« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
contract or consent of the servant.” The sick, the superannuated, the infirm, and the infant slaves are under no such obligation in theory or practice. The master is under an obligation, legally, theoretically and practically, to labor for them. Therefore, the master of twenty slaves is always a slave himself. If he be a good man, he is the happier for performing his duties as slave to those classes of his slaves. But what becomes of that slavery of the ancients and of China, where the slave, by actual contract, sells himself? This is not slavery according to Paley.
The great and glaring defect, however, of Paley's definition is, that he omits the obligation on the master to provide for and protect the slave. 'Tis but half of a definition, and that half false. It does often happen that the obligations of the master are more onerous than those of the slave. Yet Paley omits those obligations altogether. The slave, when capable to do so, must work for the master; but the master, at all times, must provide for the slave. If incapable of doing so, the law gives the slave a new master and protector. His situation is less honorable, but far more secure than that of the master. Definitions are perilous attempts. We never read one that a seventy-four with all sail set might not drive through. We shall define nothing ourselves, for we know that this is the.
business of Omnipotence, that alone knows "all things in heaven and on earth."
We proceed to examine the attempted definitions of Montesquieu and Blackstone. Blackstone objects to the right to sell one's self, that the consideration enures to the buyer. This may or may
so, according to the laws of the State where the contract is made. It is not a necessary feature of slavery, and cannot fairly be employed as an objection to it. In fact, the slaves of the South, in their houses, gardens, fruit, vegetables, pigs and fowls, hold more property than the peasantry of Europe, and are far better secured in its possession by their masters, than that peasantry is by the law. He further objects, that in case of absolute slavery, not only the liberty, but the life of the slave is at the master's disposal. This objection is false and puerile. In no civilized country has the master the right to kill his slave.
The protection or support to which the slave is entitled, would be an ample consideration of itself for the sale of his liberty. A much larger one than the capitalists of Europe would be willing to give; for they all say that free labor is cheapest.
Montesquieu thus . defines slavery:—“Slavery, properly so called, is the establishment of a right which gives to one man such a power over another, as renders him absolute master of his life and fortune.” This is French liberty under the rule of
' the republican Bonapartes, and English liberty un.
der Cromwell--not Southern slavery. France is always happy and prosperous with a master, and the masses in England look back to the Protectorate with fond regret. These despots played the part of Southern masters. They forced the strong to support the weak, the rich to take care of the poor. The nations became two farms or families. Western Europe will soon have to choose between domestic slavery and universal slavery. | Democracy and liberty are antagonistic; for liberty permits and encourages the weak to oppress the strong, whilst democracy proposes, so far as possible, to equalize advantages, by fairly dividing the burdens of life, and rigidly enforcing the performance of every social duty by every member of society, according to his capacity and ability.
PALEY ON EXPLOITATION.
Paley maintains, to its fullest extent, the doctrine of exploitation which we have endeavored to expound and illustrate in the last three chapters. Yet, neither Paley nor any of his readers were ever aware of its tremendous consequences. It is only when those consequences are pointed out, that the mind revolts at the theory.
He saw and said, that capital paid labor nothing, yet discovered no iniquity in the transaction. He saw that labor produced every thingcapital nothing, and all that the capitalist does is, to distribute what others produce.” He should have added, after retaining the “lion's share” himself. Our whole theory is to be found in a single paragraph of Paley, and if there be nothing strange or monstrous in his theory, there can be nothing of the kind in ours; for our theories are identical. Chapter 2, Book 3d of his philosophy, under the head of “ The treatment of our domestics and dependants,” he employs the following language: “Another reflection of a like tendency with the former is, that our obligation to them is much greater than theirs to us.
It is a mistake to suppose that the rich man maintains his servants, tradesmen, tenants and laborers: the truth is, they maintain him. It is their industry which supplies his table, furnishes his wardrobe, builds his houses, adorns his equipage, provides his amusements. It is not the estate, but the labor employed on it, that pays
his rents. All that he does is, to distribute what others produce; which is the least part of the business.” He should have added, “but far the most profitable part."
A few additional truths, and this paragraph of Paley's would be an admirable description of “Cannibals" above, and “Slaves without Masters," below.
His servants are obliged to work as our slaves, not for pay, but for an allowance out of the proceeds of their own labor. His employers, like our masters, only distribute something of their earnings to the laborers, giving them far less than masters give to slaves, retaining more to themselves—and hence “free labor is cheaper than slave labor.”
But Paley did not comprehend what he wrote. We, aided by the Socialists, will try to make it understood by others.
Philosophy cannot justify the relation between the free laborer, and the idle, irresponsible employer. But, 'tis easy to justify that between master and slave. Their obligations are mutual and