صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

at the end of this eighteenth century, be proposed to any learned body, by inhabitants of a kingdom that glories in the talents and discernment of its natives. The Faculty being assembled for the above purpose, it is agreed, with the unanimous assent of all voices, to answer the first and second queries absolutely in the negative.

The Faculty does not think it incumbent upon her, in this place, to enter upon the proofs of her opinion, or to show how it is supported by passages in the Holy Scriptures, or the writings of antiquity. That has already been done by Bossuet, De Marca, the two Barclays, Goldastus, the Pithæuses, Argentre Widrington, and his Majesty King James the First, in his Dissertation against Bellarmine and Du Perron, and by many others, &c. &c. &c.

The Faculty then proceeds to declare, that the sovereign power of the state is in nowise (not even indirectly, as it is termed) subject to, or dependent upon any other power; though it be a spiritual power, or even though it be instituted for eternal salvation, &c. &c.

That no man, nor any assembly of men, however eminent in dignity and power, nor even the whole body of the Catholic church, though assembled in general council, can, upon any ground of pretence whatsoever, weaken the bond of union between the Sovereign and the people ; still less can they absolve or free the subjects from their oath of allegiance.

Proceeding to the third question, the said Faculty of Divinity (in perfect wonder that such a question should be proposed to her) most positively and unequivocally answers, that there is not, and there never has been, among the Catholics, or in the doctrines of the Church of Rome, any law or principle whch makes it lawful for Catholics to break their faith with heretics, or others of a different persuasion from themselves, in matters of religion, either in public or private concerns.

The Faculty declares the doctrine of the Catholics to be, that the divine and natural law, which makes it a duty to keep faith and promises, is the same, and is neither shaken nor diminished, if those, with whom the engagement is made, hold erroneous opinions in matters of religion, &c. &c.

Signed in due form on the 18th of November, 1788.

a

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

WHAT ARE RICHES?

&c. &c.

a

The Definition of Riches may have seemed to those, who have not studied the subject, to be a much easier thing, than it is!

On the 6th day of September, 1819-a date which, for a reason that will presently appear, the reader is particularly requested to attend to, I published in a Tract on Population and Riches, (printed at Geneva) the following DEFINITION on this subject :

« Riches are such material things, as have a value in exchange either with other material things, or with such immaterial things, as gratify the wants, conveniences, or amusements of man.”

I added in a note:

“ It seems to me that Adam SMITH's omission of this word material has led GARNIER, SAY, and others, into inextricable confusion and errors about immaterial Riches, and productive and nonproductive labor.

“I contend that to entitle that which is produced to belong to the class of RICHES, it must have something of substance, of which the producer, when he transfers it, loses the property;

and which is of a nature to be capable of being re-exchanged or retransferred. It may be consumed as soon as produced, either by the producer, or by him who takes it in exchange ; but it must have the capacity of some duration, and of being exchangeable and re-exchangeable.”

In the following year, 1820, Mr. Malthus published his great work on THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. His Introduction is dated from Hertford College, 1 Dec. 1819. He commences with a definition of Riches, in which he also confines them to objects material.

But in another important point even his definition is defectively worded.

[ocr errors]

a

Lord LAUDERDALE defines Riches to be :
“ Every thing necessary, useful, or agreeable to man.”
M. Say defines them to be :

Every thing that can procure whatever is necessary, useful, or agreeable to man.” Mr. MALTHUS defines them to be :

« Such material objects as are necessary, useful, or agreeable to man.'

All these definitions are mainly defective.

Lord LAUDERDALE omits both the materiality, and the power of procuring.

N. Say omits the materiality.
Mr. Malthus omits the power of procuring.

Supply these defects, and the definition may be made perfect, thus :

« Riches are such material objects as have the power of procuring whatever is necessary, useful, or agreeable to man.”

The indefinite latitude of Lord LAUDERDALE's (miscalled) definition is apparent to all.

The latitude of M. Say's definition is sufficient to destroy all the distinctions on which depends a clear knowledge of the causes of the increase or decrease of Riches. It involves a series of confusions, which meet us at every step ; and rests its support on innumerable subtleties, of which I can scarcely name another example.

Mr. MALTHUS's defectiveness is confined to his definition. His whole doctrine entirely agrees with the corrected definition which I have supplied. It is singular, that he should have fallen

. into an omissiveness similar to that which he has blamed in Adam Smith. Smith's doctrine was right: but he omitted the word material in his definition. So Malthus has omitted to name the ingredient of procurability, or exchangeable value.

Say's error is not a mere defect in wording his definition. : It pervades all his theory, and is its corner-stone. It lets in what he calls Immaterial Riches, and on this he prides himself.

It is not my present purpose to pursue this, which I contend to be a most important error, into all its consequences. It may be at this moment sufficient to say only enough to show its nature.

In assuming whatever will procure Riches, to be Riches : 1. There is a confusion between the means and the end. 2. A confusion between the posse and the esse. 3. A confusion between exchangeability and identity of kind.

One might have expected, that the words Immaterial Riches would have struck every one as a contradiction in terms.

RICHES VOL. XX.

Pam.
NO. XL.

2 H

in the universal opinion, as testified by the word synonymously applied to them, mean something of substance.

If they have no substance, how can they be appropriated ? how can they circulate ? how can they be transferred from one to another ? how can they accumulate ? how can they be detached from the person of the originator?

Yet surely that which is deficient in any one of these qualities, cannot be RICHES.

Those things, which M. Say calls Immaterial Riches, are deficient in them all.

Immaterial things may procure Riches, and Riches may procure immaterial things; but they are not therefore the same.

Nor is even every material thing which is necessary, useful, or agreeable, RICHES; because it must also have a value in exchange ; and it cannot have a value in exchange unless it be an object in which a property can be had : for no one will give any thing in exchange for that which he can have for nothing; as (speaking generally) he may have water, and some other productions of Nature.(It is to this point that the defect in the wording of Mr. Malthus's definition refers.)

Riches then are such material objects whether of Nature only, or improved by human' labor, as have a value in exchange, compounded of their necessity, usefulness, or amusement to man; and

l; of the right of property in them.

If this definition be just, we come at once to the test of the soundness and accuracy of Adam Smith's grand distinction of productive and unproductive labor, (with reference to Riches).

No labor can be productive, except of things which come within this definition.

But no one can deny, that there is an incalculable quantity of human labor, bodily and intellectual, which neither produces, nor can produce, such things. This last then is unproductive labor: domestic servants, soldiers, sailors, all the liberal professions, are occupied in unproductive labor.

When we understand precisely what this unproductive labor is, we can judge with much greater facility and certainty, in what cases and to what extent it is desirable, and in what cases and to what extent it is not.

For let it be recollected, that Riches are not always best expended in procuring Riches: they may sometimes be expended in procuring what is far more useful or desirable. For as other things, which are the means of RICHES, must not be confound

' It may be doubted if any thing can be comprehended in this which does not require the addition of some human labor. The very act of making the right of property available involves human labor.

« السابقةمتابعة »