Proudhon Reader Contents

Well, that is it -- the Proudhon Reader has been sent to AK Press! Finally... In addition, the book's webpage has been started (, the first extract been put on-line and the first blog posting has been done. This book should revolutionise how we English-readers view Proudhon as well as plugging a big hole in our understanding in the evolution of anarchism.

While the anthology webpage as a top-level contents page, here is the full one:

Property is Theft!
A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Anthology

What is Property?
    Chapter I. Method Pursued In This Work — The Idea of a Revolution
    Chapter II. Property Considered as a Natural Right
        §1 Property as a Natural Right
        §2 Occupation, as the Title to Property
        §3 Civil Law as the Foundation and Sanction of Property
    Chapter III. Labour As The Efficient Cause Of The Domain Of Property.
        §1 The Land cannot be Appropriated
        §2 Universal Consent no Justification of Property
        §3 Prescription Gives No Title to Property
        §4 Labour: That Labour Has No Inherent Power to Appropriate Natural Wealth
        §5 That Labour leads to Equality of Property
        §6 That in Society all Wages are Equal
    Chapter IV. That property is impossible.
    Chapter V. Psychological Exposition of the Idea of Justice

Letter to M.Blanqui on Property

Letter to Antoine Gauthier

Letter to Karl Marx

System of Economic Contradictions: Volume I
    Chapter I:   Of the Economic Science
    Chapter II:  Of Value
    Chapter III: Economic Evolutions – First Period – The Division of Labour
    Chapter IV: Second Period – Machinery
        §I   Of the function of machinery in its relations to liberty
        §II  Machinery’s contradiction – Origin of capital and wage-labour
        §III Of preservatives against the disastrous influence of machinery
    Chapter V: Third Period – Competition
        §I   Necessity of competition.
        §II  Subversive effects of competition, and the destruction of liberty thereby.
        §III Remedies against competition.
    Chapter VI: Fourth Period – Monopoly
        §I  Necessity of monopoly
        §II The disasters in labour and the perversion of ideas caused by monopoly.
    Chapter VII: Fifth Period – Police, Or Taxation

System of Economic Contradictions: Volume II
    Chapter X: Seventh Period: Credit
        §I Origin and Development of the Idea of Credit
    Chapter XI: Eighth Epoch — Property
        §II  Causes of the establishment of property
        §III How property is corrupted
    Chapter XIV: Summary and Conclusion

Solution of the Social Problem
    First Chapter: The Revolution in 1848
    Chapter II: Democracy

Organisation of Credit and Circulation and the Solution of the Social Problem
    The Bank of Exchange

Letter to Louis Blanc

Letter to Professor Chevalier

The Situation

The Reaction

The Mystification of Universal Suffrage

To Patriots

Opening Session of the National Assembly

Outline of the Social Question

Foreign Affairs

To the Editor-in-Chief of Le Représentant du Peuple

The 15th July

Address to the Constituent National Assembly

The Malthusians

Toast to the Revolution

The Constitution and the Presidency

Election Manifesto of Le Peuple

Bank of the People
    Formation of the Company
    Report of the Luxembourg Delegate and Workers’ Corporation Commission
        Chapter I:   The People’s Bank
        Chapter II:  Overview of contemplated production or consumption unions
        Chapter III: General Consumers’ Union and its Responsibilities

Confessions of a Revolutionary
    Chapter III:   Nature and Destination of Government
    Chapter VI:    24th February: Provisional Government
    Chapter X:     June 23-26: The Cavaignac Reaction
    Chapter XIV:   4th November: The Constitution
    Chapter XVII:  1849, 29 January: Barrot-Falloux Reaction. Destruction of the Government
    Chapter XVIII: 21st March: The Law On The Clubs; Legal Resistance
    Chapter XXI:   8th July 1849: Conclusion

Resistance to the Revolution
    I   Of the nature of the State
    II  Of the end or object of the State
    III Of an ulterior destiny of the State

Letter to Pierre Leroux

In Connection with Louis Blanc

Interest and Principal
    First Letter: 19th November 1849
    Second Letter: 3rd December 1849
    Third Letter: 17th December 1849
    Fourth Letter: 31st December 1849
    Fifth Letter: 21st January 1850
    Sixth Letter: 11th February 1850

General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century
    First Study: Reaction Causes Revolution
    Second Study: Is there Sufficient Reason for Revolution in the Nineteenth Century?
        1. Law of Tendency in Society – The Revolution of 1789 has done only half its work
        2. Chaos of economic forces.Tendency of society toward poverty
        3. Anomaly of Government. Tendency toward Tyranny and Corruption
    Third Study: The Principle of Association
    Fourth Study: The Principle of Authority
    Fifth Study: Social Liquidation.
    Sixth Study: Organisation of Economic Forces
        1. Credit
        2. Property
        3. Division of Labour, Collective Forces, Machines, Workers Companies
        4. Constitution of Value. Organisation of Low Prices
        5. Foreign Commerce. Balance of Imports and Exports
    Seventh Study. Absorption of Government by the Economic Organism

