By P. J. Proudhon
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Extra info for General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century
Whatever outcry there may be made against waste, I shall never believe that the creation of 32,500 offices was anything but plunder. What interest had the king or the ministers, or any of the individuals who already held office, in adding to their number? Is it not true that, the agitation of the working classes becoming more threatening with time, and consequently the danger greater for the privileged class, Power, the force that represses and protects, had to fortify itself in proportion, on pain of being overthrown at the first opportunity?
Association is so much a dogma, in the eyes of those who propose it as a revolutionary expedient, something finished, complete, absolute, unchangeable, that all they who have taken up this Utopia have ended, without exception, in a system. In illuminating with their fixed idea the different parts of the social body, they were bound to end, and in fact they did end, by reconstructing society upon an imaginary plan, much like the astronomer, who, from respect for his calculations, made over the system of the universe.
Above the spirit of men there is the spirit of things; it is with this latter that the philosopher concerns himself, always well disposed towards his fellows. If the composition of the budget of expenses is curious, that of the account of receipts is no less instructive. I will not enter into details; the general character will suffice. It is in generalization that truth is discovered. , the tax would be distributed with an almost ideal equality, uniting the advantages of proportionality and progression, without any of their drawbacks.
General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century by P. J. Proudhon