In my critique of Max Stirner which is in my essays from October to very early into December, I make the point that Georges Bataille’s conception of subjectivity is much more radical than Stirner’s because it is one of dissolution. Stirner has the creative nothing which is still something, and Bataille has NOTHING which is neither something nor nothing(ness). In Guilty, Bataille sees God as a being which stabilizes existence, so after the death of God, existence becomes unstable. Julian Pefanis says that God is “the transcendental guarantee of individual sovereignty”, that God is, and this is important wording, the “exteriority of being”.[1] Thus, Bataille’s subject is NOTHING because it is based upon a foundationless foundation: an exteriority of being which is dead, which is present-in-its-absence. In other words, Bataille’s sovereign subject is based upon “the nothingness of pure exteriority”.[2]


Pefanis, Julian. Heterology and the Postmodern: Bataille, Baudrillard, and Lyotard. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991.

Rousselle, Duane. “Kropotkin Is Dead: A Second Order Reading of Ethics in the Philosophies of Georges Bataille and Post-Anarchism,” 2011.


[1]: Julian Pefanis, Heterology and the Postmodern: Bataille, Baudrillard, and Lyotard (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), 45.

[2]: Duane Rousselle (2011), 148.


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Evan Jack

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille