Lapas attēli

already been adverted to; and, in the case of Spain, it was certainly not the numerical loss of people occasioned by the expulsion of the Moors, but the industry and capital thus expelled, which permanently injured her population."

And again, there occurs the following passage, replete with important matter:-"The fact is, that, as no country has ever reached, or probably ever will reach, its highest possible acme of produce, it appears always as if the want of industry, or the ill direction of that industry, was the actual limit to a further increase of produce and population, and not the absolute refusal of nature to yield any more."” †

Again: "I can easily conceive that this country, with a proper direction of the national industry, might, in the course of some centuries, contain two or three times its present population, and yet every man in the kingdom be much better fed and clothed than he is at present."‡

I should adduce many more passages of similar import to those now quoted, if I did not feel certain that these are of a character so strong as to destroy all doubt of the quarter whence the great evil, whose course we are tracing, derives its origin, namely, from the misappropriation by man of the matter furnished for him: and it will be allowed by every reflecting and logical reasoner, that it would be entirely out of course to argue upon, or even to make allusion to, deficient provision, until we shall, in the first instance, have established the proof of due and just appropriation.

After perusing the foregoing passages, and then bringing the mind to weigh well the entire matter of evidence which the works contain, it is with the utmost astonishment that I find

* An Essay on the Principle of Population, by T. R. Malthus, A.M., book 3, ch. xiv. pp. 25, 26.

† Ibid. ch. xiv. p. 57. Ibid. book 4, ch. iv.



the author adopting conclusions imputing the social disorganisation of man to the laws of moral and physical necessity. Thus, in the 3rd book, there is this:

"And thus it appears that a society, constituted according to the most beautiful form that imagination can conceive, with benevolence for its moving principle instead of self-love, and with every evil disposition in all its members corrected by reason, not force, would, from the INEVITABLE laws of nature, and not from any fault in human institutions, degenerate, in a very short period, into a society constructed upon a plan not essentially different from that which prevails in every known state at present- --a society divided into a class of proprietors and a class of labourers, and with self-love for the main spring of the great machine.” *

And again, in the 4th book, when treating on the natural rights of man, there is the following passage :

"What these rights are, it is not my business at present to explain; but there is one right which man has generally been thought to possess, which I am confident he neither does nor can possess a right to subsistence when his labour will not fairly purchase it. Our laws indeed say that he has this right, and bind the society to furnish employment and food to those who cannot get them in the regular market; but, in so doing, they attempt to reverse the laws of nature, and it is in consequence to be expected, not only that they should fail in their object, but that the poor, who were intended to be benefited, should suffer most cruelly from the inhuman deceit thus practised upon them."†

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The two passages just adduced, contain matter of as much importance to the moral and physical state of the human

* An Essay on the Principle of Population, by T. R. Malthus, A.M., book 3, ch. ii. p. 268.

† Ibid. book 4, ch. vi.

p. 154.

race as the mind of man can conceive. In the last, wherein all provision is denied to those who cannot find demand for their labour, the author declares that he is confident in the judgment which he pronounces. Now I have shown, by the foregoing series of evidence, that the entire train of his reasoning is defective. I have instanced repeated admissions from himself, that he advances, in his attempts to elucidate the science, amidst a mass of difficulties, perplexities, and doubts. Notwithstanding which, he declares that he is confident in the truth of the great, the all-important, and the appalling conclusion which he here promulgates. If I had no other evidence to adduce against such a conclusion than one passage in his own works, yet this one alone would be amply sufficient for annulling it. It is in that part of his work on Political Economy, which I have before quoted, where, amidst a number of important propositions admitted to be unelucidated, this one occurs,- "The causes which determine the wages of labour." If he has not been able to discover the causes which determine the wages of labour, it is evident that he cannot have found out that man has no right to subsistence if his labour will not purchase it.

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To try the proposition by another argument.



- the right to enjoy which in the absence of certain circumstances is by this judgment denied, is affected by the greater or smaller amount of exchangeable commodities which is circulated or diffused amongst a community of people. These commodities are all comprised under the general term, capital. Now, upon no other subject whatever has so much distraction prevailed in the counsels, and so much contrariety in the enactments of states, as upon the laws of the formation of capital. With regard to them two opposite principles, both called theories, have been and are, up to the present moment, held. The one attributes the quicker

formation of capital to restricted or regulated production, whereby the members of a given community are confined, in a greater degree than they would freely or naturally consent to be, to the consumption or demand of commodities wrought by the labour of members of their own community.

By the other, which is called the "free" theory, it is alleged that such policy places an injudicious restraint upon the efforts of industry, and is preventive of the growth of capital; and as an antagonist principle, the supremacy, in all instances, of the self-directing impulse is maintained in it, which urges each member to develop, to the utmost of his power, the material things of creation; and, disregarding all previous divisions of labour and the established exchange of commodities, to leave off demanding or consuming the productions of others, just as his own interest or will shall impel him. From such a course of self-impelled action there is inferred the greatest amount of social good; or, the largest accumulation of things necessary, convenient, and luxurious.

Of these two opposing principles or assumed theories, it must necessarily be that one is false. The policy of this country during many centuries had been in accordance with the former. Of late years, however, the principle from which it derived its origin has been so violently assailed as to bring about a most important relaxation of the anciently recognised rule of commercial action. Regulating laws having been abrogated, freedom has been permitted, inducing competition and changes in the employment of capital to a degree heretofore unknown. If the former of these assumed theories should be untrue, in that case the paucity of capital must be attributed to the cause which has often been alluded to in the work now under examination, namely, the ill-direction of industry, brought about in a great degree by the operation of erroneous legislation; and it would be wholly

unwarrantable to argue against the right of the possessors of undemanded labour to subsistence, until such erroneous legislation had been amended, and until time had been allowed for the reparation of all its injurious results. This argument has been partially noticed by the author of the proposition I am now trying, for he says respecting it, "This is unquestionably a powerful argument;" and then he adds a paragraph between parenthesis, which, as is customary with him, throws the whole subject back into its original obscurity, for he says, "granting fully the premises, which, however, may admit of some doubt." *

On the other hand, if the theory of restricted or regulated production be true, and the antagonist principle of free trade or uncontrolled consumption and competition be untrue, in that case the paucity of capital must be a consequence of the great latitude permitted to the selfish impulses of human desires, which evince themselves in every quarter. But on which side soever of the argument the advocates for the authority of this author should choose to rest the case, still, the evidence afforded, would be destructive of the judgment pronounced; because, as of two theories adduced, neither of them has ever been permitted in practice to perform its full and perfect operation, so it follows, that the demand for labour can at no period have been so justly proportioned to the supply, as the laws of nature admit, and, consequently, labour never can have received its just remuneration.

Again: the case adduced is that of a vast portion of mankind being in the almost destitute condition in which the species is found previous to any advance in civilisation having been made, or the division of employment, and consequently, the exchange of commodities having sprung up; but

* An Essay on the Principle of Population, by T. R. Malthus, A.M., book 3, ch. xii. p. 495.

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