Page:Peter Alexeivitch Kropotkin - Expropriation.djvu/34

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Freedom Pamphets.

A district, though it were as small as the departments of the Seine and the Seine-et-Oise, and with so great a city as Paris to feed, would be practically sufficient to fill the gaps which the Revolution had made around it.

The combination of agriculture and industry, the husbandman and the mechanic one and the same individual—this is what Anarchist Communism will inevitably lead us to, if it starts fair with expropriation.

Let the Revolution only get so far, and famine is not the enemy it will have to fear. No, the danger which will menace it lies in timidity, prejudice, and half-measures. The danger is where Danton saw it when he cried to France: "Be bold, be bold, and yet again, be bold!" The bold thought first, and the bold deed will not fail to follow.


Those who have watched at all closely the growth of certain ideas among the workers must have noticed that on one momentous question—the housing of the people, namely—a unanimous conclusion has been insensibly arrived at. It is a known fact that in the large towns of France, and in many of the smaller ones also, the workers are coming gradually to the conclusion that dwelling houses are in no sense the property of those whom the State recognises as their owners.

This idea has evolved naturally in the minds of the people, and nothing will ever convince them again that the "rights of property" ought to extend to houses.

The house was not built by its owner. It was erected, decorated and furnished by innumerable workers, in the timber yard, the brick field, iind the workshop, toiling for dear life at an inadequate wage.

The money spent by the owner was not the product of his own toil. It was amassed, like all other riches, by paying the workers two-thirds or only a half of what was their due.

Moreover—and it is here that the enormity of the whole proceeding becomes most glaring—the house owes its actual value to the profit which the owner can make out of it. Now, this profit results from the fact that his house is built in a town possessing bridges, quays and fine public buildings, and affording to its inhabitants a thousand comforts and conveniences unknown in villages; a town paved and lighted with gas, in regular communication with other towns, and itself a centre of industry, commerce, science and art; a town which the work of twenty or thirty generations has gone to render habitable, healthy and beautiful.