Agrarian Jurisprudence [The Garden] || [Contents] || [Feedback] || [V&FT]

A Man and His Garden

One of the most significant periods in French history is the hundred years from 1780-1880. One of the most significant figures in this period, influencing French writers as well as men like Marx and Tolstoy, is Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.[1] He is called "one of the early leaders of French socialism"[2] as well as the father of modern Anarchism.[3] Proudhon is thus either unknown or dismissed by most Christians as a radical ("socialist") or a terrorist ("anarchist"). But if a "socialist" is one who denies individual liberties and affirms State ownership of property, then Proudhon was one of the most vigorous opponents of socialism in his century or ours.[4] And if "anarchist" means a bearded, bomb-throwing assassin,[5] then Proudhon was no anarchist.[6] It is unfortunate that Proudhon used the word "anarchist,"[7] because his non-violent, "philosophical anarchism" is nothing like the concept of "anarchism" held by most people, and this renders the term more confusing than useful.[8]

Proudhon's political philosophy might best be called "Familial Agrarianism." What mattered in life for P-J Proudhon was being close to his Family and close to the land. We would expect to find true Proudhonians not in the Paris riots of 1968,[9] but in such poets as Herbert Read[10] and the Agrarian movement that followed him.[11] To understand this brand of pastoral non-politics we must understand Proudhon's background.

Biographical Data: Family and Property

Seldom are the circumstances of a writer's early life more closely reflected than in the confused but ultimately consistent development of Proudhon's mind. His outlook . . . is rooted in the land."[12]

Proudhon grew up in the rural Jura mountains of France. As he would later recall, "till twelve my life was passed almost entirely in the country, in small rural tasks or herding cows."[13] "Since then, I have had to become civilized. But — dare I admit it? — the small amount of civilization I have acquired disgusts me."[14]

His strong family life was determinative of his theory of property. It is quite evident that Proudhon wanted all families to have their own plot of land which they could work; "that he wanted the disappearance of property on the over-large, over-extensive and improper scale; and that he wanted the retention of small property, the garden, the vine and the fig-tree."[15] The involvement of the State in economics favored the rich and brought about inequities; life in an industrialized State[16] could never compare to the simple life of a self-sufficient family. As he put it, "What are possessions in cash, stock in an agricultural or industrial enterprise, a National Debt Certificate, beside the infinite charm of being master of one's own house and fields, under one's Vine & Fig Tree?"[17] Proudhon's brand of non-politics "thus became a protest against the mass civilization of the industrial age."[18]

Proudhon's Source of Knowledge

How did Proudhon arrive at this position, and how did he justify it? Proudhon worked in his early years as a typesetter and proofreader. "He corrected proofs of ecclesiastical writers, the Fathers of the Church.[19] As they were printing a Bible, a Vulgate, he was led to compare the Latin with the original Hebrew. 'In this way,' says Saint Beuve, 'he learned Hebrew by himself . . . .'"[20] He was self-taught[21] and read many writers, but to most of them he acknowledges no debt. He told one of his associates, "My real masters, those who have caused fertile ideas to spring up in my mind, are three in number; first, the Bible; next, Adam Smith; and last, Hegel."[22] Proudhon would seem to be something of an ecclectic. What is so fascinating is his actual dependence upon the Bible, rather than the secular philosophers of his day.

Hegel His debt to Hegel was mostly rhetorical. Proudhon called himself "a man of paradoxes."[23] He delighted in countering the status quo with a bold and unrestrained denial of it, or by setting in opposition to the present system an equally indefensible (but perhaps popular) alternative. He would then call for or propose a synthesis of these opposing views or policies.[24] There is some resemblence here to Hegel's "Dialectical" method of reasoning. As a matter of fact, however, Proudhon never even read Hegel![25]

Adam Smith Although Proudhon agrees with much of the individualism of the liberal[26] economists like Ricardo, Say, and Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, he also has many disagreements. He quotes them frequently, but usually builds on dicta* to reach conclusions opposed to the point made by the economists. In the end, Proudhon sets the "free market" against the "government market," the liberals Smith and Say against the communists Saint-Simon and Fourier, and rejects both parties.[27]

