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Mr Brougham intimates that this pamphlet forms a portion of a larger work which he is preparing on Education. If this work exhibits as much erring theory, imperfect detail, fallacious assumption, bad party-spirit, pernicious doctrine, unphilosophical reasoning, and unstatesmanlike policy, as the portion before us exhibits, we will tell him that it will neither add to his reputation, nor benefit his country. In the second place, take effectual measures for educating the working classes generally-the labourers, &c. as well as the mechanics. The publication of cheap works, and recommendations to form themselves into reading societies, will not suffice for the labourers. Their betters must be as active in forming societies among them, as in forming mechanic institutions among the mechanics.
vels-of course good novels-into their hands, if for no other purpose, than to give them a taste for reading, to enable them to read well, and to understand books of more importance. Our readers will understand what books we would recommend when we say that they should be such as are necessary for rendering men intelligent, well-principled, moral, and respectable.
In the third place, adapt the education to the needs and occupation of the individual. As the working or ders have already received a sufficiency of mechanical and scientific education for the exercise of their respective callings, begin with the moral education-with that of which they are nearly destitute, and which will yield them the greatest benefits. Care must be taken to make their reading at the commencement blend as much amusement as possible with its instruction. General History, Biography, Poetry, selections from the Essayists, the descriptive parts of Astronomy, Geography, Natural History-all works of instruction that form interesting narrative, or curious description, should have the preference. We think that even to those who move in good society, novels yield much more than amusement; but we know that to those who are confined to the lowest society, novels are most instructive. They have a fascination which no other books possess; they give a taste for reading when all other books fail; they make the bad reader a good one, enable him to understand good composition, purify his taste, implant good feelings, fire the ambition, and convey far more knowledge of the principles, manners, regulations, habits, and character of good society, than any books whatever. The mass of the lower orders are bad readers, and understand very imperfectly the language of books, and we would put no
We think it to be quite as necessary for the female part of the lower orders to be educated as the male portion. The female is a most important agent in every class of society, but more especially in the humble ones. Female modesty and virtue form one of the main pillars of morals, and one of the chief sources of human happiness. The wife of the poor man has, not only his peace and the chief management of his income, but the care and instruction of his children in her hands; and the interests of these children alone render it essential that she should be capable of imparting to them good moral and religious principles, and good habits and manners, both by tuition and example. The love of reading is, we think, more general among women than men. As much care should therefore be taken to supply the one sex with books, as the other. The wife would very often read when the husband would not; she would read to him, or communicate the substance of what she read in conversation, and he would thus receive much instruction which he could acquire by no other means.
In the fourth place, when the working classes have received due moral instruction, then and not before give them such additional mechanical and scientific instruction as they may need. Do away with the showy lectures which are worthless to the mass of them, and instead, class the "students," and let each class have a proper tutor. Let those to whom chemistry is useful, have a chemical tutor, those to whom mechanics is useful, have a tutor in mechanics, those to whom geometry is useful, have a tutor in geometry, and so on; but let every class be restricted from dabbling in various arts and sciences, and confine it to that one in which it needs instruction. Lectures may be given on Moral Philosophy, Political Philo
sophy, Astronomy, &c. but only on such subjects as are interesting in nearly an equal degree to all.
In the fifth place, let the working men subscribe, let them vote for the committee, let them even constitute two-thirds of the committee, but by all means, let a power be vested in proper hands to keep from them all improper books. Without this, popular education will only be a public curse. If an impartial newspaper can be found, let it be taken, but exclude all the cheap party publications that Mr Brougham recommends.
Generally speaking, these things
must be kept constantly in sight, and to them education, in every point, must be made subservient-the protection and promotion of industry, subordination, and harmony, between the higher and the lower ranks-and the inculcation of sound and beneficial principles of general conduct.
After all, let no one believe the predictions of Mr Brougham and his friends, or be too sanguine as to the results. General information requires as much intellect, leisure, and toil, for its acquisition, as it ever did; and human nature remains unchanged.
