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as the best when men are ripe for it.
As there is an original contract so there is an original common ownership of land (communio fundi originaria) as distinguished from a primitive common ownership (communio fundi primava). As a matter of history, all was disorder and violence in early times ; but civil government implies as a matter of logic a common ownership, before private ownership can begin. Right in anything is right to make private use of it, and this is a right which implies concurrence of others, who agree with me in respecting mine while I respect theirs ; otherwise no one does me a wrong in dispossessing me. We have agreed to grant each other the same rights and that which we have thus allotted we must first collectively have had in our disposal. From this follows the State's right of taxing landowners and of preventing corporations and castes from perpetuating any use of land which may prove prejudicial to the public interest. The right of the State to impress soldiers is deduced from its creation of them. Since without the civil government there would be less production and fewer men, the State has (indirectly) made men ; and so, since “every one has undisputed property in what he has made himself,” the State can rightfully impress the men who owe to it their existence.3
The sentences last quoted may be thought to convey the idea that Kant, like Locke, deduced property from labour. But this is not the case. In regard to land, for example, he says that actual cultivation is not necessary to appropriation, but rather implies an appropriation already made.
Something like a demand that every person should have property is involved in the statement that the power to give temporal benefits in the way of charity, depending as it does on gifts of fortune, is really due to the “injustice of Government,” which has created inequality of wealth. But he does not follow up this idea, and his State is undoubtedly regulative rather than socialistic. Law and order are to be preserved, and then men are to pursue their happiness in their own way.
1 Hart., VII. 60. The passage is quoted by Proudhon, Contrad. Econ., II. 188. 3 Hart., VII. 163.
4 VII. 64, 68. 5 VII. 262, cf. 62 (“On Acquisition by Occupatio.")
2 VII. 142.
Economical questions are treated under “Contracts more fully than anywhere else. Rights of property are divided into three classes-jus reale (jus in re), jus personale (right to require the doing of particular acts by another person, in regard to things), and jus realiterpersonale (over persons who are things, as in the relation of husband and wife, father and children). In this last case what the one person loses by being the other's property, he gains by having property in the other. The case is not that of pure contracts (jus personale), Contracts of the ordinary sort Kant divides into three classes, all concerned with the conversion of meun into tuum and vice versa. We have first those aiming at the gain of only one out of the two parties.
These are benevolent contracts and pacta gratuita. Next come those aiming at gain on both sides, —onerous contracts. Last of all are those aiming not at a greater gain of possessions, but a greater security for possessions already held—cautio, including pledge, suretyship, and personal guarantee.
Under the second class (or the reciprocal and onerous contracts) come (a) alienation or exchange of goods for goods, purchase and sale, goods for money, loans (whether of goods for goods, or goods for money, or money for money, and (6) hiring (locatio), whether of goods for interest, or of labour (locatio operæ) for wages, the use of my powers for a stipulated price," or finally, in the form of a business undertaking (mandatum).
that its nominal definition is-something of which the only use is, to be exchanged for something else, which implies that a mutual gain is intended. It is a "medium of trade (Mittel des Handels) which in itself has no value, in contrast to a thing, as a commodity (or ware), which has value and is related to the wants of another man ;-it represents all commodities.” (VII. 86 seq.). The value of commodities (like corn) is direct; they satisfy wants. The value of money is only indirect ; yet it is a useful medium. " It is the general means of exchanging [? the product of] one man's labour
1 Hart., VII. 84, 85.
with another's." National wealth, so far as obtained by means of money, is the sum of the labour [? products of the labour] with which men mutually reward one another, and which is represented by the money circulating among the people.
