Economic Sophisms/226

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"speak of a repose which will subtract nothing from our supply of game and vegetables. You always forget that by means of our foreign trade nine hours' labour will give us the same quantity of provisions that we obtain at present with twelve.

"R: It is very evident, Friday, that you have not been educated in Europe, and that you have never read the Moniteur Industriel. If you had, it would have taught you this: that all time saved is sheer loss. The important thing is not to eat or consume, but to work. All that we consume, if it is not the direct produce of our labour, goes for nothing. Do you want to know whether you are rich? Never consider the satisfactions you enjoy, but the labour you undergo. This is what the Moniteur Industriel would teach you. For myself, who have no pretensions to be a theorist, the only thing I look at is the loss of our hunting.

"F.: What a strange conglomeration of ideas! but …

"R.: I will have no buts. Moreover, there are political reasons for rejecting the interested offers of the perfidious foreigner.

"F.: Political reasons!

"R.: Yes, he only makes us these offers because they are advantageous to him.

"F.: So much the better, since they are for our advantage likewise.

"R.: Then by this traffic we should place ourselves in a situation of dependence upon him.

"F.: And he would place himself in dependence on us. We should have need of his game, and he of our vegetables, and we should live on terms of friendship.

"R.: System! Do you want me to shut your mouth?

"F.: We shall see about that. I have as yet heard no good reason.

"R.: Suppose the foreigner learns to cultivate a garden, and that his island should prove more fertile than ours. Do you see the consequence?

"F.: Yes; our relations with the foreigner would cease. He would send us no more vegetables, since he could have them at home with less labour. He would take no more game from us, since we should have nothing to give him in exchange, and we

should then be in precisely the situation that you wish us in now.