Proudhon's most famous declaration that "property is theft" comes
from this, his most famous work, published in French in 1840; the
English translation dates from 1890. According to Proudhon, only
that which is being used is real property. Land must be lived on or
farmed to be property, and goods must have been made by one's own
labor to be owned. These new definitions challenge the very basis
of capitalist systems, and Proudhon used them as the foundation for
his writings in support of anarchy. Activists, historians, and
philosophers will find themselves pondering his arguments long
after they have finished reading. PIERRE-JOSEPH PROUDHON
(1809-1865) was a French political philosopher who wrote
extensively on anarchy and was the first person known to have
referred to himself as an anarchist. His most famous writings
include The General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century
(1852) and System of Economic Contradictions; or The Philosophy of
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