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whose solution depends the future poverty and slavery, or wealth and freedom, of the human race.
Of all this, however, the uninstructed man sees nothing. To him, as bas been already said, the occasional water-spout furnishes evidence of nature's power, far more conclusive than that which presents itself in the form of the daily dew deposit. So has it been, and so is it even yet, with the teachers of the RicardoMalthusian school - wars, famines, plagues, and pestilences, being by them regarded as necessary to maintain the social order, and correct the one great error of the great Creator - the great Architect having, however, already made provision against the occurrence of any error, by the simple process of establishing in the human system a phosphoric bank, and dividing between the brain and the sexual organs the power to make their drafts
upon it. *
Security against the disease of over-population is to be found in the development of the real maN, as distinguished from the human animal treated of in Ricardo-Malthusian books - a being that eats, drinks, and procreates, and has but the form of man.† How is that development to be accomplished ? By facilitating the gratification of man's natural desire for association and combination. That there may be combination, there must be differ
These differences come with diversity in the demand for human powers —one man being best fitted to become a farmer, another a carpenter, a third an engineer, a fourth a mathematician, a fifth a trader, and a sixth a statesman. The more their various faculties are developed, the greater will be their power of combination, the stronger will be the feeling of responsibility, and the greater the power of further progress. For proof of this, we need only look to France of the present as compared with France of the past, and to all the countries of central and northern Europe, now following in her lead-pursuing the course advo. cated by Colbert, as a means of obtaining exemption from that oppressive tax of transportation, whose ruinous effects were so well exhibited by Adam Smith. In all of them, the power of com. bination is growing; the real man is becoming more fully developed; and the dread of over-population is passing away, as the ratio borne by food to population steadily increases, and as life becomes more and more prolonged.
*“When the encephalon (contents of the cranium) is fresh, it has a faint spermatic, and somewhat tenacious, smell. This, according to M. Chaussier, has persisted for years, in brains that have been dried.”_DUNGLISON : Human Physiology, vol. i., p. 101.
+ In its natural state, a rose has but five petals. Cultivating the plant carefully, it becomes far more vigorous and beautiful — the stamens, which are the organs of reproduction, then becoming converted into petals. Transferring to a niggardly soil a seed from this same plant, we obtain a feeble, sickly flower, but the stamens are now restored, and in their highest perfection. So is it, throughout the vegetable world - high development and the power of reproduction being in the inverse ratio of each other. So, too, is it in animal life-racing mares being frequently prepared for conception by diminishing the supply of food, and sometimes, even, by exposing them to injurious treatment.
Turning now to those countries which follow in the lead of England, Turkey, Portugal, Ireland, Jamaica, India, and others, we find the reverse of this — the power of combination steadily declining — the real man gradually disappearing — and the difficulty of obtaining supplies of food increasing from year to year. Looking next to England herself, the centre of the system, we find a daily growth of the class of middlemen, attended by gradual disappearance of the agricultural population; and a growing necessity for emigration, accompanied by decline in morals, in the duration of life, and in the power to command sufficient supplies of food and clothing.
Coming, lastly, to the United States, we learn the facts, that their several free trade periods have resulted in large increase of pauperism, and other evidences of over-population—these phenomena having invariably disappeared almost from the moment that protection had been re-established. *
“Instinct," as we are told, “proves a safe guide to mankind, long before the acquired power of science steps in to counteract its convictions'. and that such is the case is certainly true. In common with the lower animals, men have instincts, which have led them, in the past, to desire that increase in the power of association which results from increase of numbers, and diversifi. cation in their pursuits. Modern political economy, however, teaches the reverse of this — the school which gave us the doctrine of over-population, being the same with that wbich now teaches the advantage to be derived from limiting all the nations of the world, outside of Britain, to the cultivation of the soil !
* See ante, vol. ii., p. 438
§ 10. All the phenomena exhibited throughout the world, may be cited in proof of the following propositions :
That in the social, as in the physical world, harmony is maintained by means of an equal balance of the centripetal and centrifugal forces-local centres of attraction counteracting the great central power:
That the nearer the consumer to the producer, and the greater the attraction of local centres, the greater must be the intensity of both these forces; the more rapid must be the societary circulation; the greater must be the development of the real MAN; the greater the power applied to developing the vast treasures of the earth; the larger the quantity of food and other raw materials obtainable in return to any given quantity of labor; and the greater the tendency towards perfect harmony in the demands upon the earth for food, and in the power of the earth to meet the drafts that are made upon her. *
* For much valuable information in reference to the power of reproduction, see an article, entitled “A Theory of Population,” in the Westminster Review, for April, 1852. Believing in the existence of a self-adjusting law, regulating the demand for, and the supply of, food, the author of this paper finds it in “a constant pressure of population upon the means of subsist
"- the exertion thereby induced, being, as he thinks, “the proximate cause of progress.” To that, as he assures his readers, we owe all the improvement that has been made, and will owe all that shall be made, until “after baving caused, as it ultimately must, the due peopling of the globe, and the bringing of all its habitable parts into a state of culture - after having brought all processes for the satisfaction of human wants to the greatest perfection - after having, at the same time, developed the intellect into complete competency for its work, and the feelings into complete fitness for social life - after having done all this, we see that the pressure of population, as it gradually finishes its work, must gradually bring itself to an end.” On the contrary, poverty and want having been the inseparable companious of progress, and having furnished the motive power, the closing scenes of the journey should, as it appears to us, exhibit them as more abounding than at any previous period.
