Advocate of capital that you are, you do not know all its machinations.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Letter No. 9
P.-J. Proudhon to F. Bastiat

I have to admit that it is more and more difficult for me to follow the intellectual mishmash of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in this exchange of letters. After wasting four pages to explain that Frédéric Bastiat is not far short from a complete moron who is unable to reason when he is not squarely of bad faith, Proudhon reminds us that himself has well explained his position thanks to strong demonstrations while, according to me, his speech makes no sense and aligns pompous affirmations without an ounce of logical reasoning.

He then goes on to a (hardly understandable) accusation of the deeds of the Banque de France in order to justify that interest is stealing and that it needs to be abolished. That is where I stumble of the editor’s note on page 222 of the 1863 French edition, which reads: “That Mr. Proudhon may believe the dubious figures and arguments in this letter as valuable, one might grant him that. However, it is really difficult to look into the incredible confusion between cash and capital in the nation as an involuntary mistake”. I am obviously not the only one who does not understand a word of this and not only is he writing in bad faith but it is all bunk!

 I chose today’s quote because I believe it is still very much valid nowadays to explain the misunderstanding between liberals and their opponents. The former try and understand how freedom is a way towards improvement while the latter are pointing out at imperfections that they may have found here and there in order to denigrate the system as a whole, so confident that they could build an ideal world, in their image, to replace the current one.

Other quotes from Free Credit:
First letter – Second letter – Third letter – Fourth letter – Fifth letter – Sixth letter – Seventh letter – Eighth letter – Ninth letter – Tenth letter – Eleventh letter – Twelfth letter – Thirteenth letter – Fourteenth letter

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