« НазадПродовжити »
The whole system of Dr. Smith looks to an increase in the power to maintain commerce, resulting from increase in the power of man to gratify his “natural inclination” for association with his fellow-men. That of his successors looks, as will now be shown, to increased necessity for trade, and diminished power of combination with his fellow-men. In the school of the one, commerce is regarded as the handmaid of agriculture. In the other, trade is master. In the countries that follow in the train of the one, the distribution of the proceeds of labor becomes from day to day more equitable, and man becomes more free. In those which follow in that of the other, it becomes less equitable, and man becomes enslaved.
§ 14. In the physical world, motion is indispensable to the existence of force. Motion, itself, is a consequence of heat. So, too—the physical and social laws being one and the same— should it be in the societary world. Whence, however, comes the heat to which its motion and its force are due 2 The answer to this question is found in the important principle, recently so well established, that motion is the cause of heat, as heat, in turn, is the cause of motion.* The more the motion, the greater is the heat; and the greater the heat, the greater is the tendency towards acceleration of motion, and of force. Desiring, now, to see the application of this simple principle to social science, the reader will do well to refer once more to the foregoing diagram. Doing this, he finds, on the left, a total absence of societary motion, of heat, and of force. Passing thence, gividually, towards the right, he finds a steady increase of all, until, at length, reaching the New England States, he finds more motion, and more heat, than in any other portion of the Western continent, and a larger amount of force. Looking now across the Atlantic, he finds them all combined in France and Germany; whereas, in Portugal and Turkey, there is neither motion, heat, nor force. Comparing Auvergne with Normandy—the Highlands of Scotland with the Lowlands—or Castile and Aragon with Biscay, he obtains precisely the same results — circulation being sluggish, and heat, and force, scarcely at all existing, in the first; while in the last, they all abound. Why this is so, will readily be understood after a perusal of the following passage in reference to the latent properties of matter:— “Any piece of matter, or any group of bodies, however connected, which either is in motion, or can get into motion, without external assistance, has what is called mechanical energy. The energy of motion may be called either “dynamical energy” or “actual energy.” The energy of the material system at rest, in virtue of which it can get into motion, is called “potential energy,” or, generally, motive power existent among different pieces of matter, in virtue of their relative positions, is called potential energy. To show the use of these terms, and explain the ideas of a store of energy, and of conversions and transformations of energy, various illustrations were adduced. A stone at a height, or an elevated reservoir of water, has potential energy. If the stone be let fall, its potential energy is converted into actual energy during its descent, exists entirely as the actual energy of its own motion at the instant before it strikes, and is transformed into heat at the moment of coming to rest on the ground. If the water flow down by a gradual channel, its potential energy is gradually converted into heat by fluid friction, and the fluid becomes warmer by a degree Fahr. for every 722 feet of the descent. * * * Potential energy of gravitation is possessed by every two pieces of matter at a distance from one another; but there is also potential energy in the mutual action of contiguous particles in a spring when bent, or in an elastic cord when stretched. There is potential energy of electric force in any distribution of electricity, or among any group of electrified bodies. There is potential energy of magnetic force, between the different parts of a steel magnet; or between different steel magnets; or between a magnet and a body of any substance of either paramagnetic or diamagnetic inductive capacity. There is potential energy of chemical force between any two substances which have what is called affinity for one another; for instance, between fuel and oxygen, between food and oxygen, between zinc in a galvanic battery and oxygen. There is a potential energy of chemical force among the different ingredients of gunpowder or gun-cotton. There is potential energy of what may be called chemical force, among the particles of soft phosphorus, which is spent in the allotropic transformation into red phosphorus; and among the particles of prismatically crystallized sulphur, which is spent when the substance assumes the octahedral crystallization.” + Potential energy exists throughout nature, waiting the command of man. Seeking its development, he commences by resolving compounds into their various parts—individualizing their various elements, and thus producing motion, heat, and force. More than anywhere else in the material world, however, potential energy is found in man—the being placed at the head of nature, and endowed with powers fitting him for so directing her operations as to give development to the latent forces that everywhere so much abound. His energies, however, like those of inorganic matter, being latent, they, too, require motion and heat for their development. That there may be motion, there must be produced in society that same decomposition which he himself seeks to produce in water when desiring to obtain steam. That decomposition is a consequence of combination with his fellow-men—individuality growing always, in the direct ratio of the ability of each and every man to apply himself in the direction most calculated to bring into action the “potential energy” with which he has been endowed. That combination
