Pierre-Joseph Proudhon citations

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Date de naissance: 15. janvier 1809
Date de décès: 19. janvier 1865

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, né le 15 janvier 1809 à Besançon dans le Doubs et mort le 19 janvier 1865 à Paris, est un polémiste, journaliste, économiste, philosophe et sociologue français. Précurseur de l'anarchisme, il est le seul théoricien révolutionnaire du XIXe siècle à être issu du milieu ouvrier.

Autodidacte, penseur du socialisme libertaire non étatique, partisan du mutuellisme et du fédéralisme, il est le premier à se réclamer anarchiste, en 1840, partisan de l’anarchie, entendue en son sens positif : « La liberté est anarchie, parce qu'elle n'admet pas le gouvernement de la volonté, mais seulement l'autorité de la loi, c'est-à-dire de la nécessité »,.

Il est l'auteur de plus de soixante livres.

En 1840, dans son premier ouvrage majeur, « Qu'est-ce que la propriété ? ou Recherche sur le principe du Droit et du Gouvernement », il rend célèbre la formule « La propriété, c’est le vol »,,. Dans ce même ouvrage, il est le premier auteur à utiliser l'expression « socialisme scientifique » ; il écrit : « de même la souveraineté de la volonté cède devant la souveraineté de la raison, et finira par s'anéantir dans un socialisme scientifique ».

En 1846, il donne dans son « Système des contradictions économiques ou Philosophie de la misère », une explication de la société fondée sur l’existence de réalités contradictoires. Ainsi la propriété manifeste l’inégalité mais est l'objet même de la liberté, le machinisme accroît la productivité mais détruit l’artisanat et soumet le salarié. La liberté elle-même est à la fois indispensable mais cause de l'inégalité.

En 1848, dans « Solution du problème social », il élabore la théorie du crédit à taux zéro qui anticipe le fonctionnement des mutuelles d’aujourd'hui. Il imagine la création d’une banque d’échange ou « banque du peuple », dont le but est l’abolition de la monnaie, du salariat, la suppression de toute prise d’intérêt et de toute réalisation de profit dans le cadre des structures d’échange entre les individus.

En 1849, dans son livre « Les Confessions d’un révolutionnaire pour servir à l’histoire de la Révolution de Février », Proudhon écrit entre autres choses la phrase « L’anarchie c’est l’ordre sans le pouvoir ».

En 1858, anticlérical dans « De la justice dans la Révolution et dans l’Église », véritable somme contre l'Église de son temps, il prône l’abolition de toutes les formes de pensée et d’organisation ecclésiales au profit des formes égalitaires, anti-hiérarchiques'.

En 1863, dans « Du Principe fédératif et de la nécessité de reconstituer le Parti de la Révolution » et en 1865 dans « De la Capacité politique des classes ouvrières », il est un des premiers théoriciens du fédéralisme, entendu non pas seulement comme libre association des communes mais comme point de jonction entre l’industrie et la campagne, l’ouvrier et le paysan.

En 1863, dans « Les Démocrates assermentés et les réfractaires », il pose les bases du refus de toute participation aux élections lorsqu’elles sont truquées, dévoyées par le pouvoir bonapartiste, détournées par le système capitaliste, manipulées par ceux qui font et défont les cartes électorales. Il ne condamne pas la démocratie ou le suffrage universel en eux-mêmes mais leur manipulation au profit des intérêts capitaliste et étatique.

