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MAN HAS PROPERTY IN MAN!
In the Liberator of the 19th December, we observe that the editor narrows down the slavery contest to the mere question, whether "Man may rightfully hold property in man?”
We think we can dispose of this objection to domestic slavery in a very few words.
Man is a social and gregarious animal, and all such animals hold property in each other. Nature imposes upon them slavery as a law and necessity of their existence. They live together to aid each other, and are slaves under Mr. Garrison's higher law. Slavery arises under the higher law, and is, and ever must be, coëval and coëxtensive with human nature.
We will enumerate a few of its ten thousand modifications.
The husband has a legally recognized property in his wife's services, and may legally control, in some measure, her personal liberty. She is his property and his slave.
The wife has also a legally recognized property in the husband's services. He is her property, but not her slave.
The father has property in the services and persons of his children till they are twenty-one years of age. They are his property and his slaves.
Children have property, during infancy, in the services of each parent.
Infant negroes, sick, infirm and superannuated negroes, hold most valuable property in the services and capital of their masters. The masters hold no property in such slaves, because, for the time, they are of no value.
Owners and captains of vessels own property in the services of sailors, and may control their personal liberty. They (the sailors) are property, and slaves also.
The services and persons, lives and liberty of soldiers and of officers, belong to the Government; they are, whilst in service, both property and slaves.
Every white working man, be he clerk, carpenter, mechanic, printer, common laborer, or what else, who contracts to serve for a term of days, months, or years, is, for such term, the property of his employer. He is not a slave, like the wife, child, apprentice, sailor or soldier, because, although the employer's right to his services be equally perfect, his remedy to enforce such right is very different. In the one case, he may resort to force to compel compliance; in the other, he is driven to a suit for damages.
Again: Every capitalist holds property in his fellow men to the extent of the profits of his capital, or income. The only income possibly resulting from capital, is the result of the property which capital bestows on its owners, in the labor of other people. In our first three chapters we attempt to explain this.
All civilized society recognizes, and, in some measure, performs the obligation to support and provide for all human beings, whether natives or foreigners, who are unable to provide for themselves. Hence poor-houses, &c.
Hence all men hold valuable property, actual or contingent, in the services of each other.
If, Mr. Garrison, this be the only difficulty to be adjusted between North and South, we are sure that your little pet, Disunion, "living will linger, and lingering will die."
When Mr. Andrews and you have quite "expelled human nature," dissolved and disintegrated society, and reduced mankind to separate, independent, but conflicting monads, or human atoms— then, and not till then, will you establish the 'sovereignty of the individual,' and destroy the property of man in man.
THE "COUP DE GRACE" TO ABOLITION.
The Abolitionists are all willing to admit that free society has utterly failed in Europe, but will assign two reasons for that failure-"Excess of population, and want of equality and liberty."
Were the population of England doubled, the labor required to support that population would be lessened, could all labor and expenses be supported alike; because the association and division of labor might be rendered more perfect, and the expenses of a single family, or single individual, might be divided among and borne by many. The Socialists and Abolitionists understand this. When one family has to support its own school, its own mill, its own mechanics, its own doctor, parson, &c., living is expensive; but where these and other expenses are divided among many, living becomes cheap; hence it is far less laborious to live in a densely settled country than in a sparsely settled one, if labor and expenses can be equally divided. The soil of England will readily support double its
population, if its products be not wasted in luxury, in feeding deer, and game, and horses. England has not attained that density of population which enables men to live by the least amount of labor. Her laboring population has been thinned and labor rendered dearer and scarcer, by emigration, of late years, to America, California and Australia-yet, in the winter of 1854, there was a general outbreak and riot of her operatives, because a fall in prices occasioned a large number of her factories to stop work, and turn their hands out of employment. This happens every day in free society, from the bankruptcy of employers, or from the glut of markets and fall of prices. We will add, that a meeting of the working men of New York, in the Park, asserted that there were 50,000 working men and women, in that city, out of employment last winter.
The competitive system (so injurious to the laboring class) is carried out with less exception or restriction in America than in Europe. Hence, considering the sparseness of our population, the laboring class are worse off in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, than in London, Manchester or Paris. And this begets more Socialists in the higher classes, and more mobs, riots and tradeunions, with the laborers, than in Europe.
Finally, if it be excess of numbers, or want of liberty, that occasions the failure of free society,