Summer 1982 – Letter from David Miller of Australia

This undated letter from David Miller to Sidney E. Parker would have been written sometime around July 1982, the month Mr. Miller gave the lecture mentioned herein.[1]The lectures of the Existentialist Society are listed here: http://www.existentialistmelbourne.org/pdf/1974_1995.pdf.

David Miller has run the Existentialist Society in Melbourne since 1975. Their website is http://www.existentialistmelbourne.org/

This letter was transcribed and only lightly edited for style. Footnotes added by Sidney E. Parker Archives.


Dear Syd,

I’ve enclosed a £3 M.O.[2]This portion struck out in the original. Bank Draft for Minus One + Ego.

I received Ego No. 1 recently. Also thanks for sending me Storm.[3]The Storm (1976), was a gay and individualist anarchist journal edited by Mark A. Sullivan.

I haven’t yet produced Pessimist No 3, mainly because I’m waiting for Rev. Dr. John Williams to rewrite his article. He is busy writing a book defending Libertarianism on Judeo-Christian principles or vice-versa. I’m not sure which. Actually we make some strange bed-fellows, as I like to spend time at least once a week in our City Square trying to be a one man speakers Corner by standing on a plastic milk crate with my sign “GOD IS EVIL”.  Also I’ve been rather busy; firstly preparing for my talk to the Existentialist Society on ‘Ayn Rand sees the Ex.[4]Existentialists as betrayers! The Libertarians in the audience weren’t to happy with my attack on the Objectivists ethical ideals of Man and Humanity, nor with my defense of Stirner’s Egoism from their attempts to steal it by making it “Rational” Egoism.

I’ve also been doing the spade-work and advertising to set up the Ayn Rand Club for her “serious refutation”. I’m told quite often, that I cant set up a club to knock someone. Well, we’ll see. Then there’s the Dr. Thomas Szasz Forum.[5]Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920–2012) was a Hungarian-American academic, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He served for most of his career as professor of psychiatry. He was best known as a social critic … Continue reading I heard a talk by him at Melb. Uni.[6]Melbourne University & I was very impressed with his iconoclasm. We had 35 at our first meeting, three times as many as I had optimistically expected. Lastly I’ve been helping to set up The Outsiders discussion group, based on Colin Wilson. And, I almost forgot, they’ve set up a libertarian political party here in Melbourne called the Progress Party. I’ve put myself on the executive, to keep an eye on things. This should be amusing if nothing else.

As you can see from the existentialist program Robert Miller is giving a talk in march on Stirner and Zen Buddhism, He’s Scottish and came out here at the beginning of this year from Cambridge University on a 3 year scholarship to study Ethics at our Monash University. He’s given me his 70,000 word thesis to read on the same subject. I haven’t read it yet. He was elated to learn that Mackay has been translated into English and quite disappointed about the publishing. I’ve give him Byron Frasers address to write to, in the hope that he can show Byron why he should still publish Mackay. Robert says it all depends on which guru has captivated Byron. I don’t know if he’s written yet. Robert was also quite keen to learn more about this publication of ‘Ego + his own’ that you mentioned and how he could get a copy. (Rebel Press has sent me the details.)[7]This portion struck out in the original and the parenthetical note in the original.[8]This portion struck out in the original and the parenthetical note in the original.

I agree with you about Stirner and Existentialism. R.K.W. Paterson implies on pages 237-9 that Stirner is the only real Existentialist. [9]R.K.W. Paterson’s book The Nihilistic Egoist: Max Stirner (1972) was the only critical evaluation of the work of Max Stirner available at the time.

‘Real’ in the sense that he doesnt try to escape from his nihilistic insight, Stirner Joyfully “wallows” in it

–David

References

References
1 The lectures of the Existentialist Society are listed here: http://www.existentialistmelbourne.org/pdf/1974_1995.pdf
2 This portion struck out in the original.
3 The Storm (1976), was a gay and individualist anarchist journal edited by Mark A. Sullivan.
4 Existentialists
5 Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920–2012) was a Hungarian-American academic, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He served for most of his career as professor of psychiatry. He was best known as a social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, as what he saw as the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as scientism. His books The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) and The Manufacture of Madness (1970) set out some of the arguments most associated with him.
6 Melbourne University
7, 8 This portion struck out in the original and the parenthetical note in the original.
9 R.K.W. Paterson’s book The Nihilistic Egoist: Max Stirner (1972) was the only critical evaluation of the work of Max Stirner available at the time.