and attentions bestowed in spare moments, all the kinds of animals and vegetables by which he is surrounded. This little patrimony is a true savings-bank, always ready to receive his little profits, and usefully to employ his leisure moments. The ever-acting powers of nature make his labors fruitful, and return to him a hundredfold. The peasant has a strong sense of the happiness attached to the condition of proprietor. Thus he is always eager to purchase land at any price. He pays for it more than it is worth; but what reason he has to esteem at a high price the advantage of thenceforward always employing his labor advantageously, without being obliged to offer it cheap, and of always finding his bread when he wants it, without being obliged to buy it dear!”— Sismo Ndi. * “An instrument was exhibited [by Professor W. Thompson, before the Royal Institution, London], by means of which the temperature of a small quantity of water contained in a shallow circular case provided with vanes in its top and bottom, and violently agitated by a circular disc provided with similar vanes, and made to turn rapidly round, could easily be raised in temperature several degrees in a few minutes by the power of a man, and by means of which steam-power applied to turn the disc had raised the temperature of the water by 30 degrees in half an hour. The bearings of the shaft, to the end of which the disc was attached, were entirely external; so that there was no friction of solids under the water, and no way of accounting for the heat developed except by the friction in the fluid itself. It was pointed out that the heat thus obtained is not produced from a source, but is generated; and that what is called into existence by the work of a man's arm cannot be matter.”—Annual of Scientific Discovery, 1853, p. 183.
* Professor W. Thompson: Lecture before the Royal Institution of London, as reported in the Annual of Scientific Discovery, 1857; p. 185.
may take place, and that individuality may be developed, there must be difference of employments—the artisan and the ploughman taking their places by each other. Throughout the world, human energy is developed in the ratio of the existence of those differences which are required for the constitution of a society perfect in itself, and exercising, in relation to the world at large, that entire individuality which distinguishes the properly constituted MAN —the rapidity of circulation being then in a ratio correspondent to the development of human power. “The more perfect a being, the more dissimilar,” says Gotthe, “are the parts.” In Ireland, India, Turkey, Portugal, Jamaica, and Carolina, all the parts are alike ; and hence it is, that the potential energy of the people remains latent—that the circulation is sluggish—and that the people remain enslaved. In France, Germany, and Massachusetts, differences are numerous; and hence it is, that the powers of their people become more developed from day to day—that the circulation becomes more rapid—and that the people become more free. The more rapid the circulation throughout the physical body, the more perfect is the distribution of force among its various parts—the higher is the health—and the greater is the force exerted. So, too, as we shall have occasion to see, is it in the social body—the distribution of the proceeds of labor becoming more equitable, and societary action more healthy, in the precise ratio of increase in the circulation. Look where we may, we find evidence of the universality of those great laws instituted for the government of matter in all its forms — heat, motion, and force, being everywhere found, in the precise ratio of the development of individuality, and of the power of association and combination. Turning, however, to Messrs. Malthus and Ricardo, we find the reverse of this—man becoming more and more the slave of nature, as he grows in the power of combination with his fellowmen—and the distribution becoming more unequal, and unjust, as communities more abound in wealth.
* See ante, vol. i. p. 53.
§ 1. CAPITAL – the instrument by means of which man acquires power to direct the forces of nature to his service—is a result of the accumulated mental and physical efforts of the past. The standing tree was as fully susceptible of being rendered available to Crusoe's purposes, as it could have become had it been felled; but its powers were latent; and so remained, too, at the close of years of constant, but ineffectual, effort for attaining power so to guide and direct them, as to make them contribute to his support. The fibre required for his bow had been at all times equally capable of rendering service, but without an exercise of that mental effort of which man, alone, is capable, the bow would have remained unmade—the properties of both the wood and the fibre still continuing latent. Once made, its value was great—having been obtained at the cost of serious labor. Its utility was small, for it was capable of little work.
Friday had no canoe, nor had he acquired the mental capital required for producing such an instrument. Had Crusoe owned. one, and had Friday desired to borrow it, the former might thus have answered him : “Fish abound at some little distance from the shore, whereas they are scarce in our immediate neighborhood. Working without the help of my canoe, you will scarcely, with all your labor, obtain the food required for the preservation of life; whereas, with it, you will, with half your time, take as many fish as will supply us both. Give me three-fourths of all you take, and you shall have the remainder for your services. This will secure you an abundant supply of food—leaving much of your time unoccupied, to be applied to giving yourself better shelter and better clothing.”