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South now dole out in bread, water, and covering to their sable herds of brutalized humanity. Beginning with Egypt, the labourers were slaves; it is the same with the Turks, it was the same with Greece and Rome. Then arose the feudal barons of Germany, of France, and of Britain, with their serfs, their clans, their retainers, varied epithets by which to designate slaves. And this pittance of ancient and feudal times to slaves, is now the principle of the wages of labour, under our equal rights and charters of liberty, towards the middle of the nineteenth century. This stinted measure of the wages of labour, may justly be termed the Evil. PRINCIPLE of the present age. If we substitute CAPITAL, BANKs, AND MonoPoly, for the Barons, Lords, and Bishops of the feudal times, we shall realize a juncture so precisely similar, as to carry out in full, an illustration of the abuses, under which the sons of labour now suffer depression and injustice. What but a principle of slavery could have made it a felony, for a working man to demand the true and just wages of his labour ! If mechanics combine to raise their wages, the laws punish them as conspirators against the good of society, and the dungeon awaits them as it does the robber. But the laws have made it a just and meritorious act, that capitalists shall combine to strip the man of labour of his earnings, and reduce him to a dry crust, and a gourd of water. Thus does power invert justice, and derange the order of nature. He who sows shall reap—he who builds shall inhabit--he who produces shall possess This is the dictate of nature, justice, reason, instinct, and common sense. But this instinct is crushed by the power of capital and law. The wages allotted to females, and children, illustrate the hand of power, not of right, at the same time that they demonstrate the oppression of rapacity. , Why should minors and females be stripped of the fruits of their labour? Simply because they are helpless, and because custom has immemorially classed them with slaves and servants. I am always disposed to give full credit to my opponents for good intentions, even where the nature of their errors is calculated to repel the least generous admissions on this score. But what is the comparative good or evil, to be induced by giving to labour a larger share of its wages, and reducing the immense profits from the graat capitals of those, whose increase of wealth is not an increase of enjoyment to themselves, or of benefit to society: who, already pampered into disease, and surfeited with luxury, could beneficially suffer a reduction to those, who, pinched down within the narrowest limits of a bare subsistence, are doomed by these unjust “circumstances,” never to reach that high destiny of man, which beholds him an intellectual, a conscious, a rational, and a contemplative being And must wealth be still pampered, because it is capital? Must capital still be allowed to absorb 90 per cent. of the wages of labour, because the rich must be flattered, the idle conciliated, the great humoured and adulated, at the sacrifice of justice, science, liberty, good government and general happiness? And for what? Because the laws of despotic antiquity, adjust and regulate the wages of labour, instead of the injunction of reason and justice. There is, there can be, but one rule for estimating the value of labour—on principles of equity—benevolence, and social harmony—that rule is, human HAP
PINEss; general competence and as nearly as possi-
land, produce, and all sort of wealth. It is true, that capital is power, the symbol, or representative of labour accumulated—but this very accumulation stamps it with a coercive power fatal to general happiness; for it extorts its own terms, and unless resisted by the political combination of labour, it is arbitrary and omnipotent, partial, selfish, and exclusively accumulative, without regard to humanity, suffering, penury, wretchedness, and perpetual toil. Labour in the form of capital is the MASTER—labour in the individual, is the SERVANT. We desire to divest the master of some of his power, in order to add to the comfort of the servant. It is a fallacy to imagine, that we are aiming to controvert the established legitimate doctrines of political economy: as it respects the principles of supply and demand and other contingencies that regulate the market, or subject labour and proper. ty to the vicissitudes of times, seasons and accidents. Our object reaches higher—is more rational—and more laudable. It strikes at a FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE in the distribution of wealth—that LAbour shall share, with capital, in the profits of trade, in a more equitable ratio. And as capital is vested in the FEw, and labour resides in the MANy—it only requires that the latter combine to bring government into their own hands, to secure all they desire. At first, the struggle will be great and arduous; but perseverance and concord, on easpansive grounds, must finally lead to a signal
CURRENCY is that symbol of industry, which circulates as a medium for the exchange of value for value.
The only true representative of labour is gold and silver; because they are least liable to fluctuate in value; are more standard, more precious, more useful, and more out of the influence and power of men, than any other substance. Even gold and silver, however, are not invariable standards, or measures of value; for as they abound more or less, a greater or a less quantity of them represent the same quantity of labour, or industry; for if gold and silver are plenty, labour becomes dear, and the same quantity of commodity, is purchased by a greater proportion of specie. This may be exemplified by the difference of prices thirty years ago, when we had less money, and a loaf of bread, or a barrel of flour, could be purchased for one half that we are now compelled to give, because our stock of labour having increased, we have more money than we then possessed; and by money, I mean gold and silver.
Bank bills are currency; but we must be careful not to confound them with money, according to common parlance; for money is what has a real and intrinsic value; but paper has none. The principal value of gold and silver i; besides their use in the arts and em