Economic Sophisms/239

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"activity! What life! Every dress will occupy a hundred fingers, instead of ten. No young woman will be idle, and we have no need, Sire, to indicate to your perspicacity the moral consequences of this great revolution. Not only will there be more young women employed, but each of them will earn more, for they will be unable to supply the demand; and if competition shall again show itself, it will not be among the seamstresses who make the dresses, but among the fine ladies who wear them.

You must see then, Sire, that our proposal is not only in strict conformity with the economic traditions of the government, but is in itself essentially moral and popular.

To appreciate its effects, let us suppose the law passed and in operation,—let us transport ourselves in imagination into the future,—and assume the new system to have been in operation for twenty years. Idleness is banished from the country; ease and concord, contentment and morality, have, with employment, been introduced into every family—no more poverty, no more vice. The left hand being very visible in all work, employment will be abundant, and the remuneration adequate. Everything is arranged on this footing, and the workshops in consequence are full. If, in such circumstances, Sire, Utopian dreamers were all at once to agitate for the right hand being again set free, would they not throw the whole country into alarm? Would such a pretended reform not overturn the whole existing state of things? Then our system must be good, since it could not be put an end to without universal suffering.

And yet we confess we have the melancholy presentiment (so great is human perversity) that some day there will be formed an association for right-hand freedom.

We think that already we hear the free Dexteristes, assembled in the Salle Montesquieu, holding this language:—

"Good people, you think yourselves richer because the use of one of your hands has been denied you; you take account only of the additional employment which that brings you. But consider also the high prices which result from it, and the forced diminution of consumption. That measure has not made capital more abundant, and capital is the fund from which wages are paid. The streams which flow from that great

reservoir are directed towards other channels; but their volume is