"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
Who then shall determine the capacity [in a communist or socialist society]? Who shall be the judge of the needs?
You say that my capacity is 100: I maintain that it is only 90. You add that my needs are 90: I affirm that they are 100. There is a difference between us of twenty upon needs and capacity. It is, in other words, the well-known debate between demand and supply. Who shall judge between the society and me?
If the society persists, despite my protests, I resign from it, and that is all there is to it. The society comes to an end from lack of associates.
If, having recourse to force, the society undertakes to compel me; if it demands from me sacrifice and devotion, I say to it: Hypocrite! you promised to deliver me from being plundered by capital and power; and now, in the name of equality and fraternity, in your turn, you plunder me. Formerly, in order to rob me, they exaggerated my capacity and minimized my needs. They said that products cost me so little, that I needed so little to live! You are doing the same thing. What difference is there then between fraternity and the wage system? —Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.