Gustave de Molinari, "A Selection of his articles from the DEP (1852-53)"

Table of Contents


Other links of interest:

  1. all of Molinari's DEP articles (en français) with an introduction in English
  2. a facsimilae PDF version of the DEP (intro page)
  3. this collection is part of my ongoing Molinari Bicentennial celebrations (1819-1912)

While he was writing his book Les Soirées over the summer of 1849 1 Molinari was also working on 30 articles which would appear in the most important publication the Guillaumin publishing form had undertaken up to that time, namely the Dictionnaire de l'Économie Politiqu e (Dictionary of Political Economy). 2 It was a key part of the Guillaumin firm's strategy to counter the growing support for socialist ideas revealed by the success of socialist groups like the Montagnards during the 1848 Revolution, and the continuing support for interventionist and protectionist policies by Napoleon's government during the Second Republic. To counter these ideas among the general public Guillaumin published works like Bastiat's Economic Sophisms and turned into cheap pamphlets several of his articles written for journals like Le Journal des débats ("The State") 3 and the Journal des Économistes ("Plunder and Law") 4 or which they commissioned as stand alone pamphlets like The Law (July 1850). Guillaumin also commissioned younger economists like Molinari to turn their hand to writing for a popular audience like his book Les Soirées. 5

To counter the false ideas held by the political and intellectual elites which governed France the Guillaumin undertook the massive DEP project in which Molinari played an important role being a kid of de facto co-editor of the project under Coquelin. The purpose was to assemble a compendium of the state of knowledge of liberal political economy with hundreds of articles written by leading economists on key topics, biographies of important historical figures, annotated bibliographies of the most important books in the field, and tables of economic and political statistics. Molinari explained the reasons behind the DEP project in a review of the work he wrote for the JDE in December 1853 after the second volume had appeared in print: 6

M. Guillaumin avait donc à sa disposition les ouvriers qu'il lui fallait pour élever à l'économie politique un monument digne d'elle. Les circonstances étaient aussi des plus favorables à l'édification de ce monument scientifique. La révolution de Février avait montré quels abîmes l'ignorance des gouvernements et des peuples avait creusés sous les pas de la société. N'était-ce pas le moment de présenter, dans un vaste et harmonieux ensemble, les acquisitions de la science qui avait sondé ces abîmes et signalé les moyens de les combler ? M. Guillaumin le comprit, et il commença, dans les derniers mois de 1850, la publication du Dictionnaire de l'Économie politique. Thus M. Guillaumin had at his disposal the workers he required to erect a monument which would be worthy of political economy. Circumstances were also most favorable for the construction of this monument. The February Revolution had revealed what chasms had opened up under society (because of) the ignorance (of economics) of governments and the people. Wasn't this the moment to present in a vast and harmonious whole the achievements of the science which had plumbed these chasms and shown how to fill them in? M. Guillaumin understood this and he began the publication of the Dictionary of Political Economy in the last months of 1850.

The DEP project was most likely conceived in late 1848 or early 1849, was announced in the Guillaumin catalog of May 1849 as being "in preparation," was made available in subscription form in August 1849, and the first volume of which was printed in book form in early to mid-1852. So, Molinari would have been working on both projects during 1849 and it is not surprising therefore to see a certain overlap between Molinari's two concurrent projects for which he used much the same source material, used the same examples to illustrate his arguments, and even quoted from the same texts. The result was a two volume, nearly 2,000 page, double-columned, nearly 2 million word encyclopedia of political economy which appeared in 1852-53.

Molinari was a major contributor to the Project, writing 25 principle articles and five biographical articles. In the acknowledgements he was mentioned as one of the five key collaborators on the project. Other economists who made significant contributors to the project were the main editor Coquelin, who died suddenly in August 1852 before he could start work on volume 2 and who wrote 70 principle articles, Horace Say (29), Joseph Garnier (28), Ambroise Clément (22), and Courcelle-Seneuil (21). Maurice Block wrote most of the biographical entries and Bastiat contributed three which were appeared posthumously. Molinari's articles were the following (those in bold are included here). All of them are available here in French :

Biographical Articles (5):

  1. "Necker," T. 2, pp. 272-74.
  2. "Peel (Robert)," T. 2, pp. 351-54.
  3. "Saint-Pierre (abbé de)," T. 2, pp. 565-66.
  4. "Sully (duc de)," T. 2, pp. 684-85.

Principle Articles (24):

  1. "Beaux-arts" (Fine Arts) , T. 1, pp. 149-57.
  2. "Céréales" (Grain), T. 1, pp. 301-26.
  3. "Civilisation" (Civilization) , T. 1, pp. 370-77.
  4. "Colonies," T. 1, pp. 393-403.
  5. "Colonies agricoles" (Agricultural Colonies), T. 1, pp. 403-5.
  6. "Colonies militaires" (Military Colonies), T. 1, p. 405.
  7. "Émigration" (Emigration), T. 1, pp. 675-83.
  8. "Esclavage" (Slavery), T. 1, pp. 712-31.
  9. "Liberté des échanges (Associations pour la)" (Free Trade Associations), T. 2, p. 45-49.
  10. "Liberté du commerce, liberté des échanges" (Freedom of Commerce. Free Trade) , T. 2, pp. 49-63.
  11. "Mode" (Fashion) , T. 2, pp. 193-96.
  12. "Monuments publics" (Public Monuments), T. 2, pp. 237-8.
  13. "Nations" (Nations) , T. 2, pp. 259-62.
  14. "Noblesse" (The Nobility) , T2, pp. 275-81
  15. "Paix, Guerre" (Peace. War), T. 2, pp. 307-14.
  16. "Paix (Société et Congrès de la Paix)" (The Society and Congress for Peace), T. 2, pp. 314-15.
  17. "Propriété littéraire et artistique" (Literary and Artistic Property), T. 2, pp. 473-78
  18. "Servage" (Serfdom), T. 2, pp. 610-13
  19. "Tarifs de douane" (Customs Tariffs), T. 2, pp. 712-16.
  20. "Théâtres" (Theaters), T. 2, pp. 731-33.
  21. "Travail" (Labor), vol. 2, pp. 761-64.
  22. "Union douanière" (Customs Union), vol. 2, p. 788-89.
  23. "Usure" (Usury), vol. 2, pp. 790-95.
  24. "Villes" (Towns) , T. 2, pp. 833-38.
  25. "Voyages" (Travel), T. 2, pp. 858-60.

The topics he focused on were two that were dear to his heart and on which he had already written, namely free trade and slavery. Concerning free trade, he wrote the articles on Grain, Free Trade Associations, Freedom of Commerce. Free Trade, Customs Tariffs, and Customs Union. Concerning slavery, he wrote the articles on Slavery and Serfdom. On more specialised topics on which he would also write in Les Soirées , we should note those on Fine Arts, Literary and Artistic Property, Theaters, Labor, and Usury. Another group of topics that deserve special mention are those to which one normally would not expect to see economic analysis applied, such as Emigration, Fashion, Fine Arts, Public Monuments, and Travel. The latter suggest that Molinari had an innovative way of thinking about all manner of social and cultural problems and using economic analysis to deepen our understanding of them in new and interesting ways. Among these one would include the formation of cities and towns and his growing interest in class analysis

Thirty years after the appearance of the DEP the American political scientist and economist John Joseph Lalor (1840-1899) attempted to do something similar for the English-speaking world with his Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States (first ed. 1881-84, second edition 1899). In addition to his own formidable list of American authors he included translations of one hundred articles from the DEP including many by Bastiat, Henri Baudrillart, Michel Chevalier, Cherbuliez, Ambroise Clément, Charles Coquelin, Léon Faucher, Joseph Garnier, J.E. Horn, Louis Leclerc, H. Passy, members of the Say family, Courcelle-Seneuil, and of course Molinari. This constituted a veritable "who's who" of the economists in the Guillaumin network. Just as America was moving further into the protectionist camp, Lalor and his colleagues were translating some of the hardest of hard-core French free trade advocates, such as Molinari's "Freedom of Commerce. Free Trade," and offering it to American readers. The impact of this infusion of French political economy into America seems to have been minimal if anything, but it was a remarkably undertaking.

We have included Molinari's own footnotes in the following articles. All the others are by the editor. Many of Molinari's footnotes are vary sparse so we have made the references more complete where necessary. Some passages that were cut from the Lalor version have been restored and this has been indicated in the footnotes. Furthermore, Lalor's translations have been updated and modernized.

Molinari's Entries in Lalor's Cyclopedia.

John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). 2 vols.

  1. "Cities and Towns" (trans. E. J. Leonard), Vol. 1 Abdication-Duty., pp. 468-73. <>.
  2. "Civilization", Vol. 1 Abdication-Duty., pp. 485-93. <>.
  3. "Fashion", Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification., pp. 161-64. <>.
  4. "Fine Arts", Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification., pp. 206-11. <>.
  5. "Nations, in Political Economy", Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification., pp. 956-59. <>.
  6. "Nobility", Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification., pp. 1,033-39. <>.
  7. "Protection", Vol. 3 Oath - Zollverein., pp. 413-23.<>.



Cities and Towns


"Villes," DEP , T. 2, pp. 833-38.

In John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol 1 Abdication-Duty, "Cities and Towns," pp. 468-73. Trans. E. J. Leonard.

OLL: <>.


I. How towns originate. Circumstances which determine the choice of location or lead to its abandonment.

Towns are aggregations of people and of industries, and they are formed under the natural pressure to satisfy certain needs. Their development is in no way arbitrary. Sometimes princes have entertained the illusion that they had only to issue a royal fiat to make a new city rise and flourish; but experience has rarely failed to convince them that they had presumed too much with their power. Without doubt, a monarch may, by changing the seat of his empire, as Peter the Great did, for example, create a center of population and wealth. The public functionaries of all grades and those who aspire to these positions, being obliged to live in the capital and to spend their salaries or incomes there, necessarily attract around them a population of tradesmen, artisans, and domestic servants; but, unless the new city provides a location favorable for certain branches of production (and in this case the intervention of the government is not necessary in order to found it) there will be no significant development. However, here one exception should be made. If the government continually enlarges its functions, if it attempts to pursue of a policy of centralisation and communism 7 at the expense of the liberties of the country, and, in consequence, increases the number of persons in its employ, the town where it has established the seat of its power will not fail to grow and to acquire wealth: but it is questionable whether the country will have a reason, in this case, to be pleased with the prosperity of its capital. If, on the contrary, the government has only limited powers, if it has only a few persons in its employ, its capital, in case no other industry can be advantageously established there, will be forced to occupy a very modest position in comparison with the centers of manufacturing or commercial production. Such is the case with Washington, the capital of the American Union. J. B. Say has clearly shown in his Traité this powerlessness of governments to establish cities and towns and make them prosperous.

"It is not sufficient," he says, "to lay out a town and to give it a name, for it to exist in fact, it must be furnished by degrees with industrial talents, with tools, raw materials, and everything necessary to maintain the workmen until their products may be completed and sold; otherwise, instead of founding a town, one has only put up theatrical scenery, which will soon fall, because nothing sustains it. This was the case with Yekaterinoslav, in Taurida, as the emperor Joseph II. foreshadowed, when, after having been invited to lay in due form the second stone of that town, he said to those around: 'I have finished a vast enterprise in one day, with the empress of Russia; she has laid the first stone of a town, and I the last.'

Nor does moneyed capital suffice to establish a large manufacturing business and the active production necessary to form a town and make it grow: a locality and national institutions which favor that growth are also necessary. There are perhaps some deficiencies connected with the location of the city of Washington, which prevent its becoming a great capital; for its progress has been very slow in comparison with what is common in the United States. While the situation of Palmyra, in former times, rendered it populous and rich, notwithstanding the sandy desert by which it was surrounded, simply because it had become the entrepôt of the commerce of the Orient with Europe. The prosperity of Alexandria and Thebes in Egypt was due to the same cause. The decree of its rulers would not alone have sufficed to make it into a city with a hundred gates and as populous as Herodotus represents it. The key to its importance must be sought in its position between the Red Sea and the Nile, between India and Europe. 8

[Biddle trans: However, if towns owe their origin and increase to the concentration of a variety of manufactures, great and small, manufactures, again, are to be set in activity by nothing but productive capital; and productive capital is only to be accumulated by frugality of consumption. Wherefore, it is not enough to trace the plan of a town, and give it a name; before it can have real existence, it must be gradually supplied with industrious hands, mechanical skill, implements of trade, raw materials and the necessary subsistence of those engaged in industry, until the completion and sale of their products. Otherwise, instead of founding a city, a mere scaffolding is run up, which must soon fall to the ground, because it rests upon no solid foundation. This was the case with regard to Ecatherinoslaw, in the Crimea; and was, indeed, foreseen by the emperor Joseph II., who assisted at the ceremony of its foundation, and laid the second stone in due form: "The empress of Russia and myself," said he to his suite, "have completed a great work in a single day: she has laid the first stone of a city, and I have laid the finishing one."

Nor will capital alone suffice to set in motion the mass of industry and the productive energy necessary to the formation and aggrandizement of a city, unless it present also the advantages of locality and of beneficent public institutions. The local position of Washington, it should seem, is adverse to its progress in size and opulence: for it has been outstripped by most of the other cities of the Union; [109] whereas, Palmyra, in ancient times, grew both wealthy and populous, though in the midst of a sandy desert, solely because it had become the entrepot of commerce between Europe and eastern Asia. The same advantage gave importance and splendour to Alexandria, and, at a still more remote period, to Egyptian Thebes. The mere will of a despot could never have made it a city of a hundred gates, and of the magnitude and populousness recorded by Herodotus. Its grandeur must have been owing to its vicinity to the Red Sea and the channel of the Nile, and to its central position between India and Europe.

Let us now attempt to give a brief outline of the requirements which have determined the establishment of towns and the choice of their location. The necessity of providing for their security must, more than any other cause, have originally prompted men to create towns. They understood that by joining together in fortified places, they would be more secure than if they were scattered over a vast extent of territory. To this necessity, which was felt by mankind in the earlier ages, were joined the special advantages of manufacturers and commerce. While agricultural production extends, from its nature, over a considerable surface, most of the branches of industrial and commercial production require, on the contrary, a certain concentration. Let any one examine them in the various civilized countries, and he will find they have collected about a few centres. Thus, in France, the silk industry has its principal seats at Lyons and Saint Etienne; the cotton industry at Lille, Rouen, and Mulhouse; the wool industry at Rheims, Elbeuf, Sédan, etc.; and the fashion industry is in Paris. What particular causes have determined the establishment of any industry in any particular locality rather than another, is of itself an interesting subject of investigation. Sometimes it has been the vicinity of the raw material, or of a market, sometimes the special aptitudes of the people, and again a combination of these various circumstances.

The location of the industries does not stop here: in the towns where they become established, we see them select certain quarters and certain streets as their centres. This sub-localization by quarters and streets is notably observable in Paris; and one may find some interesting remarks on the subject in the Inquiry into the Industries of Paris undertaken under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce. 9 The same fact is observable in civilizations which have little analogy with ours. To cite only one example: a Spanish traveler, Don Rodrigo de Vivéro, who gave, in 1608, an interesting description of Yeddo, the capital of Japan, mentions this distribution of the industries through certain quarters and streets as the most salient feature which had attracted his attention. 10

"All the streets," he says, "have covered galleries, and each one is occupied by persons of the same business. Thus the carpenters have one street, the tailors another, the jewelers another, etc. The tradesmen are distributed in the same manner. Provisions are also sold in places appropriated to each kind. Lastly, the nobles and important personages have a quarter by themselves. This quarter is distinguished by the armorial bearings, sculptured or painted over the doors of the houses."

With the exception of a few slight differences, is not this description applicable to most of the capitals of Europe? Thus the same economic necessities are felt in the most varied civilizations, and give them a common form.

Numerous causes, however, are constantly at work, to change the location of industries, and in consequences, of the centres of population supported by these industries. The usual result of every industrial or commercial improvement is to move the place where production occurs. When the route around the cape of Good Hope was discovered, Venice lost much of her importance. Later, the invention of machines for spinning and weaving cotton built up the prosperity of Manchester at the expense of that of Benares and other cities of India, which had previously been the centres of cotton manufactures. In like manner we to-day see steam locomotion give rise to new cities or exert sudden pressure on old ones which were remaining stationary. The city of Southampton, for example, acquired in a few years considerable importance, because its port was thought well adapted to be a center to some lines of ocean steamers. Let a new system of navigation appear, and perhaps Southampton will be abandoned for another port whose situation is more in harmony with the particular requirements of the new system. Thus cities and towns experience, to their advantage or detriment, the influence of causes which modify from day to day the conditions of existence and production.

We said above that governments have only have a weak power to create new towns, and, above all, to make them prosperous. We might add that neither do they possess to any higher degree the power of destroying existing towns or changing their location. In vain did the victorious barbarians employ fire and sword in the cities they had conquered; in vain did they plow up the ground of these condemned cities and sow them with salt: as it was not in their power to destroy the natural advantages which had led the people to gather there, in a few years the mischief was repaired and life circulated more freely than ever in the very places that a foolish pride had devoted to eternal solitude. Barriers to the free circulation of men and things have unfortunately been more effective than projectiles or incendiary torches, in destroying the centres of population and wealth. Many a flourishing city has been transformed into a veritable necropolis by restrictions depriving it of its commerce or of a market for its products. In the seventeenth century we find a notable instance of this. The Dutch, jealous of the prosperity of Antwerp, succeeded in obtaining the closing of the Scheldt river (by the Treaty of Munster 1648) and this barbarous measure, which was continued in force for two centuries, gave a mortal blow to the commerce of Antwerp and to the industries of the Flemish people, of which the Antwerp merchants had been the active intermediary agents. More recently, we have seen the port of Bordeaux, formerly one of the most frequented in France, deserted as a result of the system of trade prohibition.

Population and wealth are not only changed by being displaced from one town to another; they change from place to place within the same town. New quarters arise within the towns or in their suburbs, while the old ones are abandoned and fall into decay. These local changes are brought about by causes, manifest or latent, whose action modifies in the course of time the requirements or conveniences which had determined the choice of the first location. The general improvement in in security may be considered the most important of these causes. Let us dwell a moment on this point.

The old towns of Europe were, for the most part, built on elevated plateaus or on hills more or less steep; so that their inhabitants had constantly to ascend and descend, which occasioned a considerable waste of energy in daily transportation. Besides, these towns were usually restricted to a narrow enclosure, the dwellings pressed upon one another like the cells in a hive. Why was it that our ancestors dwelt in a manner so devoid of economy, so uncomfortable, and sometimes so unhealthy? To explain this curious fact we must take into account the condition of Europe after the invasion of the barbarians. Insecurity was then universal. The conquerors had built retreats for themselves in the most inaccessible places, and they swept down like vultures from their nests, over the neighboring regions, to pillage or make them pay ransom money. Too weak to resist, the former inhabitants of the country, who were the victims of their plundering, came to terms with them, as one comes to terms with bandits in countries where the government is without power. They secured the protection of the most powerful bands by paying them a regular tribute, and they had their dwellings as near as possible to their protectors. They generally settled around strong castles, so as to be able to take refuge in them in case of danger. The first houses were situated just below the castle, and the others were placed lower and lower down the slope, like an amphitheatre. As soon as the inhabitants became sufficiently numerous, they surrounded their city with walls and towers to complete their system of defense. Thus were built most of the towns which originated in the middle ages.

When we consider the necessities of the times, the narrowness of the streets is also explicable. It was due to the fact that the fortifications had been made within as restricted a circle as possible, in order to make the defense easier and less costly. When the population increased, they were consequently obliged to build their houses higher and to reduce the width of the streets, in order to keep within their original limits. Sometimes, indeed, they moved the walls back; but it was only as a last resort that they submitted to a measure so costly.

But by degrees general security increased. The feudal system disappeared, and with it the internal wars ended. Then began a movement which resulted in changing the location of the city population. From the heights to which care for their safety had obliged them to confine themselves, they descended to the plains, where they could dwell more comfortably and at less expense. The faubourgs (suburbs) owe their origin to that increase of security which allowed peaceable men engaged in the industries to live henceforth outside the city fortifications. 11 Accelerated, moreover, by another cause, which we shall consider later, this displacement of the town population has become generally more and more general: everywhere we see the inhabitants of the old towns leave the homes they have dwelt in for ages, to occupy new homes, less expensive, more comfortable, and more healthful.

II. Of the relative size of city or town and country population. Causes which determine and modify it.

The foundation and choice of location of cities and towns are determined, as we have just seen, by the state of civilization and of the technology of production. The same is true of the proportion between the population and wealth of towns and of rural districts. This proportion is essentially diverse and variable. It differs according to the countries and the time. When production has made little progress, when men are obliged, in consequence, to employ the greater part of the productive forces at their disposal in procuring for themselves the necessities of life, the industries which provide for less urgent wants can not be developed, for lack of consumers. The towns where these industries center because of their nature and their special fitness for them, progress in that case only with extreme slowness. It is then in countries and at times when production, and especially agricultural production, has realized the most progress, that the town population must be, and in fact is, the greatest.

Let us take for examples two countries whose positions in the scale of production are very unlike, viz., England and Russia. In England, where the town population exceeds by far the rural population, the number of families engaged in agriculture was estimated in 1840 at only 961,134, while that of families engaged in manufactures, commerce, etc., was 2,453,041.

The 961,134, families engaged in agriculture furnished 1,055,982 effective laborers, who produced enough food to sustain the greater part of the English people. In countries where agriculture is less advanced, two or three times as many hands, relatively, are required to give an equivalent product: and the natural result is that the town population can not be so numerous. 12 Such is the case in France; such is especially the case in Russia, where the agricultural production undertaken by the serfs has remained in its infancy. According to M. Tégoborski, one can only count 733 towns having a population of 5,356,000 inhabitants out of a total population of about 60 million, while in Austria there are 773 towns, in Prussia 979, in France 901, for populations numerically smaller. The backward state of Russian agriculture is certainly the primary cause of the small growth of urban population in Russia. The peculiar organization of the industries there has also had somewhat to do with the result. 13

"The manufacture of small articles," says M. Tegoborski, "such as are made in the various trades, is located, in Russia, in the rural districts rather than in the towns: it is carried on by village communities, which take the product of their labor to the fairs: this is why the fairs in Russia are of more importance than in other countries. In other countries the workmen in the towns, for the most part, supply the demands of the rural districts: with us, it is often the reverse, and the shoemakers, joiners, and locksmiths of the villages provide for the wants of the townsmen. … Any one may obtain convincing proof of this lack of artisans in Russia, in most of our towns, by examining the statistics of the trades of other countries and taking some of the most common as a basis of comparison. Thus, for example, in Prussia, the trades of shoemakers, glove makers, joiners, wheelwrights, glaziers, blacksmiths, locksmiths, and braziers numbered, in 1843, 322,760 masters and journeymen for a population of 15,471,765, being 21 workmen to 1,000 inhabitants: and when we take the statistics of the towns, this proportion rises in the large towns, to 40 workmen, masters and journeymen, belonging to these various trades, to 1,000 inhabitants of the total town population, which is three, four, or even more times the proportion we find in the towns of Russia."

