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that which is included by the word physical, and allow all the superior quality, which is included by the word philosophy, to be left out? This is what the school of physical investigators and reasoners assuming themselves to be physical philosophers - wish us to consent to. But we listen to no such dull and unworthy proposal. Instead of supporting, we have to take away every prop from that large volume of effort by which it is attempted to pass off incompetency as competency, shallowness as depth, and false assumption as sound premises. We have to maintain, that they who demand a title, as also they who by any means whatever have acquired a title, shall be compelled to enter the department of philosophy, shall be tried in this department, shall have the light of this department thrown upon that which either is, or would be, presented to the world as title. To those who having done a little truth, and a great deal of error, say to us, "We have done all that is wanted, we have constructed a system," we say, "No!" We have to cut off about nine-tenths of their work, and casting this large proportion aside as worthless, we have to tell them to go and learn more, and do better, before they presume to ask for a title, or before they make any use whatever of the high and noble words, Principle and System. We tell them to remember, that their work must be examined, not under the head "physical," but under the head "philosophy," or that by which there is shown the adaptation, truth, and goodness of the physical departWe tell them that this alone constitutes wisdom. We tell them that, without this, their physical discoveries and presentments are falsehoods, derangements, mischiefs. That little conception, indeed, of what is involved under the head philosophy, has been possessed by the school of physical reasoners, is proved by applying the test of moral truth to that confused series of facts and reasonings which


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the school of Political Economists have presented to the world as their system. I proceed to show this.

It may excite surprise in the minds of many, that any set of men, who, devoting themselves to a literary consideration and investigation of subjects, should have entered upon the treatment of the subject of Social and Political Economy, without connecting with it moral principle. They will suppose that a subject, by which there is involved all the dealings of man with man, arising out of an appropriation of all the materials with which the universe abounds, would have been that subject to which moral principle would have been especially connected and combined, as being the guide to a recognition and fulfilment of the obligations that attach to the immense issues and courses that are involved by the subject. But, surprising as the omission, together with the want of fidelity to the subject, are, it is nevertheless true, that in the instance of writers, as well as that of statesmen, the general intention and attempt have been to suppress moral principle, and to prevent, absolutely, the introduction. of it within that which has been called by them a system.

In the very few instances, then, that are extant in the writings of the Economists, where, having found it next to impossible to avoid making some approach towards the introduction of moral principle, or that principle of guidance of desire and action which has been imparted to man in the form of religious truth, it is seen that an attempt is made to divest the principle of the main part of its meaning; or to detract from and disqualify its attributes, and so to depress and debase its real character and virtue, as to get it to be received as not antagonistic and subversive of the system presented.

Of the large work of Dr. Smith there is only one passage

that can be cited, as involving in any noticeable degree the great point now under consideration. It is as follows:

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"Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society, that he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to the society."


* The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith, book 4, ch. ii.

By a close and careful examination of the proposition thus constructed and advanced by the author of "The Wealth of Nations," it is discerned that, by means of it, its author has attempted to establish the principle, advancing it as the natural and universal principle, of a necessary connection, amounting to a coincident character and operation, between the selfish and the social principle. He has advanced, and attempted to maintain the belief and the fact, that, to whatever degree or extent men indulge the selfish principle in the pursuit of wealth, and succeed in their efforts to acquire wealth, in that degree or extent they not only benefit themselves, but benefit the community likewise and equally.

A notable view this, both of human and divine principle and law! This has sprung from a devotion of the spirit and mind of the author of it, to the department of physical nature. It would appear, that over him the influence of matter had become supreme. The proposition is confusedly and ambiguously constructed; but these are prevailing features of the work from which it is extracted. No other feeling than that excited by a desire and an anxiety to escape from the great and noble duty of treating of the moral character of the subject, could have induced the author of this poor

and weak proposition to have been contented with such an unbecoming treatment of the subject. The fact here involved is plainly this: The world wished and willed, and the author of the proposition constructed it, in order to suit and to satisfy the wish and will of the world. Here, then, there is laid open before us the corrupt germ of the corrupt and corrupting system.

The direct antagonism which the modern system of Political Economy bears to moral truth, may be ascertained by a little close examination of, and correct reasoning upon, its foundation principle, a principle which its inventors are obliged to call social. The principle may be displayed — as it is often laid out both by its inventors and appliers-in the following different forms: Buy in the cheapest market; sell in the dearest market. Again: Get as much as you can for the commodity which is your own, and which you want to sell; give as little as you can for the commodity which is another man's, and which you want to buy. Again: Desire as much as possible for yourself, because another man has to pay for it; and desire as little as possible for another man, because you have to pay for it. Again: the abominable principle is well and tersely expressed in a liberal work, thus: "The truth is, every man tries to get as much as he can for his own labour, and to pay as little as he can for the labour of others." #

We see, then, that the constitutional doctrine of the modern system of Political Economy, which necessarily grows into the axioms just stated, is, that a man is to desire for another man just the reverse of that which he sees good and desires for himself. He is to strive all he can, in order that a certain course, which is fraught with benefit, shall happen to himself;

* Results of Machinery, p. 187.

and he is to strive all he can that this same course shall not happen to another man with whom he is to have dealings, and that because he will have to contribute something towards it, or, to practise abstinence, and to forego, in order that his neighbour may possess and enjoy. A man is to wish, and endeavour, to have the good in the greatest degree possible for himself; but he is to propose, and endeavour, that the good may be diminished in the utmost degree possible for another man, or for all other men.


When the issues of this principle are correctly traced, discovered that there must arise, in all parts of the system, not that salutary exertion, application of labour, and competition, which shall insure due and beneficial production, but a strong, fierce, and unsympathising competition, engendering confliction of interests, an eager striving after possession and enjoyment, as well as prevention of maintenance, or counteraction of Just Providence. For it must be remembered, that no actor in the sphere can stand alone, singly or independently. He who adopts these base, harsh, and selfish courses for the purpose of acquiring advantage for himself, is to find, and will find, to his cost, that these courses are adopted and put into practice by others against him; for the terms of the proposition are, that whilst the actor in the case is to adopt every means of procuring the labour, the commodities, or the productions, of other men at the lowest possible point of depression, or as cheap as he can, that is, by awarding as little as possible for the consumption or enjoyment of those who so labour for him, -other men are to adopt the same course towards him, or to use every means that he may acquire as little of the good as possible, so that over the whole of this system of covetousness, and the working of covetousness within it, there is appended the dark sentence recorded against the first unsympathising wretch the first man who

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