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suppresses the first of these three steps, to wit, induction, and contents itself with the other two operations, ratiocination and verification; the law which is reasoned from being assumed, instead of proved."
Doubtless, the hypothesis of Free Trade would be entitled to the position of a theory or science, if, by the force of its ratiocination, it had ever arrived at the end in view, or at the third step above stated by Mr. Mill, to wit, verification. But here is the point where it always fails, and, therefore, remains in statu quo, an hypothesis still; or, rather, is actually disproved by a counter verification, in the same manner as the earlier hypotheses of the laws of the solar system, and of the material universe, have been disproved, by the verification of other and more correct hypotheses. Hypothesis is worthy of no respect, except as it is verified by facts. It may be admitted, transiently, for a purpose; but when the purpose fails of verification, it falls to the ground; and when a counter verification is made out, it is disproved. Such has been the result in the trial of the hypothesis of Free Trade.
"It appears," says Mr. Mill, above cited as the latest and best logical authority, "to be a condition of a genuinely scientific hypothesis, that it be not destined always to remain an hypothesis; but be certain to be either proved or disproved by that comparison with observed facts, which is termed verification. . . . If the supposition accords with the phenomena, there needs no other evidence."
The substance of M. Comte's reasoning on this point-and he is allowed to be one of the greatest philosophers of the ageis, that "we arrive, by means of hypothesis, to conclusions not hypothetical." This is the true and only legitimate function of hypothesis in scientific investigations, and when the third step of the deductive method fails, to wit, verification, which is the only object, and the only justification of assuming the first, in the shape of hypothesis, then the hypothesis falls to the ground. "It is not destined," as Mr. Mill says above, "always to remain an hypothesis;" but must either be verified, which transforms it into a science, or part of a science; or be rejected, for want of verification, as worthy of no respect.
This is precisely the fate of the Free-Trade hypothesis, which, though it has never yet got any farther than the original assumption, to prove itself by itself, has been dignified with the name of a It dispenses with the syllogism altogether, without which
ere any sense in all these
no result can ever be arrived at by deduction. It halts for want of a
It is admitted, that hypothesis is a legitimate resort, as a mode of reasoning backward from effect to cause, for the purpose of ascertaining a cause; or rather, perhaps, we should say, in assuming a more or less remote antecedent as a law, in order to ascertain, by scrutiny, whether it be, in fact, a law of causation in relation to a given effect; and that, in this way, some of the most important truths in science, as in astronomy for example, have been established. One of the earliest hypotheses of the universe, was, that the earth rested on the back of a huge elephant, and that the elephant stood on the back of a great tortoise. This is an hypothesis; and if the facts observed had been found, on scrutiny, to agree with it, it would have stood. Another later hypothesis was, that the sun and heavenly bodies move around the earth every twentyfour hours. Next to that was discovered the true hypothesis, viz., that the earth turns daily on its own axis. This agrees with observation of facts; in other words, is verified, and has, therefore, been sustained. Sir Isaac Newton invented a series of hypotheses by which the laws of gravitation, and other phenomena of the universe, were verified, as now received in science. Hence a perfect and scientific theory of the material universe. Such is the use and intent of hypothesis, viz., to arrive at the cause of an effect, . and at the laws by which effects are controlled. In this way hypothesis ministers to the ends of science. But to stop at hypothesis, and call it science, as the Free-Trade economists do, is precisely the same as to claim our belief, that the earth rests on the back of an elephant. To erect an hypothesis, and then to force conclusions from it, is utterly inadmissible. Above all, when the conclusions are at variance with facts, the hypothesis is falsified. This is precisely the position and fate of the Free-Trade hypothesis. It stands alone, unsupported. This is all the authority which the doctrine has, and is the very reason why it should be abandoned. It disappoints the aim of hypothesis, which is to find a position to account for facts. When that fails, the hypothesis, however ingenious and beautiful to look at, is a bubble, and is worth no more. It will be seen, in the progress of this work, that the Free-Trade doctrine is precisely of this character, not in harmony, but in conflict, with facts; and, therefore, that it is not simply good for nothing, but must prove fatal in practice.
With other words nearly all now
Sir Isaac Newton says: "No more causes, nor any other causes, of natural effects, ought to be admitted, but such as are both true and sufficient for explaining phenomena." "This," says Dr. Reid, in his Essays, "is the golden rule. It is the true and proper test by which what is sound and solid in philosophy, may be distinguished from what is hollow and vain." Another form of this rule of Sir Isaac Newton is, that phenomena or facts are the test of an hypothesis; and this form more particularly applies to the argument of this work, though it can not fail to be appreciated, by intelligent minds, in any form.
On this Newtonian rule, Dr. Reid remarks: "If a philosopher, therefore, pretend to show us the cause of any natural effect, whether relating to matter or to mind, let us first consider, whether there be sufficient evidence that the cause he assigns does really exist. If there be not, reject it with disdain, as a fiction which ought to have no place in genuine philosophy. If the cause assigned really exist, consider, in the next place, whether the effect it is brought to explain, necessarily follows from it. Unless it have these two conditions, it is good for nothing."
