Lapas attēli

given-freely given

in their raw or crude state, is a purchaser ; a receiver as well as a giver—that he received labour, so that value accrues in accordance with the labour bestowed.


Writers on Political Economy have been, more or less, thrown into confusion and perplexed by the false treatment which Adam Smith has bestowed on the first or fundamental proposition of the science, the Cause of Value. Mr. Ricardo has pointed out the error in the commencing chapter of his work, but, although eradicating a little of Adam Smith's error, he proceeded to introduce so much error himself as still to leave the question in a condition of great confusion.

It is the fifth chapter of the "Wealth of Nations," being that in which the writer has treated of, and attempted to show, the Cause of Value, that requires, on the part of the reader of that work, a most careful examination. It is in this chapter that readers of the "Wealth of Nations," and students of the general subject, have found themselves inextricably perplexed by the confusion of matter and of ideas which the writer has made. So difficult has the subject been made to appear by this confused and unscientific treatment of it, that almost all persons must have been induced to turn away from the subject, despairing of overcoming the difficulty which a study of it appears to present. Upon this particular point I shall have hereafter to adduce some most remarkable and very instructive evidence.

But before treating more particularly of this point, I have to show how, by the want of a knowledge of the primary element, or great fundamental law, of the science, the writers on Political Economy have falsified, for the greater part, their reasonings and conclusions. I shall have to show that this undiscovery and absence of the true premises have cast disqualification over the efforts of the whole school of writers, and have been the cause of their labours presenting that

feature from which all honourable and enlightened inquirers turn away with disappointment and censure, namely,- a house divided against itself, a school in which the members, although professing to be in general agreement for the purpose of getting their writings accepted by the world, are, nevertheless, unable to give a solid and clear solution and exposition of the largest and most important question and proposition that the science contains, being, with respect to this main question and proposition, in actual opposition, member against member, admitted followers against their admitted and selected leaders.

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In the next chapter I propose to adduce the proposition now alluded to, and to show the weakness and the deficiency which I have alleged.


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Another Proposition for trying the state in which the science of Political Economy has been placed advanced. This proposition, the effect that would accrue to a nation by the abandonment of a home production and trade, and by the adoption of a foreign trade in their place. -The school of Economical writers shown to be at variance on the solution of this problem. The solution worked by Adam Smith and M. Say, opposed by M'Culloch, Ricardo, and other writers. — The confused state in which the writers have placed the science. The cause of their weakness and failure adverted to.

It will be evident to every thoughtful and reflecting person, that of all the important propositions which the science of Social and Political Economy comprehends, there cannot be selected a proposition involving a larger amount of human interest and maintenance than the question of the real character of that production and consumption of commodities, that series of exchanges, or that commerce, which is carried on between the people of any given nation amongst themselves, or that which is commonly called home trade.

In connection, then, with this great proposition, there arises the question,-What would be the consequences to the people of any given nation of abandoning a home trade and adopting a foreign trade in its place? If men who undertake to treat of Social and Political Economy cannot attain that mastery within the field of the science, as will enable them to give a clear and intelligible solution of the great solid question so propounded, there cannot be claimed for the efforts of such men the character of science. Some other term, of far different signification than that of science, must be invented

and applied to their efforts. I have now to show that the whole of the modern school of writers on Political Economy are, unhappily, in the predicament of inability just alluded to.

To prove the allegation here made, I propound the following question as one by which the quality of the efforts of the school of writers is to be tried: -What would be the consequences to the people of any nation of abandoning a given home trade and adopting a foreign trade in its place? Now this question, a question so often mooted and discussed before the people of the different civilised nations of the world, has been raised fully and substantively within the field of those scientific efforts which have been made by the school of economists. That, therefore, which has to be sought after and ascertained is, How have the schoolmen treated this question, disposed of this question, given that solution which shall entitle them to receive the confidence of the world, and to be ranked as good and faithful servants in the noble field of science? The answer to this question, derived of course from the evidence and conclusion supplied by themselves, is, indeed, a most unhappy one.

The author of "The Wealth of Nations" must have discerned that he could not maintain any pretension to the fulfilment of the high title that he had assumed for his work, if he did not give some version of that large proposition which involves the main interests of the people of every nation of the world; and so his version, or professed solution of the question, constitutes a most important feature of his work. To the solution given by him of the comparative advantageousness to a nation of a home and a foreign trade, I now call the attention of the reader. It is presented in the following passages:

"All wholesale trade, all buying, in order to sell again by



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wholesale, may be reduced to three different sorts. The home trade, the foreign trade of consumption, and the carrying trade. The home trade is employed in purchasing in one part of the same country, and selling in another, the produce of the industry of that country. It comprehends both the inland and the coasting trade. The foreign trade of consumption is employed in purchasing foreign goods for home consumption. The carrying trade is employed in transacting the commerce of foreign countries, or in carrying the surplus produce of one to another.

"The capital which is employed in purchasing in one part of the country, in order to sell in another the produce of the industry of that country, generally replaces, by every such operation, Two distinct capitals, that had both been employed in the agriculture or manufactures of that country, and thereby enables them to continue that employment. When it sends out from the residence of the merchant a certain value of commodities, it generally brings back, in return, at least an equal value of other commodities. When both are the produce of domestic industry, it necessarily replaces, by every such operation, Two distinct capitals, which had both been employed in supporting productive labour, and thereby enables them to continue that support. The capital which sends Scotch manufactures to London, and brings back English corn and manufactures to Edinburgh, necessarily replaces, by every such operation, Two British capitals which had both been employed in the agriculture or manufactures of Great Britain.

"The capital employed in purchasing foreign goods for home consumption, when this purchase is made with the produce of domestic industry, replaces too, by every such operation, Two distinct capitals: but ONE of them only is employed in supporting domestic industry. The capital

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