Imágenes de páginas

cuvres like monopoly and speculation excited the indignation of writers; but now these schemes are a title to distinction, and France announces them in a Pindaric strain, saying: “A rapid and unexpected movement has suddenly taken place in soaps ” — at which words we seem to see bars of soap leap from their boxes and wing their way to the clouds, while the speculators in soap hear their names resound through the whole land. Whatever Commerce touches, were it only a stock certificate or a quintal of fish, the philosophers speak of in sublime style and in accents of delight. Under their pens, a cask of rum becomes a flask of rose-water, cheese exhales the perfume of the violet, and soap rivals the whiteness of the lily. All these flowers of rhetoric contribute, doubtless, to the success of Industry, which has found in the support of the Philosophers the same kind of assistance they have extended to the people, namely, fine phrases, but not results.

When were there so many abuses, so much anarchy in the industrial world as now, when the mercantile policy is in the ascendant ? Because an insular nation, favored by the commercial indolence of France, has enriched itself by monopoly and mari. time spoliation, behold all the old doctrines of philosophy disdained, Commerce extolled as the only road to truth, to wisdom, and to happiness, and the merchants become the pillars of the state, while all the continental Cabinets vie with each other in their submission to a Power which suborns them with the profits she has levied upon their people. One is ready to believe in magic on seeing kings and empires thus circumvented by a few commercial sophisms, and exalting to the skies the race of monopolists, stockjobbers, agioteurs, and other industrial corsairs, who employ their influence in concentrating masses of capital, in producing fluctuations in the price of products, in ruining alternately all branches of industry, and in impoverishing the producing classes, who are spoliated en masse by vast monopolies, as we herrings engulfed in the jaws of a whale.

To sum up:— I have already stated, in course of the discussion, what would be the effect of Collective Competition, which is the antidote of the present system:

I. It would lead, without compulsion and without the concession of exclusive privileges, to the formation of large Associations, which are the basis of all economy.

II. It would make the commercial body responsible to the community for all its operations, and allow to it only the conditional ownership of industrial products.

III. It would restore to productive Industry the capital now employed in Commerce; for the social body being fully insured against all malpractices on the part of merchants, they would everywhere have accorded to them entire confidence; they would have no occasion for employing large sums of money in their business, and the whole capital of the country would be invested in agriculture and manufactures.

IV. It would restore to productive Industry three-fourths of the hands now employed in the unproductive functions of Commerce.

V. It would compel the commercial body, by a system of equitable taxation, to support its share of public expenses, which it now has the skill to avoid.

VI. Finally, it would establish in commercial relations a degree of probity and good faith, which, though less than will exist in the Combined Order, would still be immense as compared with the frauds and spoliations of the present system.

The above synopsis will create a desire for an entire chapter on Collective Competition, but I have already said that the object of this preliminary essay is only to expose the ignorance of our social and political guides, and to explain the ends they should have had in view in their investigations. For the rest, of what use would it be to stop to explain the means of perfecting Civilization by measures, such as Collective Competition, borrowed from the sixth Period ? What signifies to us the ameliorations of the sixth or seventh Periods, since we can overleap them both and pass immediately to the eighth, which therefore alone merits our attention ?

When we shall have reached this Period, when we shall enjoy fully the happiness of the Combined Order, we can reason on the abuses of civilization and their correctives at our ease. It is then that we may amuse ourselves with an analysis of the Civilized mechanism, which is the most curious of all, since it is that in which there is the greatest complication and confusion of elements. As for the present, the question is not to study, not to improve Civilization, but to quit it; it is for this reason that I shall not cease to fix the mind on the necessity of rejecting all half measures, and of going straight to the proposed end by founding, without delay, an Association based upon the Serial orderan Association which, by furnishing a demonstration of Passional Harmony, will remove the philosophic cataract from the eyes of the human race, and raise all the nations of the globe — Civilized, Barbaric, and Savage - to their social destiny,- to Universal Unity.



He canvas in this favorite portrait of Franklin is beginning to show 2 SR the effects of time, and these appear also in the reproduction. The

portrait, however, is most admirable in the art which could put into the forehead, eyes, and mouth such a striking suggestion of his genius

« AnteriorContinuar »