C4SS Feed 44 presents “General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford.
Competition, next to the division of labor, is one of the most powerful factors of industry; and at the same time one of the most valuable guaranties. Partly for the sake of it, the first revolution was brought about. The workmen’s unions, established at Paris some years since, have recently given it a new sanction by establishing among themselves piece work, and abandoning, after their experience of it, the absurd idea of the equality of wages. Competition is moreover the law of the market, the spice of the trade, the salt of labor. To suppress competition is to suppress liberty itself; it is to begin the restoration of the old order from below, in replacing labor by the rule of favoritism and abuse, of which ’89 rid us.
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