Economic Sophisms/227

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh""R.: Improvident savage! You don't see that after having annihilated our hunting by inundating us with game, he would annihilate our gardening by inundating us with vegetables.

"F: But this would only last till we were in a situation to give him something else; that is to say, until we found something else which we could produce with economy of labour for ourselves.

"R: Something else, something else! You always come back to that. You are at sea, my good friend Friday; there is nothing practical in your views.

"The debate was long prolonged, and, as often happens, each remained wedded to his own opinion. But Robinson possessing a great ascendant over Friday, his opinion prevailed, and when the foreigner arrived to demand a reply, Robinson said to him—

"'Stranger, in order to induce us to accept your proposal, we must be assured of two things:

"'The first is, that your island is no better stocked with game than ours, for we want to fight only with equal weapons.

"'The second is, that you will lose by the bargain. For, as in every exchange there is necessarily a gaining and a losing party, we should be dupes, if you were not the loser. What have you got to say?'

"'Nothing,' replied the foreigner; and, bursting out a-laughing, he regained his canoe."

"The story would not be amiss, if Robinson were not made to argue so very absurdly."

"He does not argue more absurdly than the committee of the rue Hauteville."

"Oh! the case is very different Sometimes you suppose one man, and sometimes (which comes to the same thing) two men working in company. That does not tally with the actual state of things. The division of labour and the intervention of merchants and money change the state of the question very much."

"That may complicate transactions, but does not change their nature."

"What ! you want to compare modern commerce with a system of barter."

"Trade is nothing but a multiplicity of barters. Barter is in