In our day improvements which effect an economic change in production result in a rapid increase of the town population. From what has heretofore been said we may conceive that it would be so. 14

"In France, for example," says M. Alf. Legoyt, "the population increased, from 1836 to 1851, 6.68 per cent. For the entire period, or 0.44 per cent. per annum. In 166 towns having 10,000 souls and over, the increase in the same interval was 24.24 per cent. or 1.616 per cent. a year. In 10 years the increase of the town population was then 16 per cent., while that of the total population was only 6 per cent.

The case is similar in England. According to the tables of the last census, the town population of Great Britain (England and Scotland), which was in 1801 only 3,046,371, attained in 1851 the number of 8,410,021. This is an increase of 176 per cent., while the total increase of the population in the same period, was only 98 per cent. And if we observe in what towns the increase has been the most considerable, we find in the first place the great manufacturing towns and the commercial ports. While the population of the county towns increased only 122 per cent., that of the manufacturing ones increased 224 per cent., and that of the seaports, London excepted, 195 per cent. In the towns devoted especially to iron industries, the increase was 289 per cent., and in the centres of cotton manufacture, 282 per cent.

Every improvement in the technology of production can only accelerate this increase of the town population. Should we lament it, or rejoice at it? This is a much contested question, but the economists agree in deciding it in favor of the cities. Adam Smith and J. B. Say, notably, prove that the multiplication and the enlargement of towns are desirable, even looking at the matter with reference to the interests of the rural districts. Adam Smith, who examined this subject with his usual insight, concludes that the rural districts have derived three principal benefits from the development of manufacturing and commercial towns. 15

1. By affording a great and ready market for the rude produce of the country, they gave encouragement to its cultivation and further improvement. This benefit was not even confined to the countries in which they were situated, but extended to all those with which they had any dealings.

2. The wealth acquired by the inhabitants of cities was frequently employed in purchasing such lands as were to be sold, of which a great part would frequently be uncultivated. Merchants are commonly ambitious of becoming country gentlemen; and when they do, they are generally the best of all improvers. A merchant is accustomed to employ his money chiefly in profitable projects; whereas a mere country gentleman is accustomed to employ it chiefly in expense, etc.

3, and lastly. Commerce and manufacturers gradually introduced order and good government, and, with them, the liberty and security of individuals, among the inhabitants of the country, who had before lived almost in a continual state of war with their neighbors, and of servile dependency upon their superiors.

The development of the town population is not then a fact at which we need be troubled. Doubtless temptations are greater and bad examples more numerous in town than in the country; but how much more abundant and within the reach of all are the means of enlightenment and moral improvement! The statistics of criminal justice show, that the town population does not furnish a proportionally greater contingent of criminals than the rural population; and yet it is worthy of note that the police is much more effective in towns than it can be in the rest of the country. 16

The same improvements which increase the town population, tend also to improve their dwellings. Under the influence of improved security, we have seen towns descend from the summit of plateaus and the sides of hills, to the plains: we shall see them, according to all appearances, extend over a wider and wider surface, as means of communication become less expensive and more rapid. Great improvements have already been realized in this direction. As well as in the cleanliness and repair of streets, and the internal comfort of dwellings and economy in their management. Who can predict what the future may yet have in store for us?

III. The administration of cities and towns. What it is, and what it ought to be

Towns have commonly an administration of their own. Sometimes each quarter even has its own. This administration sometimes is appointed by a superior authority, in other cases from the inhabitants of the city themselves. This latter way of appointing (an administration), which obliges the administrators to answer for their actions to those who are administered, is usually the better. As to the course to pursue in order to govern a city well, it does not differ from that which should be pursued in the government of a nation. A city administration, like a national one, should exercise only such functions which, by their nature, cannot be left to competition between private individuals. 17 Now these functions are not numerous, and they become less and less so, as progress causes the obstacles to disappear which either prevent or obstruct the action of competition. 18 In fact, whatever the zeal or the devotion of a municipal administration, it is not in the nature of things that the services which are organized in common in the city should be of as much importance as those which are left to private individuals. Doubtless the desire to merit public esteem should press the administrators to do well: but does this motive ever prove as powerful as the interest which stimulates private industry? We may prefer the intervention of municipalities to that of the government for the organization of certain services, and the establishment and maintenance of certain regulations of public utility; but it is well, as far as possible, to dispense with both.

Unfortunately, municipal administrations have the defect of all governments; they like to assume importance, and, with that view, they are constantly enlarging their powers and, in consequence, the amount of their expenses. In our times they are especially possessed with a mania for undertaking public works and buildings. They appear convinced that by demolishing old quarters at the expense of new; by by erecting building upon building; by giving, on the least pretext, balls, concerts, and grand displays of fire works, they contribute effectively to the prosperity and greatness of their cities. Need we say that they are going directly away from the end they wish to attain? These public works, these buildings, these sumptuous entertainments, are very costly, and recourse must always be had at last to taxes, to cover the expenses. Then they tax a multitude of things which serve to feed, clothe, shelter, and warm the population, among whom exists a class, unfortunately the most numerous, who barely possess the means of providing for the absolute necessities of (their) existence. In a word, the expense of city living is artificially increased. And with what result? Population and manufactures relocate as far as possible from a locality where lavishly spending city administrators have permanently established high prices: they settle in preference outside the limits where this economic plague rages. 19 And (and it is a point worthy of note) this change of location, so fatal to landowners in the old towns, has become easier and easier. At a time when lack of security forced people to concentrate in localities which nature had fortified and where technology came to the aid of nature, when, on the other hand, the difficulty of constructing artificial means of communication and maintaining them in good condition rendered the natural ways, such as navigable rivers more valuable, the number of locations suited to become centres of population, was very limited. At the same time the slowness with which private dwellings and public buildings were constructed, (years were sometimes devoted to the building of a house, and centuries to the construction of a cathedral), condemned the people who changed their location, to endless privations and discomforts. Circumstances combined to give existing towns, considered as places of residence, a veritable natural monopoly . But, influenced by the progress already mentioned, this monopoly is disappearing more and more, and as a result, it daily becomes easier for the people to rid themselves of the burden which a bad administration imposes upon them. Nor do they neglect to do so; for we see them abandoning towns where the expenses of living is too great, (commencing in the quarters less favorably situated), and enlarging the faubourgs or creating, farther away, new centres of activity and wealth. 20 Thus, by drawing largely on the wallets of tax payers and unscrupulously issuing any number of bills of credit on future generations, high spending city administrators) far from adding to the prosperity of their cities, end by precipitating them into inevitable ruin. Economy in expenditure should be the supreme rule in the government of cities, as well as in the government of nations. By observing this rule, much more than by increasing the number of old buildings demolished, new ones built, or by holding public festivals, municipal administrations may acquire serious and lasting claims to public gratitude.





"Civilisation," DEP , T. 1, pp. 370-77.

Lalor: John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). Vol. 1 Abdication-Duty. "Civilization," pp. 485-93.



Civilization is made up of the combined material and moral progress that humanity has made and that it continues to make every day. The source of this progress is to be found in the faculty which has been given to man of learning about himself and the world in which he lives, and of accumulating this knowledge, passing it on to others, and combining these all together. Thus material progress is the result of the more and more extended knowledge which observation gives us of [486] the natural resources of our globe, and of the means of developing them; moral progress likewise is developed by means of the more and more exact and complete ideas which observation provides, of our nature, the society in which we live, and our destiny.

Man's wants are the powerful stimulants which urge him to increase his observation and to accumulate knowledge. Nature furnishes him with the material necessary to satisfy these wants, but this material he must collect and fashion for his use. None of his appetites can be satisfied without effort and labor. Now, this effort, this labor, by the very nature of his constitution, implies suffering. It is his interest, consequently, to reduce his labor as much as possible, while increasing his satisfaction; it is his interest to obtain a maximum of satisfaction with a minimum of labor. How can he reach this end? By one means and by one means only, by applying more and more efficient processes to the production of the things he needs. And how can he discover these processes? Only by observation and experience.

Urged by hunger, primitive man attacked the animals that were least able to defend themselves, and devoured them. He discovered that the flesh of some of these animals was fit to appease his hunger, and agreeable to the taste; but it was hard for him to procure a sufficient quantity of it regularly, for most of these animals were swifter of foot than he was. Spurred on by want, he endeavored to overcome this difficulty, and succeeded. A savage more intelligent than the rest, noticing the property in certain kinds of wood which allowed them to be bent without breaking, and to straiten out again with a violent recoil after being bent, thought of utilizing this force to hurl projectiles. The bow was invented. It at once became easier for man to feed himself. He could now turn his thoughts to observation in another field and combine his observations so as to increase his enjoyments and diminish his pains. At the same time his moral wants, awakened by a multitude of mysterious phenomena, urged him onward in this direction, as well as his physical wants. Must not the terrible phenomenon of death, for instance, by filling his soul with curiosity, dread, and sometimes with grief, have incited him to penetrate the secret of his destiny? Thus, incessantly urged onward by the increasing and irresistible wants of his nature, man has never ceased, since the beginning of the world, to pile observation on observation, one kind of knowledge on another, and thus to improve his material and moral condition.

Civilization, therefore, seems to us a natural fact; it is the result of man's very nature, of his intelligence, and his needs. Its source is in observation stimulated by self interest , and it has no limit but that of the knowledge which is given to man to accumulate and combine under the pressure of his needs. Now, this limit we can not see; whence it follows that it has been possible to say with truth that progress is indefinite.

Civilization, however, although inherent in human nature, has not equally developed among all nations. Certain peoples have remained, even to our day, plunged in the darkness of primitive barbarism, while at their very side we find civilization arrayed in all its power. To what is this inequality of development to be attributed? We must attribute it to the inequality of the physical and moral faculties of the different races of men; we must attribute it also to the surroundings in the midst of which each race is developed. We must attribute it, to use the language of economists, to the amount of natural goods, both external and internal, 21 which the Creator has bestowed upon each people. Now, these raw materials of civilization are very unequally distributed: between the ignorant Botocudo 22 and the Anglo-Saxon, who has become his neighbor, the distance, from both a physical and a moral point of view, is immense, and between these two varieties of the human species, who seem to form the extreme links in the chain of the varieties, of man, we find a whole multitude of races all unequal, all different; just as, between the sands of the Sahara and the alluvial soil of Senegal there are many degrees of fertility!

We must carefully examine how these natural inequalities have acted upon civilization. If two nations, unequally favored with internal goods, be placed in similar environments, it is evident that the one best provided with this natural capital, 23 will develop more rapidly and more completely than the other. It is also clear that if two nations, equally favored with internal gifts, be placed amid unequal environments, their development also will be unequal. The influence of natural goods, and of their unequal distribution upon civilization, has not as yet, we believe, been sufficiently studied and appreciated. On the other hand, the influence of external surroundings has been much better recognized and more attention has been called to it. Jean Bodin, 24 Montesquieu, 25 and Herder, 26 clearly demonstrated its importance. They might even be accused of having exaggerated it.

However this may be, by taking well into account these natural elements of civilization, we can readily understand how certain races have reached a very high degree of civilization, while others have remained plunged in barbarism. If, for instance, we but study the natural history of the various races of men who inhabit the archipelagoes of the Pacific ocean, and their physical surroundings, we will comprehend why they have remained the most backward of the human species. In the first place, these tribes are generally of very weak intellect; they have but a small share of that faculty of observing, and of accumulating and combining their observations, which constitutes the essential driving force of civilization. In the second place, the mildness of the climate and the natural fertility of the soil enabling them to satisfy, without labor, their most basic needs, leaves their minds without any stimulant to action. Finally, their topographical situation, by isolating them from the rest of mankind, has restricted them to the development of their own resources, to their own limited elements of civilization. To obtain other resources or elements of civilization, they would have had to cross the abyss of the ocean. But to traverse the ocean, they would have had to know the art of navigation, to be acquainted with the compass, etc., a knowledge beyond the reach of their understanding. These tribes of men, lost in the immensity of the ocean, were thus condemned to languish for a longer time than the rest of mankind in the darkness of barbarism. In all probability they would still be plunged in this darkness had not light come to them from without, had not nations already advanced in civilization begun to visit them.

But suppose that these tribes, instead of being separated from civilization by the depths of the ocean, had lived on or near the main land, their condition certainly would have been very different. In the course of time they would have communicated with one another, they could have intermingled, they would have exchanged their discoveries and their products. This contact and this intermingling of tribes differently endowed, would have resulted in a civilization, coarse and incomplete, no doubt, but which would have produced a social state far superior to that of all the isolated tribes of the Polynesian archipelagoes. This is one example of the influence of natural goods, internal and external, upon civilization.

Let us give another illustration. At the opposite extremity of the scale of civilization is Great Britain. The inhabitants of Great Britain are a composite people, the product of six or seven races, which successively invaded British soil, whose different aptitudes united and combined to develop it. The natural conditions of the soil, climate, and topographical situation of Great Britain, admirably assisted the work of civilization. The soil is fertile, but its fertility is not exuberant enough to allow those who cultivate it to become the victims of indolence. The climate, although not exceedingly rigorous, renders clothing and shelter necessary to man. Lastly, Great Britain is separated from the continent by an arm of the sea, which, while it protects the inhabitants from foreign invasion, allows them easy communication with other nations abundantly provided with the elements necessary to progress. Favored by such a combination of natural advantages, civilization could not but develop rapidly.

Let us suppose, however, that the inhabitants of Great Britain had been cast upon the shores of New Zealand; 27 that, consequently, they could not intermingle with such people as those who successively came to settle beside them, nor communicate with a continent on which civilization had already shed its light, is it not likely that they would today differ very little from the natives of New Zealand? Now that the influence which the distribution of natural goods, both internal and external, exercises on civilization is clearly recognized, let us see what influence the state of the relations which men bear to one another may exercise on their progressive activity; under what social circumstances they are most stimulated to utilize the elements of progress at their disposal.

If civilization is a product of our mind, stimulated by our needs, it is evident that it will develop more rapidly in proportion as man may more freely employ his faculties in channels suitable to them, and in proportion as he is himself certain of enjoying the fruit of his efforts. If I have an aptitude for mathematics, and am forced, without any regard for my talent, to devote myself to painting, the most active and powerful part of my mind will remain almost inactive. I might have been able to solve a number of mathematical problems; but as I was forbidden to devote myself to this work, for which I was naturally fitted, the problems which I might have solved will not be solved at all, or at least they will be solved later, and civilization will be thereby retarded by so much. On the other hand, I may paint, but, as I have little talent for the art of painting, I shall contribute nothing to its progress. A good mathematician has been spoiled in me to make a bad painter. To interfere with the liberty of working, therefore, is to nullify and to suppress the forces which would have stimulated human progress; it is in some sense to amputate that part of the mind which would have contributed most effectively to the advancement of civilization. The progress of civilization is permanently hindered by the restrictions which close the ranks of certain professions to men who might excel in them, or when admission to them is rendered expensive and difficult, when immutable rules prescribe for each the career he must follow. 28

All attacks on the right of property 29 are another cause which retards civilization. Why does a man condemn his mind to the labor of accumulating, combining, and applying observations to the satisfaction of his needs? Is it not because this labor procures him enjoyment or spares him trouble? He has no other aim. But if he be deprived of this enjoyment, in whole or in part; if the fruit of his self-imposed labor be consumed by others, what reason would he have left to put his mind to work or otherwise? If, for instance, another compels this man to work for him, to cultivate his field, to grind his corn, and leaves him barely enough of the fruit of his own labor to subsist upon; if, in a word, he be a slave, what interest can he have to improve the cultivation of his land or the grinding of corn? What will it avail him? Does he not know that the fruit of his laborious research will belong entirely to his master, that is, to his natural enemy, to the person who each day robs him of his legitimate wages to appropriate them to himself? Why, then, should he add to the gratification of a man who unjustly deprives him of his own? Slavery, therefore, which is, however, but one of the innumerable forms of plunder, appears as one of the most serious obstacles that impede human progress; 30 in like manner, every arbitrary or legal act which injures or menaces property, natural or [488] acquired, delays the progress of civilization, by weakening the incentive which urges men to extend the circle of their knowledge and their acquisition.

Liberty, which allows every man to draw the utmost possible benefit from the gifts with which nature has endowed him, and the right of property, which entitles him to the absolute enjoyment of these gifts, and of the fruit which he can derive from them, are the necessary conditions of human progress. Plunder, under the multitude of forms which it assumes, is the great obstacle that retards, and has, from the beginning of the world, retarded the development of civilization

This being the case, it would seem that men should have, from the very beginning, contrived some means of maintaining inviolable their rights of liberty and property. Unfortunately they have learned only after a long and hard experience, how essential respect for liberty and property is to their well being. If we try to leave this experience out of consideration, and examine the natural conditions in which men were placed in the beginning, taking into account their instincts, their wants, and the means which they had of satisfying them, we will be convinced that they could not begin except by plunder.

Ignorant men, barely having left the state of nature, 31 with no other guide than their instincts, no acquired experience either of the world or of themselves, were obliged to supply needs felt anew every day, and which had to be satisfied under pain of death. Lacking the tools and knowledge necessary to assure them a regular food supply, they were incessantly exposed to the hardship of extreme hunger. When one of these ignorant and famished beings met one of his fellowmen, who, more fortunate than he, had succeeded in getting some prey, a struggle for it was inevitable. Why should not a starving and destitute man attempt to possess himself of the booty which came his way? Having no scruples about robbing the bee of its honey or devouring a sheep, why should he respect man? There is undoubtedly a natural instinct which prompts beings of the same species not to injure one another, but must not this instinct, whose intensity varies in different individuals, have yielded before the all-powerful pressure of want? Let us picture to ourselves what would happen even in our day, notwithstanding the great progress we have made, notwithstanding our acquisitions in the physical and moral order, if there were no superior force established to suppress individual cruelty, and society were abandoned to anarchy. The most frightful disorder would inevitably result from this condition of things. Robberies and murders would increase in a frightful manner, until such time as men had reorganized a force to repress this. For still stronger reasons must not the result have been the same in the first ages of the world?

History proves, moreover, that abuse of power was widespread in these first historical periods, whose innocence has been so loudly vaunted by the poets. The liberty and property of the weak were always at the mercy of the strong. Every one was thus constantly exposed to be robbed of the fruit of his labors. Consequently, no one took any interest in increasing his possessions or accumulating property. Progress was impossible under this system. What was the result? The experience of the evils of anarchy led men to combine together in order to better protect their liberty and property. Associations were formed everywhere, and in them murder and robbery were forbidden and punished. Still the action of restoring peace of these mutual protection companies 32 was at first very limited: if men appreciated clearly enough the necessity of living at peace with their immediate neighbors, the inconveniences of a war with men a little farther away did not impress them so forcibly. They often even believed it to be in their interest to conquer and plunder them. Experience had gradually to extend the domain of peace, that is, the systematized and organized respect for liberty and property. 33 Little by little, people dwelling in close proximity to one another, and nearly equal in strength, became convinced, by the results of their various encounters, that they lost more than they gained by making war. They, therefore, agreed to suspend their hostilities, to make truces, particularly, if they were employed in agriculture, especially during seed-time and harvest. They finally entered into alliances, whether to attack or to defend themselves in common. Between these people who had declared truces or concluded treaties there was regular communication. They imparted to each other the knowledge they had acquired and accumulated. Exchange of products and exchange of ideas took place at the same time. Thus we find that civilization developed in proportion as the experience of the evils of war enlarged the sphere of peace. 34 The same result was obtained when one group extended its dominion over other people, for the conquerors soon perceived that it was to their interest to maintain peace in the regions under their rule. Under the domination of the Romans, for example, the most civilized nations of the world ceased to make war on one another, and magnificent roads united these nations which had so long been strangers and enemies. The progress made by each of them in its isolation extended to all. The Christianity of Judea, the philosophy and arts of Greece, the legislation of Rome spread to Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Germany, and reached even to Great Britain. At the same time commerce was developing, and useful plants, together with the art of cultivating them, passed from one country to another: the cherry was imported from Asia Minor into Europe, the vine was transported into Gaul; in a word, civilization under all its forms progressed from the east to the west

Nevertheless, in these first ages of humanity, peace could be neither general nor lasting: in the midst of the pacified nations, slavery in all its degrees appeared as a permanent cause of conflict. From without, hordes of barbarians coveted the wealth accumulated by these civilized peoples. All the early centres of civilization, Persia, Egypt, the Roman empire, after a thousand intestine struggles, became, as is well known, the prey of barbarians.

The great invasions which occupy so large a place in the history of the world had not everywhere and always the same results. They were, according to circumstances, favorable or disastrous to the progress of humanity. In order to appreciate the influence they exercised from this point of view, we must ascertain first, what amount of material and non-material capital 35 was destroyed in the course of the invasion; we must examine also whether, the conquest once completed, the conquerors and the conquered gained by their contact with each other more liberty and security; whether the forces leading to progress were increased. Anarchy, slavery, and war are the great obstacles in the way of civilization; but frequently these obstacles either destroyed or weakened one another. Sometimes slavery put an end to anarchy, and sometimes war to slavery. There was retrogression wherever the result of the conflict was a decrease in the liberty or security which had been acquired, and, on the other hand, there was progress whenever the sum total of liberty and security in the world was increased by the conflict: at least whenever the destruction of capital caused by the conflict was not great enough to counterbalance the gain which had been made.

We can not say, for instance, whether the invasion of the Roman empire by the barbarians of the north hastened or retarded the progress of civilization; whether or not the immense destruction of material and non-material capital occasioned by this cataclysm was compensated for by acquisitions of another nature; 36 whether or not, if the Roman empire had lasted, the different varieties of men who today inhabit Europe would have been so advantageously intermingled; whether or not slavery would have continued for a longer time. We have not the data necessary to solve this historical problem. We can, however, conjecture that, if the establishment of Roman domination over nations, most of which had adopted slavery, could still serve the cause of civilization by causing peace to reign among these nations, by increasing, consequently, the amount of security which the world enjoyed, without noticeably diminishing the sum total of its liberty; in like manner, the establishment of the barbarians upon the ruins of the Roman domination contributed to the progress of civilization by hastening the abolition of slavery, and thus increasing the amount of liberty possessed by the human race.

Be this as it may, liberty and security have been making constant progress ever since the downfall of the Roman empire, and especially since the end of the feudal barbarism which replaced it. 37 This progress, whether quickened or not by the invasion of the barbarians who overran the old civilized countries, wonderfully aided the development of modern civilization. Thenceforth, as man had greater liberty to employ for the increase of his well-being the elements of progress at his disposal, and felt more assured of being able to preserve the fruit of his labors, he gave greater scope to his activity. He explored the material and the moral world with a power and a success of which he before had no idea. He discovered all at once the means of better preserving the things he had already acquired, and of multiplying and propagating new ones more rapidly. Some of these discoveries have exercised such an influence upon the march of civilization that we must dwell upon them for a moment.

