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the effects which are entailed on society by that expenditure of property which comes under the denomination of Absentee Expenditure, we see that this branch of social science is comprehended by that law of exchange, or of general commerce, which I have shown to be the prevailing law, governing all the commercial dealings of men, and by which human interests are formed, cemented, and established. Almost all simple reasoners on the subject of Political Economy - they who have uninquiringly received for their social creed the dictates and dogmas advanced by the school of modern Political Economists are in the habit of declaring, when the subject of Absentee Expenditure is brought under their notice, that they are not aware, or that they do not consider, this question to be included in that principle and system of free trade which have been presented to the world by the school of Political Economists, and which are now so eagerly upheld, and so hopefully viewed by the civilised nations of the world.
That the simplicity of mind, together with the confusion and narrowness of view, here alluded to, prevail extensively, is not to be doubted; but by this we only learn with what little comprehensiveness the great subjects that are comprised by Political Economy have hitherto been viewed and treated. It shows that very little minds or minds that have been cramped and confined, distracted and weakened, by habits of incorrect and bad thinking—are, notwithstanding the prevalence with them of almost total ignorance, allowed to entertain and to advance positive opinions or conclusions, and to deliver absolute judgment on very large subjects, subjects of which their minds, having been so insufficiently cultivated and instructed, are not able to acquire the power of embracing even the one-thousandth part.
But, however much the doctrine may be disliked, however much men may be unprepared to believe and to receive it—
which, I contend, they ought not to be yet it is absolutely true, and must for ever remain true, that we are placed under an obligation of foregoing the pleasures and advantages appertaining to, and resulting from, certain uses and applications of property; that is, we are placed under an obligation of making a sacrifice of selfish indulgences - if these pleasures and indulgences and this is a fact of constant social happening are to be acquired by the abstraction of advantages that are rightly incidental in the circumstances of other men. That all property is fraught with such specific obligations, has been proved by the preceding course of my argument. I have illustrated the subject by referring to the conspicuous example which is afforded by the case of Ireland, where the practice of disregarding the obligations thus incidental in property has been carried to a degree perhaps unequalled in any other instance of national social obligation. It will be seen, however, that the evidence bearing upon the important question applies with equal truth and force to the cases of Scotland, England, or any other community of people in any part of the world. The course of action involved, constituting, as it does, a cessation and an uncreation of demand, and, therefore, a destruction of capital, and, hence, a breach of that great civil contract by which the social fabric has been raised, and without which it could neither have been raised nor commenced, is, wherever it prevails, a prolific source of poverty, destitution, and misery, and, hence, a powerful incentive of crime.
Persons occupying a middle position in society, and possessing only small property, must not adopt the notion that, because their means and power are small, hence they are not included in the category of evildoers and bad citizens, if they pursue the course which I have just denounced. One peculiarity incidental to a powerful nation, to a nation in
which the security of property, when once it has been acquired, is well maintained, is the facility afforded for every kind of enjoyment of property which the possessor may deem agreeable to himself, and which he is desirous of having, irrespective of the interests of other men. Thus, a prevailing custom in civilised communities is that of property, on being sold or exchanged into money, being then advanced on loan to persons who are wishing to borrow the capital of other persons, the safety of the value so advanced being secured by the title to some good fixed property being assigned over to those who so lend their money, certain proportions of value, called interest, being given yearly for the use of the money, or property. And, again: the existence of a national debt affords analogous opportunities; for in this, and in many other cases also, the property may be held, and its proceeds enjoyed, without regard being paid to the working of the property, that being undertaken and performed by other persons, the only thing required is security assured by general law; this prevailing, the persons holding the security are absolved from all the trouble of superintendence or supervision of any kind, and so they feel that they may safely absent themselves from the spheres where the working of the property, or the annual increase of it, in which they have to partake, is effected. In connection with such safe and advantageous investments of property, it is a common thing to hear persons declare their intention of going to reside in a foreign country: a variety of inducements being presented, one of the chief and most frequently urged being the advantage of living cheaply, or the power of getting more from the labour of foreigners, than they can get from the labour of their own countrymen. The position, then, which such persons have assumed is this: They are most desirous, in the first place, of getting as much interest as they can for their money; and, in the next place, of possessing the comfortable and happy
assurance that their property, when disposed of, shall be secure, this security being guaranteed by the institutional laws of their own country. Having thus derived all possible advantage from the strength of their own country, and from the quality of its institutions, in respect of the acquisition and disposal of property, they forsake this country, and seek to derive all the advantage attendant on the expenditure of property from another country. But, if the parent country were to say to all such mean, selfish, and ungrateful children, -"If you go from me, you shall convey your property with you. If you prefer France, Italy, Naples, or any other place, take her ENTIRELY; sell off all your property here, and transfer yourself, bag and baggage, to your newly-adopted parent;" what would be the reply? It would be,-"Oh no! this will not do. We shall not feel that the foundation of our property is secure. The people, amongst whom we should thus go, would discover that we have come amongst them only to serve our own purposes; and that, under the same motive, we might leave them any day that we should feel inclined, and go to reside amongst another people. A period will, in all probability, arrive, when it will be most advantageous for us to return to our native country, and on the event of such an emergency arising, we should like to have the refuge preserved for us." Such is the true character and position of things. These abominable self-seekers and self-adorers are desirous of enjoying all the advantages, arising in their own nation, from the fulfilment of the obligations of other men towards themselves; but they are unwilling to acknowledge, or to fulfil, any corresponding obligations towards other men. All such persons stand at the bar of national justice in the character of condemned criminals. They have not a spark of true honour, true patriotism, or just social love, within them. This great and important course of commercial dealing, or
of general trade, which absentee expenditure involves, is placed in a strong and convincing light by means of an instance derived from a foreign nation. A few years ago there appeared in the "Times" newspaper, extracted from a Roman newspaper, the following paragraph:
"Rome, Dec. 8th.- Much astonishment has been created by a singular event which has recently occurred here, and is the topic of general conversation in the circles of ton. Prince Gallitzen, who has resided in this city for many years, deriving his income from his estates in Russia, has had his remittances stopped, by order of the Russian government. The cause of such measure has not yet transpired. In consequence of this circumstance, the erecting of a splendid palace which Prince Gallitzen was constructing on the Piazza del Clementine, after the model of the Palace Gérault, the chef d'œuvre of the celebrated architect Bramante, is now discontinued."
Here, an instance is presented of a man possessing vast wealth, this wealth being derived by means of the demand made for his property or capital by the people of that nation of which he is a member, and by whose demand it has occurred that his wealth has been created, and is continued. For the purpose of indulging his one small body with the delightful climate of Italy, a climate more agreeable than that of Russia; for the purpose of enjoying opportunities of gratifying his taste, by beholding daily the beautiful productions of human art, which are there to be seen, as well as to be collected; and for the further purpose of attracting within the walls of an elegant and sumptuous palace, the cultivated professors and devotees of art, and exciting and receiving their admiration and applause; this man had quitted his native country, the sphere of his especial social duties, and drawing away from it his immense income, had withheld