Letter to Villiaumé

Stock Exchange Speculator’s Manual
    Final Considerations
        3. Industrial democracy: Labour-labour partnership or universal
           mutuality; end of the crisis
            I. Workers’ Associations
            II. Consumers’ associations

Justice In The Revolution And In The Church
Volume I: Programme
    § I: The coming of the people to philosophy
    § II: The definition of philosophy
    § III: On the quality of the philosophical mind
    § IV: The origin of ideas
    § V: That metaphysics is within the province of primary instruction
    § VI: That philosophy must be essentially practical
    § VII: The character that must be presented by the guarantee of our
           judgements and the rule of our actions – Conversion from
           speculative to practical reason: determination of the criterion
    § VIII: Justice, the universal reason of things – Science and conscience
    § IX: Supremacy of Justice
    § X: Conditions for a philosophical propaganda
    § XI: Law of progress: Social destination
Volume II: Little Political Catechism
    First Instruction: Of the social power, considered in itself
    Instruction II: Of the appropriation of the collective forces,
            and the corruption of the social power
    Instruction III: Of the forms of government and their evolution
             during the pagan-christian period
    Instruction IV: Constitution of social power by the Revolution
    Instruction V: Question of the agenda

Letter to Milliet

The Federative Principle
  First Part: Principle of Federation
      Chapter VI: Posing of the Political Problem: Principle of Solution
      Chapter VII: Extrication of the Idea of Federation
      Chapter VIII: Progressive Constitution
      Chapter X: Political Idealism: Efficiency of the Federal Guarantee
      Chapter XI: Economic Sanction: Agricultural-Industrial Federation

Letter to M.X

The Political Capacity of the Working Classes
    To Some Workers from Paris and Rouen Who Had Sought His
    Views of the Elections
    Second Part: Development of the worker idea: Creation of economic right
        Chapter IV: 2. The mutualist system, or, on the Manifesto –
                Spontaneity of the idea of mutuality in the modern
                masses – Definition
        Chapter VIII: Application of the principle of mutuality to labour
                  and to wages – Of true commerce and agiotage
        Chapter XIII: Chapter XIII: On Association, within Mutuality
        Chapter XV: Objections against mutualist policy. Answer. Main
                cause of the fall of States – Relation of the political
                and economic functions in the new Democracy
    Third Part: Political Incompatibilities – Conclusion
        Chapter IV: On municipal liberty: That this liberty, essentially
                            federalist and incompatible with the unitary system,
                            can neither be demanded by the Opposition nor granted
                            by the imperial Government.   

Appendix: The Theory of Property
    Chapter IX: Summary

Appendix: The Paris Commune
    International Worker’s Association: Federal Council of Parisian Section
    On the Organisation of the Commune
    Paris Today Is Free And In Possession Of Herself And The Provinces Are In Slavery
    Proposal on the Production of Goods

As can be seen, it is pretty comprehensive and it has lots of material which has never been translated before. In addition, it has some older material which has not been included in a book before. I should also mention I've revised some of these older translations to make them consistent and correct translation errors.

And I should also note that this work is hardly finished, even if this anthology is. There is a lot of material which is still untranslated. Obviously ones like Confessions of a Revolutionary or The Political Capacity of the Working Classes, but also Proudhon's 1849 polemic with Louis Blanc and Pierre Leroux would be of interest. Still, before I even think about that, I think a new Bakunin anthology is called for...

Finally, I should say that I was aiming to blog once a week -- something I've obviously failed to do this year. Unfortunately the deadline for this book, plus volume 2 of An Anarchist FAQ plus being busy at work and at home meant that hope was not made real. But, hopefully, that will change now that one of my projects is now been sent off.

until I blog again, be seeing you...




I found somewhere that you

I found somewhere that you refer to yourself as an anarcho-communist, yet you've compiled this anthology of Proudhon. This puzzles me somewhat- what was your intention in doing this?

Yes, I consider myself a communist-anarchism. However, I recognise the contribution of Prooudhon to anarchism and his importance in the evolution of socialist ideas. The anthology seeks to show that. Plus he is a wonderful writer, with original thoughts on a whole range of subjects. He is also misrepresented and misunderstood -- something I find annoying

Was it merely to gain a great understanding of mutualism, or was it maybe from being tired of straw man arguments being placed against mutualism (even though you of course don't subscribe that view) and you wanted to be able to properly critique Proudhon?

Well, yes, in order to critique something you need to understand it. But that is not what drove the project. It really boils down to my interest in Proudhon and his ideas, his contribution to anarchism (and socialism as a whole) and my desire to show that what most people think Proudhon advocated was not actually what he did argue.

Suffice to say, many basic ideas of anarchist and Marxist thought can be traced to Proudhon. Yet few people realise that. Hopefully Property is Theft! will change that and people will gain a better idea of why Proudhon is important -- even if you don't agree with him on all subjects (like myself).

Hi there! I found somewhere

Hi there! I found somewhere that you refer to yourself as an anarcho-communist, yet you've compiled this anthology of Proudhon. This puzzles me somewhat- what was your intention in doing this? Was it merely to gain a great understanding of mutualism, or was it maybe from being tired of straw man arguments being placed against mutualism (even though you of course don't subscribe that view) and you wanted to be able to properly critique Proudhon?



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