What is Property?/Tenth Proposition

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Tenth Proposition: Property is impossible, because it is the Negation of equality.[edit]

The development of this proposition will be the resume of the preceding ones.

1. It is a principle of economical justice, that PRODUCTS ARE BOUGHT ONLY BY PRODUCTS. Property, being capable of defence only on the ground that it produces utility, is, since it produces nothing, for ever condemned.

2. It is an economical law, that LABOR MUST BE BALANCED BY PRODUCT. It is a fact that, with property, production costs more than it is worth.

3. Another economical law: THE CAPITAL BEING GIVEN, PRODUCTION IS MEASURED, NOT BY THE AMOUNT OF CAPITAL, BUT BY PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY. Property, requiring income to be always proportional to capital without regard to labor, does not recognize this relation of equality between effect and cause.

4 and 5. Like the insect which spins its silk, the laborer never produces for himself alone. Property, demanding a double product and unable to obtain it, robs the laborer, and kills him.

6. Nature has given to every man but one mind, one heart, one will. Property, granting to one individual a plurality of votes, supposes him to have a plurality of minds.

7. All consumption which is not reproductive of utility is destruction. Property, whether it consumes or hoards or capitalizes, is productive of INUTILITY,--the cause of sterility and death.

8. The satisfaction of a natural right always gives rise to an equation; in other words, the right to a thing is necessarily balanced by the possession of the thing. Thus, between the right to liberty and the condition of a free man there is a balance, an equation; between the right to be a father and paternity, an equation; between the right to security and the social guarantee, an equation. But between the right of increase and the receipt of this increase there is never an equation; for every new increase carries with it the right to another, the latter to a third, and so on for ever. Property, never being able to accomplish its object, is a right against Nature and against reason.

9. Finally, property is not self-existent. An extraneous cause-- either FORCE or FRAUD--is necessary to its life and action. In other words, property is not equal to property: it is a negation--a delusion--NOTHING.