Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/190
|Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/190/189||Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/190/191|
has defenders. Now, as in the state of nature that acquisition, thus limited, is still only provisory, the State, by making the provision cease, has wanted to make ceasse the reciprocal hostility of the acquirers, by rendering their acquisitions peremptory. Equality has thus been the secret thought, the capital object of the legislator, in the constitution of property. In that system, the only thing reasonable and admissible, is the property of my neighbor which is guaranteed by my property. I no longer say with the lender, possideo quia posssideo; I say with the philosopher, possideo quia possides.
We will see by what follows that equality by property is every bit as chimerical as equality by credit, monopoly, competition, or any other economic category; and that with regard to the providential genius, tout en gathering from property the most precious fruits and the most unexpected, has not been less deceived in his hope, and is ahuerte to the impossible. Property contains neither more nor less truth than all the moments which proceded it in the economic evolution; like them, it contributes, in equal proportion, to the development of well-being and to the increase of misery; it is not the form of the order, it must change and disappear with the order. Such the systems of the philosophers on certainty, after having enriched logic with their glimpses, resolve themselves and disappear in the conclusions of common sense.
But in the end the thought which has presided at the establishment of property has been good: thus we have to seek that which justifies that establishment, in what property serves wealth, what are the positive and determinant reass that have caused it.
Let us recall first the general character of the economic movement.
The first epoch had for aim to inaugurate labor on the earth by the separation of industries, to bring an end to the inhospitability of nature, to pull man out of his original poverty, and to convert his inert faculties into positive and active faculties, which will be for him so many instruments of happiness. As in the creation of the universe the infinite force was divided; thus, in order to create society, the providential genius divided labor. By that division, equality began to manifest itself, no longer as identity in plurality, but as equivalence in variety,