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Ibey or pardon. The very
his commercial relations, to one uniform course, under the same
Some persons, probably, will think this work a very incomplete system, as no notice is taken of numerous topics, naturally falling within the range of public economy, and which are usually considered in such works. In answer to this, the author, after pleading guilty to this sin of omission, would say, that he had a single aim in the conception and execution of his task, the accomplishment of which, he found, would swell it to as large a volume as might be expedient for such a publication, and that another of equal extent would be required to do justice to all the topics which might be considered as belonging to the general subject. That aim was to show, as well as he could, the merits of the Protective and FreeTrade systems, respectively, as they apply to the United States. It will be found, that the author has never deviated from this line of argument. Adhering to this purpose, it will also be seen, that the work has a unity of plan, which is usually regarded as one of the most important attributes of design in all productions of art, of which literary composition must be allowed to be one, and not the least in general consideration. The author is of opinion, that the settlement, for the United States, of the question debated in these pages, is one of the most desirable, and will be one of the most important events, which remain to be achieved in the progress of the country; and that all minor questions of public economy, arising out of our domestic condition and interests, can hardly fail to go right, if this goes right. He has, therefore, devoted himself to the prosecution of this great argument, and kept within its limits. As the title of his work proclaims, it is FOR THE UNITED STATES, considered chiefly in their foreign commercial relations and interests, as they are connected with and bear upon domestic interests.
is which are Cositions? This definitioné
THE NEW POINTS OF THIS WORK.
and the subject for protection and where
THE NEW POINTS OF THIS WORK.
What is meant by these New Points-The First: Definition of the General SubjectImportance and Influence of Definitions.-Public Economy not heretofore reduced to a Science The Definition here given of the Subject is consistent with a Science.-It rescues the Subject from an embarrassed Condition-The Free-Trade Theory composed of uniform Propositions.-The Exact Sciences-All Sciences, when fully constructed, are necessarily exact-Science appertains to all Subjects-The Science of Sociology, as announced by M. Compte, in an imperfect State -John Stuart Mill's Definition of Science.-Why the Science of Sociology is Imperfect.-Mr. Mill, a Free Trader by Sympathy, has demolished the Theory by Logic.-Citations of a remarkable Character from Mr. Mill.—What they prove-Private and Public Economy compared.-Napoleon on this Subject-Common Principles in Systems fundamentally different.-How our Defi nition affects the General Argument.--Empirical Laws defined —Public Economy, down to this Time, lies scattered over the Field of Empirical Laws, and has not been reduced to a Science. The Free Trade Hypothesis belongs to a Category of Empirical Laws incapable of being reduced to a Science -The recognised Canous of Experimental Induction, as laid down by Logicians, fully sustain the Claims of Protection against those of Free Trade, and install the Former in the Position of a Science.-How to apply these Canons to this Subject.—A Science can not be made out of the Laws of Public Economy, except for one Nation. each by Itself -The True Position of Labor.-Labor robbed of its Rights by a False Position in Public Economy.-Protective Duties not Taxes in the United States, and a Rescue from Foreign Taxation -How Public Economy is affected by different States of Society-New Points in regard to Money and a Monetary System. -The Reasons for Free Trade, with the People, are Reasons for Protection.—The In~~~ stitution of Property - The Destiny of Freedom not yet achieved -The Protective Prin ciple identical with that of the American Revolution.-Free Trade in Great Britain not based on Science, but on Public Policy.-Rise and Progress of the Free Trade Theory. -Definition of Freedom-An American System of a Peculiar Character-Free Trade identical with Anarchy-Protection can never be dispensed with, in any supposable Perfection of American Arts.-Agricultural Labor and Products in the Guise of Manafactures. Not two Kinds of Economy.
By the new points of this work, it is not meant, that all specified as such are entirely so, though many of them are; but, on account of the importance given to their position, as compared with the slight notice taken of them in other works of this kind, it is thought proper to present them as new. Many of them, as will be seen, involve fundamental and all-pervading principles, such as have not, heretofore, been incorporated in works of public economy. The announcement of a few of the most prominent of these points, in this place, may, perhaps, serve the purpose of suggesting what influence and effect they are entitled to have on the general argu
1. The first we would notice is our definition of the subject: Public economy is the application of knowledge derived from experi
applies, or what does he fall than wadge. H
THE NEW POINT OF THIS WORK.
ence to a given position, to given interests, and to given institutions
In all scientific investigations, definitions discharge the functions of a finger-post, of a door of access to the field, of marking the boundaries of that field, and of a glance view of the whole ground. The definition is the controlling law of the debate or of the scrutiny. There are no essential attributes of the argument, which are not comprehended in it, or suggested by it. With the definition as a guide, if it be a correct one, it is impossible to get out of the field. On the contrary, if it be incorrect, it is impossible certainly to know when one is in the field. It is the text of the subject and the rule of the argument. To err in a definition is a necessary doom to perpetual and endless error in all that grows out of it; to be right in this start, is the only sure guide to a right end.
