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ment are indirectly productive labourers. A jeweller employed in chasing a ring for the finger, or silver shoe-buckle, may be a cause of increased industry in the manufacturer and agriculturist, by the desire he excites in them to possess these articles. "A watch," Dr. Paley observes," may be a very unnecessary appendage to the dress of a peasant; yet, if the peasant will till the ground to obtain a watch, the true design of commerce is answered; and the watchmaker, while he polishes the case, and files the wheels of his ingenious machine, is contributing to the production of corn as effectually, though not so directly, as if he handled the plough or the spade. The use of tobacco is an acknowledged superfluity; but if the fisherman will ply his nets, and the mariner fetch rice from foreign countries, in order to procure to himself the indulgence, the market is supplied with two important articles of provision by the instrumentality of a merchandise which has no other apparent use than the gratification of a vitiated palate."
Men can only be induced to labour by something they prize, whether it be a necessary, a luxury, or mere fancy. A taste for the drama and opera has the same effect on the production of national wealth as a taste for tobacco or tokay. We wish to be present at these representations, and to get admittance must pay the price, which can only be obtained by an effort of industry. Hence Mr. Mc Culloch observes, "that the amusements afforded by players, singers, dancers, and mimics, how trifling soever
they may appear in the eyes of cynics and soi-disan moralists, create new wants, and by so doing, necessarily stimulate our industry to gratify them."
Dr. Johnson was a severe moralist, and often a prejudiced observer of men and things, but he recognised the utility of the same doctrine. "Many things," he remarks, "which are false, are transmitted from book to book, and gain credit in the world. One of these is the cry against luxury. Now the truth is, that luxury produces much good. Take the luxury of the buildings in London: does it not produce real advantage in the conveniency and elegance of accommodation, and this all from the exertion of industry? People will tell you, with a melancholy face, how many builders are in gaol. It is plain they are in gaol, not for building, for rents have not fallen. A man gives half a guinea for a dish of green peas. How much gardening does this occasion? how many labourers must the competition to have such things in the market keep in employment? You will hear it said very gravely Why was the half-guinea thus spent not given to the poor?' Alas! has it not gone to the industrious poor, whom it is better to support than the idle poor ? You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those that work, than when you give money merely in charity."-There is no harm in luxury when people can afford it, and the indulgence therein is not at the expense of the more serious duties we owe to ourselves, our family, and the community.
In this of mechanical inventions, the power to produce commodities by physical agency, would form a very inaccurate standard of the relative utility of different classes. The application of steam enables us to create force to any amount, but we cannot create intelligence. Where all are useful, it is idle to institute comparisons which is most so; but if any scale of social utility be set up, it certainly ought to be founded on the tendency of different pursuits to augment human enjoyments. All occupations, however apparently unproductive and trifling, are valuable, if they increase our pleasures, our comforts, and wellbeing. In this view we recognise the great utility of literary men, whether their labours are directed to the imagination or understanding. If by their productions, they make our leisure hours more agreeable, if by their sentiments they improve the heart; and, by their maxims instruct us in the better conduct of life, they are the benefactors of their species.
Even the avocations of menial servants ought not to be despised. True, their labour does not produce cloth or hardware, like that of the operative. But cloth and hardware are only valuable because they are useful; they add to our comforts and conveniences; and does not the employment of the domestic do the same? The operative is not a producer of matter, but of utility only. And is it not obvious, the servant is also a producer of utility. As justly observed, the labour of the husbandman who raises
corn, beef, and other provisions, is undoubtedly productive; but it is not more useful than that of the butcher, baker, or cook who prepares these articles, and fits them for use. To produce a fire, it is quite as indispensable the coals should be carried from the cellar to the grate, as that they should be carried from the mine to the surface of the earth, and the servant who makes the fire is quite as necessary as the miner, to effect the product of their joint labour.
It is unnecessary to pursue further the illustration of so plain a subject. All classifications of society, into productive and unproductive consumers, into capitalists, and the industrious, have manifestly no just foundation. It is making a distinction where there is none, and where it is not in the nature of things there can be. The end of all human exertion is the same to increase the comforts and conveniences of life, and the diversities in the occupations of men, arise from diversities in the wants of society; and whether their pursuits are commercial or operative, intellectual or physical, professional or mechanical, often depends on circumstances over which they have as little control, and form as little ground of pre-eminence as their stature or complexions. They all co-operate for the common good, and that jealousy between the several classes of the community, which some persons have very inconsiderately endeavoured to excite, would be quite as senseless as jealousy between the several members
of the body, or faculties of the mind, and would most fitly exemplify the folly of the old fable mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
I shall conclude with recapitulating the chief points I have sought to establish :
1. Capital is an accumulation of anterior industry, and the profits derived from its employment, form as equitable a source of income as the wages of labour.
2. Capital, by stimulating industry, and economizing and abridging labour, tends to lower the prices of commodities to all classes of consumers.
3. It forms the chief distinction, and is the chief source of superiority of civilized over savage life.
4. Its efficiency is augmented by diversities in its application by different countries, and different districts of the same country.
5. The utility of a class of capitalists has been demonstrated, by showing the advantages derived in society from the avocations of the middle ranks, consisting of bankers, merchants, importers, wholesale dealers, and retailers.
Lastly, it has been shown that the different classes of the social state all co-operate for the common good, and that any assumption of superiority, established on diversities in their pursuits and occupations, is founded on no principle of justice or utility.