THE COMING ERA OF MUTUALISM. From the "System of Contradictions in Political Economy," [V. II, 527-9] BY P. J. PROUDHON. [English translation] If I am not deceived, my readers must be convinced at least of one thing, that Social Truth is not to be looked for either in Utopia or in the Old Routine; that Political Economy is not the Science of Society, and yet that it contains the elements of such a science, even as chaos before creation contained the elements of the universe; and finally, that in order to arrive at the definitive organization which would appear to be the destiny of our race upon this globe, it is only necessary to make a general equation of all our contradictions. But what shall be the formula of this equation? Already we ha... (From : proudhonlibrary.org.)
IV. THE producer has an acknowledged claim on the produce, we have said: A claim rendered confused and vague by the wage system and by the property law of to-day, but still generally recognized among civilized men as having theoretically some justice in it. Why? To discover we must make a careful analysis of the relation between producer and produce. It is a relationship not quite so simple as may appear at the first glance to those who have been accustomed to take it for granted without thinking much about it. As there is no question which leads us more directly to the root of the Anarchist position, we propose to dwell upon it at some length. When a man claims a thing on the ground that he is its producer, be certainly does not mean that ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Throughout recent years, a vast amount of money and time and brains has been employed in overcoming sales resistance, i.e. in inducing unoffending persons to waste their money in purchasing objects which they had no desire to possess. It is characteristic of our age that this sort of thing is considered meritorious: lectures are given on salesmanship, and those who possess the art are highly rewarded. Yet, if a moment's consideration is given to the matter, it is clear that the activity is a noxious one which does more harm than good. Some hard-working professional man, for example, who has been saving up with a view to giving his family a pleasant summer holiday, is beset in a weak moment by a highly trained bandit who wants to sell him a ...
WHAT is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivety, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not run so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds, and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a h... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The spectacle presented at this moment by Europe is deplorable enough but withal particularly instructive. On the one hand, diplomatists and courtiers hurrying hither and thither with the increased activity which displays itself whenever the air of our old continent begins to smell of powder. Alliances are being made and unmade, with much chaffering over the amount of human cattle that shall form the price of the bargain. "So many million head on condition of your house supporting ours; so many acres to feed them, such and such seaports for the export of their wool." Each plotting to overreach his rivals in the market. That is what in political jargon is known as diplomacy. [NOTE. -- While it will be understood that the political situation ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The word work, like "the word honesty, has obtained a quite peculiar meaning under the capitalist system of production. It is used indiscriminately for every sort of human labor. Yet how can any labor differ more widely than the slavery of a tram conductor from the free and useful work of the village blacksmith in Longfellow's poem- "Toiling,-rejoicing,-sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begun, Each evening sees its close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose." Work in the true sense means neither enforced and slavish toil nor the purposeless efforts of the man who plays with some occupation for mere amusement. At present much well-meaning and honest labor is pure waste, for it pr... (From : AnarchyArchives.)