBN 0-87700-187-1|
|1984||Loompanics Unlimited||ISBN 0-915179-12-1|
|1996||M. H. P & Co. Ltd.||Centennial edition, with intro by Anton LaVey.|
|1999||14 Word Press||St. Maries, Idaho|
|2005||29 Books||Reprint of 1927 Dil Pickle edition. ISBN 0-9748567-2-X|
|2005||Dil Pickle Press||Edited and annotated by Darrell W. Conder. ISBN 0-9728233-0-1|
|2009||Edition Esoterick||German hardcover edition. ISBN 978-3-936830-31-6|
|2012||Kustantamo Vuohi Julkaisut||Finnish edition. ISBN 978-952-92-9531-9|
- EGO No 6 1985 Twenty Five Pence,[dead link] archived from the original[dead link]
- What is art? Leo Tolstoy
- Smith, John (2001). "Hypocrisy, Plagiarism and LaVey". Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- "Might is Right (The Logic of To-day) / by Ragnar Redbeard". National Library of Australia Catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Might Is Right|