Introducing, at long last! LeftLiberty and the New Proudhon Library!

I took versions of LeftLiberty 1 and the new translation of The Philosophy of Progress to the San Francisco Bay Area Bookfair, but there wasn’t time to put together covers and do the web support for distribution. Over the next couple of days, I’ll be updating the site, launching Corvus Distribution, revising all of my current pamphlets, and making sure things are listed at Invisible Molotov. But sufficient unto the day its little list of milestones, and today I’m very pleased to announce that, at long last, both LeftLiberty and the New Proudhon Library are realities, with first entries in both series available for download. Completing the translation of The Philosophy of Progress only takes care of about 100 pages out of the 10,000 or so that remain untranslated in Proudhon’s collected works, but it’s been a long time since any real headway was made. John Beverly Robinson’s translation of The General Idea of the Revolution was published in 1923, and there does not seem to have been a complete book-length translation into English published since then. We already have more than 750 pages in one stage or another of completion at Collective Reason, and much of that is Proudhon’s mature work. But, right now, I’m going to revel just a bit in getting Benjamin R. Tucker’s project of a Proudhon Library started again.

The first issue of LeftLiberty turned into a bit of an olio of material that has appeared here and there before, together with notes on the Proudhon text. Longtime readers of my blogs will find a lot that is familiar, but in the new context of a more systematic exploration of mutualism. My hope is that each issue will clarify a bit more what was at stake, historically, in the movement, and what it has to offer contemporary anarchists. There has been no way to avoid including some potentially obscure and difficult texts, and some material which draws on traditions that are almost entirely forgotten now. I hope readers will approach those texts with a healthy curiosity, and withhold judgment for a little while, as the contexts become gradually clearer. Anyway, here they are:

The second issue of LeftLiberty will be “A Doctrine of Life and Humanity,” and it will be accompanied by new reprints from William B. Greene and new translations from Proudhon and Pierre Leroux. The third is most likely to be “The General Idea of Revolution,” with translations from Proudhon and Anselme Bellegarrigue.

UPDATE: Several readers asked for non-pamphlet versions of these releases. Now, as I told Neverfox, I’m fairly certain that these are the kinds of things that require a little tree-killing, and probably a coffee- or whiskey-stain or three, before you’re likely to really take them in, but for those who want or need to skip those more satisfying steps, here are some conventionally formatted pdfs:

I’m already at work on issue 2, which will feature a general article on “How to Read Weird, Old Stuff,” and pick up some loose threads from this issue, but if there is anything you would like me to clarify from the first releases, please let me know.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.


  1. thanks, finally it’s on… I still haven’t read Philosophy of Progress, by now I’m starting my college monograph/book about the Austrian Business Cycle Theory…

    But I’m glad you’re going to provide a clearer explanation of mutualism through left-liberty, since what I have in mind is later on to compare mutualist thought and Austrian thought (and maybe Selgin’s free-banking tehory), seeing points of convergence and disagreement…

    keep up the goos work!

  2. This is great. I find myself drawn towards mutualism, at the very least as a source of ideas.

    Would it be possible to publish a pdf with one page per side? (or even better the source).
    Its really difficult to read online or on an ebook reader as it stands.

  3. Hey Shawn,

    If you send me the .pdfs I’ll get them uploaded to Invisible Molotov post haste.

  4. It was good to meet you briefly at the SF Book Fair.Congratulations on your work.It is a major and mnecessary contribution to anti-authoritarian scholarship.
    Do you have a mailing address?
    All the best
    Barry from the Kate Sharpley Library

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