Mich "From Turgot’s freedom to labour to Jacobin socialism’s right to work"

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

15 février 2022

12h45 - 14h00

Teams & Doyen 21

Mardi intime de la Chaire Hoover par Pablo Scotto Benito

In 1776, Turgot abolishes the guilds in France in the name of the right to work, understood as the freedom of every individual to choose their profession. During the French Revolution, this right to earn a living through labour becomes the foundation of the new social pact: labour leads to property and property entitles to participate in public affairs as a citizen. Now, what about those who work but do not own property? In the Revolution itself, three different responses to this problem can be clearly distinguished: simply extending freedom to labour, generalising access to small property, subordinating property to the guarantee of the rights of all. During the July Monarchy, the same problem arises again, leading to the Revolution of 1848, which can be considered as the first historical example of the confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. At the legal level, this confrontation takes place, during the constitutional debate, between the right to property and the right to work, the latter understood no longer in Turgot’s sense, but with a socialist connotation.