If Fourier was a child of the first revolution (1789), his heir Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was one of the third (1848), a stillborn revolution since it leads to the restoration of Bonapartism in the person of the Emperor Napoleon III. 1789 was certainly successful in abolishing the privileges of nobles and clergy, but had, at the same time, leads to build a very unequal society: the workers had replaced the serf; he had changed masters, passing under the yoke of the owners of the means of production; he finally kept his chains, like Zola showed in Germinal . To feed his reflection, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon started from a premise probably read in the writings of Fourier :
Property is robbery. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
I read to You What is Property? Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1840)
his reasoning is as follows: the owner pays his workers individually depending on the number of hours that each performs. Gold Proudhon demonstrates that 10 individuals working together produce more wealth than 10 individual working in isolation. The owner therefore confiscate part of the value produced. He flies his workers. The property (means of production) is therefore the flight. It creates inequality because the owner because on one hand, capitalizes what he stole to possess ever more and, on the other, he pays the worker a salary just enough to ensure its survival for reproduction (necessary for the emergence of the next generations of workers). The worker can not capitalize and never become owner.
For Proudhon , such a system can only lead to a revolution: the workers, realizing the flight, can not ever accept this situation. They then use the only weapon at their disposal violence. But the system (played by the state and its laws) is resilient: it was built by the owners for the owners. The police then guarantor of the status quo. As for Marx, the state is the expression of the ruling class seeks to defend its interests.
The ruling class of thoughts are also at all times, the ruling ideas, ie the class which is the ruling material force of society is also the spiritual dominant power. The dominant thoughts are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material are these reports entered as of ideas, so the expression of the relations that make a ruling class class; ie what are the ideas of its dominance. Karl Marx.
Proudhon against Marx
Proudhon differs from Marx on the solutions Marx wants to nationalize everything in common in a larger entity would be called the communist state. For Proudhon, the means of production would change hands when passing into those of the state: The state would be the new thief not only material goods but also the freedom to think. Proudhon, in great visionary prophesied that the communist state would be:
- a dictatorial necessarily either,
- secondly, encourage workers (away from the competition and the need) the least effort
Proudhon’s father anarchy
No capitalism, not communism, not state: this is the solution that Proudhon called the mutualism. The workers would own the means of production and would provide them good management in independent cooperatives of a central power. Each cooperative interact with others in the form of exchanges of good processes in a federalist system. To achieve this utopia, one means the confiscation without compensation of all means of production.