Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Ok, nobody is claiming a monopoly on "Property is Theft!", but for Christ sakes, if you're going to quote Proudhon, it's good if you've at least READ "What is Property?" before you want to discuss how true/false it is. He said three things, all equally true and consistent, if you actually UNDERSTAND his arguments: 

Property is Robbery!
Property is Liberty!
Property is Impossible!
If you can't grasp what he meant by these 3 apparent contradictions, please refrain from using "Proudhon said Property is Theft!" as the rallying cry for your own personal ideology. The term "Property is Theft" has been misused and misquoted by both the pro-capitalist right and the pro-collectivist left for SO LONG. If you're going to say "Property is Theft!"in reference to Proudhon, please also mention that Property is Liberty and that Property is Impossible. If you want to find your own, black and white definition of property, fine. But stop misconstruing Proudhon's message. I'm especially looking at you, authoritarian socialists. NEVER, EVER use "Property is Theft!", because you're the last ones to understand that.

Proudhon's view was that property was complex, and he rejected both the classical liberal idea of private property and the communist idea of a gift economy. He recognized what property was, and saw it's contradictions, evils, and a swell as it's liberating qualities. He was neither an "anarcho-collectivist", neither could he be seen as an "individualist" in the same way that Warren, Tucker, and Stirner was.

What I'm saying is: Communist and Market anarchists can't claim Proudhon, neither can you, neither should I. Let Proudhon be Proudhon.

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