« ForrigeFortsett »
OF THE NATURE, ACCUMULATION, AND EMPLOY
MENT OF STOCK,
IN that rude state of society in which there is Introduct. I no division of labour, in which exchanges are feldom made, and in which every man provides every thing for himself, it is not necessary that any stock should be accumulated or stored up beforehand, in order to carry on the business of the fociety. Every man endeavours to supply by his own industry his own occasional wants as they occur. When he is hungry, he goes to the forest to hunt; when his coat is worn out, he clothes himself with the skin of the first large animal he
kills; and when his hut begins to go to ruin, he · repairs it, as well as he can, with the trees and
the turf that are nearest it.
BOOK cannot be made till such time as the produce of 1. his own labour has not only been completed,
but fold. A stock of goods of different kinds, therefore, must be stored up somewhere fufficient to maintain him, and to supply him with the materials and tools of his work, till such time, at least, as both these events can be brought about. A weaver cannot apply himself entirely to his pe. culiar business, unless there is beforehand stored up somewhere, either in his own poffeffion or in that of some other person, a stock fufficient to maintain him, and to supply him with the mas terials and tools of his work, till he has not only completed, but fold his web. This accumulation must, evidently, be previous to his applying his industry for so long a time to such a peculiar business.
As the accumulation of stock muft, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour, fo labour can be more and more subdivided in proportion only as stock is previously more and more accumulated. The quantity of materials which the same number of people can work up, increases in a great proportion as la. bour comes to be more and more subdivided; and as the operations of each workman are gradually reduced to a greater degree of fimplicity, a va. riety of new machines come to be invented for facilitating and abridging those operations. As the division of labour advances, therefore, in order to give constant employment to an equal number of workmen, an equal stock of provi. fions, and a greater stock of materials and tools
than what would have been necessary in a ruder Introduct. state of things, must be accumulated before. hand. But the number of workmen in every branch of business generally increases with the divifion of labour in that branch, or rather it is the increase of their number which enables them to class and subdivide themselves in this manner. .
As the accumulation of stock is previously necessary for carrying on this great improvement in the productive powers of labour, so that accumulation naturally leads to this improvement. The person who employs his stock in maintaining labour, necessarily wishes to employ it in such a manner as to produce as great a quantity of work as possible. He endeavours, therefore, both to make among his workmen the most proper distribution of employment, and to furnish them with the best machines which he can either invent or afford to purchase. His abilities in both these respects are generally in proportion to the extent of his stock, or to the number of people whom it can employ. The quantity of industry, therefore, not only increases in every country with the increase of the stock which employs it, but, in consequence of that increase, the fame quantity of industry produces a much greater quantity of work.
Such are in general the effects of the increase of stock upon industry and its productive powers.
In the following book I have endeavoured to explain the nature of stock, the effects of its accumulation into capitals of different kinds, and the effects of the different employments of
B.00 K those capitals. This book is divided into five - U. - chapters. In the first chapter, I have endea.
voured to show what are the different parts or branches into which the stock, either of an individual, or of a great fociety, naturally divides itself. In the second, I have endeavoured to ex. plain the nature and operation of money con. sidered as a particular branch of the general stock of the society. The stock which is accumulated into a capital, may either be employed by the person to whom it belongs, or it may be lent to some other person. In the third, and fourth chapters, I have endeavoured to examine the manner in which it operates in both these situations. The fifth and last chapter treats of the different effects which the different employ. ments of capital immediately produce upon the quantity both of national industry, and of the annual produce of land and labour,
Of the Division of Stock. c H A P. UNHEN the stock which a man pofseffes is I.
no more than fufficient to maintain him for a few days or a few weeks, he feldom thinks of deriving any revenue from it. He consumes it as sparingly as he can, and endeavours by his labour to acquire fomething which may supply its place before it be consumed altogether. His 3