Sir Isaac Newton would not venture on hypothesis beyond what could be proved by facts, or presume to assert on mere hypothesis, the cause of gravitation, or the cause of a cause he had discovered. He says: "The reason of these properties of gravitation, I have not been able to deduce from phenomena; and I am not a fabricator of hypotheses. Hypotheses, whether in metaphysics, or physics, or mechanics, or occult qualities, have no place in experimental philosophy;" that is, as unverified rules. Much less should niere hypothesis be permitted to decide questions in public economy.
Some persons may, perhaps, at first sight, think it was unnecessary to carry this debate through an entire work on public economy. But it will be found, that there is no interest of the country, or of any section, of it, or of any party or person in it-the merchant engaged in foreign trade, perhaps, excepted—to which an American protective system, is not vital; and even the merchant, adapting his business to such a system, when once established, would find it to be more for his advantage in the end, as shown in this work. Anything that does not come within the range of this debate, is believed by the author to be of no material consequence in a system of public economy for the United States, and although there are many details of the system, not specifically brought under consideration in this work, all of any importance are comprehended
in the questions discussed. It would require volumes to make a perfect work on this subject. In the author's view, there was an exigency of the time—an exigency produced by nearly a century's growth of systematic error, which will, perhaps, require an equal period to dissolve and dissipate it—an exigency which might well absorb a far more extended effort than the one now submitted, and talents of an order and power to which the author can make no pretensions. To meet this exigency is the main design of this work.
We have not rejected the usual title of "political economy" in application to this work, and to the general subject, because we proposed to enter a different field; nor because the topic and argument have no relation to political society; but, chiefly, because the term, "political," has been so much lowered, in this country, by the rude agitations of what are commonly called "politics," that we do not think the term now so well comports, among us, with the dignity of our theme, as it did generally throughout the world, when first employed in this application. It is, therefore, in part, a matter of taste, that has led us to this partial change of name for such a work and subject; though, we think, it will be found to be a felicitous change in other respects than that of being a rescue from associations not always pleasant. The word, "public," is the exact counterpart of the word, "private;" and, it is believed, that one can not have proceeded far in this work, without feeling, that there is a much greater fitness in the use of the former term, than "political," in such an application, because, in no case, will there be a sense of incongruity, when the former is thus employed; whereas, this feeling will frequently arise in such an application of the latter. It is chiefly "public" economy with which we have to do, in a work of this kind; and if it is also "political," in some respects, it is not, perhaps, unqualifiedly so; or allowing even that it is, still objections lie against the latter, on account of its frequent prostitution to violent debates and low controversies, which can never lie against the former. M. Say protests seriously and earnestly against a necessary connexion of "politics" with " political economy;" and gives for reason, that "wealth is independent of political organization." We think, however, his protest is without foundation, and his objection without force. The economist is the school-master, and the statesman is the practical operator. These terms are correlatives,—and the latter, properly qualified, as much supposes a pupilage under the former, as engineering supposes an acquaintance with the science.
But the term "public," all things considered, is exactly the word for this place, always expressing and comprehending all that is wanted, and never suggesting an irrelevant idea. It has, moreover, the advantage of always expressing a relation to "private" economy, which, as will be found, the case requires, and which the term "political," does not necessarily denote, nor very naturally suggest. It is agreed by all economists, that the wealth of a nation is chiefly composed of the aggregate wealth of all its individuals; and by some, this is affirmed, though we think incorrectly, without qualification. For example, all public property is an exception; so also the means of wealth, which a nation possesses, as a political corporation, which, in some cases, are great and comprehensive, and may be justly styled the capital of its position. It is true, that all these ought to minister to private wealth, and if properly husbanded, will do so. Nevertheless, they do not fall within the aggregate of private inventories. There is, however, always, an appropriate relation expressed in the apposite terms of "public" and "private" economy, which would not be so uniformly conveyed by the substitution of the word "political," for that of "public ;" and the best of it is, that the term "public," in such a use, always conveys the idea required, as it is invariably, in every practical view, the counterpart of "private."
But there is yet a much more important and vital reason for using the term " public," instead of "political," in this application -a reason which involves a fundamental principle in the general argument, viz., that there can not be two kinds of economy, and that the principle is the same in public as in private economy, the former differing from the latter only in the comprehensiveness of its interests. The absurdity of applying one set of rules of economy to a given number and amount of given interests, having the same relations, while they are called private, because they belong to one person, and of applying a different set of rules, because the same interests belong to many persons, and are therefore called public, must be apparent to all. The man who, under a good system of economy, and beginning with one interest, has grown rich, and brought under his charge many interests, managing them all with skill, and by rules which he has found profitable by experience, would be very unwise, probably would be ruined, by changing his system. That which he has found to be economy, is economy, and nothing else. He can no more alter the principle, than he can make right wrong, and wrong right. He is as much compelled, in