The Proudhon Strategy

Jeremy Waldron

in The Right to Private Property

Published in print November 1990 | ISBN: 9780198239376
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679902 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Proudhon Strategy

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This chapter explores the application of Proudhon's strategy to the GR-based arguments being considered. It argues that Proudhon is mistaken if he believes his strategy is successful against literally all arguments for property. It does not work, at least not necessarily, against utilitarian arguments, nor does it work against SR-based arguments, except to the extent that they incorporate a GR-based element. But it looks a promising strategy when turned against GR-based arguments, for those arguments are articulating a general thesis about what the liberty of man requires and so they ought to generate moral claims that can be made on behalf of all men, not just those who happen to have property at present. The chapter examines the universalist implications of GR-based arguments; considers how far that drives us in the direction of equality; and discusses the incompatibility between an argument with these implications and the idea of unilateral appropriation.

Keywords: Proudhon; liberty of man; moral claims; unilateral appropriation; equality

Chapter.  8537 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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