Зображення сторінки
[merged small][ocr errors][graphic]


Tee appearance of a treatise like the present, on a subject on wMoh so many works of merit already exist, may be thought to require some explanation.

It might perhaps be sufficient to say, that no existing treatise on Political Economy contains the latest improvements which have been made in the theory of the subject. Many new ideas, and new applications of ideas, have been elicited by the discussions of the last few years, especially those on Currency, on Foreign Trade, and on the important topics connected more or less intimately with Colonization: and there seems reason that the field of Political Economy should be re-surveyed in its whole extent, if only for the purpose of incorporating the results of these speculations, and bringing them into harmony with the principles previously laid down by the best thinkers on the subject.

To supply, however, these deficiencies in former treatises bearing a similar title, is not the sole, or even the principal object which the author has in view. The design of the book is different from that of any treatise on Political Economy which has been produced in England since the work of Adam Smith.

The most characteristic quality of that work, and the one in which it most differs from some others which have equalled and even surpassed it as mere expositions ot the general principles of the subject, is that it invariably associates the principles with their applications. This of itself implies a much wider range of ideas and of topics, than are included in Political Economy, considered as a branch of abstract speculation. For practical purposes, Political Economy is inseparably intertwined with many other branches of social philosophy. Except on matters of mere detail, there are perhaps no practical questions, even among those which approach nearest to the character of purely economical questions, which admit of being decided on economical premises alone. And it is because Adam Smith never loses sight of this truth; because, in his applications of Political Economy, he perpetually appeals to other and often far larger considerations than pure Political Economy affords—that he gives that well-grounded feeling of eommand over the


principles or the subject for purposes of practice, owing to which the " Wealth of Nations," alone among treatises on Political Economy, has not only been popular with general readers, but has impressed itself strongly on the minds of men of the world and of legislators.

It appears to the present writer, that a work similar in its object and general conception to that of Adam Smith, but adapted to the more extended knowledge and improved ideas of the present age, is the kind of contribution which Political Economy at present requires. The "Wealth of Nations" is in many parts obsolete, and in all, imperfect. Political Economy, properly so called, has grown up almost from infancy since the time of Adam Smith: and the philosophy of society, from which practically that eminent thinker never separated his more peculiar theme, though still in a very early stage of its progress, has advanced many steps beyond the point at which he left it. No attempt, however, has yet been made to combine his practical mode of treating his subject with the increased knowledge since acquired of its theory, or to exhibit the economical phenomena of society in the relation in which they stand to the best social ideas of the present time, as he did, with such admirable success, in reference to the philosophy of his century.

Such is the idea which the writer of the present work has kept before him. To succeed even partially in realizing it, would be a sufficiently useful achievement, to induce him to incur willingly all the chances of failure. It is requisite, however, to add, that although his object is practical, and, as far as the nature of the subject admits, popular, he has not attempted to purchase either of those advantages by the sacrifice of strict scientific reasoning. Though he desires that his treatise should be more than a mere exposition of the abstract doctrines of Political Economy, he is also desirous that such an exposition should be found in it.

The present edition is an exact transcript from the sixth, except that all extracts and most phrases in foreign languages have been translated into English, and a very small number of quotations, or parts of quotations, which appeared superfluous, have been struck out. A reprint of an old controversy with the "Quarterly Review" on the condition of landed property in Prance, which had been subjoined as an Appendix has been dispensed with.

[ocr errors]



1 'XXLDCIXART Eemarkb .... 1


Chapter 1/ Of the Requisites of Production.

| 1. Requisites of production, what 15

2. The function of labour defined 16

S. Does nature contribute more to the efficacy of labour in some occu-
pations than in others f 17

4. Some natural agents limited, others practically unlimited, in

quantity 17

Chapter IL/ Of Labour as an Agent of Production.

3 1. Labour employed either directly about the thing produced, or in

operations preparatory to its production IS

2. Labour employed in producing subsistence for subsequent labour . 20

3. —in producing materials 21

4. — or implements 22

5. — in the protection of labour 23

6. — in the transport and distribution of the produce 24

7. Labour which relates to human beings 25

8. Labour of invention and discovery 26

9. Labour agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial 27

Chapter III*'' Of Unproductive Labour.

§ 1. Labour does not produce objects, but utilities 28

2. — which are of three kinds 29

8. Productive labour is that which produces utilities fixed and em-
bodied in material objects 30

4. All other labour, however useful, is classed as unproductive . . 31

5. Productive and Unproductive Consumption 32

6. Labour for the supply of Productive Consumption, and labour for

the supply of Unproductive Consumption 33

Chapter Hk' Of Capital.

§ 1. Capital is wealth appropriated to reproductive employment ... 34

2. More capital devoted to production than actually employed in it . 36

S. Examination of some cases illustrative of the idea of capital . . 87
Chapter Y< Fundamental Propo ilions respecting Capital.


| 1. Industry is limited by Capital 39

2. — but does not always come up to that limit ....... 41

3. Increase of capital gives increased employment to labour, without

assignable bounds 41

4. Capital is the result of saving 43

5. All capital is consumed 44

6. Capital is kept up, not by preservation, but by perpetual repro-

duction 46

7. Why countries recover rapidly from a state of devastation ... 47

8. Effects of defraying government expenditure by loans .... 47

9. Demand for commodities is not demand for labour 49

10. Fallacy respecting Taxation 55

Chapter VI. Of Circulating and Fixed Capital.

§ 1. Fixed and Circulating Capital, what 57

2. Increase of fixed capital, when at the expense of circulating, might

be detrimental to the labourers 58

3. — but this seldom if ever occurs 61

Chapter VII. On what depends the degree of Productiveness
of Productive Agents.

| 1. Land, labour, and capital, are of different productiveness at diffe-
rent times and places 63

2. Causes of superior productiveness. Natural advantages ... 63

3. — greater energy of labour 65

4. — superior skill and knowledge 66

1. — superiority of intelligence and trustworthiness in the commu-

nity generally 67

6. — superior security 70

Chapter VIII. Of Co-operation, or the Combination of Labour.

§ 1. Combination of Labour a principal cause of superior productiveness 71

2. Effects of separation of employments analysed 73

8. Combination of labour between town ami country 74

4. The higher degrees of the division of labour 75

5. Analysis of its advantages 77

6. Limitations of the division of labour 80

Chapter IX. Of Production on a Large, and Production on
a Small Scale.

§ I. Advantages of the large system of production in manufactures . 81

2. Advantages and disadvantages of the joint-stock principle . . 84

3. Conditions necessary for the large system of production ... 87

4. Large and small farming compared 89

Chapter X. Of the Law of the Increase of Labour.

§ 1. The law of the increase of production depends on those of three

elements, Labour, Capital, and Land 96

2. The Law of Population 97

3. By what checks the increase of population is practically limited . 98

« НазадПродовжити »