The above definition is the fruit of the study of years; and for the present we do not know how to improve it. We have tried our best to tolerate the introduction of the term, science, into this definition, as the substantive part of it, in accordance with general usage, such as the science of national wealth, &c.; and we do not repudiate the idea that science is implied in it, or that it is a proper subject of science. But we are forced to deny, that, as yet, the subject has ever been reduced to a science, and that, down to this time, it has any other form of a system than a collection of what the logicians call empirical laws, the character of which will be noticed by-and-by. If it shall be admitted, that we have contributed, in any degree, so to sift these empirical laws, and so to adjust them in a scientific form, as to subject them to recognised canons of experimental induction, as we propose to attempt to do, still our definition stands in a form not inconsistent with the definition of a science; and though we fail in our proposed task, the purpose of our definition is not impaired. Its terms indicate sufficiently the class of sciences among which it must take rank, if it is deemed worthy to be called a science. It is a science composed of contingent propositions-contingent on the peculiar position, the peculiar interests, and the peculiar institutions of the country to which its rules are applied at any given time, and contingent on the changes, in these particulars, to which that country may be subject in the succession of events.
It will be seen, therefore, that our definition is a new point, and that it rescues the whole subject, entirely, from the nosi
has been claimed for it by the Free-Trade economists, as a science of uniform propositions-uniform for all countries and for all time. Every person must see, that one of the essential attributes of Free Trade is the uniformity of its propositions for all nations, and that any departure in a system of public economy from such uniformity, is not Free Trade, but a violation of its principles. The poles of a planet, therefore, can not be wider apart, nor the heavens farther from the earth, than the main positions of these two antagonistical systems. The propositions of the one are the same for all nations, in all time, while those of the other are contingent on the position, interests, and institutions of the country to which they are applied, for the time being.
We assume that we do no injustice in ascribing this position to the Free-Trade economists, though they have not expressed themselves precisely in these terms. If they give up this, they give up all. Their argument avails nothing except upon this ground. If their science is not one of uniform propositions, in application to all countries, in all times, they have not only abused the public, but made dolts of themselves. For so the public have thought, and their argument is at an end if they deny it. Possibly they have not considered how many categories of science there are, or how different some of them are from some others, and that none of them are exactly alike. There is a class of sciences called exact, of which, doubtless, the Free-Trade economists suppose theirs is one, or one equally reliable in its results. And if it be a science, they are right; for, strictly speaking, no science can be more exact, or more certain in its final conclusions, than another, when all its elements are brought together, understood, and properly adjusted. But the perfection of every science is a work marked by stages, by degrees. That of astronomy was once very imperfect, very inexact; but it has now attained to a high degree of perfection, as demonstrated in the precision of its predictions. "Geometry," Mr. Mill says, "is a science of coexistent facts, altogether independent of the laws of the succession of phenomena ;" but it is a very exact science. The science of mechanics is exact; for though the relations of forces, in all experiments, are constantly shifting, their results are equally measurable, the forces and relations being given. The mathematics are reckoned among the exact sciences, so far as they have advanced, and from the nature of the subject could not be otherwise. A vast many branches of knowledge, capable of being reduced to the strictest laws of science, are yet in
the chaotic field of empirical laws. Science, no doubt, appertains to everything in nature, in man, in society, in morals, to everything in which man has or takes an interest; but how much of it is yet in the dark? It is probably nothing but our ignorance that makes the laws of one branch of knowledge less exact, and less reliable to us than those of another. Science appertains to tendencies, to analogies, to chances, to the very contingencies by which man retains his hold on life. Life insurance, lotteries, games of chance, and many other classes of facts, and combinations of facts, the issues of which are commonly regarded as most uncertain and fortuitous, are, nevertheless, based upon elements not less susceptible of scientific adjustment, for the attainment of the most infallible results, than those of any science that now boasts of the greatest conceivable exactitude in its predictions.
There is the science of the social state, or of sociology, as M. Comte calls it, which approximates to, more properly, perhaps, lies behind, the science of public economy; for it is presumed they will not be pronounced identical, though there is an affinity and a sympathy. But this science of sociology is very difficult to master, in order to predict results with any tolerable success, notwithstanding that all its elements are vested in the individual man. It is because the combinations and relations of these elements, wherever found, are so infinitely diversified, and for ever shifting. Make a case-which, however, is impossible-suppose a case, then, where their position, combinations, and relations, are precisely the same as in another given case, and the results will be uniform; which, if true, demonstrates that society, in its organization, movements, changes, and destiny, is governed by scientific laws, of which, indeed, there can be no doubt.
"Any facts," says Mr. Mill, "are fitted in themselves to be a subject of science, which follow one another according to constant laws, although those laws may not have been discovered, nor even be discoverable by our existing resources." Meteorology and tidology are among these imperfect sciences. The science of human nature is of this description, as also, of man in society, or sociology. "If our science of human nature," says Mr. Mill, "were theoretically perfect, that is, if we could calculate any character, as we can calculate the orbit of any planet, from given data, still as the data are never all given [in the case of man], nor ever precisely alike in different cases, we could neither make infallible predictions, nor lay down universal propositions." Nor can we