Economic Sophisms/123

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SECOND SERIES

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I.

PHYSIOLOGY OF SPOLIATION.

WHY should I go on tormenting myself with this dry and dreary science of Political Economy?

Why? The question is reasonable. Labour of every kind is in itself sufficiently repugnant to warrant one in asking to what result it leads?

Let us see, then, how it is.

I do not address myself to those philosophers who profess to adore poverty, if not on their own account, at least on the part of the human race.

I speak to those who deem wealth of some importance. We understand by that word, not the opulence of some classes, but the ease, the material prosperity, the security, the independence, the instruction, the dignity of all.

There are only two means of procuring the necessaries, conveniences, and enjoyments of life: PRODUCTION and SPOLIATION, There are some people who represent Spoliation as an acci- dent, a local and transient abuse, branded by the moralist, denounced by the law, and unworthy qf the Economist's attention.

In spite of benevolence, in spite of optimism, we are forced to acknowledge that SPOLIATION plays too prominent a part in the world, and mingles too largely in important human affairs,Template:Smallrefs