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tions of a master-to protect, defend and provide
Her superior skill in the mechanic arts, by means of free trade, taxes or exploitates us quite as much as her capital. She exchanges her comparatively light and skillful labor, for our hard, exposed and unintellectual labor; and, in the general, compels us to labor three hours for her, when she labors one for us. . Thus, after deducting the cost of the material, a yard of her cloth will exchange for an amount of our cotton, corn or meat, that cost three times as much labor to produce as her yard of cloth.
As in society, the skillful and professional tax or exploitate the common laborer, by exchanging one hour of their light labor for many of the common workingman's hard labor; as lawyers, doctors, merchants and mechanics deal with day laborers, so England and New England treat us of the South. This theory, and this alone, accounts for England's ability to pay the interest on her national debt, and yet increase her wealth. She effects it all by the immense profits of the exploitation of her skill and capital; by the power which they give her to command labor, and appropriate its results, without consideration, or for a very partial consideration. She trades with the world, and exploitates it all, except France. France sets the fashion, and this enables her to exploitate England. England, in her trade
with France, has to pay for French fashions as well as French labor. In other words, France possesses superior skill, and exploitates England by means of it. Labor, not skill, is the just and equitable measure of values.
America sends her cotton, her surplus grain and meats, and other agricultural products, and her California gold, to England, and gets worse than nothing in return; for if she were compelled to produce at home what she procures from England, she must cultivate a thousand skillful and intellectual pursuits, instead of being, as she too much is, confined to the coarse drudgery of common labor. The Southern States of this Union are exploitated of their labor and their brains, in their trade with England and New England. They produce nothing which we had not better produce at home. Northern trade exploitates us. Trade further South would enrich us and enlighten us; for we would manufacture for the far South. We should become exploitators, instead of being exploitated.
When we were in New Haven, a distinguished abolitionist boasted to us that mechanics received two dollars per day for their labor, and, by their China trade, exchanged the products of one day's labor for twenty days' labor of the Chinese, who worked for ten cents a day. The New England mechanic was thus the master of twenty Chinese laborers, whose labor he commanded for one of his
own day's labor. Here was an instance of individual, not of national exploitation. Well might China dread free trade. It gives her task-masters, who impoverish her people and depress her civilization; for they, by their machinery and superior skill, withdraw her people from a thousand mechanical pursuits that promoted civilization.
In Sociology, we explained this subject synthetically: we have tried now to expound it analytically.
FALSE PHILOSOPHY OF THE AGE.
The moral philosophy of our age, (which term we use generically to include Politics, Ethics, and Economy, domestic and national,) is deduced from the existing relations of men to each other in free society, and attempts to explain, to justify, to generalize and regulate those relations. If that system of society be wrong, and its relations false, the philosophy resulting from it must partake of its error and falsity. On the other hand, if our current philosophy be true, slavery must be wrong, because that philosophy is at war with slavery. No successful defence of slavery can be made, till we succeed in refuting or invalidating the principles on which free society rests for support or defence. The world, however, is sick of its philosophy; and the Socialists have left it not a leg to stand on.
In fact, it is, in all its ramifications, a mere expansion and application of Political Economy,--and Political Economy may be summed up in the phrase, “Laissez-faire,” or “Let alone." A system of unmitigated selfishness pervades and distinguishes all departments of ethical, political, and
economic science. The philosophy is partially true, because selfishness, as a rule of action and guide of conduct, is necessary to the existence of man, and of all other animals. But it should not be, with man especially, the only rule and guide; for he is, by nature, eminently social and gregarious. His wants, his weakness, his appetites, his affections, compel him to look without, and beyond self, in order to sustain self. The eagle and the owl, the lion and the tiger, are not gregarious, but solitary and self-supporting. They practice political economy, because 'tis adapted to their natures. But men and beavers, herds, bees, and ants, require a different philosophy, another guide of conduct. The Bible, (independent of its authority,) is far man's best guide, even in this world. Next to it, we would place Aristotle. But all books written four hundred or more years ago, are apt to yield useful instruction, whilst those written since that time will generally mislead. We
We mean, of course, books on moral science. We should not be far out in saying, that no book on physics, written more than four hundred years ago, is worth reading, and none on morals written within that time. The Reformation, which effected much of practical good, gave birth to a false philosophy, which has been increasing and ramifying until our day, and now threatens the overthrow of all social institutions. The right of Private Judgment led to the doctrine