We will mention first the invention of gunpowder. The immediate effect of this discovery was to change the proportion between the labor and capital necessary to the exercise of what we may call the military industry. 38 It required less labor and more capital, fewer men and more machines. One piece of cannon served by eight men took the place of a hundred archers. What was the result? Civilized nations acquired an enormous advantage over barbarous peoples from the point of view both of attack and defense. The superiority of their tools of war, together with their superiority in the capital necessary to put this costly machinery 39 in operation, assured them predominance. Thenceforth new invasions of barbarians coming to destroy the things previously acquired by civilization were no longer to be feared. Moreover, now that they were freed from the corruption of slavery, which might in time render invasions useful, the civilized nations acquired in this respect a security which they did not enjoy in ancient times. Instead of being subjugated anew by the barbarians, they everywhere began to subject the barbarians to their rule. 40

Thus were the achievements of civilization permanently assured, while a process was soon after discovered whereby to propagate, at small expense and with marvelous rapidity, the knowledge accumulated by the human mind: we refer to the invention of printing. But a short time ago, the diffusion of the non-material capital of humanity was difficult and costly; sometimes even a part of previously acquired knowledge was lost. Thanks to the printing press, it became possible to reproduce indefinitely the same observation, the same thought, and the same invention, and to send it thus multiplied through the immensity of the ages. 41

Nor is this all. Civilization in ancient times was local. Each nation, separated from neighboring nations, either by physical obstacles, or by the hatred or prejudices of centuries, had its own narrow and isolated civilization. 42 Thus, in the first place, a more and more extended experience of the evils of war, together with the progress of moral and political sciences, began to draw nations together by showing them that it was to their interest to dwell together in peace, and exchange with one another the products of their industry. Thus, again, the application of steam and electricity to locomotion, by annihilating space, so to speak, renders more and more practicable this exchange, which is now recognized as useful. Thus, thanks to this material and moral progress, local civilizations, formerly isolated, hostile, and without regular communication, began to unite, preserving in a general civilization their own peculiar characteristics.

But if we seek out the origin of this great progress which has assured and accelerated the march of civilization, we shall find that it comes, like all other progress, from the employment of the human mind in the observation of the phenomena of the moral and physical world; an employment which has become more general and more fruitful in proportion as men have been more interested in engaging in it. The men who have systematized the method of observation, and first among them Sir Francis Bacon, 43 have been objects of great praise, and surely this is only just. We must not, however, forget that this method was known and practiced from the very beginning of the world, since it is to observation, and to experience which is but another form of observation, that all human progress is due. If it was less fruitful in ancient times, it was, primarily, because the collection of previous knowledge which could be used to acquire new knowledge was less; it resulted also from the fact that, as liberty and property were less generally guaranteed than now, fewer men were interested in observing and in utilizing their observations. The use of technology, 44 for instance, which was abandoned for the most part to slaves, remained of necessity at a standstill. What interest would the slaves have had in improving it? But must not this lack of progress in certain essential branches of human knowledge in turn slowing down the rise of all the others? Do we not know that all progress is connected, and that discoveries made in any part of the domain of industry lead to others, frequently in an opposite end of this domain? There is certainly little connection between the manufacture of glass and the observation of celestial bodies; and still, how much has the progress in the art of glass-making advanced the progress of astronomy! In ancient times the lack of progress in technology, which slavery had degraded, deprived men of the ideas and tools necessary to enlarge the circle of their knowledge. In consequence, the method of observation was less effective in their hands, and sometimes even remained sterile. What was the result? Men, pressed for the solution of certain problems, and not perceiving how to solve them, declared the method of observation powerless, and built, upon the fragile basis of hypothesis, systems to which science was destined to do justice at a later day. The method of observation was discredited, especially when certain classes believed themselves interested in maintaining the solutions given by hypotheses; but this discrediting of the method of observation which had its first source in slavery was inevitably bound to disappear with it. In proportion as slavery disappeared, and the gap in the progress of technology began to be filled up, the method of observation, provided with new tools, acquired a range which no one would before have imagined it capable of. Its efficacy in solving problems which had before been regarded as beyond the human mind, then became manifest to all. The honor of being the first to recognize this fact belongs to Bacon; but does not the credit of popularizing and universalizing the method of observation belong still more to liberty than to Bacon? Isn't it from the very moment when observation acquired liberty as an all-powerful ally and, to the degree that it had more liberty, observation increased its efforts and obtained the most marvelous results? Since the advent of industrial liberty, for example, has not the domain of civilization extended more, in one century, than it had in twenty centuries before?

By becoming more general, under the influence of the progress we have just described, the power of civilization has increased in an incalculable degree. Formerly, each isolated nation was confined almost exclusively to its own resources to develop its knowledge and increase its prosperity. Now, as the aptitudes of men are essentially different, according to race, climate, and circumstances of place; as the qualities of the soil are no less so, and the same piece of land is not equally well adapted for all kinds of crops; each isolated civilization necessarily remained incomplete. Only certain privileged individuals could use for the satisfaction of their wants, products brought from other parts of the globe. 45 The mass of the people were obliged to content themselves with the products of their own country, and the small extent of the market proved an insurmountable obstacle to the progressive developments of these products. The lack of communication was to a certain extent compensated for by artificially increasing the number of national industries, by learning about the industries of foreign nations. Unfortunately, this assimilation, useful when restricted within certain limits, was carried too far. Countries wished to produce everything, even those things which cost less when bought from foreign countries; and in this they partially succeeded by banning the use of imported goods. 46 But they still failed to attain the desired result, which was to increase the amount of things calculated to satisfy the needs of their inhabitants. Instead of increasing the number of their satisfactions, they reduced them. Instead of advancing in civilization, they relapsed into barbarism. We must add, however, that observation and experience are constantly endeavoring to do away with this error, as they have already done away with so many others. The more enlightened nations begin to perceive that it is their interest to obtain the greatest possible amount of satisfaction, for the smallest amount of effort, and that they can never attain this end by barricading themselves against the cheapness of goods. The time will come when they themselves will tear down the artificial barriers with which they have surrounded themselves in place of the natural barriers which the steam engine had broken down. On that day the elements of civilization which God has placed at the disposal of the human race, and the material and non-material capital which man has accumulated in the course of the centuries, will be best and most fruitfully employed; on that day also will the natural division of labor among the different nations, now impeded by artificial restrictions, be fully developed. We do not know, and it would be superfluous to conjecture, to what height civilization thus universalized will rise, and to what degree it will increase man's moral and material satisfactions, while diminishing his efforts and his suffering. All that we can say is, that considering the progress which civilization has already made, the human mind, provided with a capital which increases so much more rapidly the more it accumulates; provided with all the tools necessary to preserve and propagate what it has required; urged on by needs which have never yet been satisfied, and which seem insatiable, will continue constantly to advance with a more rapid and a surer step until it reaches the undefined limit beyond which it cannot go.

Nevertheless, some minds are still in doubt as to the future of civilization, and present various objections on this point which it will be well to answer. Their principal objection may be thus stated: if civilized nations have no longer to fear the invasions of barbarians from without, are they not, on the other hand, daily more and more exposed to be overrun by the barbarians from within? 47 Do they not run the risk of falling back into barbarism, or at least of remaining for a long time stationary, by becoming the prey of those men who have not ceased to wallow in primitive ignorance. Doubtless civilization may be retarded in a country by ignorance, or, what amounts to the same thing, by the mistaken interest of a ruling class. 48 Nevertheless, this cause, antagonistic to civilization, has not so much influence as is attributed to it. If it is a multitude, imbued with utopian ideas, that seizes control of the government of society, experience , or even the simple discussion of these theories, readily proves to them their emptiness, and, as the multitude is most interested in the good government of society, a reaction takes place in its midst; it divests itself of its dangerous illusions, and civilization at once resumes its onward march. If society is, on the contrary, under the domination of a class attached to the maintenance of old abuses, the evil caused by these abuses after a greater or less delay, according to the more or less advanced state of the communication of ideas finally becomes manifest to every one. Then the pressure of public opinion puts an end to it.

A grave question here presents itself incidentally. Is it well to crush, if necessary, the resistance of the class attached to established abuses, to resort to revolutions to destroy these abuses, or is it better to wait till they disappear of themselves under pressure of the progress made outside the range of their baneful influence? This question plainly admits of two solutions, according to the circumstances of time and place. It may be affirmed, however, that in our day the peaceful solution is generally the better. Think, indeed, with an unprejudiced mind, of the results of certain events of quite recent occurrence, the enormous amount of capital they consumed, the active forces they absorbed, the dire calamities they produced; take into account, at the same time, the progress made since the invention of printing, and the application of steam to locomotion, and be convinced that revolution is too high a price to pay for progress in our day, and that it is best, therefore, to abstain from it, even in the interest of civilization.

A second objection, no less frequently urged, is the following: material wellbeing is not developed except at the expense of public morality; men become morally more corrupt, in proportion as their condition improves materially, and their civilization, so brilliant on the surface, is rotted from within. Nothing could be more false. 49 In the first place, the history of civilization proves that the branches of human knowledge which contribute to improving the moral nature of man, do not develop less rapidly than those which tend to develop his material prosperity. Religion, for instance, has never ceased, in the course of ages, to grow in perfection and purity, and to exercise, for this very reason, a most beneficial influence over human morality. 50 How superior is Christianity to Paganism in this respect! And can we not easily perceive progress in Christianity itself? Is not the Christian religion of today a more perfect instrument of moralization than it was in the days of the St. Dominics and the Torquemadas? 51 Do not the philosophical sciences also, and political economy in particular, labor more effectively every day to improve men's morals by showing them every day more clearly that the observance of the laws of morality is an essential condition of their existence and well-being? In the second place, ought not material progress of itself, far from being an obstacle to the moral development of the human race, contribute, on the contrary, to sustain it? By rendering man's labor more fruitful, and his existence easier, must it not tend to diminish the force and frequency of the temptations which impel him to violate the laws of morality in order to satisfy his material appetites? Experience, moreover, confirms these deductions drawn from the observation of our nature. The criminal records prove that the poorer classes commit, other things being equal, a greater number of crimes than the [492] richer classes; they prove also that crime decreases and morals improve in proportion as the comforts of life are extended to the lower strata of society. This objection, based upon a so-called moral erosion of nations occasioned by the development of material prosperity, is therefore at variance with observation and experience.

The third objection claims that the progress of industry has increased inequality among men. It holds that the tendency of industrial progress is to concentrate, on the one hand, masses of capital, and, on the other, multitudes of men whose condition becomes every day more miserable. Historical facts give the lie to this assertion. Compare the social inequality which exists in our day with that which existed in the time of the Roman empire; contrast with the slaves of the latifundia and the powerful head of a patrician family, the poorest workman with the richest of our bankers; and say whether the extremes of the social scale, far from having become more widely separated, have not come nearer together! Progress favors equality, or at least its continual tendency is to reduce social inequalities to the level of natural inequalities. We notice, in fact, that liberty and property are better guaranteed in proportion as civilization gains ground, and that the progress made in guaranteeing liberty and property, is the essential condition of all other progress. Now, if each man is obliged to depend upon his own industry for a livelihood; if there is no longer any plunder, open or hidden, to give to one man the fruits of another's labor; if, in a word, the most powerful and active causes of inequality disappear, must not social differences inevitably end by coming down to the level of the differences which nature has made between men?

The only cause that could maintain and even aggravate these inequalities, by attributing to those who control the means of subsistence and the tools of labor an unwarranted predominance, is the permanent excess of population. Fortunately, the multiplication of the human species does not depend solely upon man's power to reproduce; it depends also upon his foresight. Man has the power to control the production of beings like himself; he can speed up or slow down this production, depending upon whether he foresees that his own condition and that of the beings whom he brings into the world will be improved or impaired thereby. 52 But this foresight, which puts a beneficial limit to reproduction, naturally acquires greater strength and greater control in proportion as man becomes more enlightened.

In his Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain , Condorcet demonstrated 53 that there would be less and less reason to fear an excess of population, owing to the natural development of foresight under the influence of civilization. 54

Lalor trans: Suppose," he says, "the limit (at which population pressed on the means of subsistence) has been reached, no dreadful consequences would result, either to the well-being of the human species, or to its indefinite perfectibility; provided we suppose that before that limit was reached the progress of reason kept pace with the progress of the arts and sciences; … men would then know that, if they had duties to beings not yet in existence, these duties consist, not in giving them existence, but happiness; these duties have for their object the general well-being of the human species, or of the society in which those who are bound by them live or of the family to which they belong; and not the puerile idea of loading down the earth with useless and unhappy beings. There might, therefore, be a limit to the sum total of the means of subsistence, and consequently to the possible maximum of population, without its resulting in the premature destruction of a portion of living beings, which is so contrary to nature and social prosperity."

My version: 55 But supposing the affirmative, supposing it actually to take place, there would result from it nothing alarming, either to the happiness of the human race, or its indefinite perfectibility; if we consider, that prior to this period the progress of reason will have walked hand in hand with that of the sciences; that the absurd prejudices of superstition will have ceased to infuse into morality a harshness that corrupts and degrades, instead of purifying and exalting it; that men will then know, that the duties they may be under relative to propagation will consist not in the question of giving existence to a greater number of beings, but happiness ; will have for their object, the general welfare of the human species; of the society in which they live; of the family to which they are attached; and not the puerile idea of encumbering the earth with useless and wretched mortals. Accordingly, there might then be a limit to the possible mass of provision, and of consequence to the greatest possible population, without that premature destruction, so contrary to nature and to social prosperity, of a portion of the beings who may have received life, being the result of those limits.

We see that the different elements of our nature, and of the world in which we live, are so disposed that civilization appeared as an inevitable and irresistible fact. There is nothing, however, of fatality about it, inasmuch as it continually feels the influence of our free will. If it is not in the power of any one to stop it, or cause it to go backwards, each one can nevertheless exert an influence over its progress, and perhaps also over its end result. Infringe the liberty and property of others; do not utilize as much as you might the productive forces at your disposal; be lazy, ignorant and wasteful; and you will retard civilization. On the contrary, set an example of moral virtue, of respect for liberty and property, of the spirit of research, of diligent and hard work, and you will contribute your share toward advancing it. Each individual acts upon civilization for good or for evil, within the more or less extended sphere of his activity. Only, each one being more and more interested to act in such a manner as to contribute to its progress, the number of the acts which advance it surpass every day more and more the number of those which retard it. The general impulse given to civilization depends upon the sum of the faculties and needs which have been assigned to man, and upon the natural resources which have been placed at his disposal; but nonetheless it still remains subject to the action of man's free will for any mishaps in its unfolding. Civilisation is a providential not an inevitable matter.

Now that we have described the elements of civilization, and have shown with the aid of what material and moral instruments the great work is carried on, how it can be accelerated and how retarded, let us sum up in a few words the economic characteristics by which civilization is recognized, and the end toward which it tends.

Civilization is seen to be the development of the power of man over nature. Now, there is an external sign by which this development may be recognized: the division of labor. The country in which labor is most divided in all its branches, where, for this very reason, social relations are most developed, is therefore evidently that in which civilization is most advanced.

Civilization has for its end the better satisfaction of our material and moral needs. It leads us, by progressively ameliorating the conditions of our existence, toward the ideal of the power and of the beauty adapted to our nature and the resources which the Creator has placed at our disposal.

The idea of an indefinitely improving civilization is modern. 56 In ancient times, when material progress was impeded by slavery, men could not conceive of any other progress than that of the sciences and the fine arts. Still the sight of the dangers to which civilized people were exposed, the destruction of so many local civilizations by the invasion of barbarians, must have eradicated all ideas of general and uninterrupted progress. This idea could hardly appear until after the invention of gunpowder and of printing. Its germination was slow. Vico prepared the way for it by collecting, in a systematic manner, the observations which he had made upon the development of civilized nations; 57 but Turgot was the first who enunciated it, supporting it by positive data (in his Discours en Sorbonne , and in his Essais de géographie politique ). 58 Condorcet, with some differences, amplified the ideas of Turgot. In Germany, Kant discovered civilization in the spread of human liberty; 59 Herder studied, somewhat vaguely perhaps, its natural elements; 60 the economist Storch undertook to propound the theory of it. 61 Although incomplete, and faulty in certain respects, this theory is still worthy of study. At a later period Guizot drew a picture of the progress of civilization in Europe, and especially in France: 62 but the insufficiency of his economic knowledge is seen in his work, which is otherwise one of the most remarkable of the French historical school. 63 Lastly, civilization has also had its fiction writers. Taking no account either of the nature of man, nor of the conditions of his development, as observation and experience reveal them to us; the socialists have built up imaginary civilizations, as false or incomplete as the data upon which they rest. 64 Observation, which is the first tool of civilization, is also the only tool we can use to recognize and describe it.





"Mode," DEP , T. 2, pp. 193-96.

Lalor: John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification. "Fashions, Political Economy of," pp. 161-64.



Fashion exercises considerable influence on a number of industries, particularly on those pertaining to clothing and lodging. Every change in fashion is a source of profit to some persons and of loss to others. A man who invents a new design or a new combination of colors in dry goods, or a new style of furniture or of a coat, and who succeeds in bringing his invention into fashion, may derive great profits from it, especially if his right to it is guaranteed him. 65 (See "Literary and Artistic Property.") 66 On the other hand, the individuals who possess a supply of articles which are out of fashion, experience a loss. It is the same with the manufacturers and workmen who devote themselves to the production of these articles, when the new fashion varies noticeably from the old.

"It is well known," said Malthus, "how subject particular manufactures are to fail, from the caprices of taste. The weavers of Spitalfields were plunged into the most severe distress by the fashion of muslins instead of silks; and great numbers of workmen in Sheffield and Birmingham were for a time thrown out of employment, owing to the adoption of shoe strings and covered buttons, instead of buckles and metal buttons" 67

Thousands of similar examples might be cited.

McCulloch finds in these disturbances occasioned by fashion an argument for the poor-tax.

"It may be observed," he says, "that owing to changes of fashion, … those engaged in manufacturing employments are necessarily exposed to many vicissitudes. And when their number is so very great as in this country [England], it is quite indispensable that a resource should be provided for their support in periods of adversity." 68

We do not wholly share the opinion of Mr. McCulloch on this subject. How, in fact, does fashion operate on certain industries and on certain classes of laborers? It acts as a risk . Now this risk, which may result in losses to the manufacturers and in stoppage of work to the workmen, must necessarily be covered, so that the profits of the one class and the wages of the other may be in just proportion to the average profits and wages in other branches of production. If it were otherwise, if the risk arising from the fluctuations of fashion were not completely covered, capital and labor would soon cease to be directed to branches of industry subject to this particular risk. Then, competition diminishing in these branches, profits and wages would not fail to increase until there was compensation for the risk. This being granted, suppose a law intervenes to guarantee to the workman a minimum amount of food during the time he is thrown out of employment in consequence of the variations of fashion; what will be the result? The risk arising from that cause being partially covered or compensated, the result will be that the wages of the workman will be lowered by an amount precisely equal to the risk covered, that is to say, by the amount of the tax. How then can the tax be an advantage to the workman, since it will not in reality have increased the amount of his resources? Doubtless the workman might have squandered his wages and have found himself destitute when the fashion changed, and the consequences of the risk fell upon him. The poor-tax is nothing but a compulsory savings bank, whose funds are levied from his wages, and on which he has the right to draw when out of employment. But must not a bank of this kind, by freeing the workman from the necessity of foreseeing the critical periods and providing for them, perpetuate his intellectual and moral inferiority? Is it not an insurance for which he pays too high a premium? (See "Wages" and the "Poor Tax.") 69

J. B. Say looked at the influence of fashion from a different point of view. According to that eminent economist, the frequency of changes in fashion occasions a ruinous waste.

"A nation and private individuals will give evidence of wisdom," he says, "if they will seek chiefly articles of slow consumption but in general use. The fashions of such articles will not be very changeable. Fashion has the privilege of spoiling things before they have lost their utility, often even before they have lost their freshness: it increases consumption, and condemns what is still excellent, comfortable and pretty, to being no longer good for anything. Consequently, a rapid succession of fashions impoverishes a state by the consumption it occasions and that which it arrests." 70

[Biddle translation]: A nation or an individual, will do wisely to direct consumption chiefly to those articles, that are the longest time in wearing out, and the most frequently in use. Good houses and furniture are, therefore, objects of judicious preference; for there are few products that take longer time to consume than a house, or that are of more frequent utility; in fact, the best part of one's life is passed in it. Frequent changes of fashion are unwise; for fashion takes upon itself to throw things away long before they have lost their utility, and sometimes before they have lost even the freshness of novelty, thus multiplying consumption exceedingly, and rejecting as good for nothing what is perhaps still useful, convenient, or even elegant. So that a rapid succession of fashions impoverishes a state, as well by the consumption it occasions, as by that which it arrests. 71

These words of M. Say are evidently most judicious but we need not because of them, or because of the above-quoted observation of Malthus, condemn fashion from an economic point of view; for if fashion causes a certain harm and certain disturbances, especially when its fluctuations are too frequent, in return, it is one of the prime movers of artistic and industrial progress. This will be apparent from a single hypothetical case.

Let us suppose that fashion should cease to exercise its influence; that the same taste and the same style should continue to prevail indefinitely, in respect to clothing, furniture, and dwellings will not this permanence of fashion give a mortal blow to artistic and industrial progress? Who, pray, will exercise his ingenuity to invent anything new in the line of clothing, furniture, or dwellings, if the consumers have a dread of change, if every modification of fashion is considered an outrage, or even forbidden by law? People, in that case, will always do the same things, and, in all likelihood, will always do them, besides, in the same manner. Let the taste of the consumers, on the other hand, be variable, and the spirit of invention, of improvement, will be powerfully stimulated. Every new combination adapted to please the taste of consumers becoming then a source of profit to the inventor, every one will exercise his ingenuity in devising something new, and the activity thus given to the spirit of invention will be most favorable to the development of industry and the fine arts. It will sometimes happen, doubtless, that ridiculous fashions will replace elegant ones; but under the influence of a desire for change, for flitting about like a butterfly , as a Fourierist would say, 72 which gives birth to fashion, this invasion of bad taste would be transient, and people would continually advance by improvement upon improvement.

On examining the influence which fashion exercises over the development of industry and the fine arts, one becomes convinced that the invigorating impulse which it gives to the spirit of invention and improvement more than compensates for any injury it causes. Besides, fashions have their life expectancy, whose average may be easily calculated, and which the experience of producers, since they do not have have a "table of mortality rates" prepared ad hoc , is skilled in estimating. Rarely does an intelligent manufacturer produce more of any design or shade than the consumption can absorb before this design or this shade is out of fashion; and if, perchance, his forecast has proved incorrect, if the fashion passes by sooner than he had foreseen, he easily finds some way of getting rid of the excess of his merchandise among the large class of consumers who are behind the times. A certain kind of fabric or a certain hat which has become out of date in Paris, may yet, after two or three years, delight the ladies of lower Brittany or of South America.

We have just pointed out the influence fashion has on production. Let us now consider briefly its characteristics and the causes which determine its variations. Fashion is not alone affected by the physical influence of the temperature of a country and the moral influence of the taste and character of the population, it is also largely subject to the influence of the social and economic organization. The institutions of a people are reflected in it as in a mirror. Consequently, in countries where the abuses of privilege and despotism permit a class considered to be superior to maintain their idleness at the expense of the rest of the nation, the fashions are commonly ostentatious and complicated. They are ostentatious, because those who are privileged feel the necessity of dazzling the multitude by the splendor of their external appearance, and of thus convincing them that they are made of superior clay: "from porcelain clay of earth," as the poet Dryden said. 73 The fashions are also complicated, because the privileged class have all the leisure necessary to devote a long time to their appearance, the sumptuousness of which serves, as has been said, to inspire in the vulgar an exalted idea of those who wear it. But let the condition of society be changed; let those who are privileged disappear; let the upper classes, henceforth subject to the law of competition, be obliged to employ their faculties in earning their living; we at once see fashions become simpler; and the embroidered coats, short clothes, dresses with trains or with paniers, in a word, all the magnificent and complicated apparel of aristocratic fashion are seen to disappear, to give place to attire easily adjustable and comfortable to wear.

