Property's Theft

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I'll liberate Proudhon

from an Anarchist Bookshop


worthy comrades you're my kind

thanks a million

do you mind


I took the book

that filled this space

but give these words to take its place


left on the shelf

it was doing no good

hoarded like some miser's wealth


& if I've rightly understood

it's not mere profit

motivates you chaps to sell


honest I'll heed the lesson well

& pass it on

when it's been read


sorry to say there's just no way

I could afford to pay today

please accept this note instead


Exchange is no Robbery

nothing's wrong with a swop

I liberated Proudhon

from an Anarchist Bookshop



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If I had to answer the following question: 'What is slavery?'
and if in a single word I were to reply: it is murder, my
thought would have been understood right from the start. I
would not need to speak for long, to demonstrate that the
power to deprive a man of thought, will, and personality, is
a power of life and death, and that to enslave a man is to
murder him. Why then to that other question: 'What is
property' could I not answer likewise: 'it is theft',
without the certainty of being misunderstood, though this
second proposition be but the first, transformed?

    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, 'What Is Property?'

"All men are equal and free: society by nature, and destination, is therefore autonomous and ungovernable. If the sphere of activity of each citizen is determined by the natural division of work and by the choice he makes of a profession, if the social functions are combined in such a way as to produce a harmonious effect, order results from the free activity of all men; there is no government. Whoever puts a hand on me to govern me is an usurper and a tyrant; I declare him my enemy."

'Les Confessions d'un Revolutionnaire', 1849

"To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harrassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

P. J. Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century


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Proudhon & his children, painting by Gustave Courbet 1853

Click pic?



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