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on feeling the infliction, they then foolishly wonder whence and why the evils arise. They continue to cling to their selfish vices, and commend and extol the statesmen who pander to these vices; and, sooner or later, they have their reward.
Now, whatever excuses, on the score of difficulty, may be advanced for the case of the statesmen, no such excuses appertain, or are admissible, in the case of writers on Social and Political Economy. They are not like the statesmen, general practitioners. They undertake to discover and to explain the causes both of prosperity and adversity, of health and of disease, in the large social body of the community. It is not for them to inquire whether the people will, or will not, assent to certain principles, or conform to certain courses of action or of trade. What they have to do, and what they undertake to do, is, to exert all their ability in discovering the right principles and courses of action; and, having discovered them, to explain, or lay them down, with the utmost precision, force, fulness, and fidelity, wholly disregarding the fact of who may, or who may not, be pleased with, and willing to fulfil, that which they advance.
To what extent the modern and prevailing school of writers on Political Economy have deserted the noble duty which their undertaking involves, and, instead of it, have chosen to follow in the track of the people and the statesmen, and so have surrendered up the main truth of their subject, in order that they might write in conformity with the desires of people in general, will continue to constitute the matter of a very serious and interesting investigation, to which the pressing interests of the people of all nations will require that the attention of able and honourable men be more and more directed. On concluding my examination and treatment of this part of the subject, I have to maintain, that, by the
evidence which I have adduced, it is proved that the allegation against the general body of writers on Political Economy just alluded to attaches.
The course, then, which, in the next place, is required to be shown, in contradistinction to that free action, or action without law, which has been so unscientifically adopted and recommended by the prevailing school of the world, is that course by which man being generally free, trade and commerce being generally free, the communication and intercommunication of the people of all the nations of the world being generally open and free, the RIGHT principle and course of action, and of acting, of commerce and trade, or of social progress, shall be placed open before the world; so that every man may know what he has to observe, and to subserve, as well as the injury he will inflict on his fellow-men, and on society in general, and the penalty he will himself incur, if he neglects to acknowledge and to revere, to observe, and to fulfil, the true and salutary principle. It is by this course, and by this course alone, that the utmost amount of beneficial action, and of benefit, will be educed that can be educed by that instrumentality to which the whole is committed, namely, the will and action of man. To establish this principle and course, and that by means of the demonstrative process, will be the object attempted in the next following part of this work.
The character of the science of Social and Political Economy. The second place in the rank of the sciences to be assigned to it; the first place being held by Religion. — The earliest condition of man considered and explained. — All the materials of the earth ordained to be procured by the labour of man. The first simple premises of the science advanced and established. The principle of Supply arising out of Surplus Production considered.
To the science of Social and Political Economy there must be assigned the second place amongst those sciences by which human interests are specially embraced, the first place being held by Religion.
When, indeed, our minds have been so guided, and have become so informed, as to have acquired just and comprehensive views of both these high spheres of knowledge, we have to discern that the principles and the courses of the one are, in the greater part, identical with, and issue from, the other.
To acquire a clear and correct view of the Principles of Social and Political Economy, it is necessary that we should begin our investigation of the subject by a due consideration of the circumstances with which the earliest condition of man must have been surrounded. It is only by means of a minute and careful observation of the more simple state of human circumstances, and by correct reasoning upon the facts there involved, that we are enabled to discern and to under
stand the character of the more advanced and complicated condition of human affairs, or those courses by which it is designed, that, from the smallest beginnings, the few and almost destitute families of men should be able, after providing for their first pressing wants, so to adopt and set in motion progress, as that, from the smallest efforts made by man, there should eventually arise populous, wealthy, intelligent, and powerful nations.
We have, then, to place before our minds, and to consider in the most careful manner possible, two subjects. The one subject is, Man, his wants, his faculties, and his capacities; the other is, the sphere upon which man is appointed to live, and from which he is to derive all the means that are required for his subsistence and advancement, whatever shape these means may be made to assume.
It will be evident to every man that the sphere on which we live, that which we call "the Earth," must not only have been created, but also specially prepared and adapted for residence, and fully stocked, before man was placed upon it. That all the elements and materials which man has discovered and used, either for his sustenance, comfort, or enjoyment, must have existed within the sphere of the earth, before man came into occupation of this sphere; and also, that an immense quantity and variety of elements and materials still remain to be discovered and developed, converted and reconverted, and duly appropriated.
Having thus brought under view and consideration the immense fund of crude material elements that is provided for the use of man, and over all of which man holds absolute control, under the constant superintending sustainment of an all-wise and all-powerful Creator, the thing next to be remarked is, that these elements and materials, though existing in an inexhaustible abundance, are not of themselves gene
rally so disposed and adapted, as to be ready for satisfying the wants of man. Although within the vegetable, animal, mineral, and other departments of material nature, abundance reigns, yet it is not found that either the vegetable, animal, or mineral substance has a power connected with it that moulds, transfers, or adapts it for human requirement. The vegetable material that is suited for the food of man, has to be discovered by him, procured by him, and by him made fit for its purpose of aliment. The pulse of which man's bread is made, has not the power of distributing itself over the surface of the earth, so as to increase and multiply in that degree in which it is wanted, or to spring up in the place where it is wanted. Everywhere the ground has to be prepared and cultivated, the field has to be separated and tilled, and the seed has to be carefully sowed. And, then, when the ripe corn is possessed, much more has to be done before it is brought to the state of wholesome food or bread. So, likewise, with all the matter that is supplied within the animal, mineral, and other departments of nature. In the instance of the vegetable matter that is presented naturally in the form of a tree, suited either for supplying fruit, for constructing a dwelling-place, or for a variety of other purposes, the power of the human body and mind has to be applied to it in many ways before the natural substance can be made to serve the valuable purposes for which it is adapted; and as man increases his species, and spreads himself over the face of the earth, the seed or the offshoot of the different trees has to be conveyed to and distributed over many parts, in order that the tree itself may be brought into places where it may be convenient for use, and where its species may be increased to the quantity required.
So, likewise, with all the matter of the animal kingdom. Although this must have been made to exist BEFORE it was