The Bible But what of Proudhon's reliance on the Bible? It is of a different character than his reliance on Smith or Hegel. His inspiration from Adam Smith often came by way of objecting to or going beyond Smith. In his first Memoir on Property Proudhon never disagreed with the Bible. The Bible is used as a basis for criticism of the Institutional Church.[28] We should not hastily label Proudhon an evangelical Christian (!) but his use of the Bible to construct a socio-political perspective forces those in and out of the institutional church to re-evaluate their view of the Bible's role in Jurisprudence.

How to Use the Bible

Modern-day Christian conservatives will be the first to react negatively to Proudhon's use of the Scriptures. Proudhon accepts as authoritative those aspects of Biblical Law that are virtually universally rejected as "culturally determined," i.e., "relevant to more 'primitive cultures,' but inapplicable to more 'modern cultures,' such as our own."[29] We must agree with Proudhon, however, and assert that Scripture is culturally determinative, and not culturally determined. To assert otherwise is to make man the standard rather than God.[30]

Secularists, of course, do modern Christians one better. They explicitly reject the Scriptures as foundational to Law, Politics, and Economics. We must insist, however, that the Bible is not just appropriate as a "blueprint" for a healthy society, but is the only basis for law, order, and peace. Let us consider each of those three fields.

Agrarian Jurisprudence

Can the Bible be used as a source of legal reasoning? Past centuries of Jurisprudence would seem to indicate so. Great Jurists of the past have worked to base the law on divine principles.[31] Some have shown that accepted legal principles are in harmony with the Scriptures,[32] and thus a rejection of the Scriptures as authoritative would necessitate a rejection also of legal reasoning![30] Of course, there is no such thing as "legal reasoning." This is merely good reasoning applied in the field of law. But we all know that the foundation of all reason is God's order in the creation; no one can escape the ethical work of God's Law on his conscience.[33] Discard Providence (God's supernatural maintenance of order in the universe) and you have relativity (the evolutionary view of cosmic meaninglessness and random chance); discard God's Law and you have a moral free-for-all. We must insist that jurists abandon their futile efforts to suppress the facts of God's creation. The alternative is clearly God's Law or chaos.

Politics: The State versus the Family

P.J. Proudhon's use of the Bible to critique modern political systems is both Scriptural and (therefore!) unique. In our day most Christians who try to be "relevant" to the current political ideas, naively accept those ideas and then try to find Bible verses that "support" them: "See how smart God is? His Scriptures sometimes say things that agree with non-Christian politicians!" These verses are wrenched out of their context, and the message of the Bible as a whole is ignored.

Proudhon begins, as does the Bible, in a garden. We have already seen his reference to the Edenic imagery used throughout the Bible, and in particular, the references to every man sitting peacefully "under his vine and under his fig tree." We shall see more of this.

In the Garden of Eden, God created man male and female (Genesis 1:27). God thus established the Family as the basic unit of social organization. The Family was and is, for Proudhon, central to the prospering society.[34] "Anything that touched the sanctity of the family aroused his instinctive fury."[35] "He was scandalised by the attacks of some of the Saint-Simonians on the institutions of marriage and family life . . . ."[36]

As Proudhon rehearses Biblical history, he does not see the establishment of the State as a requirement of God's Law, but rather an attack on it and the Family. Proudhon sees the State as arising out of greed and a desire to plunder productive families. He refers to Biblical characters in whom we find the origin of the modern State and calls them robbers.[37] Thus, Nimrod left the Family and began "hunting" for men.[38] The "State" (in the case of Nimrod, Babylon[39]) arises as an effort to organize force to protect the selfishness of the few.[40] Land is appropriated from marginally-successful families, and instead of the conquerors working the land (agriculturally) they govern it (politically).[41] This entails the legal right to levy taxes on land, charge rent and interest for it, and to exercise the power of usufruct or escheat. These acts constitute "violence" and the violence is directed against farming families.[42] Inheritance taxes are the best example of such an attack on Family Property.[43] Certainly not in Nimrod, nor even in David do we have a justification for the existence of political power (the "State"), nor does Christ sanction those who would usurp family authority to provide political "benefits."[44]

"Property is Theft!" Economics as Stewardship

Understanding Proudhon's view of the Family (and not the State) as the source of a just and well-governed soceity helps us to understand Proudhon's doctrine of property. His most famous book on the subject, What is Property?, provided a paradoxical answer to the question: "Property is Theft!"[45] If Proudhon is known for nothing else, he is known for this slogan, and in that Proudhon is completely unknown. Conservative theologians, with a narcissistic interest in demonstrating their powers of "cultural critique" (that is, their ability to be politically "relevant"), have had a field day with Proudhon's rhetoric in general and this phrase in particular. Thus Hoar finds in Proudhon "an enemy of religion"[46] and an advocate of "Revolutionary Nihilism."[47] Chilton, in his vitriolic attack on Ronald Sider, picks up Hoar's lead and imputes to Proudhon an "envious, destructionist mentality."[48] All such attacks and misrepresentations are thoroughly unChrist-like, and are violations of the Ninth Commandment.

Property under Roman Law

Proudhon did not neglect to define his terms, and his use of the term "property" is not hidden: "[P]roperty is abused in many harmful ways; I call property the sum of these abuses exclusively."[49] Specifically, his definition of property is that of the Roman law, which "defined property as the right to use and abuse one's own within the limits of the law."[50] Roman Law gave complete power to dispose even of family members in any way the father chose, as his "property." Only those in certain classes were allowed to possess land, to use or abuse as served their evil desires; those in lower classes who might come to possess land would have that land confiscated, and it would become the "property" of the powerful. Of course, the ability of one man to destroy the lives of his family, his servants, or of the lower classes, is dependent upon an organized body of men who have adequate power to coerce others into docile acquiescence in the face of this brutality. That body was the Roman Empire, the civil state.

Moral Property

But what is legal under Roman law may not necessarily be moral under "Nature's Laws."[51] Proudhon simply advocates a doctrine of "stewardship" which emphasizes not the rights but the duties of property holders towards those who work for them and towards those who have no property of their own.[52] This is certainly the Biblical picture of property: it is a gift from above to be used according to His Law, not merely according to the wishes of selfish men. Instead of land being held as legal "property" by only a few, Proudhon (and the Bible) looks for a time when every Family possesses the means of serving others (Micah 4:4).

Family and Property

If Rushdoony is correct in seeing the Bible as defending property and the Family as a unit,[53] Proudhon held a Biblical view of property. Rushdoony emphasizes that property is not just an individual right, but a Family right.[54] Unlike many "free market" economists, "In Proudhon's thought the key position was held, not by (individual) 'association,' but by the Family. The Family and the individual were never separated in his mind: he thought of them as one and the same.[55] His attack on State-sanctioned abuse of property is always a "vindication of the family."[56]

Property as Family Strength

In his Theorie Nouvelle de la Propriete he returns at the end of his life to his earlier ideas, and regards property as "the greatest revolutionary effort in existence that can put up an opposition to power." "The State," he writes, "is . . . capable of wiping out everything around it if it is not given some counterweight. What is this counterweight to be? Where shall we find a power capable of counterbalancing this formidable might of the State? There is no other except property."[57]

The Future of the Family

How shall we assess Proudhon's view of society? Is the Family a sufficient source of order to prevent lawlessness? Can we do away with the State altogether? Is the State a sine qua non of a Biblical Jurisprudence?

