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their occupation is associated with the idea of their condition, and because bondage degrades, cramps, and degenerates man; labour shares in the same disgrace, because it is a part of the slave. Even in Russia, and other countries of the present day, our own, (in the Southern States) not excepted, labour is chiefly confined to the slaves; and few toil, unless scourged to the task by their masters. The condition of the working classes of Great Britain, is little better than that of the American slaves, or the Russian serfs, of which class they are the descendants, bearing about them all the hereditary hardships, toil, famine, and ignorance, which habit and tradition reconcile them to endure,” or which a military government compel them to submit to. As it appears indubitably to be owing to the existence of slavery combined with labour, from the earliest to the latest ages of the world, that industry and toil have become associated with baseness and degradation—it would seem that nothing more was necessary to reverse the character of the productive classes, in public estimation, than to confine labour to a community of FREEMEN; and abolish every vestige of bondage and servitude. This, it must be acknowledged, is an indispensable prerequisite to divesting labour of disgrace, and investing it with ideas of honour and merit: but it cannot be deemed entirely efficient in itself. Other causes must combine to produce this salutary revolution;–previous to considering which, however, let us return to that auspicious feature in our constitution, to which l alluded at the commencement of this essay. This is the only free government whose organic laws are sustained by the mixture of slavery and labour.— Here, for the first time, we behold a country whose mechanics, labourers, farmers, and operatives, are all eligible to the highest posts of power, where they may claim equality with kings and emperors;–and for a time be equally as absolute and mighty, in wielding the engines of human destiny. Labour brings neither disqualification, nor stigma upon the citizen of the United States, in a political capacity. His rights are confessed, recorded, and practised; honour may be his, if genius seconds his efforts; and fame may be won by him, without restriction of law. On the part of political right, then, the producer suffers no disparagement from our free constitutions, whose efficiency is allowed to be complete, both in theory and practice. Another question, however, arises. Did the constitution intend to provide for nothing beyond mere political right 2 Does not the political, embrace, necessarily, the moral equality? Does it not declare that equality is the basis of the whole social compact, and that all laws and regulations, customs and usuages, shall bear equally upon all the members of the community? Hence, the remarks of a celebrated writer upon the principles of our constitutions”—“The idle, who seek for wealth by chartering laws, are wiser than their equalising brethren. Law has never been able to produce an equality of property, where industry exists, but it can produce its monopoly. Our policy rejects its application to both objects, and our constitutions unequivocally disclose an opinion, that civil liberty depends Upon LEAVING THE Distribution of PROPERTY To INDUSTRY ; hence, laws for this end are as wnconstitutional as those for re-establishing king, lords, and commons. LEGAL weALTH AND HEREDITARY Power, ARE Twin PRINCIPLEs. These frauds beget all the parties or factions of civil society, such as patrician and plebian, military, civil, stock, and landed. The enmity and contrast in all these cases, arise from a legal difference of interest, and the active and passive members of this fraudulent system, are distinctly designated by the wealth and poverty it diffuses. In England, every seventh person draws support from the parish, at some period of his life, exclusive of those who submit to misery, in preference to the humiliation of asking charity.” Independent, however, of this conclusive authority upon the subject, it is obvious on the very face of our organic laws, that it was never designed by the people who framed this government, to grant the power, that LAw should regulate the distribution of wealth, instead of industry. I use the term Law as a generic word, embracing all the details that affect the distribution of wealth, such as monied corporations, chartered monopolies, and that endless chain of levers, which move industry to empty her gains into the lap of Capital; and which effectually frustrate, and defeat the grand object of rational self-government, on the basis of individual freedom, and personal merit. The distinctive features of the FEUDAL systems of Europe, which we have in form and in fact, essentially repudiated, are those of ENTAILs, NobiLITY, HIERARchy, Monopolies, which are synonymous to the distribution of wealth by Law, instead of its distribution by the same power, which is alone active in its production, INDUSTRY AND LABourt. Having shaken off, renounced, and branded those systems of antiquated barbarism, and monkish superstition, by all the great leading documents of our national existence; we are bound by the highest and most sacred ties of moral, religious, and political obligation, to bring the condition of the people, in respect to the wages of labour, and the enjoyment of competence, to a level with their abstract political rights, which rights imply necessarily the possession of the property they may produce, on principles of equity, congenial to the equal rights guaranteed by the organic law. To substitute LAw for the distribution of labour, is to introduce the chief feature of the feudal systems of Europe, into the free, self-formed, and equitable republic of this country, and amounts to a virtual repeal of the very first principle of the Declaration of Independence, and the constitutions of the union and the states. Happily, however, for the integrity of these institutions, and the perpetuity of the great doctrines, upon which they are based; we possess a redeeming trait in our government, which opens wide the channels through which the people may enter, to produce a conformity of practice to principle. Legislative abuses are never beyond the corrective control of a people, whose suf. frages properly directed, by a judicious, concentration, can periodically annul, remove, and recreate the power that is above the laws, and mould the popular sovereignty to its own will and pleasure. Let the producers of labour but once fully comprehend their injuries, and fully appreciate their strength at the polls, and the present oppressive system will vanish like the mists of the morning, before the rising sun. The power to remedy the evil is unquestionable; it resides in the producers of wealth, who constitute so overwhelming a majority of the people, when not carried away by the infatuation of faction, the delusion of personal allegiance, and the vain pursuit of phantoms of liberty; which are no sooner touched, than they melt into air, leaving the wretched follower to bewail his disappointment, and execrate his fatuity. Nothing of a public nature, at the present era, is so worthy of the attention of the people, as the fallacious structure, and pernicious tendency of the parties now in vogue, whose foundations are as futile, as their results are nugatory to the great body of the people; neither advancing the good of the nation, nor the prosperity of her citizens; but blindly ministering to the avarice, ambition, or pride of some temporary idol; who is worshipped one day, and immolated on the next. A party grafted purely on principle, has never yet engrossed the ardent people of this excited country: that of '98, approximated nearer to such a party, than any other, but its principles were so soon perverted, its object so soon merged into mere personal views, and the honest people were so soon duped by unprincipled

* From this condition of the labouring people of Great Britain, an argument has been fallaciously drawn, that under an extensive manufacturing system in this country, our population would become as vile, wretched and squalid as that of Europe. But this is a mistake. The British are a serf class, in all the essentials of degrading toil. Our operatives are freemen, with all the habits of intelligence, buoyancy, and education, all the qualifications of enlightened and virtuous citizens. Our population begins, where that of Britain leaves off. Her brightest sample scarcely equals our dullest. Even the philosophical eye of Mr. Jefferson overlooked this fundamental dif. ference, when he exhorted us to keep our work-shops in Europe; which a principle of liberty ought to have restrained him from. Let every nation labour for itself, and not make slaves of others, for their pleasure. But the truth will show that Mr. Jefferson wrote under

the influence of an atmosphere, tainted with slavery, and where none but slaves laboured,


*Taylor's Enquiry—page 634.

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