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And again :-" The whole quantity of industry annually employed in order to bring any commodity to market, naturally suits itself in this manner to the effectual demand. It naturally aims at bringing always that precise quantity thither which may be sufficient to supply, and no more than supply, that demand.”*
In the passages just adduced, the writer of them has wrought out, by a very compact description, the law upon which I am treating. He has declared, on the one side, that the production of commodities should never be permitted to fall below a certain line; and, on the other, that it should not be permitted to rise above this certain line; thus defining, with accuracy, the law of PROPORTION as necessary to be applied to production.
I will, in the next place, adduce analogous matter from the writings of Mr. Malthus. At the close of his work, entitled "Principles of Political Economy," he is writing under the head of The Progress of Wealth, he there treats the subject under discussion in a very elaborate manner, and after having adverted to the difficulty there is in accounting for certain effects, which, according to the generally-received mode of reasoning, ought to have followed the causes adopted, that is, that the principle of production, when taken singly, does not bring about the effects predicated of it, he advances the following remarkable sentence:-"Altogether the state of the commercial world since the war clearly shows that something else is necessary to the continued increase of wealth besides an increase in the means of producing." †
Now, it will be observed, that "something else" is here admitted as wanting to be attached to production in order to
* The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith, book 1, ch. vii.
† Principles of Political Economy, by T. R. Malthus, A. M., p. 420.
make it efficient for the purpose of forming wealth. This something else," I will now attach to the word "production," and by means of another passage from the same work, which is as follows:-" It will be found, I believe, true, that all the great results in Political Economy respecting wealth, depend upon proportions; and it is from overlooking this most important truth, that so many errors have prevailed in the prediction of consequences, that nations have sometimes been enriched, when it was expected they would be impoverished and impoverished when it was expected they would be enriched; and that such contradictory opinions have occasionally prevailed respecting the most effective encouragements to the increase of wealth. But there is no part of the whole subject where the efficacy of proportions in the production of wealth is so strikingly exemplified as in the division of landed and other property, and where it is so very obvious that a division, to a certain extent, must be beneficial, and beyond a certain extent, prejudicial to the increase of wealth." ""*
On joining together the matter contained in the latter passage, and the matter contained in the former regarding production, we have, I maintain, the "something else" which the writer found and declared to be wanting. The result thus attained, is proportionate production, which, as I have before shown, is the realisation of the entire truth of the science of Social and Political Economy as regards the modification and appropriation of the material elements of the earth by the labour of man, that is, the LAW of the creation of wealth.
But although these two leading and influential writers on
Principles of Political Economy, by T. R. Malthus, A.M., sect. 7, ch. i.
the science of Political Economy thus evinced a perception of the great law of proportions, as applicable to all production, and acknowledged its important character, so that I am justified in adducing their arguments as testimony concurring with that afforded by me, yet neither of them had acquired such a mastery of fundamental principles, as to be able to work out inductions under the guidance and rule of the great law which they themselves acknowledged; hence, it has happened, that the main body of their conclusions are advanced under a total forgetfulness and rejection of the operation of this law. Rising into the region of light and order, and remaining there during a moment only, they fell back into the region of obscurity and confusion.
I will adduce one more instance, and that a writer who is justly held in estimation as one of our strongest, boldest, and most honest reasoners, in corroboration of the character the universal character of that law of labour, law of production, and law of progress, for the truth of which I am contending. The writer is Locke. He has written as follows:
"All things that are bought and sold, raise and fall their prices in proportion as there are more buyers and sellers. Where there are a great many sellers to a few buyers, there, use what art you will, the thing to be sold will be cheap. On the other side, turn the tables, and raise up a great many buyers for a few sellers, and the same thing will immediately grow dear. The rule holds in land as well as in all other commodities."
"This is that, then, which makes land as well as other things dear, plenty of buyers and but few sellers; and so, by the rule of contraries, plenty of sellers and few buyers makes land cheap."
"He that will justly estimate the value of anything,
must consider its quantity in proportion to its vent, for this alone regulates the price." *
We have again to lament that this ingenious and strongminded writer, though seeing and acknowledging the universal potency and necessity of this law of proportions, did not keep the light of this law on all occasions ahead of him. By neglecting and deserting this law, he, too, has entered the region of confusion, and there wandered far off from the right and solid way.
* Locke's Considerations of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money, p. 20.
The Law of Proportions further developed.—The cause of the necessity for the division of mankind into separate nations shown. · The interests of all nations shown to be identical, but not to be identified. The necessity for a separation of man, by means of a difference of language, explained.
I HAVE now given an exposition of that union of action and of interests from which human material welfare is ordained to be derived. I have shown, also, that it is by a desertion and abandonment of the principle of co-operation and mutual support, or the consent of all to submit their inclinations to be influenced, and their actions, acquisitions, and enjoyments to be governed, by a consideration for the welfare of others and of all, as well as for their own welfare, that the great and powerful principle of unjust competition is introduced into the social state of man, and that it is by the confliction of action and of interest, thus engendered, that a destruction of capital and of general wealth is brought about, whereby enjoyment is both withheld and withdrawn from a large part of the human family, and so many of the deeplyseated and irreparable disorders and injuries that are seen to prevail in human affairs, derive their origin.
When these points are understood and conceded, and when the law of proportions is admitted into the system, the question which arises next is, - What constitutes or measures out the PRECISE DEGREE of advancement that may be made in the development of the crude materials of the earth for the use and enjoyment of man, by means of labour assuming various divisions and subdivisions of employment, aided by the laws