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which freedom consists; an American system, properly and distinctively such, to save and protect what has been acquired of freedom, and to carry out its designs indefinitely, for the future. In all history, freedom has never been established on so broad a platform, and has never before had a chance to take up so favorable a position for the consummation of its destiny, as in the United States. But it would be a great mistake to suppose that that destiny is already accomplished. Freedom here is vulnerable and exposed all round, and requires the shield of a truly American system, which is directly opposed to that of Free Trade. As we have determined that freedom in these modern times at least, which is enough for our purpose-consists in the enjoyment of commercial rights, and in the independent control of commercial values fairly acquired; and it being assumed, that freedom has, apparently, for the first time, in the history of the world, gained a position in the United States, where it can assert these rights and shield these values with effect, it follows, that this position alone is but a stage in the progress of freedom, and that the formation, adjustment, and use of the shield, is quite another affair. This shield we hold to be an American commercial system, formed in relation to the foreign world, and adapted to the position of the commercial rights and commercial values of this country, in which freedom consists, so that they shall receive no damage from the action of foreign commercial interests and agencies.
19. Another new point, which has seemed to us of no inconsiderable importance, will be found in the argument we have made, to show, that Free Trade is a license for depredation, because it is based on the principle of anarchy. It inhibits law on a field where more and greater interests are at stake than on any and all others, and puts the weaker party in the power of the stronger all the world over, so far as this domain extends over the rights of parties, which u is very comprehensive. By the mere absence of law, it creates a nist power of wrong, which, for its comprehensiveness, energy, and for all the remoteness of its influence, is unrivalled among all the known devices of injustice. On this system, a strong man-strong in his over commercial position-living under one national jurisdiction, may crush hundreds and thousands of weak men, living under another jurisdiction; and the operation of the principle is without limit over the face of the earth, till the rights of individuals, in countless groups, and those of whole nations, are devastated by it.
20. It has been thought and inconsiderately confessed, by some
of the advocates of Protection, that the United States can afford Free Trade, in proportion as their manufacturing arts and other improvements shall approach that degree of perfection attained by rival nations, and that we can ultimately afford entire Free Trade. This confession overlooks the difference in the cost of money and labor between us and rival parties. No matter, though we come fully up to our rivals, in the perfection of our arts and other improvements, yet, so long as the cost of money and labor here is one hundred per cent. more than in other quarters, so long, indeed, as there is any excess of such cost among us, it must be seen, on a commercial principle which never errs in its results, that Protection may still be required to equalize this difference. It is this difference chiefly, much more, certainly, than any imperfection of skill, that makes Protection necessary in the United States. Some allowances ought doubtless to be made here for the superior advantage of our position and state of society; but these are our own property, and we are under no obligation to give them to others.
21. We do not claim, that the prominence we have given, and the importance we have attached, to the importation of agricultural products and labor, in the form and under the disguise of manufactures, is a new idea, as we have acknowledged our obligations to others for its elucidation, and cited their reasonings. Nevertheless, it has never, so far as we have observed, been incorporated with any system of public economy, as a distinct element. It is yet to be seen and felt, in this country, that it is one of the most comprehensive and most important facts to be considered, in the debate between Free Trade and Protection. They who advocate Free Trade among us, dwell with much emphasis on the pretension, that this is an agricultural country, though it might be difficult to see how it is more so than most other parts of the world, Europe especially. They say, agriculture is our interest and our destiny; and yet they advocate the importation of some fifty millions of dollars a-year of agricultural products and labor, more or less, in the forms of manufactures, not thinking, that the agricultural interests of the United States are thereby robbed, we do not say to the full amount of this, but certainly to a very large part of it.
Nature, it is said, has indicated the natural occupation of man in North America, to be the culture of the soil. As if nature had not given the same hints in other quarters of the world; as if the countless rivers, streams, and waterfalls, in the United States, had given no advice on this point; as if the lakes, bays, and other inland
water channels, did not invite trade, which would have but a slender occupation without the arts; as if this great continent, abounding in all the resources of nature, were to afford no other sustenance to the human family but the milk of her own breasts; as if all its tenants, like the aborigines, served by women in a state of bondage, were destined to vegetate on corn and decay for want of employment; as if the Anglo-Saxon race, transplanted to another and a better country, would consent to fall behind the rest of the world, or allow their brethren of the original stock to outstrip them in art or enterprise; as if that people, known to all the world as Americans, and who alone are thought of in Europe under this name, would willingly be dependent; as if they would for ever sweat and toil in the field to supply the raw material for a more delicate and refined race, that would condescend to return them the wrought product wrung in agony from their own slaves, at a cost five or ten, sometimes many hundred, and even many thousand times enhanced, and draw away all the earnings of the American laborer to pay for it; as if America were not a world in itself, and able by its ingenuity and skill to supply every luxury as well as every necessity; as if the lovers of freedom had turned their backs on the old world, to become more abject slaves than they were before; as if the powers of invention were native only to the European continent, or to the Eastern world; as if the moment a man crosses the sea from east to west, he is doomed to suppress all the nobler faculties of his soul; as if genius and art could not flourish in the western hemisphere; as if, in short, America were fit only to be a dependent colony of Europe. A people without art, are fit only to be slaves, and are easily made such. A nation that is only the producer of raw materials, can never claim equality with nations which, by science and art, add many values to those materials, and send them back as a tax on those who consent to do such service.
