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ber of labourers who are not usefully oceupied, to increase that of those who are usefully employed. But it should be considered, that if this wish were realized, the formation of wealth would be impossible, because consumers would be wanting for the commodities produced, and the non-consumed surplus would not be reproduced. The productive classes do not give the produce of their labour grafis to the classes whose labours produce no material commodities; they give it in exchange for the convenience, pleasure, or gratification they receive of them, and to hand them their productions they are obliged to produce them. If the material produce of labour were not applied to pay for the labour which produces no material commodities, it would not find any consumers, and its reproduction would cease. The labours productive of enjoyment contribute therefore as efficaciously to production as the iabour which is reputed most productive. In this respect, the labours exclusively devoted to luxury, pomp, and the most frivolous expenees, are productive ; they co-operate to increase the population and wealth, and contribute to the splendour and power of states. Care must be had, however, not to stretch this principle beyond its true limits ; nor would it be wise to infer thence, that by multiplying the labours destined to gratify the passions of men, productive labours are multiplied in the same proportions. As long as productive labours pay freely and spontameously for such frivolous labours, we need not fear that they will exceed the bounds within which they ought to be confined for the good of private and public \ wealth. Whatever propensity nations may feel for pleasure, luxury, and pomp, they do not sacrifice their means of subsistence, comforts, and fortune to this disposition ; they do not impoverish themselves for the sake of being amused, nor ruin themselves to lead a more agreeable life. The conveniencies, pleasures, or gratifications, which they require, generally follow and rarely precede the produce which is to pay for them ; and the reason of this almost universal conduct is, that every individual has the consciousness of his faculties and of the extent of his fortune. The case is different when the labours devoted to pleasure, luxury, and pomp, are not required by the productive classes, and these are nevertheless forced to pay for them, and to pinch themselves in order to provide for their cost. It may then happen that such a forced disbursement does not occasion any surplus of productions, that it is an absolute burden to the productive classes, and diminishes wealth by whatever is not reproduced. But this never occurs, except through the fault of sovereigns or rulers of states ; and since they never can be sure that the labours of luxury and pomp with which they incumber productive labours, do not outrun the produce of the latter, they may unintentionally encourage labours that are not only barren and unproductive, but even oppressive and destructive of productive labours. XExcept this case, which deserves the attention of all who are entrusted with the interests of mations and concerned for their prosperity and happiness, every kind of labour is necessarily productive, and contributes more or less efficaciously to the formation and increase of public wealth, because it necessarily occasions the productions with which it is paid.
Is there any kind of Labour more or less productive, more or less favourable to the growth of Health &
The productiveness of labour in general being established, and, as it were, demonstrated ; what side are we to take in the controversy that has arisen between authors of all sects and all countries, concerning what kind of labour is most productive, and most favourable to the growth of wealth 2 Is there indeed any kind of labour to which all nations ought preferably to apply their efforts and faculties : This question is of the utmost importance; it is the very foundation of the science, since labour has the greatest share in the formation, increase, and preservation of wealth. It is very remarkable, that almost every writer on this controversy has regarded the labour which is preferred in his own country as the most productive. Thus the English writers assign the first rank to commerce and manufactures, which have always enjoyed the greatest favour in England. Adam Smith is the only one who resisted the torrent of public opinion, and dared to place agriculture above commerce and manufactures; he even went farther, he attempted to assign different degrees of productiveness to different labours, and, in his extremely ingenious scale, placed agriculture at an immense distance above all other labours. He even was so enamoured of this opinion, that he thought he should be able to make it triumph over the authority of facts, and the experience of ages. He allowed, however, that inanufactures and commerce have more contributed to increase the wealth of modern nations, than agriculture; but he thought their superiority to be owing merely to the peculiar favour which they have enjoyed above agriculture. In France, where, agriculture has always predominated, the writers on political economy have generally granted agriculture the precedency before commerce and manufactures.* In Italy, opinions have been divided ; and according as they inhabited either the interior or the maritime provinces, the writers on subjects connected with political economy, have extolled agriculture, or manufactures and commerce.-Amidst this struggle of contrary or various opinions, I think no satisfactory solution can be obtained on so
* I know but two French writers who have given the preforence to manufactures and commerce before agriculture; namely, Dangeul, in his Remarques sur les Avantages et les Désavantages de la France et de la Grande Bretagne, 1754; and Forbonnais, in his Elémens de Commerce.
* The Curate Paoletti, a Milanese; Beccaria, a Milanese, and Corniani of Brescia, rank agriculture above manufactures and commerce; Galiani, Genovesi, and Palmieri of Naples, give the Preference to commerce and manufactures before agriculture.
important a point of the science, but by attempting to determine whether agriculture, or commerce and manufactures, are most conducive to the growth of public and private wealth, to the welfare of individuals, the prosperity of nations, and their absolute and relative power; or, in other words, by determining which of these labours obtains the greatest value for its produce on its being exchanged; which circumstance is, at once, the promoter, regulator, and arbitrator of wealth. When, after having for a long time subsisted on the produce of hunting, fishing, and their flocks, men prefer to such precarious, uncertain, and limited means of subsistence, the more abundant, more various, and more certain productions of agriculture; this direction of their labour undoubtedly opens a road to wealth : but whither does this road lead them By this new application of labour, men may succeed in procuring corn and cattle for their food, and raw materials for their raiments and dwellings; perhaps they may even acquire sufficient abilities to give convenient forms and shapes to these objects of first necessity. But here the progress of wealth stops ; and how it could go beyond their actual wants, or how they should think of producing any surplus, or of saving and accumulating any stock, it is impossible to conceive. Were even the inclination of mankind for propagating a sufficient inducement to accumulate, measures of foresight would be limited to individuals; they would not always be successful, and would fre