« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
The idea of uniting all the people of the earth by means of the free Principle of Trade a false idea. They who have conceived and advocated this idea have been devoid of all knowledge of a law of Social Action and Commerce. The law involves the duty regarding the interest of labour in all advancement or progress. Hence the indispensability of introducing religion. - The constructors of our prevailing system of Political Economy shown to have been under the necessity of excluding religion, because of the falseness of their principles. The two different courses of reasoning, that by Synthesis, and that by Analysis, explained. The course by Synthesis shown to be the strong and true The Political Economists shown to have adopted the Baconian course of working by Analysis. Their weakness and failure shown in this course. · Under the process of Analytical reasoning and assumed Analogy, men conceive false ideas, and convert their false ideas into idols, and so establish idolatry in the nation.
THE great idea that the people of all the nations of the world are destined to be united within one large family compact, this compact to be created, preserved, and constantly increased and strengthened by means of the growth and diffusion of trade and commerce, is an idea that is entertained and enthusiastically cherished by a very large number of persons. An impulse so strong has been given to this idea during the half century last past, that it may be said of this idea that it constitutes the leading or influencing idea of the world, or of that large part of human society which is comprised by the more civilised nations of the earth.
Many persons have adopted the conviction that the immense evils of poverty and destitution that have hitherto prevailed so extensively, and that now prevail, within the human family, are, in a very great degree, to be attributed to
those confined social views, those restrictive laws, and those governmental interferences and regulations, which every people in the world have, in one degree or another, through the instrumentality of their governmental institutions, adopted and enforced.
Hence, the vision of their hopes presents to these persons a most encouraging and beautiful prospect, composed of the free and rapid development and appropriation of all those dormant materials of the earth that are available for the consumption and enjoyment of man, and which ought, long ago, to have been developed and brought into use.
By means of free production and free consumption; by unrestrained industry, experiment, and invention; by unimpeded exchanges of the products of industry and talent derived from the varied soils and climates of the world; by the freest and fullest exertion of labour, and by a competition amongst labourers and capitalists stimulated to the highest degree; by free selling and free buying; it is thought, and it has been attempted to be shown, that the whole sphere of human circumstances, or the entire human condition, will become so ameliorated as to assume that high, that noble, and that diffusive or universal civilisation, to which the aspirations of so many men have, in all ages, been directed.
But to invent a brilliant and captivating vision; to hold this vision constantly before the mind; to think of it; to dream of it; to talk of it; and to discourse fluently, eloquently, and persuasively about it, is one and that a very easy thing; but, to discover, and to attain a knowledge of, that law in nature, or law of God, by which all this predicated acquisition and enjoyment is to be accomplished, is another and a very different thing. For when the origin of this brilliant and captivating vision is carefully investigated, and its character examined, it is found to consist, for the most part, of
individual desire and ambition, of individual covetousness, of the strong and eager individual wish and hope of becoming possessed of a larger accumulation of wealth; and by this means acquiring an increased command of the luxuries of life. The honourable and social desire of seeing the abundant provision that is contained in the sphere of the earth, more justly diffused amongst mankind than it ever has been, or is now, and the beneficial intentions of the Creator of all things promoted, constitutes no part of this vision, notwithstanding they who have begotten, and who extol this vision, declare that it contains within it this noble element of true and just creation. And so, analogically with this general depravity of the human character, the efforts of our writers on Political Economy have been made to coincide with the bad moral characteristic thus developed, for from amongst the whole body of these writers not one is to be selected who has directed his mind to a discovery and an exploration of those social courses of trade by which the diffusion of wealth may be accomplished. All have been engaged in devoting themselves to that abuse, or desertion of science, which is involved in discovering, commending, and recommending, those courses by which the largest amount of wealth or capital may be accumulated in the hands of the few, this course necessitating the poverty and destitution of the many.
When, therefore, the vision of an abundantly-stored earth, with all these stores developed and appropriated under the operation of free labour, and free exchanges of the productions of labour, is brought under the consideration of a thoughtful, reflecting, and capable examiner, the mind of this examiner soon discovers the weak and false application of the term "free." As a capable examiner and judge, conversant with the character of science, he knows that to attain a good and required end there must be a course a definite
course of action, and that this course of action, must be, and is, governed by a LAW. He discerns that every step of the process of developing the materials of the earth is placed by an all-powerful Creator, and all-wise Disposer, under the power of the human body, that is, Labour; and, hence, that the developers or labourers-they, by whose working the process of producing is performed-have to be regarded in those courses by which the exchanges of all the acquired productions are accomplished. The vision, then, of free labour, of free exchanges of the productions of labour-and of free appropriation of the materials of the earth, is seen to be a false vision; a vision containing no law; a vision that has no substantial foundation; a vision destitute of any element by which the materials comprehended in it may be combined and united so as to promote and serve the good design and purpose predicated. Thus, the necessity of introducing the strong spirit and mind of religion; the strong evidence, truth, and power that religion contains and supplies; is seen to be allimportant and indispensable; for by religion, and by religion alone, freedom can be controlled and directed into LAW; free action moulded into lawful action; the perverter transmuted into the converter and conserver; the deranger and destroyer changed into the arranger and constructor.
But then, as I have before declared, a prejudgment against any such application and use of religion is advanced, and we have to see, unhappily, that religion has been so unfaithfully treated by man as to be made to assume the character of a disturber, instead of an arranger and reconciler of men's spirits, thoughts, minds, and interests; and so men have preferred to extrude her altogether from that sphere of consideration and discussion in which social interests and science are especially involved. But this maltreatment of religion by man presents no answer; it supplies no excuse. She still
retains her simple, undefiled, true, practical, and applicable character. It is, unhappily, but too evident that many of those persons who profess a willingness to receive the light of religion, and who, moreover, profess to have such faith as to walk by its light, will, nevertheless, be found to declare that religion is placed before them in a character so complicated, and so sublimely mystified, that they cannot acquire a consciousness of her applicability within the great sphere of social and political science, or the whole industry, trade, and commerce of the world. Now, this dulness and obscurity of vision arise, I maintain, because of the absence of true and perfected love. By reason of this absence of true and perfected love, men have distorted religion. Having first surrounded and mixed up God's truth with their own errors and corruptions, they have then diverted it out of right channels and carried it into wrong channels. They have so conjoined their own falsely-founded inventions, or idols, with religion, as to cause that which so many of the world receive as religion, to assume a character inapplicable to the common interests of men, and hence, impracticable. It is high time, however, that some men should be found, and should come forth, who shall be so loving and faithful as to insist on a separation being made between religion or God's truth, and those inventions which have been conjoined with it, and which have been, and are called, God's truth also, and with and by which, the passions and minds of men have become so enlisted and enslaved, as to make the greater number of them far more ardent believers in, and supporters of, human ideas-the matter of human error converted into idols - than they are of God's truth.
The great problem, then, or that which is involved in the scheme announced by the chief writers on Political Economy, namely, the true social development, appropriation, and en