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Citations Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

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„Communism is inequality, but not as property is. Property is the exploitation of the weak by the strong. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak.“

— Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Context: Communism is inequality, but not as property is. Property is the exploitation of the weak by the strong. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In property, inequality of conditions is the result of force, under whatever name it be disguised: physical and mental force; force of events, chance, fortune; force of accumulated property, &c. In communism, inequality springs from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence. This damaging equation is repellent to the conscience, and causes merit to complain; for, although it may be the duty of the strong to aid the weak, they prefer to do it out of generosity, — they never will endure a comparison. Give them equal opportunities of labor, and equal wages, but never allow their jealousy to be awakened by mutual suspicion of unfaithfulness in the performance of the common task. Communism is oppression and slavery. Man is very willing to obey the law of duty, serve his country, and oblige his friends; but he wishes to labor when he pleases, where he pleases, and as much as he pleases. He wishes to dispose of his own time, to be governed only by necessity, to choose his friendships, his recreation, and his discipline; to act from judgment, not by command; to sacrifice himself through selfishness, not through servile obligation. Communism is essentially opposed to the free exercise of our faculties, to our noblest desires, to our deepest feelings. Any plan which could be devised for reconciling it with the demands of the individual reason and will would end only in changing the thing while preserving the name. Now, if we are honest truth-seekers, we shall avoid disputes about words. Thus, communism violates the sovereignty of the conscience, and equality: the first, by restricting spontaneity of mind and heart, and freedom of thought and action; the second, by placing labor and laziness, skill and stupidity, and even vice and virtue on an equality in point of comfort. For the rest, if property is impossible on account of the desire to accumulate, communism would soon become so through the desire to shirk. Ch. V: "Psychological Explanation of the Idea of Justice and Injustice, and the Determination of the Principle of Government and of Right," Part 2: Characteristics of Communism and of Property

„Communism is oppression and slavery. Man is very willing to obey the law of duty, serve his country, and oblige his friends; but he wishes to labor when he pleases, where he pleases, and as much as he pleases. He wishes to dispose of his own time, to be governed only by necessity, to choose his friendships, his recreation, and his discipline; to act from judgment, not by command; to sacrifice himself through selfishness, not through servile obligation. Communism is essentially opposed to the free exercise of our faculties, to our noblest desires, to our deepest feelings.“

— Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Context: Communism is inequality, but not as property is. Property is the exploitation of the weak by the strong. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In property, inequality of conditions is the result of force, under whatever name it be disguised: physical and mental force; force of events, chance, fortune; force of accumulated property, &c. In communism, inequality springs from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence. This damaging equation is repellent to the conscience, and causes merit to complain; for, although it may be the duty of the strong to aid the weak, they prefer to do it out of generosity, — they never will endure a comparison. Give them equal opportunities of labor, and equal wages, but never allow their jealousy to be awakened by mutual suspicion of unfaithfulness in the performance of the common task. Communism is oppression and slavery. Man is very willing to obey the law of duty, serve his country, and oblige his friends; but he wishes to labor when he pleases, where he pleases, and as much as he pleases. He wishes to dispose of his own time, to be governed only by necessity, to choose his friendships, his recreation, and his discipline; to act from judgment, not by command; to sacrifice himself through selfishness, not through servile obligation. Communism is essentially opposed to the free exercise of our faculties, to our noblest desires, to our deepest feelings. Any plan which could be devised for reconciling it with the demands of the individual reason and will would end only in changing the thing while preserving the name. Now, if we are honest truth-seekers, we shall avoid disputes about words. Thus, communism violates the sovereignty of the conscience, and equality: the first, by restricting spontaneity of mind and heart, and freedom of thought and action; the second, by placing labor and laziness, skill and stupidity, and even vice and virtue on an equality in point of comfort. For the rest, if property is impossible on account of the desire to accumulate, communism would soon become so through the desire to shirk. Ch. V: "Psychological Explanation of the Idea of Justice and Injustice, and the Determination of the Principle of Government and of Right," Part 2: Characteristics of Communism and of Property

„I protest against every order with which some authority may feel pleased on the basis of some alleged necessity to over-rule my free will. Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of government.“

— Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Context: I stand ready to negotiate, but I want no part of laws: I acknowledge none; I protest against every order with which some authority may feel pleased on the basis of some alleged necessity to over-rule my free will. Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of government. "The Authority Principle" in No Gods, No Masters : An Anthology of Anarchism (1980) Daniel Guérin, as translated by Paul Sharkey (1998), p. 90

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