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patible with the stationary state, but, it would seem, more
naturally allied with that state than with any other.
There is room in the world, no doubt, and even in old
countries, for a great increase of population, supposing the
arts of life to go on improving, and capital to increase.
But even if innocuous, I confess I see very little reason for
desiring it. The density of population necessary to enable
mankind to obtain, in the greatest degree, all the advan-
tages both of co-operation and of social intercourse, has, in all
the most populous countries, been attained. A population
may be too crowded, though all be amply supplied with

food and raiment. It is not good for man to be kept per

force at all times in the presence of his species. A world

from which solitude is extirpated, is a very poor ideal. o

Solitude, in the sense of being often alone, is essential to
any depth of meditation or of character; and solitude in
the presence of natural beauty and grandeur, is the cradle
of thoughts and aspirations which are not only good for the
individual, but which society could ill do without. Nor is
there much satisfaction in contemplating the world with
nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature; with
every rood of land brought into cultivation, which is capable
of growing food for human beings; every flowery waste or
natural pasture ploughed up, all quadrupeds or birds which
are not domesticated for man's use exterminated as his
rivals for food, every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted
out, and scarcely a place left where a wild shrub or flower
could grow without being eradicated as a weed in the name
of improved agriculture. If the earth must lose that great
portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the
unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate
from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a
larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely
hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to
be stationary, long before necessity compels them to it.
It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condi-
tion of capital and population implies no stationary state of

human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social —progress; as much room for improving the Art of Living, and much more likelihood of its being improved, when minds ceased to be engrossed by the art of getting on. Even the industrial arts might be as earnestly and as successfully cultivated, with this sole difference, that instead of serving no purpose but the increase of wealth, industrial improvements would produce their legitimate effect, that of abridging labour. Hitherto it is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being. They have enabled a greater population to live the same life of drudgery and imprisonment, and an increased number of manufacturers and others to make fortunes. They have increased the comforts of the middle classes. But they have not yet begun to effect those great changes in human destiny, which it is in their nature and in their futurity to accomplish. Only when, in addition to just institutions, the increase of mankind shall be under the deliberate guidance of judicious foresight, can the conquests made from the powers of nature by the intellect and energy of scientific discoverers, become the common property of the species, and the means of improving and elevating the universal lot. T----,

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CHAPTER VII.

ON THE PROBABLE FUTURITY OF THE LABOURING
CLASSES.

§ 1. THE observations in the preceding chapter had for

‘their principal object to deprecate a false ideal of human

society. Their applicability to the practical purposes of
present times, consists in moderating the inordinate impor-
tance attached to the mere increase of production, and fixing
attention upon improved distribution, and a large remu-
neration of labour, as the two desiderata. Whether the
aggregate produce increases absolutely or not, is a thing in
which, after a certain amount has been obtained, neither
the legislator nor the philanthropist need feel any strong
interest: but, that it should increase relatively to the num-
ber of those who share in it, is of the utmost possible im-
portance; and this, (whether the wealth of mankind be |
stationary, or increasing at the most rapid rate ever known
in an old country,) must depend on the opinions and habits/
of the most numerous class, the class of mămăIIabourers.
When I speak, either in this place or elsewhere, of “the
labouring classes,” or of labourers as a “class,” I use those
phrases in compliance with custom, and as descriptive of
an existing, but by no means a necessary or permanent,
state of social relations. I do not recognize as either just or,
salutary, a state of society in which there is any “ so
which is not labouring; any human beings, exempt from
bearing their share of the necessary labours of human lio
except those unable to labour, or who have fairly earned

rest by previous toil. So long, however, as the great social
evil exists of a non-labouring class, labourers also constitute
a class, and may be spoken of, though only provisionally,
in that character. -
Considered in its moral and social aspect, the state
of the labouring people has latterly been a subject of much
more speculation and discussion than formerly; and the
opinion, that it is not now what it ought to be, has become
very general. The suggestions which have been promul-
gated, and the controversies which have been excited, on
detached points rather than on the foundations of the sub-
ject, have put in evidence the existence of two conflicting
theories, respecting the social position desirable for manual
labourers. The one may be called the theory of depend-
ence and protection, the o - e.
According to the former theory, the lot of the poor, in
all things which affect them collectively, should be regula-

-- |ted for them, not by them. They should not be required

or encouraged to think for themselves, or give to their own reflection or forecast an influential voice in the determination of their destiny. It is supposed to be the duty of the higher classes to think for them, and to take the responsibility of their lot, as the commander and officers of an army take that of the soldiers composing it. This function, it is contended, the higher classes should prepare themselves to perform conscientiously, and their whole demeanour should impress the poor with a reliance on it, in order that, while yielding passive and active obedience to the rules prescribed for them, they may resign themselves in all other respects to a trustful insouciance, and repose under the shadow of their protectors. The relation between rich and poor, according to this theory, (a theory also applied to the relation between men and women) should be only partly authoritative; it should be amiable, moral, and sentimental : affectionate tutelage on the one side, respectful and grateful def. erence on the other. The rich should be in loco parentis * to the poor, guiding and restraining them like children.

Of spontaneous action on their part there should be no need. They should be called on for nothing but to do their day's work, and to be moral and religious. Their morality and religion should be provided for them by their superiors, who should see them properly taught it, and should do all that is necessary to ensure their being, in return for labour and attachment, properly fed, clothed, housed, spiritually edified, and innocently amused. This is the ideal of the future, in the minds of those whose dissatisfaction with the Present assumes the form of affection and regret towards the Past. Like other ideals, it exercises an unconscious influence on the opinions and sentiments of numbers who never consciously guide themselves by any ideal. It has also this in common with other ideals, that it has never been historically realized. It makes its appeal to our imaginative sympathies in the character of a restoration of the good times of our forefathers. But no times can be pointed out in which the higher classes of this or any other country performed a part even distantly resembling the one assigned to them in this theory. It is an idealization, grounded on the conduct and character of her and there an individual. All privileged and powerful classes, as such, have used their power in the interest of their own selfishness, and have indulged their self-importance in despising, and not in lovingly caring for, those who were, in their estimation, degraded, by being under the necessity of working for their benefit. I do not affirm that what has always been must always be, or that human improvement has no tendency to correct the intensely selfish feelings engendered by power; but though the evil may be lessened, it cannot be eradicated, until the power itself is withdrawn. This, at least, seems to me undeniable, that lon before the superior classes could be sufficiently improved to govern in the tutelary manner supposed, the inferior classes would be too much improved to be so governed. I am quite sensible of all that is seductive in the picture of society which this theory presents, Though the facts of

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