Economic Sophisms/166

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"the general good which must gradually diffuse itself over the masses. That by no means produces the same sensation.

Thus, when the question turns on the abolition of slavery. "Poor men!" is the language addressed to the negroes, "who is henceforth to support you. The manager handles the lash, but he likewise distributes the cassava."

The slaves regret to part with their chains, for they ask themselves, "Whence will come the cassava?"

They fail to see that it is not the manager who feeds them, but their own labour—which feeds both them and the manager.

When they set about reforming the convents in Spain, they asked the beggars, "Where will you now find food and clothing? The prior is your best friend. Is it not very convenient to be in a situation to address yourselves to him?"

And the mendicants replied, "True; if the prior goes away, we see very clearly that we shall be losers, and we do not see at all so clearly who is to come in his place."

They did not take into account that if the convents bestowed alms, they lived upon them; so that the nation had more to give away than to receive.

In the same way, workmen ! monopoly, quite imperceptibly, saddles you with taxes, and then, with the produce of these taxes, finds you employment.

And your sham friends exclaim, "But for monopolies, where would you find employment?"

And you, like the Spanish beggars, reply, "True, true; the employment which the monopolists find us is certain. The promises of liberty are of uncertain fulfilment."

For you do not see that they take from you in the first instance the money with part of which they afterwards afford you employment.

You ask. Who is to find you employment? And the answer is, that you will give employment to one another! With the money of which he is no longer deprived by taxation, the shoemaker will dress better, and give employment to the tailor. The tailor will more frequently renew his chaussure, and afford employment to the shoemaker; and the same thing will take place in all other departments of trade.