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System of Economical Contradictions; or, the Philosophy of Misery   By: (1809-1865)

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Destruam et aedificabo. Deuteronomy: c. 32.




CHAPTER I. OF THE ECONOMIC SCIENCE % 1. Opposition between FACT and RIGHT in Social Economy % 2. Inadequacy of Theories and Criticisms

CHAPTER II. OF VALUE % 1. Opposition of Value in USE and Value in EXCHANGE % 2. Constitution of Value; Definition of Wealth % 3. Application of the Law of Proportionality of Values

CHAPTER III. ECONOMIC EVOLUTIONS. FIRST PERIOD. THE DIVISION OF LABOR % 1. Antagonistic Effects of the Principle of Division % 2. Impotence of Palliatives. MM. Blanqui, Chevalier, Dunoyer, Rossi, and Passy

CHAPTER IV. SECOND PERIOD. MACHINERY % 1. Of the Function of Machinery in its Relations to Liberty % 2. Machinery's Contradiction. Origin of Capital and Wages % 3. Of Preservatives against the Disastrous Influence of Machinery

CHAPTER V. THIRD PERIOD. COMPETITION % 1. Necessity of Competition % 2. Subversive Effects of Competition, and the Destruction of Liberty thereby % 3. Remedies against Competition

CHAPTER VI. FOURTH PERIOD. MONOPOLY % 1. Necessity of Monopoly % 2. The Disasters in Labor and the Perversion of Ideas caused by Monopoly

CHAPTER VII. FIFTH PERIOD. POLICE, OR TAXATION % 1. Synthetic Idea of the Tax. Point of Departure and Development of this Idea % 2. Antinomy of the Tax % 3. Disastrous and Inevitable Consequences of the Tax. (Provisions, Sumptuary Laws, Rural and Industrial Police, Patents,Trade Marks, etc.)

CHAPTER VIII. OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAN AND OF GOD, UNDER THE LAW OF CONTRADICTION, OR A SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM OF PROVIDENCE % 1. The Culpability of Man. Exposition of the Myth of the Fall % 2. Exposition of the Myth of Providence. Retrogression of God


Before entering upon the subject matter of these new memoirs, I must explain an hypothesis which will undoubtedly seem strange, but in the absence of which it is impossible for me to proceed intelligibly: I mean the hypothesis of a God.

To suppose God, it will be said, is to deny him. Why do you not affirm him?

Is it my fault if belief in Divinity has become a suspected opinion; if the bare suspicion of a Supreme Being is already noted as evidence of a weak mind; and if, of all philosophical Utopias, this is the only one which the world no longer tolerates? Is it my fault if hypocrisy and imbecility everywhere hide behind this holy formula?

Let a public teacher suppose the existence, in the universe, of an unknown force governing suns and atoms, and keeping the whole machine in motion. With him this supposition, wholly gratuitous, is perfectly natural; it is received, encouraged: witness attraction an hypothesis which will never be verified, and which, nevertheless, is the glory of its originator. But when, to explain the course of human events, I suppose, with all imaginable caution, the intervention of a God, I am sure to shock scientific gravity and offend critical ears: to so wonderful an extent has our piety discredited Providence, so many tricks have been played by means of this dogma or fiction by charlatans of every stamp! I have seen the theists of my time, and blasphemy has played over my lips; I have studied the belief of the people, this people that Brydaine called the best friend of God, and have shuddered at the negation which was about to escape me. Tormented by conflicting feelings, I appealed to reason; and it is reason which, amid so many dogmatic contradictions, now forces the hypothesis upon me. A priori dogmatism, applying itself to God, has proved fruitless: who knows whither the hypothesis, in its turn, will lead us?

I will explain therefore how, studying in the silence of my heart, and far from every human consideration, the mystery of social revolutions, God, the great unknown, has become for me an hypothesis, I mean a necessary dialectical tool... Continue reading book >>

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