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ties, for the purchase of rude products, and for the sale of finished articles. Such is the difficulty that must everywhere exist, however favorable may be the circumstances in which a nation naturally finds itself. Added to all this, however, are the monopolies now, everywhere, being established, by means of international copyright and patent laws — securing to the communities that make improvements their exclusive use.* Piled on this, there being the wonderful power exercised by combined traders, competition for the purchase of labor, as will readily be seen, can arise in no country whatsoever, in which the whole people do not unite together for their own protection against a centralization which, as we are told, "enables a few of the most wealthy capitalists to overwhelm all foreign competition”- large capitals thus becoming “instruments of warfare against the competing capital of other countries," and producing that competition for the sale of land and labor, which destroys the proprietor, and enslaves the laborer.
Combination of action is required for resistance to invading armies, and equally is it required for resistance to the system here described. The army, having secured its plunder, may retreat; and, in a little time, all will be as it was before. Invasions of traders, bent upon annihilating the power of association, produce effects more permanent — reducing a country to a state of barbarism, extrication from which is scarcely to be hoped for.
* The patent laws of Great Britain have been recently extended over the hundred millions of the people of Hindostan.
† For the Parliamentary document in which these ideas are fully set forth, see ante, vol. i. p. 420.
“ During the present year, the prices of iron in America have been steadily declining; best brands having fallen about $5, and inferior qualities from $71 to $10, during the year. In the last three years, the make of iron in America bas very largely increased: from 1853 to 1855, the annual production is believed to have been doubled, or to have increased from 500,000 tons to 1,000,000 tons, and that it is since increasing at fully 200,000 tons per annum. * * * These facts have led some interested in the trade to the conclusion, that it would be sound policy for the Staffordshire ironmasters to reduce prices next quarter-day £2 per ton, with a view to regain the command of the American market, and to get rid of the competitors who are supplanting English iron in the United States. Doubtless, if the price of iron could be reduced to that extent for some considerable period, it would ruin many of the American manufacturers, and would for a time open the way to a large demand for English iron.”—London Mining Journal, Dec. 1856.
§ 9. Freedom of commerce has, as we are told, much adyanced. What, however, have been the causes of that advance ? Forty years since, the British navigation laws were still continued, and in their fullest force - their object being that of preventing competition for the purchase and transport of the rude produce of the earth. They have now ceased to exist; but why? Because of determined resistance on the part of the United States, Prussia, and other countries. Forty years since, Germany exported wool and imported cloth-paying twelve cents per pound, for the privilege of passing it through the looms of England. That charge is now no longer made. Why? Because Germany established competition with England for the purchase of wool. At that time, cotton, and all other raw materials, paid duty; but, step by step, as France, Germany, Russia, the United States, and other countries, became competitors for their purchase, the duties disappeared. Every advance towards the emancipation of international commerce, thus far made, has been directly consequent upon efforts made by the agricultural nations for the establishment of competition, at home, for the purchase of labor, and of the rude products of the soil. Every advance towards freedom, among men, in the last forty years, has resulted from a determination to resist the trading centralization sought, by Britain, to be established. Every descent towards slavery is to be found among the people who have submitted to the system. To these things there is, and can be, no exception — slavery being a direct consequence of exclusive agriculture, and freedom always resulting from that diversification in the modes of employment required for developing the individual faculties of man. The road to perfect freedom of commerce, domestic and international, is, therefore, to be found in the adoption of the system advocated by Colbert, and maintained by France — that one, by means of which men are enabled to combine their efforts for developing the powers of the earth — for becoming masters of nature — for increasing the proportion borne by fixed to movable capital — and for producing that state of things, in which competition for the purchase of labor will be universal, while competition for its sale will cease to have existence.