Looking around us, we see that poverty and want are every where depressing, not stimulating. Have they ever been otherwise? The pages of history furnish assurance that they have not.-Whence, then, has come the stimulus ? From growing wealth and power - manifesting themselves in higher wages, and increased development of the hunian faculties. Examine history, or study the present movement, where we may, we find that, as man becomes more master of nature, and master of himself, the tendency towards improvement becomes more and more accelerated. Were the causes of such improvement to be found in deficiency of food, it would be to Ireland and India we should look for it, and not to Britain, Central Europe, or these United States. The Malthusian theory being that of growing slavery and discord, all attempts at making it harmonize with the ideas of progress must result in failure.
OF FOOD AND POPULATION.
§ 1. That man may increase, there must be increase in the supply of food. That the latter may increase, mankind must grow in numbers — it being only by means of the growing power of association and combination, that man is enabled to control and direct the earth's forces, and to pass from the condition of nature's slave, to that of nature's master. Population makes the food come from the richer soils, with constant increase in the return to labor; whereas, depopulation drives men back to the poorer ones, with constant decline in the ability to obtain the necessary supplies of food and clothing.
Crusoe, at first dependent entirely on his powers of appropriation, could obtain no food but that which nature was content to offer. In time, however, acquiring a slight degree of power, he was enabled to compel her to labor for him — the supply of food then becoming much more regular - he himself becoming more independent of changes of the weather-and the demand upon his powers being much diminished. The wild man of the prairies, on the contrary, finds the supply of buffaloes and prairie dogs decline from year to year, with constant increase in the necessity for exertion, and as constant diminution in the supplies of food. The trapper needs no less than eight pounds of meat per day, yet the poor savage often finds, at the close of days expended in the chase, that he has scarcely obtained as much as he would desire for even a single one. Even when successful, he finds a growing difficulty of transportation - the distance between his lodge and the place at which he finds his food, tending steadily to increase. Gorging himself for the moment, he leaves for the crows and wolves, the larger portion of the product of his labors. Gluttony and starvation go, thus, hand in hand together, throughout that portion of societary history, in which man is found existing
as the slave of nature. Famines and pestilences, too, alternate with one another the result being found in the fact, that numbers increase but slowly, even where population does not tend entirely to disappear, as is the case throughout the territories of the West. *
In the shepherd state, supplies become more regular — the eri. dence of growing human power then exhibiting itself in a diminution in the supply of food required for meeting the daily waste, and in the growing reproductive force of the animals that man has tamed - the power of procreation being here, as every where, a very variable quantity. “Creatures which, being wild, generate seldom, being tame," says Lord Bacon, "generate often"proof of this being furnished by the hog, the duck, and other domesticated animals.† Milk, butter, and meat, are now regularly supplied by animals that are as regularly tended—the utility of matter gradually increasing - the value of food declining and man becoming more happy and more free.
In time, however, machinery is obtained, by means of which the earth is compelled to give forth those products which can be used for human food, without being first converted into meat -- the rude agriculture of early days then making its appearance among the poorer soils of the hills, and oats, rye, or even wheat, being cultivated. The instruments, however, being very poor, the yield, under the most favorable circumstances, is very small, while liable to great reduction from changes of the weather, against which the wretched cultivator is too poor to protect himself. Irregularity of supply is, therefore, the charac
* How slowly, under even the most favorable circumstances, the American aborigines tended to increase, is shown in the fact, that at the date of the first visit of Europeans to the country of the Five Nations which constituted the League of the Iroquois, they numbered but 25,000 persons. Nevertheless, there was no portion of the country now included in the United States, more capable of being rendered available to human purposes than was that which was open to their use.
t“In domesticated animals we find the effect of their fecundity to be, that we can always command numbers: we can always have as many of any particular species as we please, or as we can support.”—Paler: Natural Theology.
In Italy, even yet, a man may be seen breaking up his land by the help of a pair of cows, attached to the root of a tree, wbich is made to serve for a plough — he himself being dressed in a skin, from which the hair has not been taken. In some parts of our slave States, the machinery of cultivation is little better.