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tain themselves without re-producing the equivalent of their consumption; they consequently cannot addict themselves to luxury without endangering their existence; and the magnitude of the danger prevents their exposing themselves to it. The classes that live upon the rents of land and profits of stock cannot easily be ruined by luxury; its greatestexcesses attack only a few priyate fortunes, and give little concern to national wealth ; luxury may even, in some degree, be favourable to national wealth, because it encourages the labouring classes, by increasing their means of labour, economy, and fortune; by admitting them to share in the profits of stock and rents of land, and by affording them an opportunity to rise into the rich and idle classes. This mixture of classes is perhaps not advantageous to certain political systems. Aristocratical states and cven some monarchical governments may feel its dangerous effects, and be shaken by it: of this, modern history affords more than one instance; but wealth is no sufferer by it, on the contrary, it may even derive great advantages from such a mixture. It would be interesting to investigate, whether aristocratical and certain monarchical states can do without wealth, resist its influence, or turn it to their safety: but it would require a volume to do justice to the inquiry; and I have but a few lines to add to my observations on the theory of wealth. But although the consumption of the produce allotted to private individuals is of little consequence to wealth, the case is not the same with regard to that portion of produce which constitutes the public revenue. As it is taken from private income, and almost entirely consumed without leaving any equivalent af. ter its consumption, it must be proportioned to the surplus of produce left to individuals after their necessary and indispensable consumption; otherwise it would exhaust private savings, arrest the progressive increase of capitals, render wealth stationary, and perhaps occasion its decline and ruin. As long as the consumption of public and private revenue does not absorb the totality of the produce of general labour, wealth is progressive, nations prosper, and empires are advancing to the highest degree of power and splendour. 2. Consumption is more or less useful to the progress of wealth, according as it is directed to solid and lasting enjoyments, or to caprices and fancies, which leave no value behind. When, in seeking for the pleasures of life, men have a taste for conveniencies and comforts, consumption conveys even to the abodes of mediocrity the advantages and enjoyments of opulence; the garments and household furniture which have served the rich, serve again the less fortunate classes; and the enjoyments of wealth are, as it were, communicated to the whole nation. How far it is possible to inspire a nation with that desirable disposition, is not easily ascertained; but nothing can more powerfully contribute to it, than the encouragement given to manufactures more useful than elegant, more within the reach of the multitude than reserved for the opulent classes, more calculated for the wants of all than for the fancy of a few. As wealth is created through the labour of the multitude it also derives its greatest means of increase from the conveniencies, from the pleasures, and even from the enjoyments of the multitude, In the economical system of modern nations, general labour is the spring of wealth, and general economy is the only way of increasing the funds and the resources of labour, of developing its powers, its faculties, and its genius, and of giving it a constant and unlimited progression. The general interchange of the produce of labour, by affording to the labouring classes new, varied, and inexhaustible enjoyments, stimulates their activity, excites their industry, encourages their efforts, and raises their efforts to the highest degree of energy and intensity; and the extent of a more or less beneficial consumption of the totality of productions extends or narrows the bounds of wealth and opulence. Wealth, in the modern system of political economy, is the work of all men, of all nations, and, as it were, of the whole human race; the reward of all individual efforts, and the end of private and general ambition. When all are rushing to the same end, the rights of all are respected, the interests of all attend. ed to, and the conveniencies of all consulted. All advance by the side of each other without elbowing, without injuring, without crushing each other. All are benefited by their reciprocal efforts, and allowe their successes to their general co-operation. To this admirable system civilization is indebted for its progress; and when better understood, it will prove it most vigilant safeguard and its firmest support. 1. i' to -. o & 1 \, , ; - Y F :
Romans, 27; nations of the Middle Age, 30 ; Arabs, 32; A-
in Hindostan and America, 36. Different influence of modern
and ancient Wealth, 38. Conclusion of the Introduction, 50.
VARIOUS SYSTEMS CONCERN IN G THE SOURCES OF
The Mercantiles System, 52 ; the Monetary System, 58; the System
of lowering the rate of Interest, 60 ; the Agricultural System, 63;
the System of Labour that fixes and realizes itself in a permanent
object, 67 ; the System of the permanent and necessary equi-
librium of Wealth and Poverty, 68; these various Systems recon-
OF THE WARIOUS SYSTEMS CONCERNING LABOU R.