This is a letter that Proudhon wrote to a friend talking about his plans and suggesting that they get involved in politics

To view in the original French, click here


Paris, May 23, 1851

  My dear Marc, I strongly regret that we weren't able to see you on our walk; then we would have brought each other up to date and strengthened one another. The time approaches when on will have to speak of many things!...

  My program is terminated; what I believed would not have to be more than a sample of my observations, will be 450 pages, without consideration of what stays and what is most important. I am truly ashamed of all these overly long passages [that I have written.]

  I don't believe that it is possible to suggest a revolution that is more clear, in principle or in practice. If we are in agreement, you and I, with what I am going to publish and what I will keep in reserve, we have ten years of rule behind us. Let others fight among themselves for the Presidency of the Republic. I don't see anybody who will come close to relieving us of this post.

  Until next time, then. But permit me to tell you one thing, Marc: it is that one must leave modesty to dogs, and we must take ourselves with dead seriousness. The lack of more capable men is our excuse.

  I give you my hand.


  P.S. If you have not misplaced my blouse, have the kindness to return it to me. It is hot here; my blouse will be useful to me.

1. Translated from the French by Stephanie Silberstein