“I build no system. I ask an end to privilege, the abolition of slavery, equality of rights, and the…”

“I build no system. I ask an end to privilege, the abolition of slavery, equality of rights, and the reign of law. Justice, nothing else; that is the alpha and omega of my argument: to others I leave the business of governing the world.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“If our science of moral laws is false, it is evident that, while desiring our own good, we are…”

“If our science of moral laws is false, it is evident that, while desiring our own good, we are accomplishing our own evil; if it is only incomplete, it may suffice for a time for our social progress, but in the long run it will lead us into a wrong road, and will finally precipitate us into an abyss of calamities.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“Eternity precedes us, eternity follows us: between two infinites, of what account is one poor mortal…”

“Eternity precedes us, eternity follows us: between two infinites, of what account is one poor mortal that the century should inquire about him? Disregard then, reader, my title and my character, and attend only to my arguments.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“If we pass now from physical nature to the moral world, we still find ourselves subject to the same…”

“If we pass now from physical nature to the moral world, we still find ourselves subject to the same deceptions of appearance, to the same influences of spontaneity and habit. But the distinguishing feature of this second division of our knowledge is, on the one hand, the good or the evil which we derive from our opinions; and, on the other, the obstinacy with which we defend the prejudice which is tormenting and killing us.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“The purchaser draws boundaries, fences himself in, and says, “This is mine; each one by himself,…”

“The purchaser draws boundaries, fences himself in, and says, “This is mine; each one by himself, each one for himself.” Here, then, is a piece of land upon which, henceforth, no one has a right to step, save the proprietor and his friends; which can benefit nobody, save the proprietor and his servants. Let these sales multiply, and soon the people — who have been neither able nor willing to sell, and who have received none of the proceeds of the sale — will have nowhere to rest, no place of shelter, no ground to till. They will die of hunger at the proprietor’s door, on the edge of that property which was their birthright; and the proprietor, watching them die, will exclaim, “So perish idlers and vagrants!””

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“Instead of seeking the cause of the evil in his mind and heart, man blames his masters, his rivals,…”

“Instead of seeking the cause of the evil in his mind and heart, man blames his masters, his rivals, his neighbors, and himself; nations arm themselves, and slay and exterminate each other, until equilibrium is restored by the vast depopulation, and peace again arises from the ashes of the combatants. So loath is humanity to touch the customs of its ancestors, and to change the laws framed by the founders of communities, and confirmed by the faithful observance of the ages.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

“I recognized at once that we had never understood the meaning of these words, so common and yet so…”

“I recognized at once that we had never understood the meaning of these words, so common and yet so sacred: Justice, equity, liberty; that concerning each of these principles our ideas have been utterly obscure; and, in fact, that this ignorance was the sole cause, both of the poverty that devours us, and of all the calamities that have ever afflicted the human race.”

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

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