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Entering, now, the house of one of these happy farmers, we find him, also, looking inward — his wife, his children, and his farm, standing foremost among the objects of his affection, and it being among them, that he seeks for happiness. Were we, however, to suppose the man whose thoughts were thus concentrated, to be thereby incapacitated from association with his fellow-men, we should greatly err— his power to remain at home being a direct consequence of the growing facility of combination. The miller being near him, he is not obliged to leave his farm when desiring to have his grain converted into flour. Close neighbor to the tanner, the hatter, and the weaver, he discusses with them the laying out of roads—the opening of streets through the little town — the building of churches — and the establishment of schools -- combining with them, and all around them, for the maintenance of security, and, equally with them, contributing towards the expenses thence resulting. Combination promoting security, and facilitating the growth of wealth, wealth, in turn, enables him more and more to concentrate his thoughts and economise his time. That, again in turn, facilitates the further growth of wealth, by enabling him more and more to reflect upon the measures required for promoting the common good to give his leisure for the benefit of those of his neighbors who have been less successful than himself — to devote both time and mind to the acquisition of further knowledge—and thus, in every manner, to advance the interests of the society of which he is so fortunate as to be a member. Public labors being divided, the share of each is small. Public work is inexpensive — being done by men who themselves contribute towards the
ayment for it. All, thus, working, wealth grows rapidly, with corresponding diminution in the quantity of effort required for the maintenance of that entire security of person, and of property, the desire for which prompts to the association of men with their fellow-men.
Cultivation gradually extending itself over the rich soils, production steadily increases, with rapid growth of wealth, mani. fested by increase of power to control and direct the great natural forces, and as constantly declining power of resistance to human effort. Manure abounds — the consumer having taken his place by the side of the producer. Millers, carpenters, farmers, and blacksmiths, exchanging directly with each other, and force being thus economised, the horse and the wagon have almost ceased to be required on the road, and are free for aiding in extending the work of cultivation, or in beautifying the little farm.
Placing ourselves, now, upon the mountain top, and looking downwards to the various little valleys, we see that, in all of them, the course of operation has been the same — each and all having commenced the work of cultivation on the higher and poorer lands, and the attention of all being directed towards a common centre, placed among the richer soils. In each and all, the growing facility of combination among themselves is attended with increase of power for intercourse with others — the existence of this latter being attested by the gradual construction of roads leading over the hills which form the line of separation.
Intercourse increasing, the habit of union, so well begun in each, is seen to spread. Wealth and population further growing, commerce becomes more rapid — consumption following more closely after production, and enabling each and every man to find, on the instant, a purchaser for his labor, or its products. The habit of combination further extending, a larger association is formed, having in view the maintenance of peace and harmony among the various communities that have thus been formed. Union becoming more complete, rules are adopted for determining the relations of each community with every other leaving to the general body the task of regulating intercourse with the outer world. General laws now embrace the whole of these societies — all constituting one great pyramid, wide of base, but slight in elevation.
Looking among the people of the several communities, we see that, to their members, the importance of these laws diminishes with increase of distance. First stands the home; next, the common home of many families; lastly, the general home of the several communities. In the first, each finds his chief source of happiness. In the second, the means of augmenting that happiness, by combination with his neighbors for the maintenance of the roads in daily use by himself and them — for the support of schools for his children, the library required for himself, and the church frequented by his family. In the third, he combines with more distant neighbors, for the maintenance of roads which he sometimes uses, and for the regulation of affairs of general interest, by which he may sometimes be affected; whereas, in the regulation of those of his own community, he has a daily and hourly interest; and in those of his own particular home, an interest that ceases neither day nor night.