1. Anarchy vs. Autarchy

By distinguishing "anarchy" from "autarchy," LeFevre has attempted to show that not all "anarchists" are lawless, but rather strive for moral "self-government."[58] Accepting this distinction, we may place Proudhon in the latter category (even though he called himself an "anarchist"). Proudhon rejected the prevailing "gospel of indulgence:"

"His personal life was one of austerity and purity of motives and action. Under no conditions would he allow sensuality or personal laxity of any sort to have their way with him in the guise of social emancipation. His moral and social philosophy is permeated by his reverence for the spiritual worth of men . . . ."[59]

Proudhon was an eloquent defender of a strong, agricultural "work ethic." "Proudhon's detestation of the Church came from his conviction that the Christians blasphemed life — by what he regarded as their . . . parasitic regard for work as a curse, when in fact it is a blessing."[60] His was "a world of spontaneous self-governing producers."[61]

2. Law, Order, and the Family

If men behaved as Proudhon thought they ought, would we need a State? Proudhon said no. Notable Christian theologians have said the same thing — at least in theory.[62] Some have hinted that the origin of the State is rooted in rebellion.[63] But no theologian, to my knowledge, has concluded with Proudhon that we should work for the elimination of the State. Why not? One reason is certainly a prevailing interpretation of Romans 13. Yet a growing body of expositors are concluding that while Romans 13 sees the State as an instrument of God's providential judgment against lawless, indulgent Christian families (to use Proudhon's thought[64]), it does not legitimate the actions of the State; we are commanded to pay the taxes levied by the State, but this command gives no one the right to become a politician and tax others.[65] By focusing our attention on Christian families and not the State, the importance of personal obedience and Godliness is stressed. Taking the concept of a State-less society as at least a "limiting concept" has much to recommend it; we cannot depend upon the State to make men moral or to heal the wounds of life.

3. The Family and the Spirit

But realistically, what are the chances that men in great numbers will obey divine law? What are the chances that men in their Families will become moral, productive, and charitable toward those without means? We believe this question is answered optimistically by the Scriptures, and we will conclude on that note. But let the reader note that it is the Scriptures that serve as a basis for law and for our optimism concerning the future. The mere opinions of men cannot help us ground our ideas on Truth.

In contrast to the socialists of his day, Proudhon was no optimist when it came to assessing the nature of man.[66] Thus, he distrusted all forms of human authority, and ridiculed the masses for their ignorance.[67] Nevertheless, Proudhon felt that "Justice must be realized on earth . . . ."[68] As one reviewer put it, "The state of things to be achieved is that where nobody commands and all obey."[69]

We appreciate Proudhon's desire for such self-empowerment, but he never speaks in Biblical terms of the need for regeneration and for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. His suggested "state of things to be achieved" ("where nobody commands and all obey") raises a critical question which can be answered by none save the Bible-believer: "Obey Whom?" We know from reading Proudhon that he wanted men to obey a code of ethics surprisingly like that of the Bible. But he never urged men to become wholeheartedly committed to the Bible as the infallible Word of God. Proudhon himself never explicitly said he had surrendered his life and thought to the Savior Who speaks in the Bible. Yes, he quoted the Bible frequently, and even accurately. But this "smorgasbord" approach to the Bible is not a Christian approach; you cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; 12:30). Man either surrenders himself entirely to the Word of God, or, by merely picking and choosing from the Bible, declares that he himself is god, and decides for himself what is right and what is wrong. He has succumbed to Satan's temptation to be as god, the ultimate judge of good and evil (Genesis 3:5). If there is no God to Whom we must unreservedly submit, and if every patriarch is his own god, by what standard shall we condemn, for example, his choice to kill weak offspring to strengthen his family line?[70] Proudhon criticises the "Sovereignty of the human will" in government, but then turns around and says "[W]e must ascertain under what conditions, judging by universal opinion and the progress of the human mind, government is just . . . ."[71] But Proudhon has already killed this goose; shall it now lay a golden egg? For all his superb critique of secular economics and a non-Christian state, Proudhon really has no answer to the problem of property as theft, because in his system man's word, not God's, is decisive. Without the power of the New Covenant, and the standard of God's Law in the Bible, how is Proudhon's just society possible? What makes a society a New Jerusalem and not a pagan Rome, with humanity "dying in blood and luxury?"[72]

Arbitrary ethics, State-defined justice, and every man his own god: these are the only alternatives to a Bible-centered world-and-life view.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:27)

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth,
and I will gather her that is driven out,
and her that I have afflicted;
And I will make her that halted a remnant,
and her that was cast far off a strong nation:
and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion
from henceforth, even for ever.

(Micah 4:1-5)

For further reading . . .

Why Proudhon's gentle anarchism was replaced by anarchism as a cult of violence
Proudhon and Anarchism
Proudhon's Libertarian Thought and the Anarchist Movement

by L. Gambone, Red Lion Press - 1996


(1) 22 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph 489, 489 (1911). Proudhon and Marx corresponded for some time, and Marx called his What is Property? a "penetrating work" and "the first decisive, vigorous, and scientific examination" of property. Marx and Proudhon later became bitter enemies G. Woodcock, Anarchism 113 (1962) "Tolstoy was impressed by his writings and absorbed the Proudhonian criticisms of property and government into his non-violent anarchism, while his War and Peace owed not only its title but also a great deal of its theory of war and of the nature of leadership to Proudhon's book of the same name." G. Woodcock, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: A Biography 278 (1956).

(2) R.B. Downs, Molders of the Modern Mind 241 (1961). See also 10 New Cambridge Modern History 752 (1967) (Listed as "socialist").

(3) A. Noland, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: Socialist as Social Scientist, 26 Am. J. of Econ. & Soc. 313 (1967).

(4) H. Marshall, The Great Economists 147 (1967).See also E. Faguet, Politicians and Moralists of the Nineteenth Century 119 (1928) (Proudhon "despises one after another the whole crowd of revolutionaries; . . . all the socialist systems are ruined by him with a power and perfection of clarity and logic from which nothing can be hoped.")

(5) as in R. Suskind, By Bullet, Bomb, and Dagger: The Story of Anarchism (1971), W. Hoar, Anarchists: An Historical Review of Revolutionary Nihilism, 23 AMERICAN OPINION 21 (1980), and W. Powell, The Anarchist Cookbook (1971). Compare P. Kropotkin, 1 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA Anarchism 914, 916-17 n.1 (1911) ("[T]he term 'Anarchist' is inevitably rather loosely used in public . . .").

(6) E.g., 1 DICTIONARY OF THE HIST. OF IDEAS, Anarchism 70, 72 (1973). See also M. Allen, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in the Revolution of 1848, J. of Mod. Hist. 1, 7 (1952) (Violence would not hasten success; it "destroyed unity and made of the people a 'multitude, ignorant of its right and of one another.'").

(7) P. Proudhon, What is Property? 272 (B. Tucker, trans. 1890) (1st ed. Paris 1840).

(8) 2 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SOC. SCIENCES. Anarchism 46 (1968).

(9) Contra G. Woodcock, Misreading Radical History, 63 THE NEW LEADER 22 (1980).

(10) H. Read, "Poetry and Anarchy" in Anarchy and Order 27 (1954).

(11) A. Tate, Foreword to H. Read, Selected Writings 11 (1964) (Refers to Twelve Southerers, I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition (1930)).

(12) J. Bowle, Poltics and Opinion in the Nineteenth Century 152 (1964).

(13) Id.

(14) Faguet, above note 4, at 114.

(15) Id. at 148.

(16) or "public economy." P. Proudhon, above note 7, at 207.

(17) Faguet, above note 4, at 147. The allusion is to Micah 4:1-5.

(18) E. H. Carr, Studies in Revolution 49 (1962).

(19) See generally, G. Woodcock, Anarchism 111 (1962) ("[A]s he proofread the effusive apologetics of the local clergy, Proudhon found himself slowly converted to atheism by the ineptitude of their defense of Christianity.") This "atheism" was only with respect to the god of the institutional church.

(20) J. Langlois, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: His Life and His Works in Proudhon, above note 7, at xviii.