WE who look, not at men, but at principles and institutions, and who have a mortal dislike to sweeping alterations in either, may be pardoned if we examine the change which our commercial system is undergoing, instead of joining in the laudations which are heaped upon it from all quarters. We should not care to make it the subject of any observations, but we see that it is made the source of much delusion, and that attempts are maing to render it the lever for again hurling the agriculturists into ruin.
Perhaps at no former period did this great empire possess so abundant a share of prosperity as at present. Every interest is flourishing. The manufacturer is glutted with orders, the merchant is loaded with business, the ship-owner is making large profits, the shop of the tradesman is full of customers, the farmer is beginning to thrive, and the labourer, generally speaking, is fully employed at good wages. That man has not a drop of British blood in his bosom, who can contemplate this without the throb of joy; and who can witness attempts to tamper with it, to make it the subject of experiment, to cut, twist, disjoint, and disorganise it in order to saddle it with untested theories, without dislike and apprehension. We are a strange people; the only things that we seem to have a deadly aversion to, are content and enjoyment.
In the reduction of duties, not protecting ones, and to the abolition of all formalities and restrictions, not necessary for protection, we are undoubt edly as friendly as any man in the
kingdom. We offer Ministers the warmest praise for what they have done in these matters. Duties of revenue never formed any part of what is called the restrictive system, and they were never considered by any one, save perhaps a few overgrown traders, whom they rendered to a certain degree monopolists, as anything but necessary evils. It ought not to be needful for us to say this, but this reduction and abolition-things which were always as palatable to the friends of the restrictive system as to other people are trumpetted forth as portions of a new system, directly the reverse in all points of the old one. This we think does much mischief. It confounds things, which in their nature are perfectly distinct; it prevents the country at large from perceiving where the new system begins and ends, and it leads the mass of men to believe that, because the part of what is done which they understand, is clearly wise and necessary, the part which they do not understand, is equally so.
The restrictive system, as it has lately existed, may be thus given in the words of Adam Smith.
"Restraints upon the importation of such foreign goods for home-consumption, as could be produced at home, from whatever country they were imported."
"These different restraints consisted sometimes in high duties, and sometimes in absolute prohibitions."
The new system, although it differs greatly from that which Smith recommended, and although it departs in a
much smaller degree from the old one than many people imagine, professes to give freedom to trade, to admit all foreign goods, and to place the foreign producer, all things considered, on a level with the English one in the English market.
The old system up to the present times was always supported by all practical men, by all Ministers, by all whose interests it peculiarly affectedby all who wished to promote the trade and prosperity of the country. Under it the country rose to an unprecedented height of wealth, greatness, and grandeur. It is yet supported by all practical men, for every interest sets its face against the new one, when it is threatened to be placed under it. Now this system may most certainly have been a false one, but if it have, it is the most astonishing and incomprehensible thing in the world, that it should have seemed to be the most wise and beneficial one for centuries to all experienced and able men-to all who had a mighty personal interest in its reversal. Active, enterprizing, calculating men are not generally stone-blind for so long a period to their own profit. It may have been a pernicious one, and the country may have risen to its present state, as it is said, in spite of it, but if this be correct, it is amazing that the country has been able to struggle through so many appalling difficulties to such greatness. It may have been injurious to trade, but if it have, it is wonderful that our traders have to be actually forced from it, into one of benefit and riches. This we own, bewilders us, the more especially as we hate paradox, as we think that the right will generally appear to be the right, and as we believe that the wrong will always be proved to be the wrong, by a much shorter period of experiment than several ages. If this system had led to the loss or great injury of our trade, we should have known how to deal with it; but when we glance at the prosperity of trade, we are really at a loss how to decide. The jokes and laughter, therefore, which were lately bestowed upon it in Parliament, gave us little pleasure. We thought that some who joked, and many who laughed, had never proved them selves to be much wiser than their ancestors; and that as it had so long
been united with the habits and affections of the country, it might, if unworthy to live, have been put to death with due decency and solemnity. We believed that as it was the offspring of those who bequeathed to us the most magnificent inheritance that nation ever possessed, and as it had produced no great number of irremediable calamities, it might have been consigned to the tomb, without any derision being cast on the folly and ignorance of its parents.