$ 10. The agricultural nations of Europe, it may be thought, profit by the poverty of the Hindoo, the wretchedness of the Irishman, and the slavery of the negro - competition for the purchase of cotton wool being thereby diminished, and its price reduced. At what cost, however, do they obtain this profit? The total production of cotton but little exceeds a pound and a half per head; and, were the price doubled, it would require, for its purchase, an additional contribution, amounting to ten or fifteen cents per head. On the other hand, the people of India, and of the United States, unable to make a market on their land for its products, are obliged to force their rice, wheat, corn, flour, and pork, upon the one great central market, to the heavy loss of the farmers of Poland and Russia, Italy and Egypt. The price of the whole product being fixed by that of the trivial quantity they export, the thousand millions of bushels produced in the United States, are forced to submit to whatever reduction is produced in the central market by Russian and Turkish competition. The production of such competition being the object of trading centralization, its effects are seen in the fact, that the purely agricultural pations of the world are unable to compete for the purchase of the labor of either domestic or foreign artisans; while the latter, in turn, are unable to purchase food. Stoppage of circulation anywhere, tending to produce stoppage everywhere, the land and labor of the world pay in dollars for imaginary advantages that count by half-pence. The complete establishment of the cotton mannfacture in the United States, would enable their people wholly to withdraw from competition with the Russian farmer, for the sale of grain — thereby adding hundreds of millions to the money value of Russian crops, and enabling their producers to make large demand for cotton, which now they cannot purchase. The emancipation of Turkey from a system under which her manufactures have disappeared, would enable her to restore to cultivation the rich soils which are now abandoned, and to develop the mineral wealth that everywhere abounds. Producing much, she would then have much to sell, and much to buy-supplying wool to Germany, while relieving her of competition for the sale of wheat.
Look where we may, we find a perfect harmony of real interests — all nations being concerned in the universal adoption of a policy tending to the promotion of competition for the purchase of the raw materials of manufactures — labor and skill, wool and cotton, hides and corn.
$11. Of all the agricultural communities of the world, claiming a place among those which are civilised, the single one that rejects the idea of promoting domestic competition for the purchase of the produce of the field and the plantation - thus following in the train of England - is that of the United States. The follower, nevertheless, seeks the attainment of objects directly the reverse of those the leader would accomplish. The first rejoices in witnessing foreign competition for the purchase of food and cotton, and for the sale of cloth -- regarding his interests as likely to be advanced by having raw materials high, and cloth cheap. The last rejoices in the destruction of competition for the purchase of raw products, and for the sale of cloth holding that his interests will be promoted by taking much from the planter and farmer, and giving little in return. That which the leader desires, is, thus, that which the follower would reject; and yet, strange to say, the course of policy urged by the former, is adopted by the latter.
Between the nations of continental Europe and the United States, there is a perfect harmony of real interests — each and all profiting by increase of competition for the purchase of raw materials, and for the sale of finished commodities. Between all these nations and Great Britain, there is opposition — the latter desiring to bring about a state of things directly opposed to the real interests of the former.
Such being the case, it might naturally be supposed that American policy would be in harmony with that of continental Europe. The reverse of this, however, is the fact; and therefore it is, that the world is presented with the extraordinary spectacle of two great communities, claiming to be leaders in the cause of freedom, yet acting together for the accomplishment of the one great object of annihilating competition for the purchase of the rude products of the earth - thereby establishing slavery as the normal condition of the laboring portion of the human race.
The despotic countries of Northern and Western Europe move in the opposite direction, and seek to increase the competition for the purchase of raw materials — a course of proceeding leading, necessarily, towards the ultimate establishment of perfect freedom.
Continuing onward in their present course, both must, ultimately, attain the goal — freedom establishing itself in Celtic and German Europe, and slavery becoming the rule throughout those portions of the world controlled by what is called the Anglo-Saxon race. The reader who doubts the accuracy of this prediction, may satisfy himself thereof, by studying the course of affairs in the United States at the present moment, and in Ireland, Turkey, Jamaica, and India, of both the past and present.
The policy that tends to increase the proportion borne by fixed property to that in motion, is the one that leads to freedom and peace.
. In that direction now moves the greater part of Continental Europe. That which tends to increase the proportion borne by property in motion, to that which is fixed, is the one leading to slavery and war. In that direction Great Britain and the United States are moving, and with daily accelerated force.
§ 12. The more the competition for nature's services, the more rapid is the advance in the value of land and labor — her power being limitless in its extent, and her disposition to render service being equal to all demand that can be made. A century since, steam power was scarcely known in England : now, it does the work of 600,000,000 men. Like England, Turkey and India have coal; and yet, the people of those countries scarcely know the use of steam. Why it is so, is, that English policy has sought, invariably, the annihilation of competition for obtaining control over a great natural force, provided by the Creator for the use of all mankind. A century since, the command of the services of iron was trivial — that used in England having been, chiefly, obtained from Russia : now, it is produced by millions of tons. India and Turkey, too, have coal and iron ore, but they cannot mine them. Why? Because great capitals are now regarded as the true “instruments of warfare" upon the industry of other countries. The American people have coal and iron to an extent unknown in any other portion of the world, and capable of furnishing power equal to that of thousands of millions of men; yet are they busily engaged in exhausting themselves and their land, in the effort to obtain a quantity of iron so very