Though general laws are made, local regulation remain untouched - each of the lesser bodies preserving its entire identity, rendered yet more perfect by combination with its neighbors. The union of all adds to the power of each, for the maintenance of that perfect security of person and property which is so essential to the growth of wealth and force, and to the further extension of cultivation over the richer soils. Each having its own government, for the regulation of matters pertaining to its several members, each submits to general rules, determining the relations between their own members, and those of the communities with which they are associated. The base of each widening, the richer soils come more and more into cultivation; and, with every step in that direction, their relations become more intimate - the habit of union steadily increasing, with constantly growing strength, and further development of individuality. Each, now, has its various churches, and its schools. Each has the consumer and the producer placed side by side. Each has its roads and bridges, and each its local court for the settlement of differences among its people. The machinery being simple, the cost is light—those who look to the affairs of the community doing so in the intervals of their own employments, and desiring to have little waste. In time, twenty, thirty, fifty, or a hundred communities — at first scattered over the land, and separated by broad tracts of forest, deep and rapid rivers, or hills and mountains are brought into connection with each other, to form a greater pyramid, or State. Perfect concentration, however, still exists
local rules still governing local interests, and local judges deciding local differences. Local roads and bridges are made under the direction of local officers; while mills, shops, and factories, relieve the farmer from the tax of transportation — making, at home, demand for all the various products of the earth.
Wealth and population steadily increasing, the great union grows in strength because of the development of the parts of which it is composed — they, in turn, growing in power, because of their perfect control over the commerce among themselves that commerce on which man is most dependent. That growing, its effects are seen in the exhibition, by each little community, of a constantly increasing number of persons possessing each his own land, and his own house, upon which he concentrates his exertions for his own improvement - his own wife, and his own children, in whom centre his hopes of happiness; and for the promotion of whose ease, comfort, and enjoyment, he is at all times ready to exert his physical and mental faculties. The machine is simple. It moves of itself — each man moving his share. The work is done, yet it is difficult to see by whom. The labor is light, being done by many. Its form being natural, the tendency towards stability is most complete. Its capability of resistance is great, but its power of assault is small, and hence its tendency towards peace.
§ 2. Such is concentration, a term expressing precisely the same idea presented to the mind by that of commerce, or society -it being the simple and natural form imagined by Adam Smith, when discoursing of "that order of things which necessity imposes in general," and which is promoted by the natural inclipations of man." Had “human institutions never thwarted those natural inclinations, the towns could never,” as he thought, “have increased beyond what the improvement and cultivation of the territory in which they were situated, could support," and men-freed from the tyranny of trade-would have been enabled to enjoy those "beauties of a country life,” and that “tranquillity of mind," which such a life affords, and which the author of the Wealth of Nations so much admired. Believing, as he did, in the humanising tendency of commerce, as compared with traffic and transportation, he did not fail to see the great injustice to the farmer, resulting from the separation of consumers from producers, sought to be produced by the people among whom he lived, and to whom he addressed his work. His eyes, as his readers clearly see, were fully open to the great advantage everywhere resulting from compressing tons of food, and hundredweights of wool, into pieces of clothế thus enabling the farmer readily to maintain intercourse with the distant world.
Perfectly aware of the advantage of concentration, he, throughout his work, declares himself opposed to centralization. The one, always looking inward, promotes a love of home, and of quiet happiness. Facilitating commerce, it promotes a love of union. Freeing the farmer from the most oppressive of all his taxes, it aids in creating a scientific agriculture. Promoting the growth of wealth, it enables men to have leisure for reflection on what they see around them, and on what they find recorded by their predecessors. Developing the individual faculties, it promotes the habit of independent thought and action. Enabling each to combine with all, it facilitates association, and thus developes MAN— the subject of social science.
Looking always outward, centralization tends to the fomenting of war and discord - thereby producing a dislike for peaceful pursuits, preventing the growth of wealth, and retarding the development of the vast and various powers of the earth. Under it, men are forced to move in masses, governed by ministers, generals, and admirals — the habit of independent thought or action having no existence. Here, no man directs his own business; no man controls the application of his labor, or its proceeds. The State manages everything — being, itself, composed of those who live by profits derived from managing the affairs of others.
Tending towards steadiness in the movement of society, with daily increased security, the one looks to an extension of the proportions borne by fixed to movable property; while the other -producing always unsteadiness and insecurity - increases the movable, at the expense of that which is fixed. The one looks towards peace, wealth, and freedom; the other towards war, pauperism, and slavery.
§ 3. The more rapid the circulation of society, the greater is the tendency towards concentration — towards the maintenance of peace - towards the growth of wealth - and towards the production of the real Man, the being made in the image of his Creator, and endowed with faculties fitting him to control and direct the forces of nature. For proof of this, we must, now, once more, call the reader's attention to the diagram here submitted: