Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon, (1809-1865) French mutualist political philosopher

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Quote

β€œTo be GOVERNED is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so...
To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon
~ Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

The General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century, 1851

Ratings and Comments

John Galt, Roseburg, Oregon

AWESOME and TRUE. 'Nuff said!!!

Logan, Memphis, TN

WOW! Mike from Norwalk, I think this guy may have you beat on your list of "victimless crimes, licenses, etc."

Mike, Norwalk

lol Logan, I like it. I didn't know how to rate this quote; 5 stars for the tongue in cheek support of Woffler World's utopia or; thumbs down for the application - in fact and reality. I gave it 5 stars because it beat my list for what's right with Amerika. ;-)

jim k, austin

A perfect description of government, a fantastic quote.

J Carlton, Calgary

Wow!...And THAT'S what its all about....

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I give it five for comedy. This sounds like the way life was with mom and dad. This guy was born too early. He would have loved to be part of the MOVE group in Philadelphia where they crapped on the floor, lived with rats and other animals, refused to bathe etc. If we did away with his list of things we would be a nation of Mexicans, radical muslims and drug dealers etcetera. It amases me on how you knucle walkers can ignore the benefits of all of that stuff. We are the way we are with government rules and regualations because that is the way we want to be. DON'T SELF DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST COPS!

jim k, austin

Waffler, you get 5 stars for lunacy.

BWG, Cape Coral

Gee, sounds like he was describing the current state of Federal government control and oversight in the United States! Does anyone really believe that the Federal Bureaucracy is trying to help you? The elected officials just want to perpetuate themselves in office while the appointees and professional bureaucrats just want to assemble power bases to protect their spheres of influence. The Federal government controls all and has unlimited resources to prosecute/persecute any who oppose them. So, while we may have freedom of speech, but tick off the wrong government official and the IRS, ATF, FBI, Fed Trade Commission, Fed Human Rights Commission, Congressional Inquiry/Investigation, and any combination of other bureaucratic appointed (not elected) federal officials can bring such weight to bear that you can't afford to defend against them. Couple that with "appointed" Federal Judges (ask the two border patrol agents sitting in prison because the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a conviction that should never have happened)who can silence you and incarcerate you. The media cronies can make you disappear by giving no coverage of any Federal proceedings. We may have freedom of religion, but the Federal government can dictate where we can practice our faith. No prayer at football games, in schools, etc. No 10 Commandments allowed in a courtroom, etc. No religious displays allowed on government property--even though technically "WE THE PEOPLE" own that property. We still have the right to bear arms; but even that is only still around by a very thin thread (a 5 to 4 decision in the Supreme Court). Give a true left wing socialist the opportunity to appoint a couple more justices (as the next President will likely do) and that "right" may become severely limited and controlled by Big Brother Federal Government. It will be very difficult to change what has become institutionalized. It will take years of vigilance, promoting people of integrity into political positions and voting out the "old guard" corrupt politicians. That's what they count on. They know that as long as they keep the majority of the people either pacified or apathetic, they'll have no opposition to continuing and expanding their control. I think we have to begin at the local levels as well as the Federal level. We all have to select and elect only those candidates that have the integrity to do what's right--not what's "politically correct" at all levels; from city council through County Commission, to State officials. Clean our own houses and at the same time begin putting more pressure on Washington. The Senators and Congressmen "might" start receiving the message if they begin to see us throwing out the crooks at the lower levels. Being "politicians" that may give us all the desired effect of finally having elected officials do what we sent them there to do. If the message doesn't get through, then we need to vote them out too. By then we may have grown dependable, experienced candidates from the grass roots level to be able to go to Washington and exert the people's will--not the appointed bureaucrat's will. Like everything else in this world, power follows money. As long as the Federal Government can arbitrarily redistribute our wealth through taxation, we will NEVER regain our power. Between Congress using pork projects to buy votes to the IRS setting and interpreting/enforcing the tax code rules, we are at their mercy. Doom and Gloom? No. Our forefathers faced a greater power than that. They had NO vote, NO representation. They had to fight in a different way. We do have a vote and we can control who we choose to represent us. It may take a long time, but we can turn things around. We really need to get serious about scraping the current tax code. It's become so ridiculous that its smoke and mirrors with the politicians and lawyers being the magicians. 1. We should demand that Congress live within "our" means! Balanced Budgets! No Deficit Spending! No more robbing Peter to pay Paul (e.g. the Social Security System). If "WE" cannot "afford" to pay for programs, then sorry but they don't get funded! The Federal Government should start by getting back to basics--Protect and Defend our Constitution, Protect and Defend our Citizens! Once we ensure that is adequately funded, we need to only let the Federal Government control those things that can promote safety (such as Air Traffic Control, Highway Safety Commission, etc) of the citizenry. Most of the "other " programs should be done at the STATE level where the PEOPLE of that state decide what they are willing to pay for. It shouldn't be the financial burden of Floridians to educate children in California, etc. Well, I've gone on too long. I would encourage you to read books such as "Fair Tax" by Neil Boortz, and the latest book by Newt Gingrich. Larry Elders, the radio personality, from California has also written an insightful book titled "Showdown". Have a great FREE day! God Bless America and Keep Us FREE! Bill

Crystal, PA

Wow you are correct, BWG, that is the most justified thing said all year. You should get an award. And Waffler, stop contradicting your self. It's getting really old, Mr. Democrat, you know what I say about them, that they are what they stand for, and you get a symbol, of an ass. Well we all need to do something about thing about this corrupt gov. FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!!!!

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

You are on the right track BWG, voting them out at every level is the right approach. Many on this site think guns are the way to change corrupt government. I don't. I agree with you that it is the vote. Persuasion at the point of a gun is not freedom. Thanks Crystal, I appreciate that you read my stuff, would appreciate what you think was a contradiction. Hey y'all DON'T POINT GUNS AT COPS!

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

The fact that this guy wrote this in 1851 about government in France would seem to say that we today are not all that bad off with government in the US. At least we are no worse than was government 150 years ago. This quote says to those that think that government in the US especially the Feds have arrived at an advanced stage of total corruption are wrong. Things are no worse than they were in 1851. Further it shows a basic human foible to always be against that which is outside of oneself. And the further the governing authority the more we dislike it. On the other hand for some the further we grow as individuals from childhood to young adults, middle age to seniors they more wisdom we gain about the interactive and interdependent nature of the world around us and our relationship to it. BWG kids education is financed substantially by local taxes, 2d. by state taxes and 3rd. by Federal Taxes, I believe the Feds account for about 10%. So Florida is not educating California kids to any great extent.

Ken, milford pa

I don't believe that I saw a single quote on these blogs where someone said that guns and or violence is the way to change corrupt government. I myself, as well as others stated, that a well armed public is the surest way to prevent government from being corrupt, and needing change. Please be honest on this site, and stop the untruths and name calling. That does not promote the peace that you espouse to adhere to. Now let's make our points like men. We can agree to disagree, but at the same time we should respect each other's opinions. That is what freedom of speech is all about, that is American.

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RobertSRQ    7/31/08

What a Thesaurus

E Archer, NYC

Proudhon has got it down to a tee! Thanks, BWG, I share your sentiments (it doesn't matter what Waffler thinks -- he can twist Freedom into Servitude, Ignorance into Knowledge, and Love into Damnation). Remember, 'self-governing' is not relinquishing one's power to an elected body -- the elected body has but a few limited services to provide -- WE must still govern ourselves individually (that does not mean commanding others). We get to decide what careers to pursue, what to eat, where to live, HOW to live, who to like, who to trust, who to give to, when we must fight, when we must compromise, and utlimately bear the consequences of those choices. Leaving it all up to a parental government results in 'being governed' not self-governing.

Evan Knudsen, Aarhus

It has a hypnotic quality

J Carlton, Calgary

And it starts with "conditioning" the children. Check out this piece and the commentary from MSNBC...They're not "your" children they're "our" children...Hitler would be so proud of MSNBC.

J Carlton, Calgary


Carol Dorrough, Estero, Florida

The problem with Government: it's like being pregnant, you can't be "a little bit" pregnant. If you decide to have "a little bit" of Government, you have sown the seed and will reap the inevitable overwhelming results.

jim k, Austin, Tx

A perfect description of government. There is no such thing as "good government", just some less abusive and oppressive than others. Like comparing a minimum security prison to a maximum security prison.

Matthew, FEMA Region IX

When you put it like that, how could anyone NOT want some oppressive parasitic-class sucking their blood?!

Ronw13, USA

When being made as the masses are today to suck the big tit, voting out the corruption never comes does it ! Only growing with contempt by one side of voters, the other side ever growing through immigration and their vote to perpetuate socialism. For a piece of bread, man will sell his children's Liberty and Freedom by way of a democratic process, throwing the Declaration and Constitution out the window. ! " The prevading evil of democracy is TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY, or rather of the party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by Force or Fraud, in carrying elections. The Strong man with the dagger is followed by the Weak man with the sponge. THE ISSUE which has swept down the Centuries and Which Will Have to be Fought, Sooner or Later IS THE PEOPLE VERSES THE BANKS ! " Lord Acton

E Archer, NYC

Frankly, I have never understood the desire to rule, but apparently, it's a thing. ;-)  It just goes to show, that freedom-lovers cannot rest on their laurels β€” we will forever have to defend ourselves against the authoritarians who have an insatiable desire for power.  It is hard for us to understand a person who 'gets off' on power over others, but the C19 pandemic has shown the true colors of our 'governors.'  Have no doubt, they mean to govern and to dictate β€” they love it.  How can we keep these hard-ons from public office?

We need stewards of the Republic, not power-seekers.  

E Archer, NYC

Hey, Fred, THIS is socialism in its current form.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

To be governed is to guided by a warm, kind, and gentle strong parental force that demonstrates the advanced traits of honor, truth, integrity, dignity, and perseverance. This force is an example of moral responsibility and the human developmental processes of life.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Correction: To be governed is to be guided by a warm, kind, and gentle strong parental force that demonstrates the advanced traits of honor, truth, integrity, dignity, and perseverance. This force is an example of moral responsibility and the human developmental processes of life.

Mike, Norwalk

Sillik, to call your last comment a "LIE ! ! !" is no where near strong enough. Your entire concept is nothing less than a heinous enslavement of a once noble sovereign!

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
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Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Mike, Norwalk 9/20/22

Mike Norwalk: I'm just saying we don't have a government in the true sense. We have an arrangement of out of control juvenile delinquents in the titled positions of our institutions and businesses and a mature adult approach would be the welcomed government we mental healthy people would certainly appreciate.


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