In a witty pamphlet entitled England, Ireland and America, by a Manchester Manufacturer , 74 Richard Cobden pointed out, in 1835, with much acuteness and humor, the necessities which had operated within a half century to bring about this economic change of fashion. Mr. Cobden depicted the old London merchant with his magnificent costume and his formal manners, and showed how merciless competition caused the disappearance of this model of the good old times, to replace it with a modern type, with dress and habits infinitely more economical. 75

"Such of our readers," he says, "as remember the London tradesman of thirty years ago, will be able to call to mind the powdered wig and the queue, the precise shoes and buckles, and the unwrinkled silk hose and tight inexpressibles that characterized the shop-keeper of the old school. Whenever this stately personage walked abroad on matters of trade, however pressing or important, he never forgot for a moment the dignified step of his forefathers, while nothing gratified his self-complacency more than to take his gold-headed cane in hand, and, leaving his own shop all the while, to visit his poorer neighbors, and to show his authority by inquiring into their affairs, settling their disputes, and compelling them to be honest and to manage their establishments according to his plan. His business was conducted throughout upon the formal mode of his ancestors. His clerks, his shopmen and porters, all had their appointed costumes; and their intercourse with each other was disciplined according to established laws of etiquette. Every one had his especial department of duty, and the line of demarcation at the counter was marked out and observed with all the punctilio of neighboring but rival states. The shop of this trader of the old school retained all the peculiarities and inconveniences of former generations; its windows displayed no gaudy wares to lure the vulgar passer-by, and the panes of glass, inserted in ponderous wooden frames, were constructed exactly after the ancestral pattern…

The present age produced a new school of traders, whose first innovation was to cast off the wig, and cashier the barber with his pomatum-box, 76 by which step an hour was gained in the daily toilet. Their next change was, to discard the shoes and the tight unmentionables , whose complicated details of buckles and straps and whose close adjustment occupied another half hour, in favor of Wellingtons and pantaloons, which were whipped on in a trice, and gave freedom, though, perhaps, at the expense of dignity, to the personal movements during the day. Thus accoutered, these supple dealers whisked or flew, just as the momentary calls of business became more or less urgent; while so absorbed were they in their own interests that they scarcely knew the names of their nearest neighbors, nor cared whether they lived peaceably or not, so long as they did not come to break their windows.

Nor did the spirit of innovation end here; for the shops of this new race of dealers underwent as great a metamorphosis as their owners. While the internal economy of these was reformed with a view to give the utmost facility to the labor of the establishment, by dispensing with forms and tacitly agreeing even to suspend the ordinary deferences due to station, lest their observance might, however slightly, impede the business in hand; externally, the windows, which were constructed of plate glass, with elegant frames extending from the ground to the ceiling, were made to blaze with all the tempting finery of the day.

We all know the result that followed from this very unequal rivalry. One by one, the ancient and quiet followers of the habits of their ancestors yielded before the active competition of their more alert neighbors. Some few of the less bigoted disciples of he old school adopted the new-light system; but all who tried to stem the stream were overwhelmed; for with grief we add, that the very last of these very interesting specimens of olden time that survived, joining the two generations of London tradesmen whose shops used to gladden the soul of every Tory pedestrian in Fleet street , with its unreformed windows, has at length disappeared, having lately passed into the Gazette, that Schedule A of anti-reforming traders. 77 "

From this ingenious and clever sketch we can clearly see the necessity which determined the simplification of the fashions of the old régime. This necessity arose from the suppression of the ancient privileges which permitted a member of the corporate body of tradesmen, or a manufacturing mechanic who had attained the rank of master, to pass his time attending to his appearance, or to meddle in the quarrels of his neighbors, instead of giving his attention to his own business: it arose from the extensive growth of competition, which obliged every merchant, every manufacturer, every head of a business enterprise, to take into account the value of time, under penalty of seeing his name finally inscribed under the fatal heading of a bankrupt . A régime of competition does not permit the same fashions as a régime of privilege; and fashion is as sensitive to modifications arising from the interior economy of society as it is to changes of temperature.

This being so, it is obvious that it is wrong for a government to attempt to influence fashion by obliging, for example, its servants to wear sumptuous and elaborate apparel. In fact, one of two results follow. Either the state of society is such that the ruling classes 78 find it to their advantage to display a certain ostentation in their dress; and in this case it is useless to impose it on them, or even to recommend it to them. Or the state of society is such that people in all ranks of society have something better to do than to spend a long time over their appearance and dress: in this case, what good can result from the intervention of government in matters of fashion? If sumptuousness of attire becomes general, if men accustom themselves to spending part of their time to their way of dressing which is demanded by their business affairs, will not society suffer harm? If, on the contrary, the example given above is not followed, if the magnificence of the costumes of the court and the ante-chamber is not imitated, will not this display form a shocking disharmony in the business world? 79 Will it not produce an impression analogous to that one receives from a masquerade? A government should then carefully avoid interference in this matter, even if it means encouraging lace trimming and embroidery within the nation. It should follow fashions, not guide them.

To recapitulate: Fashion, looked at from an economic point of view, exercises on the improvement of production an influence whose utility more than compensates for the damage which may result from its fluctuations. On the other hand, it is naturally established and modified by various causes, among which economic causes hold an important place. When people do not understand the necessities which determine its changes, they establish artificial fashions, which have the double disadvantage of being anti-economic and ridiculous.



Fine Arts


"Beaux-arts," DEP , T. 1, pp. 149-57.

Lalor: John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification. "Fine Arts," Vol. 2, pp. 206-11.



The taste for the beautiful, that is to say, the need felt for a certain order and a certain harmony in things which affect the senses and the mind, either in sound, color, form, or movement, gave birth to the fine arts. To arrange sounds, forms, colors, or movements in a manner which shall produce an agreeable impression upon the senses or the mind, is the object of the musician, the painter, the architect, the sculptor, the poet, or, to use a general term, of the artist. In the specialist dictionaries the domain of the fine arts is commonly restricted to painting, sculpture, architecture, and music. Some even give the name of art only to the imitation by mechanical means of all forms in their highest degree of natural or ideal beauty. This is what the Germans call plastic art. This word embraces only such arts as drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture, together with engraving and mosaic work. 80 But this definition is obviously too narrow. When a musician or a dancer awakens in the mind a sense of the beautiful, the one by harmonious cadences, the other by graceful and expressive movements, they are artists in the same sense that the painter, the sculptor, or the architect is. It is of little importance what may be the material or the instrument which the artist employs to operate upon the senses and the mind, provided he succeeds in pleasing them. The fine arts might, therefore, be defined in a general manner as any application of human labor to the production of the beautiful .

The fine arts are found among all nations, even the most barbarous, but they are more or less perfect, more or less developed, according to the state of civilization and the peculiar aptitudes of the people. The Greeks seem to have possessed in the highest degree the taste for the beautiful, and the faculties necessary to satisfy this elevated need of the senses and the mind. Hence Greece was for a long time a wonderful studio, in which painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, and poets vied with each other in ministering to the ruling passion of an artistic people. Other nations, like the ancient Mexicans, seem to have been entirely destitute of the feeling of the beautiful. The forms of the Grecian statues and monuments are as beautiful as those of the Mexican statues and monuments are hideous.

Man could make no great advance in the fine arts until after his more pressing needs were satisfied. Music and dancing probably were the first. Although the art of the architect and the sculptor could not be developed before the trade of the mason or the stone-worker, man needed only the graceful play of the limbs to invent dancing, and the free use of his voice or to dare blowing into a reed to invent music.

In his little known essay "Of the Nature of that Imitation which takes place in what are called the Imitative Arts," Adam Smith devotes himself to making some ingenious conjectures concerning the origin of music, danse, and poetry, and also in what way the first steps of progress in these different arts had to have taken place: 81

After the pleasures which arise from the gratification of the bodily appetites, there seem to be none more natural to man than Music and Dancing. In the progress of art and improvement they are, perhaps, the first and earliest pleasures of his own invention; for those which arise from the gratification of the bodily appetites cannot be said to be his own invention. No nation has yet been discovered so uncivilized as to be altogether without them. It seems even to be amongst the most barbarous nations that the use and practice of them is both most frequent and most universal, as among the negroes of Africa and the savage tribes of America. In civilized nations, the inferior ranks of people have very little leisure, and the superior ranks have many other amusements; neither the one nor the other, therefore, can spend much of their time in Music and Dancing. Among savage nations, the great body of the people have frequently great intervals of leisure, and they have scarce any other amusement; they naturally, therefore, spend a great part of their time in almost the only one they have.

What the ancients called Rhythmus, what we call Time or Measure, is the connecting principle of those two arts; Music consisting in a succession of a certain sort of sounds, and Dancing in a succession of a certain sort of steps, gestures, and motions, regulated according to time or measure, and thereby formed into a sort of whole or system; which in the one art is called a song or tune, and in the other a dance; the time or measure of the dance corresponding always exactly with that of the song or tune which accompanies and directs it.

The human voice, as it is always the best, so it would naturally be the first and earliest of all musical instruments: in singing, or in its first attempts towards singing, it would naturally employ sounds as similar as possible to those which it had been accustomed to; that is, it would employ words of some kind or other, pronouncing them only in time and measure, and generally with a more melodious tone than had been usual in common conversation. Those words, however, might not, and probably would not, for a long time have any meaning, but might resemble the syllables which we make use of in fol-faing , or the [416] derry-down-down of our common ballads; and serve only to assist the voice in forming sounds proper to be modulated into melody, and to be lengthened or shortened according to the time and measure of the tune. This rude form of vocal Music, as it is by far the most simple and obvious, so it naturally would be the first and earliest.

In the succession of ages it could not fail to occur, that in room of those unmeaning or musical words, if I may call them so, might be substituted words which expressed some sense or meaning, and of which the pronunciation might coincide as exactly with the time and measure of the tune, as that of the musical words had done before. Hence the origin of Verse or Poetry.

It was possible to develop painting, sculpture, and, above all, architecture, only by the aid of technology. The trade of building must necessarily have preceded architecture. It was the latter's mission to give to each individual edifice the kind of beauty appropriate to its purpose and to local exigencies. In architecture, as in literature, the same style would not apply equally well to all kinds of work. The architect is bound to give, for example, a religious character to a church, a secular character to be theatre or ball room. The Gothic style up to the present time seems to be that which is most appropriate to the manifestation of religious sentiment. In the Gothic cathedral, the ethereal height of the arches, the vast depth of the nave, and the mysterious subdued light from the windows, join with the profound and solemn accents of the Gregorian chant and the grave and majestic tones of the organ, in awakening the sentiment of veneration. The colorful style of the renaissance is better calculated to excite mundane and worldly thoughts. Hence it is the one chosen for theatres and ball rooms.

The original propensities of nations have naturally exercised a great influence upon the development of the fine arts. Only a religious and melancholy people could have invented Gothic architecture. In Greek architecture is found that exquisite elegance which marked all the customs as well as all the works of the privileged Hellenic race. The affected and bizarre customs of the Chinese are also found reflected in their architecture as well as in their dress.

The necessities of climate and the configuration of the ground have exercised a great influence upon the development of architecture, and they have often determined the character of it. Necessities of another order have also operated upon the development of architecture and other arts.

Throughout all antiquity is seen the influence which the fine arts exercised over the mind. For a long time they were considered as an instrumentum regni (tool of the king), as a means of appealing to and mastering the imagination by terror or respect. The gigantic constructions of the Assyrians and Egyptians, constructions the utility of which we vainly endeavor to discover to-day, had perhaps no other object. These exterior signs of power were then necessary to make a simple-minded people accept the absolute dominion of a race or caste. Those who claimed to be the representatives of divinity upon earth were obliged to show themselves superior to other men, in everything that was considered to be a manifestation of strength or majesty. The co-operation of the fine arts was indispensable to the display of their power. They needed them to construct their temples and palaces, to ornament them with magnificent decorations, and to fashion their garments and their arms. Architects, painters, sculptors, musicians, and poets were no less necessary to them than soldiers and priests in sustaining the imperfect and vicious structure of their dominion. Hence the particular care which governments in all ages have given to the development of the fine arts, and the ostentatious protection which they have accorded them, very frequently to the great detriment of other branches of production.

Although, in the past, the fine arts were powerful auxiliaries of politics and religion, fortunately, as nations have developed intellectually and morally as their minds and sentiments have broadened and become refined, this display has exercised less influence over the minds of the people, and the fine arts have lost their political and religious importance. The taste for the beautiful has ceased little by little to be used as an instrument of domination.

Economists have asked themselves two main questions on the subject of the fine arts. They have inquired, first, whether the fine arts are a kind of national wealth and second, whether the intervention of the government to [208] protect them is necessary.

Do the products of the fine arts constitute a kind of wealth? As regards all that concerns architecture, painting, and sculpture, there can be no doubt as to the answer. A building, a statue, and a picture are material riches, the accumulation of which evidently augments the capital of a nation. But can as much be said of the products of music and dancing? Can the talent of the musician and the dancer be regarded as productive? Adam Smith says, no; J. B. Say and Dunoyer 82 say, yes. According to Smith's doctrine, the name "products" can not be given to things which are consumed at the very moment of their creation. To which J. B. Say answers, and rightly, as we think: 83

If we descend to things of pure enjoyment, we can not deny that the representation of a good comedy gives as much pleasure as a box of bonbons or an exhibition of fire-works. I do not consider it reasonable to claim that the painter's talent is productive, and that the musician's is not so.

[Biddle trans.]: To descend to items of pure amusement, it cannot be denied, that the representation of a good comedy gives as solid a pleasure as a box of comfits, or a discharge of fire-works, which are products, even within Smith's definition. Nor can I discover any sound reason, why the talent of the painter should be deemed productive, and not the talent of the musician. 84

But although J. B. Say recognizes the musician's talent as productive, he does not admit that its products can contribute to the increase of a nation's capital. He states his reasons for this opinion as follows: 85

It results from the very nature of immaterial products that there is no way to accumulate them, and that they can not serve to augment the national capital. A nation which contains a great number of musicians, of priests and of clerks, might be a nation well endowed as to amusements and doctrines, and admirably well administered, but its capital would not receive from all the work of these men any increase, because their products would be consumed as fast as they were created.

[Biddle trans]: The nature of immaterial products makes it impossible ever to accumulate them, so as to render them a part of the national capital. A people containing a host of musicians, priests, and public functionaries might be abundantly amused, well versed in religious doctrines, and admirably governed; but that is all. Its capital would receive no direct accession from the total labour of all these individuals, though industrious enough in their respective vocations, because their products would be consumed as fast as produced. 86

But does it follow, because a product, material or nonmaterial, is consumed immediately after having been created, that it does not increase the capital of a nation? May it not increase, if not its external capital, at least its internal capital, or, to make use of Storch's expression, 87 the capital of its physical, intellectual, and moral faculties? Would a population deprived of the services of clergymen, administrators, musicians, and poets, a population, consequently, to which religious, political and artistic education was wanting, be worth as much as one sufficiently provided with those different services? Would not man, considered at the same tme as capital and as an agent of production, be worth less under the former circumstances than under the latter?

In his work, De la liberté du travail , M. Charles Dunoyer has completely demonstrated that the consumption of the material or non-material products of the fine arts develops in man valuable and essential faculties; 88 whence it results that artistic products of the fine arts develops in man valuable faculties; whence it results that artistic production, material or non-material, cannot be considered unproductive.

Let us complete this demonstration of the productiveness of the fine arts by means of a simple hypothesis. Suppose her musicians and singers were taken away from Italy, would she not be deprived of a kind of wealth, even if these artists were replaced by an equal number of laborers, carpenters, and blacksmiths? Italy profits by the work of her musicians and her singers as absolutely as she does from the products of agriculture or of manufacturing industry. 89 In the first place she consumes a part of it herself, and this consumption serves to educate the Italian people by developing their minds, by refining and polishing their manners. Then, another part of the products of the fine arts, of which Italy is the nursery, is exported each year. Italy supplies a great number of foreign theatres with its composers, its musicians, and its singers. In exchange for their non-material products, these art-workers receive other products purely material, a part of which they commonly bring back to their own country. What laborer, for instance, would have added so much as Rossini to the wealth of Italy? What seamstress or dressmaker, however capable or industrious, would have been worth as much as Catalani 90 or Pasta 91 from the same point of view? The production of the fine arts can not then be considered unproductive for Italy.

The fine arts, then, can contribute directly to increase the capital of a nation, whether material capital or non-material capital, which resides in the physical, moral, and intellectual faculties of the population. They are in consequence productive in the same degree and in the same sense that all the other branches of human work are.

Artistic production also, like all others, is effected by previous accumulation, the co-operation of capital and labor. In this respect artistic production offers no particular point of interest, except that it gives birth more frequently than any other kind of production, agricultural industry excepted, to natural monopolies . Great artists possess a natural monopoly, in this sense, that the competition among them is not sufficient to limit the price of their work to the level of what is strictly necessary for them to execute it. Jenny Lind 92 possessed a natural monopoly, for the remuneration which she obtained on account of the rarity of her voice, was very disproportionate to what was strictly necessary for her to exercise her profession of a singer. The difference forms a kind of rent , of the same nature exactly as rent derived from land. 93 If nature and art had produced a thousand Jenny Linds, instead of producing but one, it is evident that the monopoly which she enjoyed would not have existed, or that it would have been infinitely less productive. Painters, sculptors, and architects possess in their reputation a still more extensive monopoly, for it exists and is principally developed after their death. The value of this monopoly depends upon the merit of the artist and upon the quantity of his works. According as the number of works produced by a painter or sculptor is more or less considerable, the price of each one is more or less high. Where the merit is equal, the pictures or statues of the masters who produced the least have a greater pecuniary value than those of the masters whose productions are numerous. Thus, for example, an ordinary picture by the Dutch painter, Hobbema, 94 commonly sells for more than an ordinary picture by Rubens, 95 although Hobbema does not rank so high in art as Rubens. But the former produced only a small number of pictures, while the latter left an enormous number of works. Supposing, also, that the pictures of Ingres 96 and Horace Vernet 97 were equally prized by amateurs, the former would always have a higher monetary value to the latter, simply because they are rarer . The differences in the price of objects of art, and the variations which their value in exchange undergoes, notably when fashion takes up again a style which it had abandoned, are curious to study; some valuable ideas are found here in regard to the influence which the fluctuations of demand and supply exercise upon prices, also some interesting information as to the origin, progress, and end of natural monopolies.

After having examined the question of the productiveness of the fine arts, we must now see if this kind of production should be specially directed and encouraged by the government, or should be abandoned to the free action of individuals, like all other kinds of production.

The Egyptians and almost all the nations of antiquity condemned to slavery their prisoners of war, and sometimes entire nations whom they had subjugated. They employed these slaves to construct their monuments. We know that the Israelites helped to build the pyramids. But the Egyptian monuments are more remarkable for their gigantic proportions than for their beauty. It is plain that the object of the people, or rather of the caste which instructed them, was to inspire the mind with awe rather than to charm it. In Greece the products of the fine arts have quite a different character. They bear above all the imprint of liberty. Greek art was not subject to a government or a caste. The greatest number of Greek monuments were built by means of voluntary contributions. The famous temple of Diana at Ephesus, for instance, was erected by the aid of contributions from the republics and kings of Asia, as later was St. Peter's at Rome in part by the money of Christendom. When Erostratus reduced it to ashes, a new subscription was made to rebuild it. All the citizens of Ephesus considered it an honor to contribute. The women even sacrificed their jewels. 98 At Delphos, also, the temple was rebuilt, after a fire, at the public expense. The architect, Spantharus of Corinth, was engaged to complete it, for the sum of 300 talents. Three-fourths of this sum was furnished by the different cities of Greece, and the other fourth by the inhabitants of Delphos, who collected money even in the most distant countries to aid in completing their quota. A certain Athenian added a sum of money for the decorations, which were not included in the original plan. The greater part of the ornaments of the temple were offerings from the cities of Greece or from private citizens. Thirteen statues by Phidias were a gift from the Athenians. These statues were the result of a tenth part of the plunder taken by the Athenians from the plains of Marathon. A great number of other objects of art commemorated the victories of the different peoples of Greece in their intestine wars. 99

A part of the revenue of the Greek temples was applied to the support of the priests, and another part to the support and decoration of the buildings. The priests made the greatest sacrifices to ornament the dwelling place of the gods, and these sacrifices were rarely unproductive, for in Greece, as elsewhere, the best lodged gods were always those which brought in the most revenue. The fine arts were also nurtured by the rivalries of the small states, into which Greek territory was divided, as to which should have the finest temples, statues, and pictures. This competition, pushed to excess gave rise to more than one abuse. Thus it was agreed, after the invasion of the Persians, that henceforth a contribution should be levied upon Greece to defray the common expenses, and that the Athenians should be made the holders of it. Pericles did not hesitate to divert these funds from their proper destination, and employ them for the decoration of Athens. Such an odious abuse of confidence aroused the indignation of all Greece against the Athenians, and was one of the principal causes of the Peloponnesian war.

The Romans, less happily endowed than the Greeks, from an artistic point of view, did not make such considerable sacrifices for the encouragement of the fine arts. At Rome, as in Egypt, the arts were chiefly employed to display to the conquered nations the power and majesty of the sovereign people. The construction of monuments of the arts was still among the Romans a means of keeping their troops in habits of work and of occupying their slaves. The taste for the beautiful did not enter much into these enterprises, and art naturally felt the effects of this. Still, under Augustus, there was at Rome a great artistic movement, a movement which was due in great part to the development of communication between Rome and Greece. Augustus had built the portico of Octavia, the temple of Mars Ultor, the temple of Apollo, the new Forum, and many other monuments of less importance. His friends, L. Cornificius, Asinius Pollion, Marcius Philippus, Cornclius Balbus, and his son-in-law Agrippa, erected at their own expense a great number of monuments. Attributing to himself, as is common among sovereigns, all the merit of the advance which the arts had made under his reign, Augustus said, some time before his death: "I found Rome a city of clay bricks, and left it a city of marble." 100 At Rome, as in Greece, the statues were innumerable. The greater part of the chief citizens erected statues to themselves at their own expense. The censors endeavored to deprive them of this trifling satisfaction, by forbidding the erection of statues at Rome without their permission. But as this prohibition did not extend to the statues which decorated country houses, the rich citizens evaded the ordinance of the censors, by multiplying their effigies in their splendid villas.

At the time of the downfall of the Roman empire, the barbarians destroyed with stupid rage the finest masterpieces of ancient art. The fine arts then disappeared with the temporary eclipse of civilization. But they soon sprang up again, thanks to the expansion of the religious sentiment supported by municipal liberties. Gothic art owes its birth and progress to the Christian sentiment developed in the emancipated communes of the middle age. A fact which is generally ignored is, that the expense of constructing the greater number of the magnificent cathedrals which adorn European cities, was in great part defrayed by voluntary contributions of residents of the city, nobles, bourgeois, or simple journeymen. Nothing is more interesting, even from the simple economic point of view, than the history of these wonders of Gothic art. At a time when poverty was universal, nothing but religious enthusiasm could have made people decide to impose upon themselves the necessary sacrifices for their erection. And nothing was neglected to rouse and excite this enthusiasm. The bishop and the priests furnished an example by sacrificing a part of their revenues to aid in constructing the cathedral; indulgences without end were promised to those who contributed to the holy work, either by their time or their money. When there was need of it, miracles happened to animate the languishing zeal of the faithful. By casting a glance over the history of the principal cathedrals, one will be convinced that diplomatic skill was no less needed than artistic genius to bring those great religious enterprises to fruition. At Orléans, for instance, Saint Euverte 101 having undertaken the construction of the first cathedral in the fourth century, an angel revealed to this pious bishop the very place where it should be built. In digging the foundations of the building the workmen found a considerable amount of treasure; and the very day of the consecration of the church, at the moment when Saint Euverte was celebrating mass, a dazzling cloud appeared above his head, and from this cloud issued forth a hand, which blessed three times the temple, the clergy, and the assembled people! This miracle converted more than seven thousand pagans, and gave a great reputation to the church of Orléans.

