Proudhon, Pierre Joseph
Proudhon, Pierre Joseph a noted French socialist, was born of humble parents, July 15, 1809, at Besancon. After a rudimentary education, he engaged in printing, and soon became an author — especially of an Essai de Grarnmaire Generale, for which he received a pension. In 1840 he published his work entitled Qu'estce que ia Propriete, which eventually became infamous from the answer which it gave to that question — "La Propriete, c'est le Vol!" and caused him the loss of his pension. During the Revolution he edited an inflammatory paper, which was soon suppressed, but gave him such popularity that he was elected to the Assembly. His notorious principles of anarchy prevented his being heard in the debates, and the papers which he issued in revenge were suppressed for their scurrility. In 1849 he started a Banque du Peuple to carry out his communistic ideas, but it was closed by the authorities, and he fled to Geneva, but on his return to Paris he was imprisoned. During his three years of incarceration he married, and issued several remarkable political works. He died in obscurity at Paris, Jan. 19. 1865. His social theories are of the most extravagant and dangerous character, greatly resembling the radical and immoral principles of the communistic revolutionists who are now agitating Europe and this country. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.