It has long been a dreadfully puzzling problem to the political economists, how to make two nations that produce almost exactly the same commodities trade with each other-or, to make the matter more intelligible, how to make two farmers buy and consume each other's corn. They have had no trouble with states that produce dissimilar articles-the farmer and the woollen-manufacturer, or the shoemaker and the tailor, are always ready enough to buy and sell with each other. Far be it from us to say that the matter presents no difficulties. Smith, who was a man of sense, depth, and honesty, and who could not sit down to write gross absurdities, handles it in the only way in which we apprehend it can be handled successfully. He advises that there shall be no prohibitions, that there shall be no protecting duties beyond what may be sufficient to tax the foreign producer of an article equally with the home producer of it; and that as these countries will produce various articles, each ought to discontinue the production of such as the other can produce at a cheaper rate. To put the matter in a clearer light, two farmers both produce wheat, beans, barley and oats; but the one can produce wheat and beans, and the other barley and oats, cheaper than the other. The wheat and bean man, therefore, is to discontinue the growth of barley and oats, and the barley and oat man that of wheat and beans, and then they can trade together. So we can manufacture wool at a cheaper rate than another nation, and the other nation can manufacture silk at a cheaper rate than ourselves; we, therefore, are to abandon the manufacture of silk, and the other nation that of wool. This scheme is intelligible and practicable, but it certainly did not
require the skill of a conjuror to devise it.
Two great objects with Smith were the destruction of monopolies, and the establishment of the greatest degree of general cheapness. Now, it is manifest, that if this scheme were generally carried into effect, it would place almost everything under a close and gigantic monopoly, and keep prices nearly at the maximum. Instead of producing and protecting competition, it would destroy it. If it were to be established at this moment, what would be the consequence? We should ruin and root up the chief manufactures of most other countries. For a moment, while we were doing this, there would be competition and cheap selling; and then, having a prodigious market before us, and no competitor, we should demand monopoly prices. If this should produce attempts to re-establish the ruined manufactures abroad, our manufacturers would lower their prices, destroy their infant rivals, and then again charge in a way becoming monopolists. It is notoriously among the tactics of traders to sell at a prodigious loss, to ruin their rivals, if they see a possibility of doing it; and in this case they might accomplish it, and still get a profit. So, if the corn-market were thrown open, the foreign growers would at once ruin the English ones: this would make bread cheap for a moment, and then render it past buying. If high prices caused the English farmers again to cultivate, they would be again ruined.
To prevent monopoly among individuals, there must be a number of producers of the same article; they must be placed on an equality; they must be able to bring their article to market at the same price; and they must produce what will fully equal the demand. If one can undersell all the rest, he ruins them; he then produces less than they all produced united; he keeps the supply short, and he charges what he pleases. If his neighbours see that he makes enormous profits when he has the market to himself, still no one will dare to commence against him, if he possess the ability to undersell, from being able to produce cheaper than any one beside. It is so with nations. Now, almost every nation has certain articles which it can sell cheaper than all other nations, but it is a mighty fallacy to suppose, VOL. XVII.
that if all other nations were to abandon the production of these articles, and were to make this one the sole producer, the monopolist of them, they would be enabled to get them the cheaper. If we give a monopoly to our own manufacturers, we may have to pay more for an article than another country would charge; and yet it is pretty certain, that, if we gave the monopoly to that country, we should have to pay still more than we pay at present.
If we give a monopoly to our own traders, we give it to a multitude of rival individuals, who enter into active competition, and who keep the market abundantly supplied; but if we give it to a nation, there is comparatively no competition, and the demand can scarcely be satisfied. If we can undersell the continental producers of cotton goods, it by no means follows, that the continent would be more cheaply supplied with such goods, if resigned wholly to our manufactu
If this scheme had been constantly acted upon, we, from other nations having got the start of us, should hardly have had any manufactures. Nothing but the restrictive system could have planted and brought them to maturity among us. We should have had little to export save agricultural produce; we should have had little commerce; and we should have been among the least of the nations, not in one thing, but in everything.
