The Revolution Will Be Digitised

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon A couple of months ago, I was grumping that Proudhon’s General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century wasn’t available online. I see that now it is; thanks, Charles! And check out the rest of Charles’ Fair Use Repository.

In Proudhon-related news, I’ll soon be posting (in the Molinari Institute’s online library) Benjamin Tucker’s translation of Proudhon’s debate with Bastiat on interest and credit, as well as my own comments on the debate (here). (Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I think Proudhon and Bastiat are each partly right and partly wrong.) Also coming soon: Tucker’s Instead of A Book!

Addendum: Would a quote from Proudhon ever appear on the Cato Institute’s website? Check it out.

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5 Responses to The Revolution Will Be Digitised

  1. Administrator September 29, 2006 at 11:07 am #

    Charles has now blogged about this. Check out the very proto-Austrian first quotation.

  2. Rad Geek September 29, 2006 at 5:36 pm #

    Egads. I scheduled the post for later in the night, so as not to crowd out another post for the morning, and look what I get for it: you scoop me on my own news!

    Here’s another good Who said this? quotation from pinko, anti-property social anarchist Proudhon:

    From each according to his capacity;
    To each according to his needs.

    Equality demands this, according to Louis Blanc.
    Let us pity those whose revolutionary capacity reduces itself to this casuistry. But let not that prevent us from refuting them, for the Kingdom of Innocents is theirs.
    Let us recall the principle once more. Association is then, as Louis Blanc defines it, a contract which wholly or partially (General and Special Associations, Civil Code, Art. 1835) places the contracting parties on a level, subordinates their liberty to social duty, depersonalizes them, treats them almost as M. Humann would treat taxpayers when he laid down this axiom: Make them pay all the taxes they can! How much does a man produce? How much does it cost to feed him? That is the supreme question which springs from the, what shall I call it? declension formula—From each… To each… in which Louis Blanc sums up the rights and duties of an associate.
    Who then shall determine the capacity? who shall be the judge of the needs?
    You say that my capacity is 100: I maintain that it is only 90. You add that my needs are 90: I affirm that they are 100. There is a difference between us of twenty upon needs and capacity. It is, in other words, the well-known debate between demand and supply. Who shall judge between the society and me?
    If the society persists, despite my protests, I resign from it, and that is all there is to it. The society comes to an end from lack of associates.
    If, having recourse to force, the society undertakes to compel me; if it demands from me sacrifice and devotion, I say to it: Hypocrite! you promised to deliver me from being plundered by capital and power; and now, in the name of equality and fraternity, in your turn, you plunder me. Formerly, in order to rob me, they exaggerated my capacity and minimized my needs. They said that products cost me so little, that I needed so little to live! You are doing the same thing. What difference is there then between fraternity and the wage system?
    It is one of two things: either association is compulsory, and in that case it is slavery; or it is voluntary, and then we ask what guaranty the society will have that the member will work according to his capacity and what guaranty the member will have that the association will reward him according to his needs? Is it not evident that such a discussion can have but one solution—that the product and the need be regarded as correlated expressions, which leads us to the rule of liberty, pure and simple?
    Third Study, ¶¶ 109-117

    I was thinking of following up with Confessions of a Revolutionary, but I’m having a deuced time finding anything in English anywhere. (I could get a French edition from for € 24 plus shipping, for all the good that it would do me. Which would at least be better than the $100-$300 price range on copies in French from Alibris).
    Anyway, know of any translations anywhere?

  3. Administrator September 30, 2006 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Charles. I came across the link to General Idea on Wikipedia’s Proudhon page; so I didn’t actually realise it was brand new.

    I don’t think there are any other English translations of Proudhon that aren’t either a) online already [see links here] or b) too recent to be in the public domain [the main example being The Principle of Federation].

    Confessions of a Revolutionary is online, but in French.

  4. Kenneth R. Gregg October 5, 2006 at 9:52 pm #

    VERY glad to see The General Idea… online. It is a truly brilliant work and you will find numerous references to free market anarchist ideas within it. I had recently googled for it and it didn’t show up.

    If you look on GOOGLE BOOKS you can find most of Proudhon’s writings now available online in french, but little in english. I’ve been spending some time on the GOOGLE BOOKS and there is a lot of classical liberal writings there. John Morley’s works (some of my favorites, On Compromise and his Diderot book are now there) are available as well as many others from lesser known lights.

    Best to all of you.
    Just Ken

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