Proudhon’s Theory of Property
Article mis en ligne le 19 novembre 2020

par Eric Vilain

Deciphering Proudhon’s point of view on property is an extremely complex matter. The following text is an attempt to make this issue intelligible, although the subject will certainly not be exhausted. This is why I would like to introduce my work by proposing three “keys” that may enable this deciphering, which the reader should keep in mind throughout :

• You can’t make a social revolution against the peasantry.

• The population’s attachment to property, including the working class, is so deeply rooted that it is necessary to find transitional measures to overcome this bias.

• The issue of ownership is in fact a false problem.

If we look at things closely, it will be seen that Proudhon’s constant preoccupation has been to seek the best strategy to convince the population to accept the idea that production, society in general, should be organised in a non-state socialised manner.

All of Proudhon’s variations on this theme are merely a reflection of his wanderings in search of a good solution.