At Chartres, Bishop Fulbert 102 devoted in the first place three years' income and the income from the abbey, to the construction of the cathedral; afterward he bequeathed a considerable sum to continue the work. The pious Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, was associated with him in his work, and gave the greater part of the lead roofing of the cathedral. A physician of Henry I. built at his own expense one of the lateral portals. Those who had no money donated their work.

Artisans from all professions voluntarily offered their services as workers in this enterprise which had been blessed by heaven. A large number of the inhabitants of Rouen and others dioceses in Normandy, equipped with the blessing of their archbishop or bishop, came to join these workers. The band of pilgrims choose a leader from among selves who allocated to each person the job that he had to carry out. The works was carried out with reverence, and during the night altar candles were placed on the wagons around the church and they stayed awake by singing hymns.

At Strasburg, great indulgences were promised to the faithful who would contribute to the building of the cathedral. Gifts flowed in from all parts. Still the construction of that magnificent cathedral lasted for nearly four centuries. Commenced in the twelfth century, it was not finished till the fifteenth. The construction of the cathedral gave a great reputation to the stone-workers of Strasburg. These workmen, who furnished the greatest architects of the time, formed in the German empire, as well as in France, a body distinct from that of ordinary masons. Up to the time of the French revolution, they continued to be in charge of the repair and preservation of the Strasburg cathedral. 103

The cathedrals of Europe, therefore, the most magnificent and most original monuments which it possesses, are due, in a great part, to the zeal and the faith of individuals. Sometimes, doubtless, this faith and zeal were excited by pious frauds; 104 sometimes also the pride of the bourgeois and the workmen were appealed to, to induce them to construct a more spacious and more beautiful cathedral than that of a neighboring and rival city; but in general no recourse was had to coercive measures; there was no levying of taxes to be specially devoted to the construction of churches, the sacrifices which the clergy generously imposed upon themselves and the voluntary gifts of the faithful were sufficient, and assured the multiplication of masterpieces of the Gothic art in an age of universal misery and barbarism.

In Italy the constitution of a multitude of small municipal republics was especially favorable to the development of the fine arts. Rivals in commerce, the Italian republics were also rivals in the arts. The rich merchants of Genoa, of Pisa, of Florence, and of Venice made it a point of honor to protect the arts and to endow their cities with magnificent monuments. This spirit of emulation seized the popes, and Rome disputed with Florence for the great artists of Italy. The basilica of St. Peter's was commenced; but as the ordinary resources of the papacy were insufficient to complete this immense enterprise, recourse was had to a special issue of indulgences; unfortunately this particular kind of paper, having been made too common, depreciated in value, and ended by being refused in a great number of Christian countries. So the gigantic basilica was never completely finished. With the political and commercial decline of the republics, which spread like a network over Italian soil, commenced that of the fine arts in Italy. The encouragement of despotism was never able to restore them to the splendor which they had in the time of the municipal republics of the middle ages and of the renaissance.

In France, Louis XIV, thought that in his own interests it was his duty to protect the arts. So prompted by the great king, Colbert 105 founded the Academy of Fine Arts. 106 Unfortunately, the great king and his minister did not continue to support this innovation. Louis XIV. spent enormous sums upon his royal dwellings. Under his reign the fine arts became the auxiliaries of war in crushing other nations.

In his learned Histoire de la vie et de l'administration de Colbert , M. Pierre Clément 107 estimated at 165,000,000 livres in the money of the period, the sums which Louis XIV. spent on buildings, and in the encouragement of the fine arts and manufactures. The details are as follows:

Total expense of Versailles: Churches, Trianon, Clagny, St. Cyr: the Marly machine; the river Eure; Noisv and Molineaux 81,151,414
Pictures, stuffs, silverware, antiques 6,386,674
Furniture and other expenses 13,000,000
Chapel (constructed 1699-1710) 3,260,241
Other expenses of all kinds 13,000,000
Total for Versailles and surroundings 116,796,429
Saint Germain 6,455,561
Marly (not including the machine which figures in the Versailles item) 4,501,279
Fontainebleau 2,773,746
Chambord 1,225,701
Louvre and Tuileries 10,608,969
Arch of Triumph of St. Antoine (demolished in 1716) 513,755
Observatory of Paris (constructed 1667-72) 725,174
Royal Hotel and Church of the Invalides 1,710,332
Place Royal of the Hotel Vendôme 2,062,699
The Val-de-Gràce 3,000,000
Annunciades of Meulan 88,412
Canal of the two seas (not including what was furnished by the estates of Languedoc) 7,736,555
Manufactories of Gobelins and Savonnerie 3,645,943
Manufactories established in many cities 1,707,990
Pensions and gratuities to men of letters 1,979,970
[sub total added by me] 48,736,086
[Grand total added by me] 165,532,515
Grand total 165,534,515

"By taking as a base, adds M. Clément, the mean value of the mark of silver in Louis XIV's time and in 1846, we shall find that the approximate value of the above is about 350,000,000 francs. But when we remember the wonders of Versailles alone, it is probable that all the buildings of Louis XIV., if executed in our day, would cost not far from a billion." 108

Still these ostentatious expenditures contributed in no way to the progress of the fine arts. Under Louis XIV. art was only a reminder of antiquity or of the renaissance. In the eighteenth century, taste in art, fettered by the immutable rules of the state-subsidized academies, became more and more corrupt. The revolution destroyed official protection, but it was wrong in not stopping there; the vandals of that time placed their sacrilegious hands upon the masterpieces of the past, as if they were suspected of royalism. On the other hand, the ridiculous imitations were reproduced no less ridiculously in the arts. To the corrupt taste of Watteau, Boucher and Vanloo, succeeded the false taste of the school of David. 109 Napoleon did not fail to re-establish official protection. "I wish," he wrote to his minister of the interior, Count Cretet, "I wish the fine arts to flourish in my empire." But the fine arts did not hasten to obey the injunction of the despot, and the imperial epoch was anything but artistic. 110

Since this time we haven't stopped officially protecting the arts in France. Here is what their budget was in 1849: 111

French Académie in Rome 122,000
Special School of Beaux-Arts in Paris 109,000
Conservatory of Music and Drama 165,500
Churches in Lille and Toulouse 6,000
Free Schools of Design 54,800
National Museums (personnel) 158, 700
Id. (physical) 151,700
Works of Art and the Decoration of Public Buildings 900,000
Acquisition of Paintings for the Louvre 50,000
Preservation of Ancient Historical Monuments 745,000
Subsidies and Subscriptions 186,000
Annual Payments and Support given to artists, playwrights, composers, and to their widows 37,700
Subsidies to the National Theatres 1,474,000
[my total - total in DEP is incorrect] 4,001,700
Total 4,260,100

The administration of Beaux-Arts depends upon the budget of the Ministry of the Interior. 112 It is made up of one division whose Director is specially charged with the task of "making art flourish in France," to use the expression of Napoléon. In the budget for the support of religion there are still some paragraphs which more or less directly concern the Beaux-Arts. This is what we find for 1849:

For the maintenance and large-scale repair of diocesan buildings 1,700,000
Support for acquisitions or works concerning churches and presbyteries 1,000,000
Restoration of the Cathedral of Paris 550,000
Extraordinary work on diocesan buildings, churches, temples, And presbyteries 1,000,000
[my total] 4,250,000
Total 4,250,000

Outside of the ordinary budget there are frequent votes for allocation of monies to build or finish buildings which are called "national," whether they are at the expense of the state or the municipal budgets. To cite some figures, the following "extraordinary" amounts have been set aside: 10 million to the construction of the Arc-de-Triomphe de l'Étoile; 11 million 500 thousand to the Palace of the Council of State, 7 million 500 thousand to the Stock Exchange, 113 13 million 400 thousand francs for the Church of Madeleine, and 2 million for the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette.

The grants that the French government gives to the Beaux-Arts is therefore quite considerable. At least if it contributes to making them progress! But in France like everywhere else, progress in the arts is almost always achieved outside of the sphere of government. Among the paintings ordered by the government over the past 20 years can one cite a single work "outside the norm"? Historical and religious genres which are particularly protected have reached a state of complete decadence. Paintings of the countryside, of interiors, the actual genres which the public alone supports by buying them, is progressing. Similarly, if the construction of public buildings leaves much to be desired, that of individual homes has made considerable progress in terms of elegance and comfort. Furthermore one can perfectly explain why the government is not suited to protecting the Beaux-Arts. The government as protector of the arts is personified by the nature of administration and in how one becomes a minister. Administration is routine by its very nature; a minister, usually a former lawyer, professor, or journalist, in taking possession of his portfolio does not inevitably acquire the taste of a Mécène 114 or a Medici. Besides, he has many other concerns to attend to: he has to correspond with the Prefects; to instruct the Mayors of towns, to direct the police (gendarmerie), and to defend the policies of the government in the Chamber. He lacks the time to direct or supervise the use of the funds granted to support the Beaux-Arts. He is forced to leave this task up to his subordinates who are no more accountable than he himself is for the good use of these grants. Should one be surprised after all this, if the support funds which were so painfully snatched from the tax-payers now serve rather to feed bureaucratic intrigue and savoir-faire than to encourage artistic merit and knowledge? 115

The establishment of a university subsidized by the Beaux-Arts administration again has had the result of perpetuating classical habits of thinking and in provoking an often exaggerated and eccentric reaction against these habits. The celebrated "war of the classics and the romantics" had its main cause in the protection which the government gave to the classics. The latter wanted to preserve at all costs the imitation of the Greek or Roman style, by stating that if one went beyond this one would fall into the most dreadful anarchy. Their adversaries wished on the contrary to innovate at any price, and it didn't matter in what way since one had to replace the imitation of antiquity with that of the middle ages or the Renaissance: in the presence of the classical "conservatives," they (the romantics) stood in quite well for the "socialists." But if the government had not taken upon itself to artificially support the old classical habits, if education and the practice of the Beaux-Arts had been completely left to individuals to face the costs and risks, isn't it likely that the errors of the past would have been more quickly rectified and that the protest of Romanticism would have been less violent, and less muddled. Without the abuses and habits of our economic and administrative régime, wouldn't we have seen socialism disappear? Government protection has thus been damaging to the arts in the same way. We have no need to add that it has been even more damaging to the public treasury: we pay first of all for the education and support of artists; then we pay for the buildings erected by them, and these buildings reproduced in the Greek and Roman style, these buildings whose style and layout suit neither the requirements of their particular specification, nor the demands of the climate, have not failed to be very uncomfortable and to be very expensive.

"Architecture," says M. Horace Say who has seen close up the abuses of this branch of the university and protectionist régime, "is taught at Paris at the School of Fine Arts. In order to gain admission to this school it is necessary to have made a beautiful drawing; anything beyond this is considered to be a very little use. In order to graduate with honors it is necessary to have made an even more beautiful drawing, and thereby to get to be sent at government expense to the School which France runs in Rome. Having arrived under the beautiful sky of Italy, the pupil of architecture, the comrade of the painter, the sculptor, and the musician, feels his imagination blossoming: he grabs his paintbrush; his watercolors take on more vigor; he makes his skies azure blue and reproduces all the ruins he sees. Having reached the age of maturity he finally returns to France. He has especially familiarized himself with the practices of a world which no longer exists but he knows little of the needs of our own time, very little of mathematics, less still of physics, chemistry, mechanics; he has given little thought to how to calculate the forces, measure the weights, or the strength of building materials; and has no idea of the use of wood or iron which has become the common practice in Germany and England, any more than the methods used in Prussia and Russia to properly seal doors and to make homes warm.

The artistic student of architecture, after having thus fulfilled the intentions of the government which has watched over his education and which has demanded of him nothing more than what he has done, looks for a way to create a name for himself through his work, by giving everything he makes the cachet that he has unlocked the secret of architecture by contemplating Greek and Roman ruins. In his turn he wishes to gain entry to the Academy and access to it is made easy by the camaraderie of the School of Rome. While waiting for this appointment he gets all the goodwill of the administration of the office of Beaux-Arts in the Ministry of the Interior. He becomes a member of the Council of Civil Buildings, and from then on he can contribute to stopping by his veto any useful project which deviates from what he considers to be the classical rules of architecture. We know that the tutelage which is imposed on the Communes requires that they cannot erect any kind of structure without having got their plans previously approved by the Minister. Now, the Minister only gives his approval after having received the advice of the Council of Civil Buildings, and the classical school of architecture, which generally provides quite poor plans and very incomplete projects, is thus yet again in a position to get rejected everything which does come from them or which is theirs." 116

Thus one can see that a monopoly in matters relating to the arts is not worth any more than one relating to matters in industry or commerce.

It is a common opinion 117 that modern civilization is not favorable to the progress of the fine arts. As proof in support of this opinion, are cited the English and Americans, who, at the head of industrial civilization, are in a state of inferiority from an artistic point of view. But it is forgotten that all nations are not endowed with all aptitudes, any more than all soils are provided with fertility of all kinds. While certain northern nations obtained as their heritage industrial genius, artistic aptitudes fell to the lot of the southern nations. Certain nations have been for centuries the workshops of the fine arts, as others have been the workshops of manufacturing industry. As international exchange becomes more developed, this division of labor will be more marked, and it will facilitate more and more the progress of the fine arts as well as that of the industrial arts. 118 The progress of the arts will be accelerated also by the spread of comfort, which will increase their market, and by the progress of industry, which will place new materials and new tools at their disposal. Fewer palaces, perhaps, will be built, fewer battle pieces painted than in the past, but railway stations and palaces for industrial expositions will be constructed; 119 the splendid and grand landscapes of the new world, which steamships render more and more accessible to European artists, will be painted; and statues will be erected to useful men instead of to conquerors. On the other hand, the use of light materials, of iron and glass for example, renders possible to-day artistic combinations unknown to the ancients. The employment of new tools, invented or perfected by industry, will give birth to progress in other ways. Has not the multiplication of musical instruments already given an immense impetus to instrumental music? 120 In an artistic sense, as in all others, modern civilization is probably destined to surpass ancient civilization. But if liberty was the essential condition of the progress of the arts in the past, it will be no less so in the future. Like all other branches of production, and more still because of the character of spontaneity which is peculiar to them, and which has given to them the name of liberal arts , the fine arts will progress the more rapidly the sooner they are freed from all protection and all shackles.



Freedom Of Commerce and Free Trade


"Liberté du commerce, liberté des échanges," DEP , T. 2, pp. 49-63.

John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol. 3 Oath - Zollverein. "Protection," pp. 413-23.

Editor's Note

Lalor omitted the first part of Molinari's article "Ses bases naturelles" (Its Foundation in Nature) where he discusses how trade and exchange is an inherent part of human nature (both theoretically and historically), how once exchange between individuals takes place it is soon followed by the practice of the division of labour both domestically and internationally, which results in massive increases in human productivity and wealth. This introductory section has been translated by us and included where it belongs in Molinari's original article. The long Bibliography of American works which Lalor added has been cut for reasons of space.


I. Its Foundation in Nature.

If there is any principle which is solidly supported by the evidence it is assuredly that of free trade. 121 In order to be convinced of this it is sufficient to cast one's eye over the nature of man and the environment in which he is found.

Man has physical, intellectual, and moral needs, the satisfaction of which is necessary for the maintenance of his existence and the improvement of his being. He has to feed, clothe, and house himself under the threat of dying; he has to develop his mind and his soul, under the threat of living simply the life of an animal.

To acquire these necessities for his existence, man has at his disposal a part of creation, and he is equipped with faculties with whose assistance he can extract from the environment in which he lives all the elements needed for his material and moral subsistance. The earth with its countless varieties of minerals, plant and animal life, its oceans, its mountains, its fertile soil, the atmosphere which surrounds it, the steady stream of warmth and light which feed the life on its surface, here is the bounty which Providence has put in the service of humanity. However, neither the various elements which make up the natural bounty of subsistence, nor the faculties which mankind has at his disposal to make use of them, have been distributed in an equal and uniform manner. Each region of the globe has its own particular geological make up: here lies immense strata of coal deposits, iron ore, lead, copper; there lie gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones. There is the same diversity in the distribution of plant and animal species: the sun, which warms and lights up the earth unequally, which gives warmth and light lavishly to certain regions, while at the same time leaves others in the freezing cold and darkness, marks out for each species the boundaries of its existence which it cannot escape. Furthermore, there is the same diversity in distribution of human abilities. A brief examination is sufficient to show that all nations have not been endowed with the same aptitudes, that the French, the English, the Italians, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, the Africans have their own particular skills, whether they come from their race, or the natural circumstance of soil or climate; that the physical, intellectual, and moral strengths of men vary according to one's race, nation, and family; that there are no two individuals in the world with the same abilities and skills. There is diversity and inequality in the factors of production in the different regions of the globe; and no less pronounced diversity and inequality in the skills among human beings. This then is the spectacle with which creation presents us.

Out of this natural arrangement of things arises the necessity to trade. Since no region of the globe can be the center for all industries, and since no individual can produce in isolation all the things necessary for the satisfaction of his needs, what do men do? Those who are less well endowed, those who are in a transition period between the human race and the other animal species, content themselves with products which they are capable of fabricating themselves and for which they have the raw materials at hand. They remain stuck in primitive barbarism and they find themselves constantly subjected to the harshest privation. Such are the natives of New Holland (Australia) 122 and some of the archipelagos in the South Seas. However, the more intelligent of them came to realize that there is a procedure which will soon put at their disposal all the resources of creation. Instead of producing everything poorly, each person applies himself to doing those things which his particular skills and the kind of raw materials he has at his disposal, allows him to produce easily; and that he exchanges these for the things which he produces with difficulty or of which he is incapable. Thanks to this procedure, which is both so simple and so productive, each person can get a greater and greater quantity of things which are necessary for the satisfaction of his needs, and which will expand and improve his existence without limit. (See, "Exchange.") 123

Thus exchange appears to be a necessity which arises from the nature of man and from the circumstances in which he finds himself; and the freedom to trade is nothing less than the liberty of working, which is a natural institution.

Once the practice of trading has been discovered, the division of labour can be established and industry can be improved. (See, "The Division of Labour"). 124 Then exchanges multiply and the sphere in which they can operate is enlarged. This sphere is initially quite limited and it varies considerably according to the kind of goods traded. Heavy and bulky goods can only be traded over a short distance from their place of production; objects which contain a considerable value in a small volume, such as precious metals, food, arms, and luxury goods like jewelry and perfume, they alone can be carried to far off markets. But gradually the obstacle of distance can be overcome. Countries which have the advantage of being criss-crossed by numerous streams of navigable water, and bathed by the ocean, are the first to offer the spectacle of an expanded commerce, and as a result of this very fact they become the principal centres of civilisation itself. Man-made routes into the interior are then opened up and the sphere of exchange is enlarged with each improvement in communication routes and the means of locomotion. In our day, the most ordinary foodstuffs and the most unprocessed material are transported very much further than precious metals, gemstones, and luxury goods could have been previously. Don't we now go looking for fertilizer and guano even as far as the Pacific Ocean? The result of this steady expansion of the sphere of trade is easy to appreciate. If, as observation proves, the different nations of the earth are endowed with particular skills, and if each region of the globe has its special areas of production, as the sphere of trade is expanded we will see each nation choose to devote themselves to the industries which best suit their skills as well as the nature of their soil and climate. We will see the division of labour extended more and more among the different nations. Each industry will be situated where the best conditions for production are, and the end result will be that all the things which are necessary to satisfy the needs of men will be able to be obtained in the greatest abundance for the least amount of trouble.

Such is the inevitable result of the unlimited and endless expansion of the sphere within which trade is conducted. That this result conforms with the general plan of creation cannot be denied. If Providence had wanted mankind to remain isolated, without any communication between each other, wouldn't it have put it (mankind) within the immediate reach all the elements needed for production? Wouldn't it (Providence) have also endowed mankind with all the necessary skills to the same degree? If it (Providence) has shared out differently and unequally the factors and the tools of production across the surface of the globe, isn't this proof that the endless expansion of trade is a providential necessity to which men are bound to obey? One might object that man is wrong to give his needs such an importance that it is necessary for him to rope in the entire world in order to satisfy them? One might also object that this life of primitive simplicity which was content with the food, clothing, and other useful objects which their native soil and local industry could supply, is preferable to this frantic search for pleasure which drives men to explore the furthest reaches of the globe in order to satisfy his appetites or his fantasies? But isn't it enough to push this objection a bit further to show its inanity? Whatever the manner in which mankind governs his needs, whether he prefers his physical appetites, or whether he tips the balance towards his intellectual and moral appetites, doesn't the beneficial necessity of exchange remain the same? Where would civilisation be if non-material goods, for example, weren't able to be exchanged between one nation and another? if the philosophy and the fine arts had remained in Greece, the science of legislation in Rome, and the Christian religion in Judea? Haven't the minds of modern nations become more cultivated and their morality improved by means of these products which had foreign origins? What nation would be able to flatter itself that it had been able to combine the philosophical and artistic skills of the Greeks, the legal science of the Romans, and the religious ideas of the Jews?

Let us imagine that, at the time when exchange began to be practiced, some tyrants who had been indoctrinated by some sophists had completely forbidden free trade; let us imagine they had prohibited the exchange of products, whether material or non-material, and that this prohibition had been maintained: isn't it obvious that humanity would have remained stuck in a state of barbarism for eternity? Isn't it obvious that the condition of the nations which at present are found at the head of civilisation, would not have surpassed that of the natives of New Holland (Australia)?

II. The Shackles placed on Free Trade

1. Fiscal Duties.

Notwithstanding the obvious advantages of free trade, it has been restricted by two kinds of measures, fiscal and prohibitory ones. 125 We shall first consider the former.

It is easy to understand why exchanges would be restricted for a fiscal purpose. As soon as new communication routes began to be opened up and exchanges multiplied governments began to realise that it was both possible and profitable to tax goods which came to market via these new routes. At first the tax was a simple toll for meeting the expense of maintaining the roads worn down by the transportation of merchandise: soon it served also to reimburse the treasury for other public services, among which may be counted the security afforded those making the exchanges. But, in imposing a tax of this kind, the end in view was not the restriction of trade, it was simply to procure as much money as possible for the treasury, and this fiscal end could only be attained on condition that exchanges were not too restricted.

Unfortunately, good financial practices were rarely followed in this matter. In the middle ages, for example, every country was divided up into a multitude of little seignories or castellanies , 126 whose proprietors seized the right of taxing the exchanges which took place within their territorial limits. One can see in the article "Douane" (Customs Duties) how tolls of all kinds multiplied at this time. 127 This is why, when these artificial obstacles were added to the natural obstacle of distance and thus blocked trade, commerce was not able to expand. This is why industry, now limited to the market of the castellany or the commune, remained for a long time in its infancy. As the means of production could not be developed, wealth and civilization made no progress, except on the seacoasts and along the great rivers, where fewer obstacles impeded free circulation.

