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was described as having been most severely felt by the whole people, in the derangement of their general trade. Distress of the severest kind was declared to have been extended, and to have prevailed, generally. Now, it has to be remarked that this increased distress must have arisen solely by reason of the derangement that was then made with respect to the principle of demand, or, by the cessation, in a great degree, of buying and consuming certain commodities. The bulk of the national stock or capital was in no degree diminished by the revolutionary movement and change. There existed within the nation, and belonging to the people, the same quantity of food, of clothing, and of all other commodities, constituting the national stock or capital, as though the revolutionary change had not taken place; and yet, notwithstanding the national stock or capital continued to be of the same kind and quantity, the distribution of it sustained so much change and derangement, by reason of disturbance of demand, as to inflict on the people distress of the severest character.

Here, then, we have a practical illustration supplied of the supremacy and omnipotency of that law of proportions which I have shown to be the ruling and regulating principle from the influence and operation of which there is no escape. In vain do nations adopt what appear to be benevolent courses, or ingeniously devised inventions and schemes for improving the condition of their people, and for attaining a larger amount of enjoyment and happiness, if these courses, inventions, and schemes, are not in accordance with this law of due proportions. The more an approximation is made to the observance and fulfilment of this law, the more prosperous a nation will become; the farther a people depart from it, the more will their poverty and distress be increased, notwithstanding all the appliances and palliatives which, in the name and under the cloak of benevolence, they may choose

to adopt; for the injuries consequent on violated justice are not to be repaired by any courses of imaginary benevolence; the void created by rejected beneficence is not to be covered, or filled up, by any working of assumed or fancied benevolence.

A passage in the writings of Mr. Malthus, to which I have before referred, is so especially applicable to the great point now under discussion, that I will quote it again here. This writer, on having to take a comprehensive survey of the derangements of commercial affairs, and of the distress consequent on these derangements, with which our nation has from time to time been visited, found that he could account for the coming on of these derangements, and the distress, in no other way than that of attributing them to a neglect and violation of that law of proportions upon the character and operation of which I have laid so much stress. The judgment of Mr. Malthus on the point is given in the following words: "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."


Whilst, therefore, it is evident that this celebrated writer

* Principles of Political Economy, by T. R. Malthus, M. A., sect. 7, p. 376.

on Political Economy saw and acknowledged the all-important character of the law of proportions, it is evident, also, that he did not discern either the particular applicability, or the supremacy, of this law. No acknowledgment of the great potency of this law was made by him until after he had adopted his conclusions, and then had to treat of the character and operation of certain social courses, which, having been adopted as remedies, had failed as remedies; not having produced the desired, expected, and predicated results. Hence, in deriving and in laying down premises, and in working out inductions from his assumed premises, Mr. Malthus has exhibited no knowledge whatever of that law by the aid of which, alone, true premises can be constituted, and correct inductions worked. Mr. Malthus's view, then, of the great law of proportions is shown to have been merely a conjectural and transient view,-a view in which he beheld it as a fact, but did not behold or understand it as the comprehensive law; for the main body of his reasonings is destitute of its influence and power. He saw, as many thinking men and observing statesmen have seen; as the people of different nations have had to feel, and then to see; that changes and courses of social action from which it was predicted and expected that great benefit and amelioration would be derived, have, on the contrary, eventuated in a worse state of poverty and suffering. On attempting to ascertain the causes of these failures, his mind could discover no other resting-place or ground, than that which was presented by the law of proportions; and, hence, to the non-observance of this law, he attributed the failures. He saw that negatively, which he could not discern or apply affirmatively.

On considering the subject of Remedy, the general body of people are apt to imagine, and to conclude, that if a wrong course of action has been pursued, a remedy for this error, and

for its injurious effects, is presented by a reversal of the course, or by pursuing a backward course of action. Thus, if it should be seen, and allowed, that a people have committed an error by advancing in too large a degree into commercial dealing with the people of a foreign nation, that is, in a degree larger than the amount or state of their capital warranted, it will be thought, and concluded, that the remedy for the error of excess, is that of immediately ceasing to carry on the foreign trade, and then of re-establishing a home trade in place of it. But this course of remedy is wholly imaginative. Instead of being a remedy for the error committed, and for the evil consequent upon it, it would be another error, of a similar character, to be followed by a like evil. The capital created, and applied, for the purpose of carrying on those exchanges which the foreign trade involves, is not to be converted or transmuted, so as to offer the opportunity of adopting a home trade in its place, and so giving increased employment to the people. The natural law of commercial exchange-the law of supply on the one side, and the law of demand on the other-has to be observed. There is no possibility of evading the operation of these two laws. When once the union of capital, by means of commercial exchange, has been formed, it must be preserved just as faithfully with the people of a foreign nation as with any other people or with fellow-countrymen,

The operation of the principle by which remedy is comprehended, may be tested by the adducement of another great social case. It is that of the large body of men, together with the capital, or general stock of commodities, required for their consumption and maintenance, which are comprised by a national standing army. In accordance with the false principles of Political Economy that have been commended to the world, and of which the social creed of almost all statesmen is now comprised, it would be right and wise for a people to

discharge from their service the number of men of whom a standing army is composed, because, by this course, a saving would be made of all that cost which is incurred in the maintenance of this large body of men.

Now, instead of this course being productive of general benefit, it would be productive of general injury, and deservedly so. By the cessation of demand for those commodities of which the maintenance of the body of men consists, the due proportion of the demand on the one hand, and of the supply on the other, of these commodities, would suffer derangement. The course, therefore, by which value is constituted, and capital created, would be thrown into confusion and deranged. The aggregate capital of the nation, or the fund by which the whole nation is supported, would be diminished. As with the market of commodities, or general capital, so would it be with the market of labour. By the increased supply of labour that would be thrown upon the labour market, injury would be inflicted on many men whose labour was in demand, for the old supply and the new supply could not be absorbed, or receive support.

The subject has to be viewed in its moral character also. The people required the services of the large number of its members, of which a standing army is composed, for the purpose of affording them defence against the aggression of enemies. The body of soldiers had offered to devote their labour and their lives to the high purpose of insuring security to the property, liberty, and lives of the general community. The enlistment and engagement having been completed on both sides, the nation finds, after a certain time passed, that the pressing necessity for such services and for a standing army does not continue, and so they propose, for the sake of saving to themselves the cost of maintaining the men of whom the army is composed, that these men shall be dis

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