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laborers. He and his heirs now pay nothing for labor, but command it. They have nothing to pay except their capital, and that they retain. This is the exploitation or despotism of capital, which has taken the place of domestic slavery, and is, in fact, a much worse kind of slavery. Hence arises socialism, which proposes to reconstruct society.) Now, this capitalist is considered highly meritorious for so doing, and the poor, self-sacrificing laborers, who really created his capital, and who pay its profits, are thought contemptible, if not criminal. In the general, those men are considered the most meritorious who live in greatest splendor, with the least, or with no labor, and they most contemptible, who labor most for others, and least for themselves. In the abstract, however, that dealing appears most correct, where men exchange equal amounts of labor, bear equal burdens for others, with those that they impose on them. Such is the golden rule of Scripture, but not the approved practice of mankind.
“The worth of a thing is just what it will bring,” is the common trading principle of mankind. Yet men revolt at the extreme applications of their own principle, and denunciate any gross and palpable advantage taken of the wants, position and necessities of others as swindling. But we should recollect, that in all instances where unequal amounts of labor are exchanged at par, advantage is really taken by him who gets in exchange the larger amount of labor, of the wants, position and necessities of him who receives the smaller amount.
We have said that laborers pay all taxes, but labor being capital in slave society, the laborers or slaves are not injured by increased taxes; and the capitalist or master has to retrench his own expenses to meet the additional tax. Capital is not taxed in free society, but is taxed in slave society, because, in such society, labor is capital.
The capitalists and the professional can, and do, by increased profits and fees, throw the whole burden of taxation on the laboring class. Slaveholders cannot do so; for diminished allowance to their slaves, would impair their value and lessen their own capital.
Our expose of what the socialists term the exploitation of skill and capital, will not, we know, be satisfactory to slaveholders even; for, although there be much less of such exploitation, or unjust exaction, in slave society; still, too much of it remains to be agreeable to contemplate. Besides, our analysis of human nature and human pursuits, is too dark and sombre to meet with ready acceptance. We should be rejoiced to see our theory refuted. We are sure, however, that it never can be; but equally sure, that it is subject to many modifications and limitations that have not occurred to
We have this consolation, that in rejecting as false and noxious all systems of moral philosophy, we are thrown upon the Bible, as containing the only true system of morals. We have attempted already to adduce three instances, in which the justification of slavery furnished new and additional evidence of the truth of Christianity. We wiil now add others.
It is notorious that infidelity appeared in the world, on an extensive scale, only cotemporaneously with the abolition of slavery, and that it is now limited to countries where no domestic slavery exists. Besides, abolitionists are commonly infidels, as their speeches, conventions, and papers daily evince.
Where there is no slavery, the minds of men are unsettled on all subjects, and there is, emphatically, faith and conviction about nothing. Their moral and social world is in a chaotic and anarchical state. Order, subordination and adaptation have vanished; and with them, the belief in a Deity, the author of all order. It had often been urged, that the order observable in the moral and physical world, furnished strong evidence of a Deity, the author of that order. How vastly is this argument now strengthened, by the new fact, now first developed, that the destruction of social order generates universal scepticism. Mere political revolutions affect social order but little, and generate but little infidelity. It remained for social revolutions, like those in Europe in 1848, to bring on an infidel age; for, outside of elave society, such is the age in which we live.
If we prove that domestic slavery is, in the general, a natural and necessary institution, we remove the greatest stumbling block to belief in the Bible; for whilst texts, detached and torn from their context, may be found for
purpose, none can be found that even militates against slavery. The distorted and forced construction of certain passages, for this purpose, by abolitionists, if employed as a common rule of construction, would reduce the Bible to a mere allegory, to be interpreted to suit every vicious taste and wicked purpose. .
But we have been looking merely to one side of human nature, and to that side rendered darker by the false, antagonistic and competitive relations in which so-called liberty and equality place man.
Man is, by nature, the most social and gregarious, and, therefore, the least selfish of animals. Within the family there is little room, opportunity or temptation to selfishness—and slavery leaves but little of the world without the family. Man loves that nearest to him best. First his wife, children and parents, then his slaves, next his neighbors and fellow-countrymen. But his unselfishness does not stop here. He is ready and anxious to relieve a famine in Ireland, and shudders when he reads of a murder at the antipodes. He feels deeply for the
sufferings of domestic animals, and is rendered happy by witnessing the enjoyments of the flocks, and herds, and carroling birds that surround him. He sympathizes with all external nature. A parched field distresses him, and he rejoices as he sees the groves, and the gardens, and the plains flourishing, and blooming, and smiling about him. All men are philanthropists, and would benefit their fellow-men if they could. But we cannot be sure of benefiting those whom
cannot control. Hence, all actively good men are ambitious, and would be masters, in all save the name.
Benevolence, the love of what is without, and the disposition to incur pain or inconvenience to advance the happiness and well-being of what is without self, is as universal a motive of human conduct, as mere selfishness—which is the disposition to sacrifice the good of others to our own good.
The prevalent philosophy of the day takes cognizance of but half of human nature—and that the worst half. Our happiness is so involved in the happinesss and well-being of everything around us, that a mere selfish philosophy, like political economy, is a very unsafe and delusive guide.
We employ the term Benevolence to express our outward affections, sympathies, tastes and feelings; but it is inadequate to express our meaning; it is not the opposite of selfishness, and unselfishness would be too negative for our purpose. Philosophy