is the efficient of agriculture, because, as this last always raises a surplus produce, which proves a fund for multiplying inhabitants, there must be a demand for it from those who have an equivalent, (viz. other labour and its products,) to give in return. It is this equivalent which is the spring of the whole machine; for without it the farmer will not produce any surplus. Now because it is the effectual demand which makes the husbandman labour for the sake of the equivalent, and because this demand increases by the multiplication of those who have an equivalent to give, therefore, says Sir James Steuart, multiplication is the cause and agriculture the effect. So that industry will produce numbers, and those numbers, industriously employed, will in their turn promote an advance in agriculture. Notwithstanding the objections of Mr. Malthus, I confess that this reasoning, when applied to certain states of society, appears to me quite incontrovertible: but it is surely rather extraordinary to find Sir James Steuart, in a subsequent passage on the necessary connexion between manufacturing industry and agriculture, remarking that “the precedence between them is a matter of mere curiosity and speculation;” whereas, as Mr. Malthus well observes, it tends to practical conclusions by far the most important that can be drawn from studying the effects of the principle of population: for if, as he asserts, it is necessary to the happiness of the community that, population should always be strictly repressed within the limits of a comfortable supply from the earisting food; then undoubtedly, unless it be be feasible to increase this supply without first creating a demand for it from an augmenting population, neither this nor agriculture can ever proceed a step further in advance. Whereas, if the multiplication of mouths, to the extent of dividing the existing supply of food among a somewhat larger number, by producing a greater demand for it and advancing its price, induces the husbandman to cultivate; then the further progress of the country in population and agriculture becomes easy: and since industry, enterprise, and progressive prosperity are the surest foundations of a people's happiness, or as Dr. Paley has it, constitute the healthy state of their political existence, it follows, that in some states of society, the encouragement to population, according to the arguments of this treatise, or according to Mr. Malthus, the permission to extend itself up to a gentle pressure against the actual supply of food, is as certain a method of strengthening those foundations, as the repression of the population within the limits of the existing supply from the soil, as distributed in the advanced states of society, is of undermining them. Let us now turn to the arguments used by Mr. Malthus, to prove that a previous increase of food should always exist, before the people are allowed to multiply up to it. He begins by comparing the policy of those who hold opposite sentiments, even in the modified sense of the writers lately quoted, to the Antient and exploded errors concerning specie, the abundance of which was held by the old political economists to be the cause instead of the effect of wealth, as population is now held in some cases to be the cause and not the effect of production. “So,” says Mr. Malthus, “the annual produce of the land and labour became in both instances a secondary consideration, and its increase, it was conceived, would naturally follow that of specie in the one case, and of population in the other. Yet surely,” he continues, “the prejudices with respect to population are the most absurd of the two; for, however impossible in fact, one may conceive means by which a quantity of specie beyond the demand might be retained in a country; yet when the population has once been raised to such a height, that the produce is meted out to each individual in the smallest portions that can support life, no stretch of ingenuity can ever conceive the possibility of going further.” This last limb of the comparison will evidently lose its strength if we refer once more to the facts established in the preceding pages:—1st, that population, as it advances towards a pressure against the surplus food of the agricultural state, so arranges itself as never to press against “the smallest portions which can be meted out to each individual,” but only against the comforts and luxuries of life: and 2dly, that every step in this advance introduces a corresponding abatement in the progress of population. It is therefore by no means necessary to exert any ingenuity in discovering a process by which the people may be fed, after a country is fully cultivated, and every portion of the food is meted out to the inhabitants so as barely to support the existence of each; the predicament upon which this limb of the comparison rests for support cannot exist, and the limb itself must fail. With respect to the comparison, it may also be further remarked, that specie, as is well known, being merely a circulating medium, the mistake of the old economists lay in supposing that it constituted real riches, instead of being only the instrument by which riches are transferred from one


person to another. The absurdity of their opinions therefore rests entirely upon the discovery since made, that the value of specie depends wholly upon its instrumentality. But how can this be made to apply to population ? All are agreed that a healthy and increasing people do in fact constitute the real riches of a state; that their increase therefore is the absolute and essential object in all rational politics, whether it be caused by encouraging manufacturing industry, or by a further production of food. The ultimate value of population does not consist in being the mere instrument by which to raise an increased supply of the products of land and labour, but the value of these last depends chiefly upon the existence of a population in a state to consume them, and to pay for the labour bestowed. Population is therefore the ultimate object in one case, while specie is merely a temporary instrument in the other; and thus the other limb of the comparison appears to drop off, and the whole entirely fails. If indeed population had been compared to capital instead of specie, a pretty close resemblance might have been shown in some of their intermediate operations. Capital is well known to be that which sets further industry in motion, and raises further annual products of land and labour. Its accumulation is one great object of all industry, and cannot but lead to further exertion by the demand it creates for employment. Increase it even by means foreign to domestic production, and you will soon perceive that a real increase of domestic industry and produce will follow. This has been fully proved by the effects of the capital brought of late years into England from the colonies and from the East. Although it was by no means the legitimate offspring of the land and labour of the country set in motion by former capital, but the profits of adventures, (often without capital,) made out of the !and and labour of the opposite side of the globe, the demand created by it is no sooner brought into operation at home, than industry is immediately set to work to produce a corresponding supply. So an increase of population, proceeding at the rate in which it can be produced in any free and civilized country in the state of society in which it may happen to be, can always make an effectual demand upon the industry of others, by offering a portion of their own in return. By whatever means the increase was produced, however unconnected with any previous production of food, it will immediately, by its demand for food, set industry at work to procure it. Mr. Malthus also observes, that all the countries, whose inhabitants were sunk in ignorance or oppressed by tyranny, were very populous in proportion to their means of subsistence, because ignorance and despotism do not destroy the sexual passion, though they effectually destroy industry, and consequently cultiva...tion; and that they do moreover reduce a people to such a hopeless state of indigence as almost to destroy all spirit of exertion among them. All this may be very true; yet surely it is no proof that the pressure of population is not the efficient cause of further cultivation, although it may prove that the effect may be delayed by ignorance and oppression. Remove these, and the demand for food would be instantly supplied, and all the operations of society would proceed with their accustomed facility. . Although population does in fact continue to press against the means of subsistence, yet the ultimate

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