Later, once the feudal system had disappeared, the number of tolls was reduced, and there was at the same time improved security for transportation. Immediately, the sphere of the exchanges expanded, a better division of labor became possible, and public wealth developed as if by magic. The establishment of the uniform tariff of Colbert in France, 128 and the abolition of internal customs duties by the Constituent Assembly, 129 contributed greatly to these results. (See "Customs Duties.")

In our day the octroi 130 and excise duties, river tolls, tonnage duties, etc., in Europe, which directly affect the movement of goods, have a purely fiscal character. Until better means have been found for providing for public expenses, or until the government functions which are paid for by taxes are more and more returned to the domain of private industry, it will be difficult to find a substitute for these taxes. It is only to be regretted that they have become so numerous and are so exorbitant; for, by their excess, they hinder the growth of trade, retard progress in the division of labor, and consequently prevent, in no small degree, an increase of revenue to the treasury. (See "Taxes.") 131

In spite of the fetters to the development of trade which result from the establishment of fiscal taxes, in principle no objections to these taxes can be raised. If they restrict the sphere of exchanges, it is an unavoidable accident; but it is not their purpose to restrict them.

2. Protective or Prohibitory Duties. Their character and effects.

Protective or prohibitory duties have an entirely different character. The latter are established with a direct view to limiting the scope of exchange. They restrict in order to restrict. The governments which have persistently imposed them, apparently with the idea that the organization and development of trade could not be safely left to the rule of Providence, have intervened "to regulate the matter." We shall see whether these organizers of trade were well inspired. But let us first ascertain what are the components which constitute the protective system.

Considered as a whole and as they exist in our own day, the protective or prohibitory system includes two kinds of obstacles, viz., prohibitions or protective duties on the importation of goods, and prohibitions or duties on their export. It also includes premiums granted for the import or export of certain goods. Finally, it serves as a basis for the colonial system (see "Colonial System"), 132 as well as for the majority of tariff agreements or commercial treaties.

Prohibitions or protective duties imposed on imported goods are intended to favor the development of certain branches of domestic production at the expense of similar foreign industries.

Prohibitions of exports are sometimes imposed in order to keep at a low price certain foodstuffs which are essential for domestic industry or consumption, or to deprive foreign industries or consumers from having them.

Premiums on export are pecuniary encouragements awarded to certain branches of domestic industry at the expense of other branches. Sometimes their purpose is to hasten the development of an industry deemed necessary, or to counteract to some degree the protective duties imposed by foreign countries. Sometimes, again, they are imposed simply as a remedy for a sudden economic crisis. Drawbacks 133 are premiums to reimburse the exporter of a manufactured good, for the tax paid on the raw materials which were imported. Premiums on imports are ordinarily of a temporary nature; for example, they have been used during periods of shortages in order to encourage imports of food. (See "Premiums.") 134

Customs agreements and commercial treaties are partial and temporary breaches in the wall of prohibitory tariffs, in favor of certain nations with which it is desired to maintain especially friendly relations. (See "Trade Treaties.") 135

Prohibitions or protective taxes on imports constitute the principle component of the system. To obtain a clear idea of the manner in which they operate, let us take an example. Suppose that nation A annually supplies nation B with a million kilogrammes of spun cotton. Why does B buy this cotton from A instead of spinning it itself? Because the factories in A are so situated and organized as to produce spun cotton of a better quality and at a lower price than factories in B could possibly do: because nation A is more advantageously situated in respect to the conditions for the manufacture of cotton. If it were not so, cotton would be manufactured in B as well as in A. But a politician in B persuades himself that it would be useful to "kidnap" 136 this industry from the foreigner, and that the importation of cotton thread should be prohibited. Suppose this politician can prevent the people of B from receiving the million kilogrammes of cotton which had been annually supplied to them by A, especially if the the frontier is easy to guard and is provided with a sufficient number of upright and well-paid customs officers. He can also promote with the same measure the building of a certain number of mills in B for spinning cotton. Can he place these spinning mills under conditions of production as favorable as those of the mills of A? Can he cause cotton to be spun as well and as economically as in A? No; for he is not a master who can change the natural conditions of cotton production; all he can do is to prevent cotton which has been spun at low cost from entering B. There his power stops. Nation B now ceases to be "invaded" (this is a sacred term in the prohibitionist's vocabulary) 137 by the million kilogrammes of spun cotton from A. It makes its own cotton; but this cotton costs more than that from A, and is of a poorer quality; and less of it is consequently consumed. Before prohibition, B consumed a million kilogrammes of spun cotton; after prohibition, it consumed no more than six or seven hundred thousand kilogrammes; as a result the total production of cotton is reduced by the difference. Now let us suppose that nation A imitates the conduct of B, and prohibits, for example, the importation of spun flax, which it formerly received in exchange for its supplies of cotton. Flax will begin to be spun in A; but as it will be spun at greater cost than in B, and not so well, the total production of linen will in turn be reduced. Less will be produced by both nations, though with as great or greater expenditure of effort than before; and one country will not be as well provided with linen, and the other with cotton.

At the time when this destructive policy became the law in international relations, and every nation was trying to "kidnap" industries from foreigners, a very witty pamphlet was published in England, under the title "Monkey Economists." 138 A cartoon representing a cage of monkeys served as a frontispiece. Half a dozen monkeys in separate cages were about to get their daily food; but, instead of each one consuming in peace the serving which the zookeeper was liberally dispensing, these animals were each mischievously attempting to "kidnap" the servings of their neighbors, without realising that the latter were engaged in the same operation. Thus every one was taking a great of trouble to steal the food which could have been easily found right in front of him; and the common fund of food was reduced by what was wasted or lost in the scramble.

Exactly this has been the conduct of governments which have adopted the errors of the prohibitory system. They have neglected the bounty which Providence bestowed upon them, to steal with great difficulty that which had been allotted to their neighbors. They have, by their mischievous jealousy, made production more difficult and less abundant: they have retarded the growth of prosperity among the people. A politician who imposes a prohibitory or protective duty, acts precisely the reverse of an inventor who discovers a new process for making production better and more economical: he invents a way to make production more expensive and less good: he invents a process which compels people to abandon fertile land and productive mines, to cultivate bad land and work poor mines. He is "an inventor in reverse," 139 an agent of barbarism, just as an inventor is an agent of civilization.

This becomes even more evident when we examine the influence of the prohibitory régime on the progress of industry in general. The division of labor is, as everyone knows, the principal ingredient for a cheap market; the more labor is divided, the more the cost of production is reduced, and the more, consequently, prices are reduced. The arguments of Adam Smith on this point have become classic. But on what conditions can labor become more and more divided? On condition that it can find a continually widening market: 140

As it is the power of exchanging that gives occasion to the division of labour, so the extent of this division must always be limited by the extent of that power, or, in other words, by the extent of the market …

It is impossible there should be such a trade as even that of a nailer in the remote and inland parts of the Highlands of Scotland. Such a workman at the rate of a thousand nails a day, and three hundred working days in the year, will make three hundred thousand nails in the year. But in such a situation it would be impossible to dispose of one thousand, that is, of one day's work in the year.

The division of labor, then, can be extended only as the market is increased. Hence every reduction in the extent of the market must inevitably reverse the division of labor and slow down industrial progress. Now, by systematically taking away from the most favorably located industries a part of their market, the prohibitory system compels manufacturers to reduce the scale of their production, and to use less of the division of labor. In cotton manufacturing, for example, it would require the spinners to spin coarse and fine grades at the same time, instead of confining themselves to a few grades or to a single one. Thus production would become more costly and less perfect. It is true, however, that if prohibition contracts the business of the established firms, it gives rise to new ones. But what is the situation of these? Placed, relatively to their rivals, in unfavorable condition of production, they can not create a market for their products outside of the domestic one. Now, this market is limited. An effort is made, it is true, to remedy its insufficiency by establishing premiums on exports, which will permit the protected industries to compete in the markets of their competitors. But, since this method is extremely costly and manifestly unjust (See, "Premiums.") 141 it can be employed only to a limited degree. On the one side, then, the industry situated under favorable natural conditions is injured; and on the other, establishments which prohibition has made to spring up artificially, find themselves so situated that they can not extend their market without imposing the most onerous sacrifices on the nation. Thus the artificial breaking up of the markets, caused by the prohibitory régime, has everywhere retarded the development of the division of labor, slowed the progress of industry, and at the same time perpetuated high prices.

This is not all. High prices are not the only evil which the prohibitory régime has perpetuated, if not engendered. To this evil may be added another not less disastrous one, viz., instability. The industries which prohibition makes spring up under unfavorable economic conditions, are continually exposed to fatal wounds. If the prohibitory duty which permits their existence were to be lowered, or if surveillance on the frontiers is relaxed, they will inevitably be deprived of a part of their trade. They then suffer all the disasters which are produced by industrial crises, and their very existence will be compromised. They resemble those hot-house plants which die as soon as one ceases to supply them with the heating necessary to maintain their artificial existence. The condition of the domestic industries is no longer secure. They have nothing to fear, it is true, for their home market, because they are so situated as to stand up to foreign competition; but the markets they have been able to create abroad are largely precarious. At any moment prohibition may "kidnap" these markets away from them, on which their existence in part depends. 142 Haven't we recently seen France slap prohibitory duties on the importation of linen thread and fabric and thus inflict a heavy blow on the English and Belgian linen industry? Haven't we also seen the United States change their tariffs four or five times in less than 20 years back and forth from a more liberal one to a more prohibitive one, and to cause as a result of these sudden reversals of policy a series of crises in the industries engaged in supplying their market? Thus there is a permanent risk which the prohibitory regime imposes on production as a whole, and this risk cannot fail to influence in a disastrous way the development of industry as well as the condition of the workers.

Prohibitory duties on exports are generally less important than others, but their effects are no more salutary. One usually resorts to them in order to prevent or to restrict the export of food products and certain raw materials essential to industry. Let us see how they operate. Two cases may occur: 1st, where the production of the good whose export is interfered with, is limited by nature; 2nd, where it may be indefinitely increased. In the former case, which is rarer, prohibition acts at first simply as a tax levied upon certain producers for the benefit of certain consumers. Suppose, for example, the French government should prohibit the export of wine from the Clos-Vougeot 143 or Château-Lafite. 144 What would be the result? It is not likely that a smaller quantity of these wines would be produced; but the producers, obliged henceforth to offer their whole vintage of these exquisite wines in the home market, would no longer derive as much profit from them. They would suffer for the benefit of a certain class of French consumers. Such would be the immediate effect of the imposition of the prohibitory duty. But the consumers would have to suffer in their turn. With the best wines being taxed for the benefit of home consumers, the production of fine wines would be discouraged. No attempt would be made to improve the inferior wines, in case they should also be taxed. The home consumers would obtain, it is true, the best wines at a lower price; but they would have to give up the advantages they might have received from an improvement in the quality of the inferior wines. The final result of this would be that they would be more poorly provided with fine wines, and would have to pay more for them.

In the second case, the prohibition on exports would be immediately followed by a reduction in the production of the prohibited good. If the latter were, for example, wheat or any other article of food, or silk, flax, or raw hemp, the production of these items would be gradually reduced until it had adjusted to the size of the market. Prices would doubtless fall sharply in the meantime; but it would not be long before they would again rise to a level above what they had been previously. In fact, the reduction in the size of the market would compel producers to restrict their operations; they will no longer be able to take advantage of the same level of the division of labour, nor to use as economically their tools and production methods; and the costs of production, which are the definitive regulators of market prices, will rise as a result. As in the first case, and even more quickly, consumers will become the dupes 145 of a measure originally adopted in order to benefit them But if the purpose of the prohibition is to deprive a rival industry of the material it needs, this selfish measure will result in encouraging the production of a similar good abroad. Thus England, by putting a high export duty on coal, contributed to the development of mining in Belgium.

To sum up, then, high prices on the one hand, and instability on the other, are the inevitable consequences of the prohibitory régime; the high prices arising from the bad conditions of production in which this régime places the industries, and the obstacles it erects to the progress of the division of labor; and the instability resulting from modifications in the tariffs, which continually disrupt the markets.

3. Causes which have led to the establishment of the Protective or Prohibitory Régime.

It must seem astonishing that a system so clearly disastrous to the people, so opposed to progress in wealth and civilization, could have become established. Its origin must be principally attributed to certain circumstances inherent in the condition of barbarism and war in the midst of which it arose. Nations, which had been from their beginning hostile to each other, and almost constantly at war, could not exchange their products in any permanent or regular manner. Each was obliged to provide for itself most of consumption goods. War then acted as an artificial obstacle added to the natural obstacle of distance. 146 When peace followed war, this artificial obstacle disappeared. Unfortunately, its removal was only accidental and temporary: a new war soon arose, and the obstacle reappeared at once. Let us endeavor to obtain a clear idea of the effect which sudden changes of this sort might have on the state of production. Suppose two nations, C and D, the first supplying the second with woolen goods while receiving in exchange silk goods. A war arises, and exchanges are immediately interrupted. The consumers of D can no longer receive the woolen goods which the producers of C had been accustomed to supplying them. The consumers of C are deprived, in their turn, of the silk goods they were getting from D. Meanwhile, the demand continues, on the one side for woollen goods, and on the other for silk. This, then, is what will probably happen. The manufacturers of woolen goods in C, whom the war has deprived of their market, will begin to produce silks, and the manufacturers of silks in D will set about producing woolen goods. Each nation will thus succeed in obtaining as before the war, the goods it needs. To be sure, the conditions will be less favorable. The silks which C will manufacture will probably be dearer and not as good as those which D supplied. The woollen goods which D will make will probably be inferior to those it acquired from C; but, on both sides, it will be found more advantageous to employ the capital and the labor whose market the war has cut off, than to leave them idle; on both sides, also, people will prefer to pay a higher price for the goods they need, than to do without them. The war, as we see, brings about a coerced displacement 147 of certain industries, which is a retrograde step. It ruins the most vigorous branches of production, those which had been able to create an external market, and to replace them with artificial industries which only the interruption of international communication allows them to survive. But peace eventually comes: and the protection which the war gave C in the manufacture of silks, and D in the manufacture of woolen goods, immediately vanishes. It is evident that these war industries 148 must fail, unless an equivalent obstacle replaces that of war, in order to protect them. If the condition of the world is such that the peace can be lasting, it will most assuredly be better to let them fail, and thus permit production to resume its natural place; but if war is the natural condition of communities, if peace intervenes only as a short truce, perhaps it will be preferable to renounce relations whose precarious existence is a constant source of disastrous perturbations. Prohibition will then appear as a veritable insurance premium which is granted to the industries to which war has given rise, and whose maintenance it was made necessary.

Thus, for example, the prohibitory system was considerably extended in Europe and America at the end of the continental war. 149 (See "Customs Duties.) 150 During the war the general interruption of communication had led to the establishment of a certain number of industries under bad economic conditions. When the war ceased, the manufacturers loudly demanded that the obstacle of trade prohibition replace that of war, to protect them. Governments hastened to defer to their demands. This was unquestionably a great mistake; for, at a time when peace has become the normal condition of communities, prohibition is no longer anything but a costly anachronism. In this new situation it costs less to suffer the disturbances which a temporary war may cause in international relations, than to pay a heavy war premium for twenty or thirty years to avoid them. However, one can understand how the prohibitory régime should have come to prevail to a certain degree at the end of a war which convulsed the world for a quarter of a century, and made communities take a step backward toward barbarism.

On the other hand, it is more difficult to understand how this war régime could have been extended and made worse, as it was, long after peace had become established. This is connected with certain effects of prohibition, of which it is important to take account.

We have spoken above of a politician who would enact prohibitions or protective duties as "an inventor in reverse." Let us pursue the comparison, and we shall discover the motives which have contributed to extending and making more burdensome the prohibitory régime in a time of peace. Suppose that an inventor discovers a process which permits a saving of 10 per cent in the cost of production of a certain good: by lowering the price of that article 5 per cent, he will obtain an advantage over his competitors, and make a considerable profit. This profit is the difference between the savings realised in production and the quantity of goods sold whose price has been lowered, and this constitutes the profitable premium of his invention. Now, what takes place when a prohibitory duty is imposed? An artificial deficit is immediately produced in the market, and this deficit brings about an increase in the price. A certain good which was purchased at an average price of twenty cents, for example, can no longer be purchased under thirty cents. This is an artificial increase of one-half, and is caused by the rupture of the link between the foreign producers and the domestic consumers. Suppose the prohibited good could be produced in the country at an average price of twenty-two cents: capital would be invested in that new industry; for it would receive, besides the ordinary profits of other branches of production, an extraordinary premium equal to eight cents. This premium would result from the difference between the price at which the good can be produced in the country, and the artificial price which prohibition has created. It is then obvious that if the profits of invention are based on the lowering of prices, those of prohibition are based in just the same way on the increase in their prices.

But is the extraordinary premium arising from prohibition a lasting one? Must not the profits in the protected industries finally fall to the level of those in other branches of production, as a result of domestic competition? That will depend on the nature of the protected industry. If the industry is one whose essential components are not limited in the country, the premium will have only a temporary character; for new factories will be established with a view of obtaining the premium as long as it shall continue. Domestic competition will then lower prices so much as to destroy the premium. Sometimes even the increase of the protected industry will not stop at its necessary limit, and prices will suddenly fall below the costs of production. The result will be an economic crisis, which will swallow up a good part of the profits from the premium gained from the increased prices. Prices will afterward rise again; but the protected industry will have ceased to realize profits greater than those of other branches of production. Its patent will have expired , 151 to use an apt phrase of Mr. Huskisson. 152 It will be otherwise if the protected industry is not capable of unlimited expansion; if it is, for example, food production in a country where land suitable for growing wheat is scarce, or the production of coal, iron, or lead, in countries where mineral deposits are rare. In such cases, the increased price may be obtained for any length of time. If prohibition has increased the price from twenty to thirty, the supply will be sufficiently small not only to maintain this price, but even to increase it gradually along with the increase of population and public wealth. Then the holders of protected natural monopolies, such as land or mines, will see their profits increase every year; they will continually grow rich without having to take the least amount of trouble.

But, whether the premium which raises prices is lasting or temporary, the attraction of that premium is sufficient, and more than sufficient, to increase the number of prohibitions. What is more tempting, in fact? While money is so difficult to make under the abominable law of competition, here a new process has been discovered the use of which will enable one to grow rich in the blink of an eye. Who would not hasten to use and to abuse so marvelous a process? Who would not run a machine to manufacture premiums 153 until resources ran out? To be sure, these premiums can be obtained only at the cost of the ruin or impoverishment of others; they constitute an obvious form of plunder, real robbery. But does one stop for such minor considerations when a fortune is in question? Besides, is not this plunder legal? 154 Is not this robbery consecrated by the practice of all civilized nations? Is it not universally admitted that one may confiscate, by means of a simple statute, the customers of a foreign industry, and impose on the "protected nation" an extra tax to increase the price of the goods, payable into the hands of those who have profited from these "confiscated customers?" 155

Meanwhile, some theorists dare to denounce so unjust and disastrous a violation of property rights. 156 They demand free trade by invoking justice and basing it upon the interests of the masses. But there is no embarrassment in replying to these theorists. In the first place, they are accused of propounding a mere theory; 157 and, in the eyes of many people, the accusation is enough to condemn them. Then, a search is made in the old arsenal of popular errors and favorite prejudices, for all sorts of formidable weapons which people use to crush so pernicious a theory. By the same reasoning that caused inventors in former times to be persecuted and derided, the promoters of free trade are treated as dangerous dreamers, while the supporters of the prohibitory régime are considered to be benefactors of humanity.

The list is long of the sophisms 158 which have been employed to disguise the true motives for the raising of custom barriers since the establishment of the general peace (after 1815). Often, it is true, these sophisms were employed in good faith by people who thought that, by enriching themselves by means of the international plunder known as trade prohibition, they were contributing to the greatness and prosperity of their homeland. Almost always too, ignorance of sound economic notions has been so general that the act of profiting by premiums, which raised prices while establishing an industry contrary to nature, was considered, even by the victims of prohibition, as a work of patriotic devotion. We do not intend to take up all the sophisms which have been forged to justify prohibition and glorify the prohibitionists. This would be an endless task. We shall confine ourselves to a review of those most frequently employed.

4. Review of the Sophisms of Protectionists.

1. That a nation should not allow itself to become dependent on foreign countries, especially for goods of prime necessity.

This argument was the most important of those which were brought forward by English prohibitionists against the free traders 159 who advocated the repeal of the corn laws. "Is is not," they said, "renouncing our political independence, to put ourselves under the obligation of resorting to foreigners for our food? Would not a nation whose enemies cut off food supplies be obliged to surrender at their mercy?" What could be more irrational than such a concern? When two nations trade with each other, is not the dependence which results from this mutual? If England depends today on Russia, France, and the United States for its food supply, do not these three countries in their turn depend upon England for their supplies of iron, coal, cotton goods, woollen fabrics, etc.? Besides, even granting that England should fall out with most of the nations which supply her with wheat, could she not, for a small increase in price, make up the shortfall from other nations? Did not the gigantic folly of the continental blockade demonstrate the impossibility of commercially isolating a powerful nation? And as for a small nation, do not the commercial relations which such a nation establishes abroad furnish it with new guarantees of independence, by linking its cause to all the interests which it has been able to join together to its own through trade?

One of the most brilliant orators of the anti-corn law league in England, Mr. W. J. Fox, 160 shows up with marvelous skill the outdated character of the argument for independence of foreigners, in the following celebrated passage: 161

To be independent of foreigners is a favorite theme of the aristocracy. But who then is this great lord, this advocate of national independence, this enemy of all reliance on foreigners? Let us look at his life. A French cook prepares dinner for the master, and a Swiss valet dresses the master for dinner. Milady who takes his hand is utterly resplendent in pearls, which you never in find in English oysters, while the feather which flutters from her head never comes from the tail of an English turkey. The meats on his table come from Belgium and his wines from the Rhine or the Rhône . He rests his eyes on flowers from South America and he gratifies his sense of smell with the smoke from a leaf which comes from North America . His favorite horse is of Arab origin, and his dog [p. 188] is a St Bernard . His art gallery abounds in Flemish paintings and Greek statues. Does he want entertainment? He goes to listen to Italian singers performing German music, the whole thing rounded off with a French ballet. Does he rise to distinction as a judge? The ermine which adorns his shoulders had never until then been seen on the back of any British animal. His mind itself is a multicolored weave of exotic elements. His philosophy and poetry come from Greece and Rome , his geometry from Alexandria , his arithmetic from the Arabs , and his religion from Palestine . In his cot he pressed his baby teeth on a teething ring of coral from the Indian Ocean . When he dies, Carrara marble will crown his tomb…and this is the man who says ' Let us be independent of the foreigner .'

Isn't this refutation as definitive as it is filled with witty barbs? Lets us only add that England, by making itself dependent for its food on Russia, on France, and on the United States, its "natural enemies", has dramatically weakened the significance of the sophism of "being independent of foreigners." 162 (See "Balance of Commerce.") 163

2. That a nation should avoid increasing its purchases from foreign countries, in order to prevent an exhaustion of its stock of money.

