Economic Sophisms/242

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"IN the same way that in time of war we attain the mastery by superiority in arms, do we not, in time of peace, arrive at domination by superiority in labour?"

This is a question of the highest interest at a time when no doubt seems to be entertained that in the field of industry, as in the field of battle, the stronger crushes the weaker.

To arrive at this conclusion, we must have discovered between the labour which is applied to commodities and the violence exercised upon men, a melancholy and discouraging analogy; for why should these two kinds of operations be thought identical in, their effects, if they are essentially different in their own nature?

And if it be true that in industry, as in war, predominance is the necessary result of superiority, what have we to do with progress or with social economy, seeing that we inhabit a world where everything has been so arranged by Providence that one and the same effect—namely, oppression—proceeds necessarily from two opposite principles?

With reference to England's new policy of commercial freedom, many persons make this objection, which has, I am convinced, taken possession of the most candid minds among us: "Is England doing anything else than pursuing the same end by different means. Does she not always aspire at universal supremacy? Assured of her superiority in capital and labour, does she not invite free competition in order to stifle

Continental industry, and so put herself in a situation to reign as a