Gambar halaman

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.



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 now. 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

have incidentally hit upon truths, unregarded and unprized by themselves, which will be valuable in the hands of more practical and less sanguine men. It is remarkable, that the political economists, who generally assume labor to be the most just and correct measure of value, should not have discovered that the profits of capital represent no labor at all. To be consistent, the political economists should denounce as unjust all interests, rents, dividends and other profits of capital. We mean by rents, that portion of the rent which is strictly income. The amount annually required for repairs and ultimately to rebuild the house, is not profit. Four per cent. will do this. A rent of ten per cent. is in such case a profit of six per cent. The four per cent. is but a return to the builder of his labor and capital spent in building. "The use of a thing, is only a fair subject of change, in so far as the article used is consumed in the use; for such consumption is the consumption of the labor or capital of the owner, and is but the exchange of equivalent amounts of labor."

These socialists, having discovered that skill and capital, by means of free competition, exercise an undue mastery over labor, propose to do away with skill, capital, and free competition, altogether. They would heal the diseases of society by destroying its most vital functions. Having laid down the broad proposition, that equal amounts

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »