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From Preface THE tendency of the whole British system of political economy is to the production of discord among men and nations. It is based upon the Ricardo and Malthusian doctrines of rent and population, which teach that men every where commenceMoreFrom Preface THE tendency of the whole British system of political economy is to the production of discord among men and nations. It is based upon the Ricardo and Malthusian doctrines of rent and population, which teach that men every where commence the work of cultivation on the rich soils of the earth, and that, when population is small, food is abundant- but that as numbers increase, men are forced to resort to poorer soils, yielding steadily less and less in return to labor. As a necessary consequence of the increasing scarcity of fertile soils, it is held that with this diminishing return, the land-holder is enabled to take a larger proportion of the proceeds of labor. thus profiting at the cost of the laborer, and by reason of the same causes which tend to the gradual subjugation of the latter to the will of his master. Here are, of course, lying at the very foundation of the system, discordant interests, and this discord is found in every succeeding portion of it. Over-population is held to be a result of a great law of nature, in virtue of which men grow in numbers faster than can grow the food that is to nourish them- and the poverty, vice, and crime that everywhere exist, are regarded as necessary consequences of this great law, emanating from an all-wise, all-powerful, and all merciful Being. War, famine, and pestilence are regarded as means provided by that Being for restraining population within the limits of subsistence. Charity is regarded as almost a crime, because it tends to promote the growth of population. The landlord excuses himself for taking large rents, on the ground that it is a necessary consequence of the natural tendency of man to increase in numbers with too great rapidity. The stockholder of the East India Company, who luxuriates upon the produce of his stock, regards it as one of the natural consequences of this great law that he should receive, as rent, so large a portion of the proceeds of labor applied to cultivation, as to leave to the poor cultivator but half a dollar per month, out of which to supply himself and his family with food, raiment, and shelter- and excuses himself to his conscience, on the ground that it is a necessary result of great natural laws. Capital cannot become more productive, except at the cost of labor- nor can wages rise, except at the cost of capital. Amon, the consequences of this great law of discords, promulgated by Malthus and Ricatdo, is found the idea that, if men would prosper, they must live apart from each other. The rich lands of England are, as it is said, already occupied, and those who would find rich lands must fly to America or to Australia, there to produce food and raw materials with which to supply the market of England- and thus it is that that country seeks to establish a system of commercial centralization, that is-as was so justly said, seventy years since, by Adam Smith-a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind.