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cannot breathe the air, without a place to breathe it from, and all places are appropriated. All water is private property to the middle of the stream,' except the ocean, and that is not fit to drink.
Free laborers have not a thousandth part of the rights and liberties of negro slaves. Indeed, they have not a single right or a single liberty, unless it be the right or liberty to die. But the reader may think that he and other capitalists and employers are freer than negro slaves. Your capital would soon vanish, if you dared indulge in the liberty and abandon of negroes. You hold your wealth and position by the tenure of constant watchfulness, care and circumspection. You never labor; but you are never free. Where a few own the soil, they have unlimited power over the balance of society, until domestic slavery comes in, to compel them to permit this balance of society to draw a sufficient and comfortable living from “terra mater.” Free society, asserts the right of a few to the earth-slavery, maintains that it belongs, in different degrees, to all.
But, reader, well may you follow the slave trade. It is the only trade worth following, and slaves the only property worth owning. All other is worthless, a mere caput mortuum, except in so far as it vests the owner with the power to command the labors of others to enslave thém. Give you a palace, ten thousand acres of land, sumptuous
clothes, equipage and every other luxury; and with your artificial wants, you are poorer than Robinson Crusoe, or the lowest working man, if you have no slaves to capital, or domestic slaves. Your capital will not bring you an income of a cent, nor supply one of your wants, without labor. Labor is indispensable to give value to property, and if you owned every thing else, and did not own labor, you would be poor. But fifty thousand dollars means, and is, fifty thousand dollars worth of slaves. You can command, without touching on that capital, three thousand dollars' worth of labor per annum. You could do no more were you to buy slaves with it, and then you would be cumbered with the cares of governing and providing for them. You are a slaveholder now, to the amount of fifty thousand dollars, with all the advantages, and none of the cares and responsibilities of a master.
“Property in man" is what all are struggling to obtain. Why should they not be obliged to take care of man, their property, as they do of their horses and their hounds, their cattle and their sheep. Now, under the delusive name of liberty, you work. him, “ from morn to dewy eve"from infancy to old age—then turn him out to starve. You treat your horses and hounds better. Capital is a cruel master. The_free slave trade, the commonest, yet the cruellest of trades.
LABOR, SKILL AND CAPITAL.
Nothing written on the subject of slavery from the time of Aristotle, is worth reading, until the days of the modern Socialists. Nobody, treating of it, thought it worth while to enquire from history and statistics, whether the physical and moral condition of emancipated serfs or slaves had been improved or rendered worse by emancipation. None would condescend to compare the evils of domestic slavery with the evils of liberty without property. It entered no one's head to conceive a doubt as to the actual freedom of the emancipated. The relations of capital and labor, of the property-holders to the non-property-holders, were things about which no one had thought or written. It never occurred to either the enemies or the apologists for slavery, that if no one would employ the free laborer, his condition was infinitely worse than that of actual slavery—nor did it occur to them, that if his wages were less than the allowance of the slave, he was less free after emancipation than before. St. Simon, Fourier, Owen, Fanny Wright, and a few others, who discovered and proclaimed that prop
erty was not only a bad master, but an intolerable one, were treated as wicked visionaries. After the French and other revolutions in Western Europe in 1830, all men suddenly discovered that the social relations of men were false, and that social, not political, revolutions were needed. Since that period, almost the whole literature of free society is but a voice proclaiming its absolute and total failure. Hence the works of the socialists contain the true defence of slavery.
Most of the active intellect of Christendom has for the last twenty years been engaged in analyzing, detecting and exposing the existing relations of labor, skill and capital, and in vain efforts to rectify those relations. The philosophers of Europe, who have been thus engaged, have excelled all the moral philosophers that preceded them, in the former part of their pursuit, but suggested nothing but puerile absurdities, in the latter. Their destructive philosophy is profound, demonstrative, and unanswerable—their constructive theories, wild, visionary and chimerical on paper, and failures in practice. Each one of them proves clearly enough, that the present edifice of European society is out of all rule and proportion, and must soon tumble to pieces—but no two agree as to how it is to be re-built.
“We must (say they all) have a new world, if we are to have any world at all!" and each has a little model Utopia or Phalanstery, for this new and better world,
which, having already failed on a small experimental scale, the inventor assures us, is, therefore, the very thing to succeed on a large one. We allude to the socialists and communists, who have more or less tinged all modern literature with their doctrines. In analyzing society; in detecting, exposing, and generalizing its operations and its various phenomena, they are but grammarians or anatomists, confining philosophy to its proper sphere, and employing it for useful purposes. When they attempt to go further—and having found the present social system to be fatally diseased, propose to originate and build up another in its stead—they are as presumptuous as the anatomist, who should attempt to create a man.
Social bodies, like human bodies, are the works of God, which man may dissect, and sometimes heal, but which he cannot create. Society was not always thus diseased, or, socialism would have been as common in the past as it is
We think these presumptuous philosophers had best compare it in its healthy state with what it is now, and supply deficiencies or lop off excrescencies, as the comparison may suggest. But our present business is to call attention to some valuable discoveries in the terra firma of social science, which these socialists have made in their vain voyages in search of an ever receding and illusory Utopia. Like the alchymists, although they have signally failed in the objects of their pursuits, they