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Writings by Proudhon

Second Study: Is there Sufficient Reason for Revolution in the Nineteenth Century?

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

A revolution is an act of sovereign justice, in the order of moral facts, springing out of the necessity of things, and in consequence carrying with it its own justification; and which it is a crime for the statesman to oppose it. That is the proposition which we have established in our first study.


General Idea of the Revolution

General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century


Translation by John Beverly Robinson

In every revolutionary history three things are to be observed:

The preceding state of affairs, which the revolution aims at overthrowing, and which becomes counter-revolution through its desire to maintain its existence.

Toast to the Revolution

Toast to the Revolution

Le Peuple

17th October 1848

Translation by Shawn P. Wilbur


When our friends of the democratic republic, apprehensive of our ideas and our inclinations, cry out against the descriptive term socialist which we add to that of democrat, of what do they reproach us? — They reproach us for not being revolutionaries.

Election Manifesto of ‘Le Peuple’

Election Manifesto of Le Peuple

Le Peuple

8th-15th November 1848

Translator: Paul Sharkey

The central electoral committee, comprising delegates from the fourteen Seine arrondissements and designed to make preparation for the election of the president of the Republic, has just concluded its operations.

Letter to Workers on Elections

Letter to Workers on Elections

Translated by Paul Sharkey

Passy, March 8, 1864

To workers,

Supplemental Material (online only)

Supplemental Material (online only)

This webpage contains material by or about Proudhon which did not, for whatever reason, get included into "Property is Theft!" or its introduction or was translated or produced after it was completed.

By Proudhon

Letter to M. Blanqui on Property

Letter to M.Blanqui on Property

What is Property? Second Memoir

Translator: Benjamin R. Tucker

Paris, April 1, 1841



Appendix: The Theory of Property

Appendix: The Theory of Property


Translator: Shawn P. Wilbur

“If I ever find myself a proprietor, may God and men, the poor especially, forgive me for it!”

On Terminology

On Terminology

In terms of the language he used, Proudhon was by no means consistent. Thus we have the strange sight of the first self-proclaimed anarchist often using “anarchy” in the sense of chaos. Then there is the use of the terms property and the state, both of which Proudhon used to describe aspects of the current system which he opposed and the desired future he hoped for.


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