General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century (1851)

Here is a sketched portrait of

P.-J. Proudhon

Portrait by F. T. Stuart. Boston. Scanned from ISBN 0-486-43397-8.

General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, was first published in French as Idée générale de la révolution au XIXe siècle. This is an electronic transcription of John Beverly Robinson's 1923 English translation, originally published in 1923 by Freedom Press, London. The text is based on Dover Publications' 2003 unabridged reproduction of Robinson's translation (ISBN 0-486-43397-8), with occasional typographical errors corrected.

Table of Contents

  1. To Business Men
  2. General Idea of the Revolution
  3. First Study. — Reaction Causes Revolution
    1. The Revolutionary Force
    2. Parallel Progress of the Reaction and of the Revolution Since February
    3. Weakness of the Reaction. Triumph of the Revolution
  4. Second Study. — Is there Sufficient Reason for Revolution in the Nineteenth Century?
    1. Law of Tendency in Society. The Revolution of 1789 has done only half its work.
    2. Chaos of Economic Forces. Tendency of Society toward Poverty.
    3. Anomaly of Government. Tendency toward Tyranny and Corruption.
  5. Third Study. — The Principle of Association
  6. Fourth Study. — The Principle of Authority
    1. Traditional Denial of Government. Emergence of the Idea which succeeds it.
    2. General Criticism of the Idea of Authority
      1. Thesis. Absolute Authority
      2. Laws
      3. The Constitutional Monarchy
      4. Universal Suffrage
      5. Direct Legislation
      6. Direct Government or the Constitution of '93. Reduction to Absurdity of the Governmental Idea.
  7. Fifth Study. — Social Liquidation
    1. National Bank
    2. The State Debt
    3. Debts secured by Mortgage. Simple Obligations.
    4. Immovable Property. Buildings.
    5. Property in Land.
  8. Sixth Study. — Organization of Economic Forces
    1. Credit
    2. Property
    3. Division of Labour, Collective Forces, Machines, Workingmen's Associations
    4. Constitution of Value. Organization of Low Prices.
    5. Foreign Commerce. Balance of Imports and Exports.
  9. Seventh Study. — Absorption of Government by the Economic Organism
    1. Society without Authority
    2. Elimination of Governmental Functions. — Worship.
    3. Justice
    4. Administration. Police
    5. Public Instruction; Public Works; Agriculture and Commerce; Finances
    6. Foreign Affairs, War, Navy
  10. Epilogue