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stituted in the place of theirs, and other parties of the community receive that which in right should be possessed by them. The inference respecting the deserted or injured party is, that by such a course of action as that which I have instanced they must perish; for, it having been shown that the means must precede, and, also, that a limited time only can be allowed for providing these means, and that that time, in the case now instanced, has passed, so, with the failure of the means, the power of sustaining life must fail also. I contend, however, that my argument would be equally valid, if I should abandon the extreme range of my proposition. It is sufficient that I substantiate the fact of retrogression or derangement, showing the main cause wherefrom destitution or poverty arises, notwithstanding this state be not followed by death as an effect of it.

I will now argue the question upon the principle of right or justice. It must be remembered, that the power possessed by each party of acquiring and enjoying those commodities which were not produced by themselves, but by their fellowworkers, did not originate with themselves. It has been shown that, although A bestowed his labour upon procuring food, and thus acquired a property in the fund or stock of food, yet that B did the same thing too, the natural fund being open equally and freely to both; and the superabundance acquired by A was useless or valueless to him under that condition of superabundance, and must have remained so if B had not consented to quit the occupation, and to direct his labour in another channel. Thus, the value of A's commodity arose out of the act of B, and the value of B's commodity arose out of the act of A, by reason of the operation of the law of demand, and so likewise with all the parties concerned, or connected.

It follows, therefore, that the portion or property origi

nally exchanged with, or demanded by, each, should be held as the property of each, not as the property of him who has merely laboured for it, or procured it; but as the property of him by whose act it originally received the stamp of value, and without whose act it never would have possessed value.

Many persons will feel inclined to advance against this part of my argument a commonly held, although, as I contend, a very superficial and unfounded, objection. It is, that under such an arrangement as that contended for, the progress of civilisation and improvement would be impeded; that if the course thus laid down had been observed, man would never have emerged from a condition of barbarism; that wild fruits, roots, and other easily-procured vegetable and animal substances must have continued to have formed his food; that his clothing would have been confined to the unprepared skins of animals; and that his dwelling-place must have remained either the natural cavern or the rudely-constructed hut; and that the beautiful and elevating domain of general knowledge, of art, science, and discovery, would never have been entered.

Now, a very little attention to the matter involved, and to the argument, is sufficient for discerning the weak character of this objection. When the law of progress is comprehended, and duly applied to social facts, it is seen how rapidly man would emerge from the state of rude living, and how quickly his condition would be made to assume a character of civilisation, just and salutary civilisation. The answer for every objection of the kind noticed, or of any other kind, is, that we are arguing for the purpose of discovering and establishing the causes which are ordained to operate for the well-being of ALL mankind. This is the agreed problem under construction. The primary object of an all-wise and benevolent Creator must be the well-being

of ALL his creatures. The principle of diffusiveness must be in accordance with his laws. The increase, or improvement, of material things of enjoyment must be secondary, or an issue of the primary. To argue otherwise would be an attempt to reverse the just order of things, by raising that which is material above that which is moral and spiritual; or to assert, that the Creator would prefer that man should indulge the gratification of sensual appetite than that he should revere and observe the law of social love, or conform to the course of just advancement and progress.

An objection, also, of the following character will be entertained and advanced by many persons, namely, that by the course of action prescribed, there is involved a restriction, a confinement, and a necessary diminution, in the exercise of those admirable faculties, both of body and of mind, with which man has been endowed by his Creator; and that it is difficult to conceive that there should exist a necessity for restraining, withholding, or diminishing the exercise of useful and admirable faculties.

Now, this objection will assume a very popular character, especially in an age in which so much reliance is placed on the sedulous and active employment of all human faculties, and when so many good effects are expected to be educed from the free, bold, and energetic exercise of these faculties. But when the mind is diverted from a superficial, and directed to a deep, searching, and comprehensive investigation of the great question, it will perceive that there must be, in the essential constitution of things, a right and due application of faculties and power; that there is no desire, impulse, or faculty conferred on man, and exerted by him, that is not, by EXCESS, converted from a good and beneficial use and application into a bad and injurious use and application. That, at the same time that there is a right and co-ordinate

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application of power which serves to sustain and preserve, in beneficial operation, things constituted and instituted, and to insure an increase or new formation of things in due order and proportion, so there is a wrong and inordinate application of power, which serves to derange and to diminish things. And when the high, spiritual, and moral character which the trust of faculties and power in a FREE state involves, is clearly discerned, it will be discerned also, as I have already shown, that it is out of this right use of faculties and power, involving, as it necessarily does, the avoidance of the wrong use of them, that the responsibility and the essential character of a superior creature arise.

The law of social action and commercial dealing which I have now developed and explained, and which I propose to show, by an incontrovertible process and course of reasoning, is the rule of action applicable, not alone to a commencing and early stage of human society, but also to its continuing progress, whatever stage may be arrived at,- is of a character so different from that rule which is generally received and acted upon; the feelings and the minds of people have been so greatly encouraged, instructed, and habituated to believe that the progress and prosperity of nations arise from unrestrained enterprise and from active and ardent competition; they have been so accustomed to attribute the numerous and admirable accomplishments of united labour and skill to the impulse which is imparted to human effort by the spirit of rivalry and by the excitement attendant on the hope of acquiring individual profit and advantage; and so strong and general are the desire and expectation of deriving individual pleasure and enjoyment from these courses, that the judgments of most persons will be staggered by the bare announcement that that which I have laid down as the foundation law, and which I shall have to maintain is the superstructural law

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also, is, in fact, THE law, that general law which one and all of us are required to acknowledge, to revere, to study, and to do all in our power to promote the fulfilment of.

I have treated particularly, and forcibly, of this point because it is upon this foundation of social law that human responsibility essentially rests; and because, also, it is a point which men in general are not only inclined, but also most eager, to cast aside, to disclaim, to oppose, and even to condemn.

Knowing, as I have already declared, that it is a matter of the first and last importance, that all men should know, admit, and act upon, this law, I have, therefore, explained it in a manner as precise as possible; and I will endeavour to continue the explication with as much preciseness as possible, throughout the whole course of the argumentative matter which I shall have to adduce and to arrange.

On taking into his consideration the great fundamental law of social construction now exhibited, the reader must not permit himself to be averted from it by the notion that the enforcement of an unattainable condition of perfectness as regards the individual action, as well the united action, of man in society, is about to be contended for; or, that it is to be recommended, that the growth of communities shall be stopped or impeded for the purpose of enforcing conformity. That the construction of a system of general action and commerce to which every member shall be compelled to contribute his just proportion of labour, to assent to his just proportion of production and consumption, both as regards quantity and kind of commodities, is to be enforced by positive law.

However strict and unswerving from the true and straight course natural law is; and however impossible it is for man, by any effort, or by all combined efforts, to change, in the

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