(21) R. Hoffman, Revolutionary Justice 14, 27 (1972).

(22) Langlois, above note 20, at xxi.

(23) Quoted in Carr, above note 18, at 38. Woodcock uses this phrase to charcterize Proudhon in his chapter on him in Anarchism, above note 1, at 106-44.

(24) See G. Woodcock, Proudhon, 6 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILO., Paul Edwards, Ed., 507, 507 (1967) ("Proudhon, at this stage under the influence of Hegelian ideas imperfectly absorbed from French reviews, created a triad. The thesis is property, which destroys equality; the antithesis is communism, which denies independence; the synthesis is anarchy or liberty, which is embodied in a society of producers bound together by a network of free contracts.")

(25) R. Hoffman, above note 21, at 90. For Proudhon's later use of Hegel, see Woodcock, above note 24, at 508. Much of what he knew of Hegel he rejected. A. Ritter, The Political Thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon 57-61 (1969).

(26) "Liberal" used in the 19th century sense of "pro-liberty."

* "Dicta" — statements not essential to the conclusion drawn by the author.

(27) R. Hoffman, above note 21, at 67.

(28) "To restore religion, gentlemen, it is necessary to condemn the Church." Proudhon, above note 7, at 4. "Proudhon was never a true atheist." Woodcock, above note 19 at 123. Proudhon holds that God is the source of justice (Proudhon, above note 7, at 26) and property (Id. at 89); his argument against the theologians is over the content of justice and the need to work for its implementation in society (Faguet, above note 4, at 133-34). Accordingly, he viewed the churchmen as having constructed a god in their own image. Proudhon, above note 7, at 23.

(29) For example, usury and debt legislation. An agrarian economy such as Israel's could live without extensive debt and credit. But, we are told, debt and interest cannot be prohibited in an industrial economy such as ours because our businesses are so heavily dependent upon debt for rapid growth. The moral question-begging seems clear enough. Compare Anderson, ed. 1 Calvin's Commentary on the Book of Psalms, at 15:5 (1981) (1845) (Assertion that anti-debt laws were designed to prevent Israel from becoming a commercial economy like neighboring nations) and Proudhon, above note 7, at 27-30, 265 n.1 (Discussion of Church's evasion of strong Biblical condemnation of interest) with D. Chilton, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators 48 (1st ed. 1981) (Justifies taking of interest or indebtedness in the name of state-sanctioned industrialism).

(30) K. Schilder, Christ and Culture, passim (1977). See generally, R. Rushdoony, By What Standard, (1958) and The Word of Flux (1975) (Author argues that the history of secular philosophy reveals that without the presupposition of the God of Scripture and His revelation to us in the Bible, no knowledge is possible. Rushdoony points out that "the basic question of epistemology is this: Is knowledge possible? Modern man in inclined to answer dogmatically, 'I know what I know!' The philosophical skeptic (answers) 'All you know is yourself, the I, so that, when you say, I know what I know, you know that you have ideas and sense impressions, and you are aware of the content of your mind. How do you know anything more than that?'" The author points out that man, having dispensed with a God who is beyond flux (Malachi 3:6) has made "himself his own ultimate starting point, [and] is unable to know anything but himself." In By What Standard? Rushdoony argues that man, by setting up his own mind as the standard of truth, has destroyed the possibility of truth. Modern secular claims to have a meaningful philosophy of life are false. Says Rushdoony, "The emperor has no clothes!" See also C. Van Til, A Christian Theory of Knowledge (1969) and A Survey of Christian Epistemology (1977). (Rushdoony relies heavily on Van Til)).

(31) See the readings in Jurisprudence 317-497 (J. Montgomery ed. 1974).

(30) S. Greenleaf, The Testimony of the Evangelists, in The Law Above the Law 91-140 (J. Montgomery ed. 1975), E. Bennett, The Four Gospels from a Lawyer's Standpoint, 1 SIMON GREENLEAF L. REV. 15, (1981-82). (Greenleaf, Dane Professor at Harvard Law School, was the greatest American authority on common law evidence in the 19th century.)