Now the thing which is to be Money must itself have cost labour to produce it, in order that it may be equivalent to the labour by which the commodities (natural or manufactured) have been acquired. Otherwise, if it were easier to get money than goods, there would be more money than goods in the market to be sold. The sellers would give more labour than the buyers. Industry and wealth would decay. Bank notes and assignats are not money, for they cost no labour, and only circulate so long as their supposed basis of hard cash is not found to be wanting. The labour in gold and silver mines, which yields us our bullion, is probably even greater than in home industries, owing to the number of unhappy speculations in the former. The individual possessor of gold is no doubt indifferent to what it has cost, and asks only what it will fetch (V. 24); but the cost enters into the consideration of the general place and action of money. If the question is asked, How is the selection made of a material for money? one answer is, that the rulers may originate a custom by taking one particular material in tribute and encouraging merchants to use it in their traffic. Kant thinks that the case of Money is analogous to that of Books,-as the universal means for exchange of ideas ; there is in both cases a rational meaning underlying the empirical or
or current view of the matter. Money is a commodity in which the price of all others (and even of sciences so far as taught for fees) is defined.' Its abundance makes the opulence (opulentia) of a State. “For price (pretium) is the public judgment about the value (valor) of a thing in relation to the proportional quantity of that which is the general representative means of the mutual exchange of industry. Hence, on a large scale, not gold or copper, but silver is the real money for reckoning prices. Money, as Adam Smith says," is at once the means of exchanging and the means of measuring the labour concerned in trade. To harmonize the empirical notion of it with the rational we must look only to the common form of mutual services in (onerous) contracts, the merely legal aspect of this conversion of meum into tuum.
1 This is its real as opposed to its nominal definition.
9 Kant professes to quote Smith's words, but in reality gives only the general sense. Hart., VII. 88.
This is the only case where Kant has given us anything like a full analysis of any economical notion. The abstraction and universality involved in the notion of money, wherever found, are the features that strike Kant because in harmony with his own notion of the philosophy of Law. His emphasis on the element of Labour may have been due to his study of the first part of Adam Smith's book; and it is possible that the prominence thus given to labour in the only attempt at a full economical analysis presented by the founder of modern German Philosophy may have had some influence on his followers when they turned their minds to economical questions.
Kant had no very strong prejudice against moneyed men. Though he speaks of the commercial spirit as being, like the aristocratic, unsocial," he thinks that the moneyed classes are, on the whole, the most trustworthy servants of the State. His remark that the English have given the world the language of trade (as the French that of polite conversation), and the English say a man “is worth a million,” where the French say he “possesses a million," is not made in any unfriendly way. In fact, trade is (to him) one of the chief means of securing a Permanent Peace among the nations of the earth. The spirit of trade is inconsistent with war, and the spirit of trade sooner or later lays hold of every nation. Thus Nature, by the mechanism of motives that are non-moral, secures a result (permanent peace) which is demanded by morality.* The realizing of this permanent peace is rather the chief end of Law than simply one form of it amongst many (VII. 173), for this is the only state of things in which “mine” and “thine" are secured under rational principles. When people say " the best constitution is that in which the laws and not men have supreme power,” they are admitting that the true objective reality is an idea ; and it is an idea which logically involves in it permanent peace. Peoples, like individuals, should come out of the State of Naturel and form an International Commonwealth or State. Such a union would be too great in extent for a single government such as is known to us now, and for the present it is merely an ideal, the ideal of a cosmopolitan community, where each member respects the rights of every other. Nature has shut men up on a finite globe with limited lands to inhabit ; nations have the right of offering mutual commerce and intercourse with each other, which implies a possible union under general laws, jus cosmopoliticum. Practical Reason (or morality) postulates this union, and we must work towards the best constitution to carry it out-" perhaps the Republicanism of all States collectively and severally,"—or else we are declaring our practical reason treacherous, and may as well fall back among the brutes.?
1 Anthropologie, VII. 639, n. 3 Ib. VII. 636, n.
2 Permanent Peace, VI. 435. 4 VI. 435, cf. VII. 172, 173.
We naturally ask how far Kant considers that humanity has advanced and is advancing on the road indicated. His writings on Universal History, the “ Probable Beginning of history,” etc., will give the answer. Kant tells us 3 that, though the human will is free, its phenomena are under natural law. Even the births, deaths and marriages of human beings have a regularity of their own; and law governs the results of human actions quite apart from the intentions of the agents. Since men are guided neither by instinct nor by mere reason, history is not perfectly systematic ; but, still, we may gather certain intentions of nature in regard to man, and they may be stated in the following propositions :
1. All human capacities are destined to be developed.
2. The rational or intellectual capacities are to be fully developed in the race not in the individual. A step
Nature is sometimes used by Kant in sense of Reason, but not in this connection. Cf. VIII. 619: "Nature never makes a man a citizen.” How deeply the contrast between the state of Nature and Civil Society impressed Kant appears inter alia from his applying it analogically to morality with and without a Church. VII. 194.
2 Rechtslehre, VII. 168-173.
3 IV. 143 scq.