Robespierre on Property

“The first social law is therefore the one that guarantees all members of society the means to live; all others are subordinate to that one; property was only instituted and guaranteed to cement it.  It is in order to live that we have property in the first case. It is not true that property can ever be in opposition with men’s subsistence.

“The aliments necessary to man are as sacred as life itself.  Everything essential to conserve life is property common to the whole of society.  Only the surplus can be individual property and left subject to the enterprise of merchants.  Any mercantile speculation that I make at the cost of the life of my like is not a traffic, but brigandage and fratricide.”

Maximillien Robespierre “The Incorruptible”, December 2, 1792.