Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As it turns out, property was already theft in 1838

In volume 4 of the Encyclopédie nouvelle, which appeared in 1838, Jules Leroux contributed a lengthy entry on Political Economy. There is a lot there that is of interest, but perhaps nothing that touches this passage for topical interest here in the mutualist blogosphere:

Et la propriété se trouve être nécessairement définie en ces termes: La possession et l'usage d'un objet propre à satisfaire un besoin.
Supprimez le mot possession, et la propriété disparaît.
Supprimez le mot usage, et la propriété devient une chose immorale, anti-humaine : c'est l'accaparement, c'est le vol.

"And property necessarily finds itself defined in these terms: The possession and use of an object to satisfy a need.
Suppress the word possession, and property disappears.
Suppress the word use, and property becomes an immoral, anti-human thing: it is monopoly; it is theft."
1838. Two years before What is Property? Ain't that some fun?

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