Might is Right: The Authoritative Edition | Ragnar Redbeard
“Nothing is true; nothing is sacred; all things are open to you; blessed be the Vanquishers.”
A truly authoritative edition of Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. The variant text of five original editions harmonized into one, with thousands of previously undocumented footnotes and citations. New introduction by Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan. Newly indexed.
Might is Right is a book of action and not belief. It is poetry, not a platform. Since the first edition in 1896, Might is Right has inspired those across a dynamic political and philosophical spectrum. The consistent core of the work is this: the individual is against everything but the self, and any means of proliferation of the self is the only good. Might is the power of the individual, and that is the only foundation of Right.
Published in 1896, Might is Right went through five editions during the lifetime of Ragnar Redbeard, who had just moved to America, escaping the law in Australia. Every one of these had a plethora of changes and reversions, many subtly coloring the meaning of the text, others leaving literal gaps on the printed page where words were physically removed from the printing plates.
Now Might is Right: The Authoritative Edition not only reveals one authoritative text, but adds thousands of citations and notations to reveal a much greater story underneath the text. Every literary reference is cited, every name is given biographical sketch. Redbeard's voice is given echo in some of the contemporary and historical figures that his ideas of an amoral philosophical egoism are in accord with.
Magus Peter H. Gilmore provides an introduction that gives context to the book and how it was deconstructed and used to create the first chapter of Anton Szandor LaVey's "diabolically self-deifying" The Satanic Bible.
“We must take account of the wonderful book by ‘Ragnard Redbeard,’ which sets forth ideas analogous to those of Nietzsche.”
—Thomas Common, Notes for Good Europeans 1904
“In America Nietzsche’s philosophy is represented by a book of Ragnar Redbeard, entitled Might is Right…”
—Paul Carus, Nietzsche and Other Exponents of Individualism 1914
“Might is Right—a book that all rebels will want to read, especially in these days that ‘try mens souls,’ but with the philosophy of which, in full, no social revolutionist will agree. But the book will force you to think and it will show you in naked words how the mighty rule.”
—The Voice of the People (Industrial Workers of the World) 1914
“Propagandists are advised to read the following books:— The classics of Marx and Engels and Lenin and Trotsky; Might is Right, by Ragnar Redbeard; War—What for? by G. Kirkpatrick; Red Europe, by Frank Anstey; Increased Production, by George Dagger; Money Power, by Frank Anstey; The Coming War with America, by John McLean; and all other leading books of a like character.”
—The Communist, 17 June 1921
“Might is Right, by Ragnar Redbeard and published by Ross’s Book Service, is a remarkable book. Originally published in 1890, it has run through five editions, and has had an extraordinary influence on the minds of its readers. The audacity, candour and brutality of the author right through his work alternately attracts and repels the reader. Copies of this amazing exposition can be obtained at our Book shop, Ross’s Book Service.”
— The Socialist 12 August 1921
“Ragnar Redbeard LL.D., that Nietzsche of Chicago, the Max Stirner of Evanston…his attack upon this civilization of, by and for ‘mental geldings’, should be a part of every Fortean’s literary heritage. ”
—Tiffany Thayer, Doubt Vol. 15, 16 FS = 1947
“RAGNAR REDBEARD COME HOME; MIGHT IS RIGHT”
—Anonymous classified ad, Berkeley Barb in 1969
“It is surely one of the most incendiary works ever to be published anywhere… Redbeard surely undermined the largest part of the rationale to which conventional society appeared to be anchored.”
—James J. Martin, Laurance Labadie 1978
“Undoubtedly the most bizarre product of the American Nietzsche vogue… a barbaric yawp that reduced Whitman to a whisper.”
—Robert C. Bannister, Social Darwinism 1979
“Erratic, inspiring, infuriating, a mixture of individualistic sense and collective nonsense, it outlines a case for ‘social darwinism’ that is one of the frankest and most powerful I have ever seen.”
—Sidney E. Parker The Storm Winter 1982–’83
“An egoist classic, Might is Right is a tireless, juicy rant against both political and moral rights. The world is governed by force, not by genteel political or religious creeds, and the rule of Power is just., natural, and will never be changed by ideologues. Those who have enjoyed Nietzsche and Stirner will not went to miss this exciting work. which includes an introduction by S.E. Parker.”
—Mike Hoy, Loompanics Unlimited Catalog 1991
“What I saw (upon discovering Might is Right in 1957) should not have been in print. It was more than inflammatory. It was sheer blasphemy.”
—Anton Szandor LaVey, 1996