Economic Sophisms/125

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"And, if the agent be Cunning, as in the case of Priestcraft and Monopoly, it is natural that the majority should become enlightened, otherwise intelligence would cease to be intelligence.

Another natural law deposits a second germ of death in the heart of spoliation, which is this:

Spoliation not only displaces wealth, but always partially destroys it.

War annihilates many values.

Slavery paralyzes, to a great extent, men's faculties.

Priestcraft diverts men's efforts towards objects which are puerile or hurtful

Monopoly transfers wealth from one pocket to another, but much is lost in the transference.

This is an admirable law. Without it, provided there existed an equilibrium between the forces of the oppressors and oppressed, spoliation would have no limits. In consequence of the operation of this law, the equilibrium tends always to be upset; either because the spoliators have the fear of such a loss of wealth, or because, in the absence of such fear, the evil constantly increases, and it is in the nature of anything which constantly gets worse and worse, ultimately to perish and be annihilated.

There comes at last a time when, in its progressive acceleration, this loss of wealth is such that the spoliator finds himself poorer than he would have been had there been no spoliation.

Take, for example, a people to whom the expense of war costs more than the value of the booty.

A master who pays dearer for slave labour than for free labour.

A system of priestcraft, which renders people so dull and stupid, and destroys their energy to such an extent, that there is no longer anything to be got from them.

A monopoly which increases its efforts at absorption in proportion as there is less to absorb, just as one should endeavour to milk a cow more vigorously in proportion as there is less milk to be got.

Monopoly, it will be seen, is a species of the genus Template:Hws