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charged, and their labour thrown into the general market of labour.
The fact before us is, then, of the following character: We, that is, the nation, were under great apprehension and fear for the safety of our property, our liberty, and our lives. By far the larger part of us could not undertake the hard duty of contending and fighting. We had not health enough, or we had not strength enough, or we had not courage enough, or we were too much engaged on our own important daily affairs. Then, we wanted all you men, and members of our community, for the purpose of warding off danger and loss from us; and so we rejoiced to engage you, to maintain you, and to hold you in high esteem and honour. But now the alarming emergency has passed away. We wanted you yesterday; we do not want you to-day! Yesterday you were an esteemed, a most valuable, and a noble set of men, ready to sacrifice your comfort and your lives for our safety. To-day you are a useless, idle, and burdensome set of men, a very incubus on the state. Yesterday we were most willing to pay and maintain you; to-day we grudge you pay and maintenance, wishing to see the amount of tax which we pay on this account, abstracted from you, and added to our own consumption and enjoyment.. We have no objection to receive assistance and constant service, but we do not like to make any sacrifice for the purpose of paying for this service. We like to be receivers, but we do not like to be givers.
This is one example of the character of that Political Economy with which the people of all nations have been industriously indoctrinated. Their professors of science, and their guides in the field of statesmanship, tell them that they are supported by the law of nature. Now, this is false. When we have carefully examined, so as to acquire a knowledge of the law in nature, we have to tell them they
may appeal to-day, and for ever, to the law in nature, to have their mean and wretched economy answered favourably, but they will appeal in vain. Some answer does, indeed, come through the great law in nature, but that answer is given by the rod of suffering applied to all such people. They think, and are taught by a class of ignorant leaders, who desire to please them and so govern them, that saving and benefit will accrue to themselves from this course of parsimonious economy. But, what is the fact? Their tax is diminished; but how is it with the remuneration of their labour, or the profits accruing from their property, trade, and commerce? Their saving or gain is as two, whilst their loss is as ten. They have entertained and cherished selfish and unsocial feelings and principles. They have applauded and followed the mean and blind guides who have said, "Yes," to all their selfish and unsocial feelings and principles. It will happen, and it will ever happen, that as is the cause, so will be the effect; the one bad, the other bad also.
The right economical course appliable to the case, is a simple and an honest course. When the conclusion has been adopted that a standing army should be diminished, the addition then being made to it by means of continued enlistment, should be stopped. In the order of nature, the number would be diminished by death; and this number not being replaced, a gradual and sufficiently quick approximation would be made to the smaller number of men which was required. This is the right course, and the only right course. By this course no injustice would be committed, either on the men who had been engaged for the service of the army, and for the defence of the public, or on those members of the general society who were seeking or enjoying engagement for their labour. The reasoning now advanced, as applicable to the case of a standing army of soldiers, applies, of course,
equally and generally. It might be a standing army of clergy or of lawyers, of manufacturers, or of any other body of
Not benefit, but injury, accrues to the people of a nation by man turning against man, and withdrawing support from each other. The aggregate capital - being the fund out of which all are supported-receives derangement. The law of demand, by the operation of which value is constituted, and capital created, being unsustained, an uncreation of value, or a destruction of capital ensues, and so the people of every nation are ordained to derive injury from that very course from which they had hoped and expected that benefit would have come to them. And, as I have before declared, deservedly so.
We have, then, to see and to remember how important it is to watch, and to guard against, all appointments to places involving either small or large emolument, when the service rendered to the nation is either not wanted for the national advantage, or when the service rendered is not equivalent to the payment awarded; for when the demand, or consumption, attendant on the assigned emolument is once constituted, there is no course by which it can be unconstituted without entailing injury and destruction on the national capital, and so increase the amount of poverty in the nation.
An objector will here say, that if my course of argument should be conceded, it would have to be declared that after all the writing, the speaking, the arguing, and the contending, the power of creating capital or wealth is merely a matter of man's will. That a nation has only to will to have wealth, and wealth she will have. Now, this is entirely true. It arises, as I have elsewhere shown, from the fact that all the materials of wealth are placed within the power, and under the control, of labour, or the bodily efforts of man, directed:
by that will which shall be inclined to fulfil the principle of public or general welfare. He who is inclined to dispute the great conclusion here advanced, startling as it may appear, must direct his examination to the law of demand and of proportions, constituting the cause of value, which I have elsewhere established, and which I have maintained throughout the whole of my work. I submit that a disputer, so examining, will find that he is not able to move the foundation there constructed; and not being able, the conclusion now advanced, which is, that the acquisition and conservation of wealth is a matter subordinated to right or just national will, stands a demonstrated course, a proved, a positive fact.
They who are willing, and, being willing, so work, that their own maintenance, wealth, and enjoyment shall be acquired by depriving other men of their maintenance, wealth, and enjoyment, will, sooner or later, be made to see that they have been engaged in deranging and contravening that great law of nature by means of which the Creator has ordained that the bodily necessities and the life of man shall be sustained.
With regard to the literary character, or the real power of mind, of those men who have proposed to apply a remedy to the bad social condition of nations by means of special systems of Socialism and Communism, one most important and warning feature has to be noticed. It is this. They are before the world as men who have not been able to exhibit an accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the subject with which they have undertaken to deal. Not one of these assumed inventors of a system has succeeded in acquiring a knowledge of social law, with its operation, at its foundation, at its mediate parts, or at its conclusion. A well-compacted course of reasoning, an able argument, commenced on simple sound premises, carried on step by step, or by means of correct inductions,
and then terminated by conclusions legitimately established, is not supplied by any one of them. When due examination is directed to the writings of Fourier, Owen, and other inventors and advocates of special systems of society, it is discovered that the writer is under the necessity, first, of introducing, and next, of confining, his reader within that narrow circle, or region of mist, in which he himself is involved, and within which he moves. Inventions mere inventions--the issues of that conjectural myth conceived and evolved by the mind of the writer-prevail in all parts; for the mythic creation, like the cloud of vapour that moves above the surface of the earth, has no resting-place. It contains no substantial, no fundamental, truth. The writers are found to have resorted to that common course of begging that their own opinions-mere opinions mere opinions shall be received, allowed, and held, in the character of demonstrated truth.
On examining those plans and systems of society which have been presented to the world as special systems, constructed upon an asserted principle of Socialism or Communism, and on showing that these plans and systems are not in accordance with natural social law, and, hence, would be productive of general injury instead of general benefit, it would, nevertheless, evince the greatest ignorance, were we to entertain the opinion that the principle involved in Socialism or Communism is not the substantial, the true, the ever-enduring, and, hence, the required, principle. Social law, or Socialism, must be, and is, the impress of the Creator. It involves that which should constitute the thoughts, the aspirations, and the duties of men, in all countries and throughout all time; so that he who should be opposed to this principle—as a principle — is in rebellion against his Creator, against his Creator's law, and against his Creator's kingdom.
By a little pondering on the real meaning of the words,