Economic Sophisms/86

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"have recourse to force, for you desire that men should be made to produce those things which they find it more advantageous to buy; you desire that they should renounce this advantage, and act upon a doctrine which implies a contradiction in terms.

The doctrine which you acknowledge would be absurd in the relations of individuals; I defy you to extend it, even in speculation, to transactions between families, communities, or provinces. By your own admission, it is only applicable to international relations.

This is the reason why you are forced to keep repeating:

"There are no absolute principles, no inflexible rules. What is good for an individual, a family, a province, is bad for a nation. What is good in detail—namely, to purchase rather than produce, when purchasing is more advantageous than producing—that same is bad in the gross. The political economy of individuals is not that of nations;" and other nonsense ejusdem farinæ.

And to what does all this tend? Look at it a little closer. The intention is to prove that we, the consumers, are your property! that we are yours body and soul! that you have an exclusive right over our stomachs and our limbs! that it belongs to you to feed and clothe us on your own terms, whatever be your ignorance, incapacity, or rapacity!

No, you are not men of practice; you are men of abstraction—and of extortion.

 

 

XIV.

 

CONFLICT OF PRINCIPLES.

THERE is one thing which confounds me; and it is this:

Sincere publicists, studying the economy of society from the producer's point of view, have laid down this double formula:—

"Governments should order the interests of consumers who are subject to their laws, in such a way as to be favourable to national industry.

"They should bring distant consumers under subjection to Template:Smallrefs