We therefore can see no weight in the argument, that, in granting a monopoly to our manufacturers, we necessarily have to pay higher prices than we otherwise should, and divert labour and capital from the most profitable mode of employment. Even admitting that a nation could import certain articles at a much lower price than it can manufacture them at, still it may be most wise in that nation to continue the manufacture. It may be most wise in an individual to sink a large sum annually for a term, in order to obtain a great return afterwards. Many men pay a large part of their incomes, for their whole lives, to Insurance Companies, to secure a certain sum for their children; and this is not thought folly. A land-proprietor sometimes takes land which leaves him a certain rent, expends an enormous capital in planting it, and then has it
on his hands for many years before it will produce a shilling, and yet this is, perhaps, the most profitable mode that he could adopt. For many years after this nation began to manufacture, the people had to pay much higher prices for manufactures than they could have imported them at, and yet who will say that the money, thus sacrificed, has not been returned pound for farthing. In regard to drawing labour and capital from the most profitable mode of employment, that may be for a time the most unprofitable mode, which may be afterwards the most profitable one. The history of our manufactures abundantly proves this. To assume that if labour and capital be driven from one mode of employment, they can find employment in another, is to assume that there can be no limit to the employment of both; and this is clearly refuted by our present condition, regarding Britain and Ireland as a whole. We cannot produce corn so cheaply as other countries, and, of course, we ought to discontinue, to a certain extent at least, the production of corn. This would throw a vast mass of agricultural capital and labour out of employment. Well, but the foreign corn would take a large additional quantity of manufactures out of the market. If it did, the manufacturers have already sufficient capital among them to meet the additional demand. There would therefore be no room for that of the farmers; and one-tenth of the labourers, thus thrown out of employment by the aid of machinery, would perform the additional labour. When we look at this, we doubt much whether any additional demand worth speaking of would be created for manufactures, from the injury that the home-market would sustain.
An immense mass of vituperation is heaped on other nations, because they follow the restrictive system, and will consume dear goods of their own rather than our cheap ones. This is mighty foolish. They raise by it the expenditure, but then they likewise raise, in a greater degree, the income, by increasing the value of, and the demand for, labour. If they incurred an immense loss by it, it would still be a loss incurred for the sake of adequate eventual profit. These nations are already entering upon their harvest; they are acquiring capital, and in se
veral articles of manufacture competing with us in both quality and price. Can any one prove that they could have done this without the restrictive system, that this system in the end will not enable them to rival us in almost everything, and that they have not acted in the wisest manner so far as regards themselves?
The system would be less erroneous if an equality in national benefit existed among the cheap articles of different nations-that is, if the corn of Poland were as generally valuable to Poland, as the manufactures of Britain are to Britain. This is not the case, and if the system were followed, the peculiar articles of one state would enrich it, and those of another would keep it eternally poor.
We of course see great reason to think, that if Smith's system were adopted, it would put most principal commodities under national monopoly, that instead of promoting production and consumption, it would greatly injure them, and that instead of producing general cheapness, it would pro duce general dearness. Yet this is the system which the economists of the day zealously recommend as the only one for destroying monopoly, promoting production and consumption, and producing cheapness. We see much reason to believe that if the restrictive system were destroyed, the cheap producer would become a dear one, that although it forces production, it keeps the market far more plentifully supplied than it otherwise would be, that it in reality causes a great deal of present competition which would not exist without it, that it forms the chief source from which effectual competition for the future must arise, and that although it produces much comparative dearness, it produces a vast portion of real general cheapness. This, however, is the system which the economists execrate for producing monopoly and high prices.
We have in substance said, that to produce full and lasting competition in the market of the world, the same articles must be produced by more than one nation, and the competitors must be enabled to come to market on exactly the same terms. If there be but one producer, there can be no competi tion, and there will be no full supply; if one competitor can ruin the others, that competitor becomes the sole pro