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it is taken from private income, and almost entirely consumed without leaving any equivalent after 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 the only way of increasing the funds and the resources of labour, of developing its power, 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 attended 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 all owe their successes to their general co-operation. To this admirable system civilization is indebted for its progress; and when better understood, it will prove its most vigilant safeguard and its firmest support.
A N A LYT I C A L IND EX
PLAN OF THE WORK.
Various definitions of Wealth, 2 ; Sources of Wealth, 4 ; Means of contributing to the increase of Wealth, 5. The variety of Systems has produced Incredulity and Superstition, 6. Affinity of Political Economy with the science of Government and Legis- lation, 8. Civilization connected with the study of Political Economy, 12. Division of the Work, 13. Introduction: on the nature of Wealth, 15; the passion for Wealth is universal, 18; it is the promoter of Industry, 19; it originally caused Domestic Servitude and Civil and Foreign Wars, 21 ; among the Persians, 23; Spartans, 24; Athenians, 25 ; Carthaginians, 26; Romans, 27; nations of the Middle Age, 30; Arabs, 32. Among the Moderns the passion for Wealth has been directed towards Labour, Industry, and Commerce, 34; at Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Florence, in the Hanseatic Towns, the Cities of Spain, France, and Germany, 35; among the Portuguese and Spaniards in Hindostan and America, 36. Different influence of modern and ancient Wealth, 38. Conclusion of the Introduction, 50.
WARIOUS SYSTEMS CONCERNING THE SOURCES OF
The Mercantile System, 52; the Monetary System, 58; the System of lowering the rate of Interest, 60 ; the Agricultural System, 63; the System of Labout that fixes and realizes itself in a permanent object, 67; the System of the permanent and necessary equilibrium of Wealth and Poverty, 68: these various Systems reconciled, 70.
OF THE WARIOUS SYSTEMS RESPECTING CAPITAL.