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PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph.

Système des Contradictions Économiques, ou Philosophie de la Misère.

Paris: Chez Guillaumin et Cie, 1846 Stock Code: 129329
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His magnum opus

First edition of Proudhon's magnum opus, his analysis of what he saw to be the economic contradictions of 19th-century capitalism, which he felt would lead in time to an anarchist society. Proudhon sent a copy of the book to Karl Marx, then his friend, for review. Marx read it in two days, and was infuriated. "He therefore determined to destroy it, and with it Proudhon's reputation as a serious thinker, once and for all"; Marx published his rebuttal, Misère de la Philosophie, in 1847, "the bitterest attack delivered by one thinker upon another since the celebrated polemics of the Renaissance" (Berlin, Marx, fifth edition, p. 108). The split between the two men over the book and its prognosis created the schism between the Marxists and the anarchists which remains to this day.

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2 volumes, octavo (214 x 132 mm). Recent red half morocco, spines lettered in gilt, marbled sides and endpapers.


Half-titles present. Some foxing, toning to initial and final leaves, a few very light dampstains, vol. I with paper repair at head of pp. 1 and 409 and small nick at fore edge of p. 389. A very good copy.


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