Might Is Right
|Author||Ragnar Redbeard (pseudonym)/Arthur Desmond (speculated)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and 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 egoist anarchism, amorality, consequentialism 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). The book also attacks Christianity and Democracy. Friedrich Nietzsche's theories of master–slave morality and herd mentality serve as a clear inspiration for Redbeard's book written contemporaneously.
Individualist 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 and proclaiming the innate superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race. The book also contains many strongly anti-Semitic statements.
S. E. Parker writes in his introduction to the text: "The most likely candidate is a man named Arthur Desmond who was red-bearded, red-haired and whose poetry was very similar to that written by Redbeard."
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.
S. E. Parker wrote: "Might Is Right is a work flawed by major contradictions." He particularly criticised the inconsistency of the book's central dogma of individualism with its open sexism and racism. However, he concluded that "it is sustained by a crude vigor that at its most coherent can help to clear away not a few of the religious, moral and political superstitions bequeathed to us by our ancestors."
Though it is no longer included in current printings of The Satanic Bible, early printings included an extensive dedication to various people whom LaVey recognized as influences, including Ragnar Redbeard.
|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 978-1478225171|
|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|
|2008||Zem Books||ISBN 978-1-329-41381-8|
|2009||Edition Esoterick||German hardcover edition. ISBN 978-3-936830-31-6|
|2012||Kustantamo Vuohi Julkaisut||Finnish edition. ISBN 978-952-92-9531-9|
|2014||Camion Noir||French edition. ISBN 978-235779-620-1|
|2014||Aristeus Books, ed. Dragan Nikolic||Second ed., Eng. edn. ISBN 978-1682040232|
- Chris Mathews (2009). Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-313-36639-0. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- EGO No 6 1985 Twenty Five Pence, at the Wayback Machine (archived August 18, 2010) archived from the original
- Mathews 2009, p. 65
- S. E. Parker, Introduction to Might is Right
- What is art? Leo Tolstoy
- Gallagher, Eugene V. (2013). "Sources, Sects, and Scripture: The Book of Satan in The Satanic Bible". In Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen. The Devil's Party-Satanism in Modernity. Oxford University Press. pp. 103–122.
- LaVey, Anton Szandor (1969). The Satanic Bible. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-01539-9.
- "Might Is Right (The Logic of To-day) / by Ragnar Redbeard". National Library of Australia Catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
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