March 7, 2006

What Is Government?

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, is the father of anarchism/libertarian socialism. He, in a moment of absolute genius, penned the following.

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, evaluated, censored, commanded; all by creatures that have neither the right, nor wisdom, nor virtue...

To be governed means that at every move, operation, or transaction one is noted, registered, entered in a census, taxed, stamped, priced, assessed, patented, licensed, authorized, recommended, admonished, prevented, reformed, set right, corrected. Government means to be subjected to tribute, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the name of public utility and the general good.

Then, at the first sign of resistance or word of complaint, one is repressed, fined, despised, vexed, pursued, hustled, beaten up, garroted, imprisoned, shot, machine-gunned, judged, sentenced, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to cap all, ridiculed, mocked, outraged and dishonored. That is government, that is its justice and its morality!

...O human personality! How can it be that you have cowered in such subjection for sixty centuries?"

This is taken from his book General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century.


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