(33) Psalm 19:1-4, Romans 1:18-2:15. Cf. Proudhon, above note 7, at 15. ("All men in their hearts, I say, bear witness to these truths; they need only to be made to understand it.").

(34) J. Burrow, The Anarchists (who are with us again), 11 HORIZON 33, 35 (1969).

(35) Carr, above note 18, at 40.

(36) G.D.H. Cole, 1 A Hist. of Socialist Thought 205 (1959). See also Proudhon, above note 7, at 282 ("We need to love our wives and children. It is our duty to protect and support them. . . . Conjugal fidelity is justice. Adultery is high treason against society").

(37) Proudhon, above note 7, at 263. Compare Augustine The City of God, IV:4 ("If justice be taken away, what are governments but great bands of robbers?").

(38) Id. See generally, J. Ellul, The Meaning of the City 10-23 (1970). The Biblical reference is Genesis 10:8-12.

(39) Proudhon, above note 7, at 248. The Bible refers to Babylon, Assyria, and the other nations founded by Nimrod as the land of Nimrod long after his death (e.g., Micah 5:6).

(40) Id. at 75-76. See also James Benjamin Green, A Harmony of the Westminster Standards 181 (1976) ("It is not meant that God directly ordained the state by saying to man, Thou shalt set up a government or organize a commonwealth.") Proudhon's view of the State is nearly always tied to property; compare, Proudhon, The Principle of Federation 34 (R. Vernon trans. 1979) (1st ed. Paris 1863) ("[T]he authoritarian, paternal, monarchic regime is more distant from its ideal to the extent that the family, tribe, or city expands in population and territory: the more extensive authority is, the more intolerable it becomes") with F. Willeson, The Yalid in Hebrew Society, 12 STUDIA THEOLOGICA 192-210 (1958) (Estimates that Abram's household in Genesis 14:14 numbered near 12,000 people).

(41) Proudhon, above note 7, at 154.

(42) Id. at 82.

(43) Carr, above note 18, at 41.

(44) Luke 22:24-27. As we have seen, Proudhon opposed violence. See also, 2 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOC. SCI. Anarchism 46, 48 (1968). It is possible he might have reacted favorably to the Biblical commands to submit to unjust taxation, etc., by the state (E.g., Matthew 22:19-21). "In one of his later books (Du principe federatif, 1863 [above note 40]) he admitted that a total elimination of the state could not be achieved in any conceiveable future, and that the main claim of Anarchism, therefore, should be restricted to the reduction of the compulsory functions of the state, as far as possible, by a growing decentralization and by a fostering of independent group life." 2 Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences Anarchism 46, 48 (1968). Mark 10:42-43 lends credence to Proudhon's use of the term "anarchist," where the word "rule" (v. 42) is the Greek word from which our word "anarchist" is derived.

(45) Proudhon, above note 7, at 11.

(46) Hoar, above note 5, at 23.

(47) Id. at 21. But see, Woodcock, 1 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILO. Anarchism 111, 112 (1967) ("In fact, Anarchism, which is based on faith in Natural Law and justice, stands at the opposite pole to nihilism, which denies all moral laws").

(48) D. Chilton, above note 29, at 117.

(49) Proudhon, above note 7, at 9 (his emphasis).

(50) Id. at 42.

(51) Id. at 62. see also ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SOC. SCI., Anarchism 46, 48 (1968) (Proudhon's "anarchy was not a contempt of laws but an almost religious attachment to eternal laws").

(52) Id. at 113-118. Proudhon espoused a form of labor theory economics, but it is sufficiently different from Marxist surplus-value theory that analysis of it is beyond the scope of this paper.

(53) R. Rushdoony, Law and Liberty 64 (1971) ("Biblical law protected the family and property as an essential unit.") See also, Id. at 73. ("And, as H. B. Clark, a law editor, stated in his study of Biblical Law, 'There is nothing in Jewish law to warrant the belief that the King or the State has any right to inherit property upon the death of the owner without lawful heirs.' The control of property and inheritance is entirely within the jurisdiction of the family in Biblical law").

