Proudhon is famous for two reasons. First, he’s the author of What is Property? the book containing the immortal phrase «property is theft!» Second, he has emerged as the ‘first’ anarchist. This accolade is explained in part by his provocative reclamation of ‘anarchy’. Until Proudhon published his critique of property in 1840 the term had only been applied pejoratively. In the other part, it comes from his encounter with Marx. In 1846 Proudhon rebuffed Marx’s tentative advances and hinted that he found his proposals dogmatic.
Text by Ruth Kinna and cover art is by Clifford Harper.
Agitate, Educate, Organise!
Ruth Kinna is a professor of Political Theory at Loughborough University, working in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations where she specialises in political philosophy. Since 2007 she has been the editor of the journal Anarchist Studies.
Clifford Harper is a worker, illustrator, and militant anarchist. He has worked for many radical and alternative publications, the international anarchist movement and almost all of the UK national newspapers.