It was due, therefore, in our esteem, that a system of public economy for the United States—we do not profess to write for any other country-should fully set forth the greatness, extent, and importance of this element, which consists in such a large incorporation of agricultural labor and products in those of manufacture. There is none greater, none, perhaps, of equal comprehensiveness. It is only wonderful, that it should have been so long overlooked, and that we search in vain for it in the standard systems of economy, though it claims the consideration of every nation.
22. Another very important point of this work, briefly consid
ered in the first chapter, and which we have never scen stated except by M. Say incidentally, apparently without a thought of its bearing on his argument for Free Trade, is, that there can not be two kinds of economy, one for private, and one for public purposes, any more than two kinds of morality. We maintain, that public economy differs from private, not in principle, but only in comprehensiveness; and that the difference consists in the fact, that in the former, more things are to be considered, and more relations to be ascertained, than in the latter. Let one man's business be extended, and variegated by a great number of interests, as is often the case, and his system of economy becomes more complicated. In this way, it approximates, in the variety of its interests, to a system of public economy. This extension may be supposed to go on, and the interests to multiply, till the system is as broad and comprehensive as that of a state. States differ from each other, in the magnitude, extent, and variety of their interests, as much as some of the smaller states differ, in these respects, from the largest private estates. But a private individual, in the extension of his interests, and in the increase of their variety, is never so unwise as to introduce a new kind of economy, on that account; but he scrupulously adheres to those principles in the application of which he has prospered. It would not only be hazardous, but ruinous, to violate them. It is equally hazardous, and equally ruinous, for states to violate the principles of private economy-in other words, to violate the principles of economy, for there can be but one kind. And we have not only M. Say with us here, but Ricardo, who says: "That which is wise in an individual, is wise also in a nation." We have never found a point of difference, of any importance, between us and the Free Trade economists, on which we could not cite them in support of our side of the question. It is because they could not say so much, without sometimes saying the truth. Some economists have been so bold, so extravagant, as to maintain, that public expenditures are good, because they employ labor, and disburse money among the people, even though the work, when done, is good for nothing; even though it be destroyed, as soon as it is accomplished. For like reasons, some have held that war is good. The economists of Louis XIV., and the king himself, defended his extravagances on this ground; and they ruined France, economically and politically—the last as the consequence of the first. If public expenditures do not bring or leave a quid pro quo, they are equally injurious to the common
wealth, as are the expenditures of private individuals to them, when they realize no consideration.
If a private individual habitually buys more than he sells, and keeps running in debt, every one can see what will be the result; though the Free-Trade economists say he can not buy more than he sells, because, if he does not sell anything else, he sells money, and that money is nothing but a commodity in trade. But money being "the tools" of trade, as elsewhere shown, he who sells his "tools," can trade no more, except by barter. All know the convenience and necessity of money, as "tools," to carry on trade actively and most profitably; and this necessity is limited, or graduated, only by the extent and kind of one's business. It is equally bad for a nation to sell the money, or any part of the money, which the nature and extent of its trade requires, to keep it going, and to make it prosperous, as for a private individual to do the same. The principle is the same in both cases. In the same manner, if a farmer can not sell produce enough to buy all he wants, he must either deny himself the gratification of some of his desires, or supply them by his own labor, even though it cost more than he could buy these things for, if he could sell his labor. This is private economy, and public also. But we have shown elsewhere, that, in public economy for the United States, it will not cost more; though it would be true economy, even if it should, as it is with private individuals. It need not be said, that that which is nominally the cheapest, is sometimes the dearest.
We have thus noticed, in this chapter, a few of the new points made in this work, comprehending those we deem most important, for the purpose of showing, in advance, what influence they are entitled to have on the general argument; and we submit, even with the imperfect light of this summary statement, whether several of these points, each by itself, are not sufficient to decide the question between Free Trade and Protection. On some of these points, particularly the first three stated in numerical order, which are not argued in extenso elsewhere, we have thought proper to bestow more attention here, as being of special importance, though not to disparage others by such a comparison, quite the majority of which are, in our esteem, vital and fundamental, running through the whole line of argument, and pervading the work as principles.