(54) See his discussion in Institutes of Biblical Law 161-64, 174 (1973).

(55) G.D.H. Cole, above note 36, at 205.

(56) J. Bowle, above note 12, at 159.

(57) C. Gide and C. Rist, A Hist. of Econ. Doctrines 328 (1947).

(58) R. LeFevre, Autarchy versus Anarchy (1965). See also Proudhon, above note 7, at 272: "Although a firm friend of order, I am (in the full force of the term) an anarchist."

(59) R. Tsanoff, The Moral Ideas of our Civilization 483 (1942).

(60) J. Bowle, above note 12, at 153-54.

(61) Id. at 155. See also G.D.H. Cole, above note 36, at 202 (Quoting Proudhon, "The ideal republic is a positive anarchy. It is neither liberty subordinated to order, as in a constitutional monarchy, nor liberty imprisoned in order. [L]iberty is not the daughter but the mother of order."

(62) See W. Balke, Calvin and the Anabaptist Radicals 63 (1981). Calvin "is willing to grant that civil order would be superfluous if everyone were already perfect," but unwilling to grant that possibility (see his Institutes of the Christian Religion IV.20.2.) Luther similarly grants that the necessity for the State is contingent upon the obedience of the people: "[I]f all were Christians and followed the Gospel, there would be no more necessity or use for the civil sword and the exercising of authority...." M. Luther, Commentary on Peter and Jude quoted in A Compend of Luther's Theology 216 (H. Kerr ed. 1963). "But since it is not to be expected that all of us should be righteous, Christ has ordained magistracy for the wicked, that they may rule as they must be ruled. But the righteous He keeps for Himself, and rules them by His mere word." Id. The extent of the State would appear to be dependent upon the extent of the prosperity of the preaching of the Gospel, and the work of the Spirit in the hearts of men.

(63) See note 38 above.

(64) On Proudhon's notion of the State as "the scourge of God," see R. Taylor, 1 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF REL. AND ETHICS Anarchism 419, 420 (19..) (J. Hastings ed.).

(65) Among these writers are J. Yoder, The Politics of Jesus (1972) Anarchism can be traced back to Hussite and Anabaptist reformers. 1 ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA Anarchism 861 (1967).

(66) "Instead of seeking the cause of the evil in his mind and heart, man blames his masters, his rivals, his neighbors, and himself. . . ." (Proudhon, above note 7, at 21.) Proudhon attacked "believers in infinite perfectability" Id. at 24, and is especially critical of Rousseau. See Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century 121 (J. Robinson trans. 1969). For this reason he was distrustful of the masses and opposed Democratic movements. L. Spear, Pierre Joseph Proudhon and the Myth of Universal Sufferage, 10 CANADIAN J. OF HIST. 295 (1975). His descriptive criticisms of the moral decline of Rome are particularly telling. E.g., Proudhon, above note 7, at 27-28.

(67) Proudhon, above note 7, at 5. See also id. at 103 (The legislators are "influenced by public opinion, enslaved by the popular religion . . . ."). The results of this for any doctrine of Natural Law should be evident, forcing one to explicit reliance on the objective standards of the Bible. Proudhon senses the implications: "Let us not be deceived: the opinion of all nations may serve to authenticate the perception of a fact, the vague sentiment of a law; it can teach us nothing about either fact or law. The consent of mankind is an indication of Nature; not, as Cicero says, a law of Nature." Id. But, in spite of praiseworthy applications of Biblical Law at times, he refrains from wholehearted and rigorous commitment to the Scriptures.

(68) E. Faguet, above note 4, at 134.

(69) Id., at 135.

(70) K. Craig, Social Apologetics, 1 CHRISTIANITY AND CIVILIZATION 47-50 (1982).

(71) Proudhon, above note 7, at 37.

(72) Id. at 28.

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