Proudhon, who was born in 1809, was one of the first and probably most influential anarchist thinkers. Proudhon was also the father of an alternative economic system which is neither based on socialism/communism nor capitalistic principles, a true alternative to the judeo-slave-economy seen in capitalism and communism alike. Basically is about fair trade, free trade is only so far regulated as it is needed to keep fairness, which is the only way to guarantee free trade since a lack of fairness leads to monopolisation, the end of free trade.
I will try to provide a short overview of the basics of Proudhonism:
* 1) A society with membership in communities based on free contracts
* 2) An economic systems that makes an end to the superiority of capital over recources, capitalist over worker, which is one of the main reasons for the huge economical inequality we have today.
* 3) The abolishion of usury and interest (it’s possible without crippling investments)
“If employers of labour were offered money-capital at half the present rate of interest, the yield of every other class of capital would soon also fall to half. If, for example, interest on the money borrowed to build a house is less than the rent of a similar existing house, or if it is more profitable to bring a waste into cultivation than to rent similar farmland, competition must inevitably reduce house and farm rents to the level of the reduced interest on money. For the surest method of depreciating material capital (a house, a field) is obviously to create and operate additional material capital alongside it. But it is a law of economics that increased production increases the mass of available money-capital. This tends to raise wages and finally to reduce interest to zero.” – Proudhon: What is Property ?
“Whatever the pace of mechanical progress; though machines should be invented a hundred times more marvellous than the mule-jenny, the knitting-machine, or the cylinder press; though forces should be discovered a hundred times more powerful than steam, — very far from freeing humanity, securing its leisure, and making the production of everything gratuitous, these things would have no other effect than to multiply labor, induce an increase of population, make the chains of serfdom heavier, render life more and more expensive, and deepen the abyss which separates the class that commands and enjoys from the class that obeys and suffers.” – Proudhon, “The Philosophy of Misery”
"The economic system based on the fiction of the productivity of capital, justifiable once, is henceforth illegitimate. Its inefficacy and malfeasance have been exposed; it is the cause of all existing misery, the present mainstay of that old fiction of representative government which is the last form of tyranny among men." -- Proudhon,Interest and Principal (These letters, addressed to Frederic Bastiat, an economist, originally appeared in a debate published in The Voice of the People, in 1849.)
- Who was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Video)
- Proudhon - 1840 - What is Property (Text)
- Proudhon - 1845 - Interest and Principal (letters)
- Proudhon - 1846 - The Philosophy of Misery (Text)
- Proudhon - 1851 - General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century