Economic Sophisms/142

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"the same way had He only taken the advice of Fourrier, the social order would have had no resemblance to that in which we are forced to breathe, live, and move. But since we are here—since in eo vivimus, movemur, et sumus—all we have to do is to study and make ourselves acquainted with the laws of the social order in which we find ourselves, especially if its amelioration depends essentially on our knowledge of these laws.

We cannot prevent the human heart from being the seat of insatiable desires.

We cannot so order it that these desires should be satisfied without labour.

We cannot so order it that man should not have as much repugnance to labour as desire for enjoyment.

We cannot so order it that from this organization there should not result a perpetual effort on the part of certain men to increase their own share of enjoyments at the expense of others; throwing over upon them, by force or cunning, the labour and exertion which are the necessary condition of such enjoyments being obtained.

It is not for us to go in the face of universal history, or stifle the voice of the past, which tells us that such has been the state of things from the beginning. We cannot deny that war, slavery, thraldom, priestcraft, government abuses, privileges, frauds of every kind, and monopolies, have been the incontestable and terrible manifestations of these two sentiments combined in the heart of man—desire of enjoyments, and repugnance to fatigue.

In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread. Yes, but every one desires to have the greatest possible quantity of bread with the least possible amount of sweat. Such is the testimony of history.

But let us be thankful that history also shows us that the diffusion of enjoyments and of efforts has a tendency to become more and more equal among men.

Unless we shut our eyes to the light of the sun, we must admit that society has in this respect made progress.

If this be so, there must be in society a natural and providential force, a law which repels more and more the principle of dishonesty, and realizes more and more the principle of justice.