Here we see the old sophism of the balance of trade . This sophism, formerly on every one's lips, is now much less employed, English prohibitionists, in particular, seem to be ashamed of using it. That an argument, formerly so general, should have become thus discredited, is due to several causes: in the first place, to the war to the death the economists have waged against the doctrine of the balance of trade ; then, to the decrease in the relative importance of the import and export of money in transactions between people of different nations; finally, to experience, which successively demonstrated that the removal of custom barriers between the different provinces of France, between England and Ireland, and between the states of the Zollverein, 164 was followed by none of the monetary disasters predicted by the advocates of the mercantilist system. However, the prejudice has not disappeared; and as long as the laws of the circulation of monetary are not commonly understood, it will be possible to stir up the masses against free trade, by alarming them with the phantom of an exhaustion of the supply of money. (See "Balance of Trade.") 165

3. That it is necessary to compensate domestic industry for the taxes imposed on them by protectionist duties.

If the English prohibitionists made little use of the sophism about the exhaustion of money, they made, on the other hand, abundant use of that on compensatory duties . "The English farmers," they said, "bear taxes more numerous and more severe than those of Russian farmers. Is it not just to make compensation for the difference, by a protective duty? Is it not just to equalize the conditions of domestic production with those of foreign production?" 166 Now, in the first place, do these differences in the data concerning taxes always signify what they seem to signify? It was certainly true that the English farmers did pay more taxes than their Russian competitors. But did they not also enjoy better security and more freedom? Were they not better protected against plunder and arbitrary government? and was not this greater liberty and security worth much more than the higher taxes they had to pay? In the second place, can protection really compensate for the burdens which excessive taxation imposes on a country's production? To protect domestic agriculture, under the pretext that it is more encumbered by taxes than its rivals, will doubtless provide compensation to farmers, by allowing them to increase the price of their products. But upon whom will fall the burden from which you have relieved them? Upon all the other branches of production, which will pay more dearly for their raw materials and food for their workers. What is gained on one side is lost on another. Unless a way can be found by which a tax which enters the treasury can be paid by nobody, compensatory duties can not relieve the tax burden on production. Now, if they can neither destroy nor reduce the evil which is necessarily connected with the existence of every tax, of what use is it to displace this evil? 167 Wouldn't it be more worthwhile to displace (or move) the tax itself, if necessary, rather than to displace the effects of the tax by this convoluted and surreptitious procedure?

4. That "domestic labor" must be protected, to prevent the number of those employed in production falling in number as a result of foreign competition, and thus to guarantee the standard of living of the workers.

This sophism is worthy of notice, because it gives prohibition the attractive appearance of philanthropy. If landholders and manufacturers loudly demand prohibitory legislation, it is not to make extraordinary profits at the expense of their rivals; O no! it is only to insure work and good wages for domestic workers; it is to keep the working classes from the sad results of unlimited competition, etc., etc. But if such were the only aim of the prohibitionists, would they confine themselves to slapping bans on products from abroad? Would they not prohibit, above all, the importation of foreign workers who come to compete with domestic workers? Do we, however, observe that they abstain from employing foreign workmen, even at the times when they most energetically plead the necessity of protecting "domestic labor"? No: they have no scruples of this kind. 168 Isn't the contradiction between their argument and their conduct striking? (See "Emigration.") 169 Now, is it true that the prohibitionist system increases the number of productive jobs in domestic industry? Let us see. We have observed that prohibitions have just the opposite effect on prices from that produced by new machines; that by inducing certain industries to set themselves up in bad economic conditions, and by impeding progress in the division of labor, they bring about an increase of prices, while new machines cause lower prices. Now, do machines have the result of decreasing the number of productive jobs? Does not experience, on the contrary, attest that the end result has been to increase it, by the general increase of consumption? Are there not to-day, for instance, more productive jobs in the cotton industry, than there were before the steam engine and the mule jenny had transformed that industry? A man who proposed breaking the spinning machines and the looms, and replacing them with hand-workers, in order to increase the number of jobs, wouldn't he rightly qualify as being mad? But if new machines result in the end in increasing in the number of productive jobs, must not prohibition result in reducing the number? If we took at the interests of the working classes, in what respect are the errors of the prohibitionists better than those of the destroyers of machines?

By making all costs greater, the prohibitory system diminishes consumption, and consequently production, and the number of productive jobs. This is how it protects domestic labor. But does it not, at least, tend to give it more stability? Does it not afford security to the worker against industrial crises, as the prohibitionists affirm? However, isn't it the very opposite of this assertion that we should adopt? Haven't we already noted that the prohibitory system, by putting industry at the mercy of the changing opinions of legislators, has created permanent instability in all branches of production? Haven't we noted that any change to tariffs inevitably causes a crisis in the industrial sector? Isn't it to the constant disturbances in the markets that the prohibitory system has brought about that we have to credit so many of the dreadful crises which have harmed the lives of workers The history of modern industry gives us some sad lessons on this subject. One may read on its every page of the cruel evils which this system for "protecting domestic labor" has brought upon the laboring classes. (See "Pauperism.") 170

5. That nationality should be made the basis of the trading system .

This argument was the basis of Dr. List's national system of political economy. 171 But in studying the history of the formation of states, and examining the elements which constitute them, one readily perceives that nationality can not serve as a basis for a trading system. States have been formed, for the most part, by conquest, and enlarged either by royal alliances, by wars, or by diplomacy. No economic consideration has controlled their formation. When the map of Europe was made over at the congress of Vienna (1814-15), for example, did any one consult the interests of the industries and the commerce of the peoples whose nationality they were changing? Did any one ask whether the situation of the Rhine provinces and of the other countries which were then separated from the French empire, made that separation advantageous or injurious to the countries concerned? 172 Were serious studies made of the situation of industry and commerce in Holland and Belgium before uniting these two countries? No: the question was not even mooted. Political considerations and diplomatic intrigues alone decided the new configuration of the states. Why should an attempt he made to establish a national trading system based upon so-called economic necessity, in states whose formation was controlled by no economic views, states of which the hazards of war and of alliances alone decided the boundaries? Is it not the height of absurdity to transform these frontiers, which chance events have alone determined, and which it may enlarge or contract tomorrow, into formal boundaries which limit trade? Is not an economic system which is founded on a political basis and which is politically modifiable, a monstrosity to which good sense objects?

6. If the protective system did not exist, it would perhaps be well not to invent it; but to attempt to destroy it today would be to pronounce a death sentence on a multitude of industries, to bring about ruinous displacements of capital and of labor, etc., etc .

We have pointed out above the striking analogy between the introduction of a new machine and the removal of a trade prohibition. The result of each is to replace a cheap market with a high-priced one, and abundance with shortages. But all progress, from whatever source, is accompanied by some disturbance, by some economic crisis. All progress displaces capital and lives. Must we renounce permanent progress, to avoid this temporary disturbance? Must we give up new machines, new methods, and new ideas, under the pretense that they upset the old machines, the old methods, and the old ideas? Shall we immobilize humanity, to prevent some displacement of lives? Let us hear Dr. Bowring 173 on this subject, in his speech at the congress of economists, at Bruxelles, in 1847, 174 where he admirably refuted this objection with its paralyzing consequences: 175

"The displacement of capital," he said, "the displacement of capital! Why, it is a sign of progress. Has not the plow displaced the spade? What became of the copyists after the invention of printing? … We formerly had thousands of little boats on the Thames: what has become of them, now that the Thames is furrowed by hundreds of steamboats? But are not the interests of the worker himself served by a so rapid and economical means of transportation? The first time I ever went to London I had to pay four shillings to go from one part of the city to the other: today I make the same trip for six pence; and if you ask how this has been brought about, I answer: by the displacement of labor and capital. This displacement may be found everywhere. I was born in a town which figures in the commercial history of my country. I have seen there, at Exeter, an entire industry, the woolen industry, abandoned. I have seen, in the port of that city, ships from all countries, and have heard my ancestors speak of their relations with the most distant lands. But as soon as steam was introduced into the factories, fuel being dear in that part of the country, the industry relocated to where it was cheap. Well, capital was displaced; but the population has nevertheless increased. When I left Exeter the population was 25,000 inhabitants; now it is 40,000. The workers have taken up other employments.

But what has displaced labor? What has displaced capital? What has displaced industries? What has put them on a false basis? What has built them upon sand? The prohibition of trade. What we ask for, is to be able to found industry upon a rock from which no violent infringement could dislodge it?"

But would the displacements that could occur by replacing the old way of trade prohibition with the new way of free trade, take place on the scale as has been attributed to them? Would the introduction of free trade become the signal for the ruin of a multitude of industries? Would one see entire countries deserted for others, as the prohibition pessimists affirm? Observation and experience agree in contradicting these gloomy predictions. The London exposition (of 1851) 176 convinced the most prejudiced minds that the great industries of the various countries of Europe had reached a nearly equal level of progress, and that no nation possessed a decidedly marked superiority over their rivals. 177

"The crystal palace," says Michel Chevalier, in his interesting letters on the London exposition, "is a good place to prove this similarity, this fraternity, this equality of the industries of the principal nations of western civilization. It is manifest there, it forces itself upon our attention. When I go from the English department to the French, then to that occupied by the Zollverein, or to the Swiss, or the Belgian, or the Dutch, I find goods of nearly equal merit, which show evidence of nearly the same skill and experience, and at nearly the same prices. This is more especially manifest in regard to England and France, especially if we take the trouble to complete our exhibit at London by recalling the goods we had in Marigny Square in 1849, of which the aggrieved producers refused to send samples to London. In thus speaking of equality, I do not mean that the products of the principal nations are identical, on the contrary, they are diverse, they have their peculiar stamp. They reveal special industrial skills, a distinct originality, but they manifest a nearly equal level of progress. If one is surpassed in one kind of goods, it is first in another, perhaps similar and equally difficult: and we can not doubt, that, with a little incentive, each nation could equal the one which excels it in any particular product. If raw materials were equally cheap everywhere (and they would be if the legislators of certain countries would abolish the wholly artificial causes of high prices which they have agreed to multiply), the cost of production for manufactured goods would be nearly the same, and these diverse countries would be nearly equal to each other with respect to having cheap markets."

In a recent polemic brought on by the celebrated speech by M. Thiers on the commercial régime of France 178 a distinguished industrialist from Mulhouse, M. Jean Dolfus has corroborated the statements of Chevalier. According to M. Dolfus the prohibitory régime had the unique effect of preventing the coton industry from adopting the progress achieved by its rivals. It acts purely and simply as a cause of our backwardness. 179

"We do not," he says, "keep pace with England in industrial progress. A dozen years ago they began to replace the old hand spinning machines with ones which can spin without the help of a worker; today, for certain types of thread, no other machines exist. All have been obliged to follow this progress. With us, on the contrary, people still make money while using very antiquated machines; and the sum appropriated to compensate for the annual depreciation, at least in the spinning of cotton, is scarcely necessary, for it is not generally employed to improve the machines.

Why have not the improvements adopted in England become necessary in France? Because everyone stays with the old way, and continues to make spun goods that could be manufactured at much less expense, by a little additional outlay. My firm has a spinning mill of 25,000 spindles, 20,000 of which are for calico: it could, by replacing its looms, a part of which are nearly forty years old, spin a kilogramme for twenty centimes cheaper than it does today: but domestic competition is not sufficient to compel them to do it. Is not this conclusive? Who pays the twenty centimes? The consumer, the country. The Committee for the Protection of National Labor 180 did not think it best to change our looms, because many spinners might thus be thrown out of employment. But can we with impunity resist progress in this way? On this principle we should return to the spinning wheel, and regret all the mechanical progress made in the last fifty years. If spinning can be done more economically, consumption will increase; more cotton goods will be sold, more machines will be constructed, and more labor will be needed."

Thus, in the view of manufacturers themselves, the prohibitory régime holds back production. Let this régime be abolished, and every industry which is located under favourable natural conditions will inevitably expand considerably. It will doubtless then be necessary to exercise more intelligence, activity, and energy, in order to preserve and increase one's trade; for free trade is not such an easy ride as prohibition. Every industry would be at once obliged to employ every new improvement to keep up with its rivals. But would not humanity as a whole profit by the great boost production would have received? Wouldn't people be more abundantly provided with all things, and wouldn't their minds, forced to be more alert out of necessity, thus become more receptive to all kinds of enlightenment?

Necessity is a powerful incentive to progress, and the chief result of free trade will be to make progress more and more necessary. Look for example at British agriculture. How many times have the prohibitionists predicted that it could not survive the competition of the United States, Poland, and Russia! How many times have they depicted its fields as devastated, its laborers ruined and dispersed by the storm of free trade, and old England, deprived of this main-stay of her power, disappearing from the list of nations! Well, the corn laws have been abolished, 181 free trade is enthroned, and what has become of British agriculture? Has it sunk in the storm? Has its capital been destroyed, and its fields submerged by the "deluge of foreign grain?" Have land proprietors and farmers carried into effect their threat to emigrate to America, abandoning their fields to the thorn and the briar? No. Scarcely had the corn laws been repealed, when the agriculturists, redoubling their efforts, made improvement the order of the day in every direction. The old tools and the old methods were abandoned; and agriculture, so long given over to routine, assumed a rank among the most progressive industries. Thus transformed under the strong pressure of foreign competition, it now makes light of the efforts of its rivals, and the agriculturalists shrug their shoulders contemptuously at the phantom which formerly terrified them. 182

"Although the abundance and low price of food had weighed heavily on British agriculture for some time," wrote recently a skilled British agriculturalist, M. Mechi, "competition has so driven improvements that I think that we will end up beating the world in wheat as well as in calico cloth."

And this was an industry which was to be inevitably ruined by free trade !

Observing, then, as Chevalier and Blanqui 183 did at the universal exposition in London, the condition of the industries of the civilized world, and investigating carefully the results already obtained by tariff reforms, one becomes convinced that the ruinous displacement of production, the destruction of protected industries, and so many other calamities, which, according to the prohibitionists, were inevitably to accompany the coming of free trade, were true phantoms. One also becomes convinced, that the adoption of the "new way" would strengthen and develop industries everywhere, instead of jeopardizing and ruining them.

Here we bring to an end our review of the sophisms of the prohibitionists, although the subject is far from exhausted. But these unsound arguments have been refuted by all the economists in succession since Adam Smith and Turgot. A refutation which is full of impish and witty eloquence can be found in Bastiat's Economic Sophisms , to which we refer our readers. 184

III. Conclusion.

Free trade is a factor in the appearance of both cheap markets and economic order. As soon as it is established, industry, now having access to an unlimited market, will undergo all the development of which it is capable. At the same time, it will achieve the maximum amount of stability by no longer being built on a foundation of sand but of solid rock (according to the colourful expression of Dr. Bowring). After the high costs and instability which are inherent in the artificial regime of prohibition will come the low costs and stability which are the natural consequences of a return to the order established by Providence. Now, is it idealistic to expect such beneficial progress? Isn't free trade an economic ideal which we are forbidden to ever reach? Isn't it a humanitarian dream as the defenders of prohibition claim? But just look at the signs of the time and then draw your own conclusion. Is not one of the most absorbing interests of our time, the steady improvement of the means of communication? Are not all civilized nations multiplying across their territory canals, railroads, and electric telegraphs at every opportunity? Are not steam and electricity more and more cutting away the natural obstacle of distance? Now, what is the economic result of this marvellous progress which today is the object of emulation across the world? Isn't it to expand the extent of trade more and more? Aren't railroads, steam ships, electric telegraphs nothing more than powerful tools which cut away and devour distance to the benefit of trade between city and city, and nation and nation. But, my goodness! While nations are making gigantic sacrifices to multiply the tools which facilitate trade, on the other hand they continue to maintain the prohibitory system which prevents it! With one hand they stimulate the development of trade and hinder it with the other! Such a flagrant contradiction must grab everyone's attention in the end! Either one gives up steam power and the electric telegraph, or one gives up the prohibitory system, because the simultaneous existence of these forces for civilization and this relic of barbarism is much too absurd a nonsense.

But there is little likelihood that steam locomotion and the electric telegraph will be abandoned. On the contrary, everywhere the prohibitory régime has been under attack. Governments have finally understood that prohibitory duties brought them nothing, and that they could make an excellent deal by replacing them with fiscal duties. Sir Robert Peel took this position as the starting point of his financial policy, and the budget of Great Britain, whose accounts showed a constant deficit before Peel's reforms, afterward presented a regular surplus revenue. 185 The same reform introduced in the United States produced similar results. 186 Financial necessity thus combines with economic necessity and the progressive tendencies of our age, to breach the walls of the prohibitory régime. Prohibitions may be compared to the chains which were used in the middle ages in difficult times to bar the streets. In our day they are a relic of a system of defense which the progress of civilization has rendered useless and outmoded. Thus, the frontiers will cease to be barred, as the streets have ceased to be barred: and, with apologies to the utopians of old who placed their ideal society in the past, liberty will at last become the universal law which governs human transactions. 187



"Nations," DEP , T. 2, pp. 259-62.

John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification. "Nations, in Political Economy," pp. 956-59.



From the earliest historical periods humanity has been broken up 190 into a multitude of nations, dissimilar in manners, aptitudes, and language, and possessing different institutions. Each of these nations has its own particular features and its own existence, its own autonomy.

This phenomenon, which is of great interest to all branches of moral and political science, will be considered here only from an economic point of view.

The economist must first inquire whether the breaking up 191 of humanity into a multitude of nations is beneficial, or whether it would not be better, as some declare, for the human race to form only one community, a universal monarchy, or a universal republic. There can be no doubt as to the answer to this question. The splitting up 192 of humanity into nations has utility, because it develops a principle of emulation 193 of considerable power. There is in each nation a feeling of honor, or a kind of collective self-esteem, which, when directed toward useful ends, can accomplish wonders. An example of this was furnished at the universal exposition in London, 194 to which most of the civilized nations brought examples of their industry and each made it a point of honor not to be too far behind its rivals. If humanity formed only a single political unit, wouldn't the sprit of emulation, thus deprived of the stimulant of national honor, manifest itself to a lesser degree? Another drawback, more serious still, would result from the (political) unification of humanity: the errors made by the government of society would extend much farther than they do in the existing state of affairs. If a bad policy is taken today by a government, if a false theory is applied to the management of the affairs of a nation, the harm which results from it is confined to a certain locality. Other nations can refrain from repeating an experience, the results of which have been disastrous. If all humanity, on the contrary, were subjected to a uniform law, would not the harm resulting from the application of a bad policy be universal? As for the progress which improves the human condition, everybody knows that the (political) fragmentation of society 195 creates no obstacle whatsoever to its spreading. When an experiment has succeeded in one nation, are not all the other nations interested in adopting it themselves? Are they not most frequently obliged to do so by the pressure of competition?

The fragmentation of humanity into autonomous nations may therefore be considered as essentially economic. Besides, this fragmentation is a result of the original arrangement of things; it is a natural phenomenon that no artificial combination can destroy nor even noticeably modify. Conquerors, for instance, have dreamt of the utopia of a universal monarchy. Have they succeeded in realizing it? Have not those who have approached nearest to it, seen their gigantic political establishments dissolve by the very force of things? Has not experience taught them that there are limits which no domination can exceed in any lasting manner? Other utopians have dreamt of having a single religion, and some have wished to impose it by violence; but it was useless for them to employ fire and the sword to achieve their goal, and they failed. Religious beliefs have continued to reflect the diversity of temperaments, of manners, and of the enlightenment of different nations. Others, finally, have dreamt of having a single language, and we have seen governments attempt to impose a uniform language upon peoples of different origin, whom they had united under their rule. 196 Not long ago, the Dutch government, for example, attempted to replace the French language with the Dutch language in some of the southern provinces of the old kingdom of the Netherlands. What was the result? Quite simply, that the legally imposed language was hated by the population on which it was imposed and that this experience, contrary to the nature of things, greatly contributed to the fall of the government which tried to do this. 197 Languages like religious beliefs and political institutions, are the expression of the individual spirit of different nations, and they satisfy the needs or the preferences (of the people) which one might attempt to satisfy in vain by other means. The form of institutions and of language can without doubt be modified in an artificial manner, but their substance will nevertheless remain: even if the words change, the accents remains.

Although it would be absurd to wish to remove, for the sake of a utopian unity, the characteristic marks of nationalities, it does not follow that nations must be isolated from and kept in a permanent state of hostility toward each other. The autonomy of nations implies neither isolation nor hostility. Nations are interested in communicating freely with one another, in order that they may increase in wealth and power; they are still more interested in living in peace with one another.

These truths, too long unrecognized, have been admirably demonstrated by economists, especially by J. B. Say. To those who pretend, for instance, that a nation can only be enriched by the impoverishment of its rivals, the illustrious author of the theory of markets 198 replies correctly that: 199

"A nation bears the same relation to a neighboring nation that a province does to another province, that a city does to the countryside; it is interested in seeing it prosper, and certain to profit by its wealth. The United States are right, then, for example, it always having tried to encourage industry in the savage tribes which surround them; it has been their purpose to obtain something from them in exchange; for nothing can be gained from people who have nothing to give. It is of advantage to humanity for a nation to conduct itself toward others, under all circumstances, according to liberal principles. It will be shown, by the brilliant results it will obtain from so doing, that vain systems, disastrous theories , are the exclusive and jealous maxims of the old states of Europe, which they with effrontery endow with the name of practical truths , because, unfortunately, they put them in practice."

[Biddle translation]: The position of a nation, in respect of its neighbours, is analogous to the relation of one of its provinces to the others, or of the country to the town; it has an interest in their prosperity, being sure to profit by their opulence. The government of the United States, therefore, acted most wisely, in their attempt, about the year 1802, to civilize their savage neighbours, the Creek Indians. The design was to introduce habits of industry amongst them, and make them producers capable of carrying on a barter trade with the States of the Union; for there is nothing to be got by dealing with a people that have nothing to pay. It is useful and honourable to mankind, that one nation among so many should conduct itself uniformly upon liberal principles. The brilliant results of this enlightened policy will demonstrate, that the systems and theories really destructive and fallacious, are the exclusive and jealous maxims acted upon by the old European governments, and by them most impudently styled practical truths, for no other reason, as it would seem, than because they have the misfortune to put them in practice. 200

Nothing is more deceitful, adds this judicious economist, than the advantage which a nation thinks it gains by encroaching upon the domain of another, by the conquest of a province or a colony of a rival power. 201

"If France had possessed," he says, "at any time whatever, an economic government, and had employed for improving the provinces in the centre of the kingdom, the money which she expended for conquering distant provinces and colonies which could not be kept, she would be much more happy and more powerful. Highways, parish roads, canals for irrigation and navigation, are the means which a government has always at its disposal to improve provinces which are unproductive. Production is always expensive in a province, when the expense of the transportation of its products is great. An interior conquest indubitably increases the strength of a state, as a distant conquest almost always weakens it. All that constitutes the strength of Great Britain is in Great Britain itself; it has been made much stronger by the loss of America; it will be more so when it shall have lost India."

Also J. B. Say is thoroughly convinced that, when economic knowledge is more widely diffused, when the true sources of the prosperity and the greatness of nations shall be better known, the old policy, which consists in conquering new territory in order to tax its people to excess, in taking possession of new markets in order to subject them to a selfish and pitiless exploitation, this evil policy of antagonism and hatred, will end by losing all credit.

"All this old policy will perish," he says. "Strength will come from meriting (someone's) favour and not in demanding it by force. The effects which are made to secure domination procure only an artificial greatness, which necessarily makes an enemy of every foreigner. This system produces debts, abuses, tyrants, and revolutions; while the attraction of a reciprocal agreement procures friends, extends the circle of useful relations; and the prosperity which results from it is lasting, because it is natural." 202

[Biddle translation]: Nor can it be denied, that these views may actuate a wise national administration; assuming always, that it is an advantage to one nation to domineer over others. But these political dogmas are fast growing obsolete. Policy will some day or other be held to consist in coveting the pre-eminence of merit rather than of force. The love of domination never attains more than a factitious elevation, that is sure to make enemies of all its neighbours. It is this that engenders national debt, internal abuse, tyranny and revolution; while the sense of mutual interest begets international kindness, extends the sphere of useful intercourse, and leads to a prosperity, permanent, because it is natural. 203

If, then, economists do not share the illusions of the humanitarian socialists, who would like to unite all nations into a single flock, ruled by an all-governing shepherd; 204 if they do not think that there would be any utility removing, in an artificial manner, the characteristic differences of nations; if they only accept with reservations the beautiful verses of the author of the Marseillaise of Peace : 205

Nations! mot pompeux pour dire barbarie! …
Déchirez ces drapeaux! une autre voix vous crie;
L'égoisme et la haine ont seuls une patrie;
La fraternité n'en a pas;

Nations! such a pompous word to describe barbarity! …
Tear up these flags! another voice cries out to you;
Selfishness and hatred alone have a country;
Fraternity does not

If they think that nations have their raison d'être even in the bosom of civilization, they do not work less actively to demolish the walls of separation, which old errors, prejudices of centuries, and barbarous hatreds have raised between nations; they show nations that it is in their interest to exchange their ideas and their products in order to increase their wealth, their power, and their civilization; they condemn war as a bad gamble, as an operation in which the risks of loss exceed the chances of gain; and without being humanitarians or advocates of unity, 206 they show nations the true methods of realizing practical fraternity. (See the article on "Peace.") 207

Errors no less fatal, on the subject of the internal government of nations, have attracted the attention of economists. Just as it was once the common belief that a nation could only become powerful and rich by weakening and impoverishing its rivals, an excessively large share of influence and activity in the life of nations was granted to the government. Because the government and society remained joined together in primitive communities, when the division of labor had not yet separated social functions (from each other), it was thought that it must always be so; it was thought that it was the task of the government to give movement and action to the social organism, and make life flow there; it was thought that nothing could be done except by the impulse of this sovereign driving force. Political economy has put an end such a disastrous an error. Economists have demonstrated that the functions of government should be reduced and made more and more specialized, by virtue of the principle of the division of labor, 208 rather than extended and multiplied; they have demonstrated that communism belonged to the infancy of nations, and that it ceased to be expedient in their maturity. With the coolness of a surgeon who removes a cancer, J.B. Say has shown to what point a government which is not strictly limited to fulfilling its natural functions can cause trouble, corruption, and discomfort in the economy of the social body, and he has stated that in his eyes a government of this kind was a veritable ulcer . 209

This colorful expression, ulcerous government , 210 employed by the illustrious economist to designate a government which interferes improperly in the domain of private activity, has frequently been used by interventionist and socialist writers to criticise political economy. Some even have taken it as a foundation for the assumption that political economy has misunderstood the importance of the mission with which governments are charged in society, and they have accused it of having given birth to the celebrated doctrine of an-archy . But, nothing is less merited than such criticism. Political economy, rightly understood, leads no more to the abolition of governments 211 than it does to the destruction of nationalities. 212 J. B. Say says:

When authority is not plunderous itself, it procures for nations the greatest of benefits, that of protecting them from plunderers. Without this protection which lends the aid of all to the needs of one alone, it is impossible to conceive any important development of the productive faculties of man, of land, or of capital; it is impossible to conceive the existence of capital itself, since capital is only values accumulated and working under the safeguard of public authority. It is for this reason that no nation has ever arrived at any degree of wealth, without having been subject to a regular government; it is to the security which political organization procures, that civilized nations owe not only the innumerable and varied productions which satisfy their wants, but also their fine arts, their leisure hours, the fruit of accumulation, without which they could not cultivate their intellectual gifts, nor consequently rise to all the dignity that the nature of man admits of." 213

[Biddle translation]: When public authority is not itself a spoliator, it procures to the nation the greatest of all blessings, protection from spoliation by others. Without this protection of each individual by the united force of the whole community, it is impossible to conceive any considerable development of the productive powers of man, of land, and of capital; or even to conceive the existence of capital at all; for it is nothing more than accumulated value, operating under the safeguard of authority. This is the reason why no nation has ever arrived at any degree of opulence, that has not been subject to a regular government. Civilized nations are indebted to political organization for the innumerable and infinitely various productions, that satisfy their infinite wants, as well as for the fine arts and the opportunities of leisure that accumulation affords, without which the faculties of the mind could never be cultivated, or man by their means attain the full dignity, whereof his nature is susceptible. 214

Political economy is not therefore an-archic . Economists are perfectly convinced that governments play a necessary part in society, and it is precisely because they appreciate all the importance of this part, that they consider that governments should be occupied with nothing else. 215 Finally, economists think that the same practices of scrupulous economy, which are the rule in private industry, should be the rule also in the government of nations. 216

Let us again quote J. B. Say, on this subject: 217

A nation which only respects its prince when he is surrounded with pomp, with glitter, with guards, with horses, with all that is most expensive, has to pay for it. It economizes, on the contrary, when it grants its respect to simplicity rather than to display, and when it obeys the laws without display.

… Causes (which are) purely political, and the form of government which they produce, influence the costs of the salaries of civil and judicial functionaries, of (political) representation, and finally of those costs which public institutions and establishments require. Thus, in a despotic country, where the prince disposes of the property of his subjects, he alone fixing his salary, that is to say, what he uses of the public funds for his own personal benefit, his pleasures, and the maintenance of his household, that salary may be fixed higher than in the country where it is negotiated by the representatives of the prince and those of the tax payers.

The salaries of subordinates depend also either upon their individual influence, or upon the general system of government. The services which they render are costly or cheap, not only in proportion to the price paid for them, but also according as their duties are more or less well performed. A service poorly performed is expensive, although very little may be paid for it; it is expensive if there is but little need of it. It is like a piece of furniture which does not serve the purpose for which it was intended, of which there is no need, and which is a trouble rather than a benefit. Such were, under the old French monarchy, the positions of grand-admiral, grand-master, grand-cupbearer, master of the hounds, and a multitude of others, which served only to add lustre to the crown, and many of which were only methods employed to distribute perquisites and favors.

For the same reason, when the machinery of the administration is complicated, the people are made to pay for services which are not indispensable to the maintenance of public order; this is like giving a useless shape to a product, which is not worth more on that account, and is generally worth less. Under a bad government, which can only support its encroachments, its injustices, its exactions, by means of numerous satellites (hangers-on), of an active system of espionage, and by the multiplication of prisons; these prisons, spies, and soldiers are costly for the people, who are certainly not happier on that account.

[Biddle translation]: This observation applies to every description of functionary, from the prince to the constable inclusive consequently, a nation, which reverences its prince only when surrounded with the externals of greatness, with guards, horse and foot, laced liveries, and such costly trappings of royalty, must pay dearly for its taste. If, on the contrary, it can be content, to respect simplicity rather than pageantry, and obey the laws, though unaided by the attributes of pomp and ceremony, it will save in proportion. This is what made the charges of government so light in many of the Swiss cantons, before the revolution, and in the North American colonies before their emancipation. It is well known, that those colonies, though under the dominion of England, had separate governments, of which they respectively defrayed the charge; yet the whole annual expenditure all together amounted to no more than 64,700 l. sterling. "An ever memorable example," observes Smith, "at how small an expense three millions of people may not only be governed, but well governed."

Causes entirely of a political nature as well as the form of government which they help to determine, have an influence in apportioning the salaries of public officers, civil and judicial, the charge of public display, and those likewise of public institutions and establishments. Thus, in a despotic government, where the subject holds his property at the will of the sovereign, who fixes himself the charge of his household, that is to say, the amount of the public money which he chooses to spend on his personal necessities and pleasures, and the keeping up of the royal establishment, that charge will probably be fixed at a higher rate, than where it is arranged and contested between the representatives of the prince and of the tax payers respectively.

The salaries of inferior public officers in like manner depend, partly upon their individual importance, and partly upon the general plan of government. Their services are dear or cheap to the public, not merely in proportion to what they actually cost, but likewise in proportion as they are well or ill executed. A duty ill performed is dearly bought, however little be paid for it; it is dear too, if it be superfluous, or unnecessary; resembling in this respect an article of furniture, that, if it do not answer its purpose, or be not wanted, is merely useless lumber. Of this description, under the old régime of France, were the officers of high-admiral, high-steward of the household, the king's cup-bearer, the master of his hounds, and a variety of others, which added nothing even to the splendour of royalty, and were merely so many means of dispensing personal favour and emolument. 218

To sum up, political economy recognizes that the fragmentation of humanity into nations has its utility and its raison d'étre ; it recognizes that no nation, unless it be composed of angels, would be able to do without government; but, at the same time, it demonstrates that nations have an interest in establishing their foreign policy upon peace, and their domestic policy upon economy; it demonstrates that nations have an interest in maintaining free and friendly relations with one another, and to be governed as little as possible.





"Noblesse," DEP , T. 2, pp. 275-81.

John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors , ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). First edition 1881. Vol. 2 East India Co. - Nullification. "Nobility," pp. 1,033-39. <>.


NOBILITY. By this, or by some equivalent term, has been designated in all times the body of men who have claimed for themselves in an exclusive manner the higher functions of society. Most frequently this body established its rule by conquest. Thus the nobility of most of the states of Europe owes its origin to the barbarous hordes which invaded the Roman empire, and divided its remains among themselves. At first these troops of emigrants, whom the inadequate supplies of food and the allure of booty drove them down from the regions of the north to those of the south, overran and laid waste the civilized world; but soon, either because the moveable capital which served them as their prey began to be used up, or because the more intelligent understood that a regular exploitation would be more profitable to them than simple pillage, they established a fixed residence for themselves upon the ruins of the world they had laid waste and conquered.

This establishment of the barbarians in the old domain of civilization, and the institution of a feudal nobility which was the result of it, had a utility which it would be unjust to ignore. It must not be forgotten that the Roman empire, internally undermined and corrupted by the cancer of slavery, 219 had ended by falling into ruins, and that the wealth accumulated by the Græco-Roman civilization was at the mercy of the barbarians. In so critical a situation, the establishment of the Goths, the Vandals, the Lombards, and other emigrants from the north upon the territory which they had ravaged, was beneficial. Having become owners of the greatest part of the capital which the conquered nations had accumulated upon the land, these barbarians were henceforth interested in defending it against the hordes which came after them. It was thus that the old enemies of civilization became its defenders, and that the wealth accumulated by antiquity, in passing from the weak hands of its old owners to those of the conquerors of the north, who were more numerous, more courageous, and stronger, was preserved from total annihilation. The destructive wave of invasion stopped before this new rampart, raised up in the place of the dismantled rampart of Roman domination. The Huns, for example, who had come from the depths of Tartary to share the spoils of the old world, were destroyed or repulsed by the coalition of the Goths and Franks, who had settled in Italy and in Gaul; and later the Saracens, no less formidable than the Huns, met the same fate.

If the Goths and the Franks had not appropriated the fixed capital of the nations they had subjugated, would they have risked their lives and their booty to repulse the fierce soldiers of Attila? And what would have remained of the old civilization, if this barbarian chief of a nomadic race had continued to overrun and ravage Europe? Would not Greece, Italy, Gaul, and Spain, dispossessed of their movable and personal wealth, and deprived of the greatest part of their population, have ended by presenting the same spectacle of desolation and ruin as the empire of the Assyrians and the kingdom of Palmyra? When, therefore, we take into account the circumstances which accompanied the establishment of the barbarians in the bosom of European civilization, we see that this violent substitution of a new race of proprietors for the old race presents rather the characteristics of the expropriation of private property in the name of public utility (i.e. eminent domain) 220 than those of plunder properly so called. Hence, this extremely important consequence, that the property of the nobility which had its origin in conquest does not deserve the anathema which certain socialists have launched against it; because the original titles of the nobility to their estates was founded on general utility, that is to say, upon justice.

The conditions for the establishment of the barbarians in the bosom of the civilized world were extremely varied. Historians have nevertheless demonstrated that they generally took for themselves two-thirds of the land; this was, for example, the proportion in Gaul, when it was conquered by the Franks. This proportion, however, was not arbitrary; it was determined by the necessities of the situation. In each subjugated nation there was an aristocracy of land owners, dating most frequently from an earlier conquest, whom the conquerors were interested in treating with a certain restraint, in order not to push them to the dangerous extreme of despair. Depending upon whether this aristocracy had preserved more or less strength and influence, the conquerors left it a more or less considerable portion of its domains, limiting themselves to subjecting it to some modest fees. Hence there were two kinds of domains, and the title of francs alleux (freeholds) was given to lands occupied by the conquerors, as the count de Boulainvilliers explains very clearly. 221

"The Gallic land owner," says this learned historian of the French nobility, "was required to pay certain tributes of the fruits and revenues of his lands, according to the demands of the victors. The Frank, who possessed his lands entirely free and unburdened ("franches" - free from taxes), had a more absolute and more perfect ownership of them; hence this distinction was marked by the term salic lands , meaning lands or alleux of the Franks , called also Salians; in a word, francs-alleux , that is to say, absolutely and thoroughly their own, hereditary, and free even from all tribute of the fruits. Terra salica, quae salio militi; aut regi assignata erat, dicta ad differentiam allodialis, quae est subditorum. (Basnage, on the word Alleu .) 222 This method of dividing the conquered lands was imitated by the Goths, who called the lands which they had retained sortes gothicas , and those which they had left to the Romans, sortes romanas . The Normans did the same thing in regard to the old possessors of Neustria when they conquered it, and this was the origin of the greater part of freeholds; for the complete freedom from taxation of these lands, the owners of which only came under the jurisdiction of God alone (as Boutillier says in his Somme ), also entitled them to be called francs-alleux (freeholds)."

There were, therefore, two nobilities facing each other after the conquest, the one composed of members of the conquering army, and the other composed of the old land owners not completely dispossessed. The former, whose lands were free from tax, were at first in the ascendency; but after long struggles, of which the fine novel, Ivanhoe , for example, 223 gives a picturesque sketch, these two nobilities, drawn together by common interests, generally ended by merging into one.

It sometimes occurred to the conquerors to make an inventory of the wealth which they had appropriated; this was especially the case in England after the Norman conquest. The results of this curious inquiry were embodied in the Domesday Book . 224

The division of the booty and of the lands was carried out in an unequal manner between the chiefs and the soldiers of the conquering army. This inequality was based upon the unequal share which each had taken, according to his rank in the army, in the work of conquest. The distinction of rank was determined by the necessities of the enterprise. When the barbarians invaded a country, they chose the chiefs from among the most courageous and capable of their number, and they obeyed them in the common interest. The chiefs chose aids or comrades ( comites ) to carry out their orders; and a military hierarchy, based upon the necessities of the enterprise which was to be carried out, was thus organized by itself. Once the conquest was accomplished, it was natural that the share in the booty should be proportional to the rank which each man, having any claim to it, held in the army of invasion. The supreme chief had, therefore, the greatest share, both in personal effects and in land; the lesser chiefs and the common soldiers of the conquest obtained shares proportional to their rank, or to the services which they had rendered. These divisions were frequently the occasion of bloody quarrels, which the necessities of common defense alone were able to bring to an end.

When the booty to be divided comprised, besides personal effects, immovable property, land, or houses, the army of invasion dispersed, and each one of its members occupied the share which had fallen to him in the division. But in dispersing across a conquered country which was still a potential enemy, and exposed for that matter to new invasions, the conquerors took care to preserve their military organization; they remained organized in such a way that, at the first appearance of danger, they might immediately assemble their ranks under the banner of the chief. It is thus that the feudal régime was created. The characteristic trait of this system was the rigorous maintenance of the hierarchical organization of the conquering army, and the obligations which flowed from it. At the first call of the supreme chief, emperor, king, or duke, the lesser chiefs assembled the mass of those workers who had participated in the conquest. Each was bound, under pain of forfeiture, to report at the call of his superior in the hierarchy; the army was soon on foot again, in good order, to defend its domains, either against a revolt from within or an aggression from without.

The chiefs thus preserved their rank after the dispersal of the conquering army. Each rank had its particular name, sometimes of barbarian origin, sometimes borrowed from the Roman hierarchy. This name passed from the man to the domain; hence kingdoms, duchies, marquisates, counties, baronies, etc. Those of the conquering army who possessed no rank, but who had obtained a lot of land, simply took the name of "francs tenanciers" ( freeholders), and their lands that of "terres franches" (in English, freeholds ), and they formed the lower grade of the nobility. 225 Being obliged to march under the command of the chiefs, they enjoyed as compensation, like the latter, the privilege of being exempt from taxes, and that of sending representatives to the assemblies or parliaments of the nobility, in which the interests of their orders were discussed.

Nevertheless, it was important to assure the longevity of this organization which the care for the common defense required. The right of primogeniture and of entail were introduced to assure this longevity. Each having obtained a portion of the land, on condition of fulfilling certain obligations, it was essential, in the first place, that this share should not be divided up; in the second place, that it should not pass into the hands of a foreign or hostile family. The division of the land would have destroyed the pledge which assured the exact fulfillment of the military services, upon which depended the common security; it would have introduced anarchy into the conquering army, by necessitating a continual reorganization of the hierarchy. The introduction into the ranks of the army of men belonging to the conquered race, which could have taken place after the alienation or sale of the lands occupied by the conquerors, would have been no less dangerous. The law of primogeniture and entail served to preserve the conquerors from this two-fold peril. The law of primogeniture maintained intact the domain, which was the pledge of the fulfillment of the duty of each toward all, by transmitting it from generation to generation to the eldest son of the family. Entail prevented foreigners or enemies from slipping into the ranks of the army, by not allowing the noble proprietors to alienate their domains.

The primitive organization of the conquering army could therefore be perpetuated after the conquest had been accomplished, and the nobility formed itself into a veritable guild at the very top of society.

This organization had the obvious utility, in that it prevented the country, in which the conquering army had established itself, from becoming constantly the prey of new hordes of barbarians. It had its inevitable drawbacks, in that it delivered the industrious population over to the mercy of a greedy and brutal horde, who most frequently used without any restraint its right of conquest.

At first the condition of the subject population was very hard. The conquerors were subject to laws and obligations based upon their common interest; these laws and these obligations, which extended to all, to the chiefs as well as to the soldiers, protected to a certain degree the weak against the strong. But nothing similar existed in favor of the conquered; the latter were the prey which the conquerors disposed of at their pleasure. Perhaps it was good that it was so, at least in the very beginning; for if the conquerors had not had a maximum of interest in assuming the risks to property, which at that time was subject to continual aggression, they would, according to all appearances, have remained ordinary nomadic pillagers, 226 and the capital accumulated by civilization would have been entirely destroyed. But this absolute power of the conquerors over the conquered, whether it was necessary or not, could not fail to produce the most monstrous oppression. The serf or subject of a lord was taxable, and liable to forced labor at his pleasure, which signified that the lord could dispose, according to his will, of the property of the unhappy serf, and sell him, and his family, after having confiscated his goods. Every individual, merchant or other, who crossed the domain of a lord, was also exposed to being pillaged, reduced to slavery, or massacred. Fortunately, this violent state of affairs could not last; order and justice have such utility, that they re-establish themselves in some way, after the most terrible social upheavals. The lords were not slow to see that it was in their interest to grant their serfs, farmers, or artisans, certain guarantees of security, and not to take their property in a violent and arbitrary manner, in order to get more from them. Hence, the emergence of customs . These customs, whose utility for the master as well as for the subject was proved by experience, ended by becoming a solid barrier against the arbitrariness of the lords. The condition of the serf, protected by custom, became more bearable, and the revenue of the lord was increased in consequence; the farmers, being less exposed to plunder, agriculture began to flourish again, and famines, after having been the rule, became each year less frequent. Artisans, who were concentrated in the towns and therefore in a better state than the farmers to look after each other, obtained even more quickly guarantees against arbitrary power; they were allowed, on condition of certain fixed fees, and sometimes even on condition of an indemnity paid only once once, to carry out their occupation in peace, and the by-laws of corporations were at first nothing but records of the customs, agreements, or transactions, which protected them from the rapacity of the lords. The same customs were established and the same arrangements worked for the benefit of commerce. At first the merchants, who had took the risk of trading from city to city as they had done in the time of Roman domination, had been dispossessed, reduced to slavery, or massacred by the barbarian lords, whose domains they traversed. But soon, all commerce having ceased, the lords themselves realized the inconveniences of this state of things. What did they do? For their capricious and arbitrary acts of plunder, they substituted fixed and regular feudal fees; they guaranteed to the merchants free and safe passage through their domains, on condition of their paying a toll. This was still onerous, without doubt; for each country being divided into a multitude of little seigniorial estates, a merchant, who had to travel through a rather small stretch of country, was obliged to pay a multitude of tolls. But it was less onerous than pillage and murder; and commerce, thus protected by the better understood interest of the lords, again assumed some activity.

Improvements did not stop here. Events and progress of different kinds weakened successively the feudal nobility, either by diminishing the importance of the part it played, or by increasing the power of the classes, which were subordinate to it.

As soon as feudalism was firmly set up and established, the danger of invasions became less; not, however, as the historian Robertson 227 has declared, because the source from where they flowed had dried up. There were still, in the north of Europe and in the centre of Asia, large numbers of people who were greedy for booty, and ready to throw themselves upon the countries in which the arts of civilization had accumulated wealth; but, between these hungry multitudes and the prey which they coveted, the rampart of feudalism had been raised. After having vainly attempted to make a breach in this rampart, which replaced that of the Roman legions, the barbarian hordes drew back one after the other into the heart of Asia, and descended upon India and China. Then the conquerors, established upon the ruins of the Roman empire, could enjoy a little peace. But peace was foreign to their nature. They wore themselves out with internal struggles. The weaker lords were subjugated or dispossessed by the stronger. The supreme chief, who at first had had no authority over his old companions, except when there was question of providing for the common defense, profited by their disagreements to increase his power at their expense. He granted his alliance and his protection to the weak, on condition that they made themselves dependent on him and paid tribute to him. It was in this way that most of the freeholds were changed into fiefs . 228 This modification of the feudal system had very important consequences. The number of internal struggles decreased, because the more powerful lords no longer dared to attack the weak, when the latter had become vassals of the king. On the other hand, the king, who collected tribute from the lands of those whom he protected, saw that they brought in more for him, to the extent that the taxes collected for the benefit of the lords were less numerous and less burdensome. He endeavored, therefore, to diminish the number of individual tolls, and to reduce the demands the lords made on their serfs. His salutary intervention was felt also in the system of money. In the beginning, each lord had assumed for himself the right to coin money, imposing upon the inhabitants of his domains the obligation of using only the coinage stamped with his head. Money soon became as bad as it could possibly be, while the subjects of the lords had no means of protecting themselves from the damage caused them by the debased money. It was quite otherwise, when, the freeholds having been transformed into fiefs, the king levied taxes upon the domains of his vassals. To prevent the loss which the debasement of the money caused in the payment of taxes, he appointed inspectors ( juges-gardes ) who were charged with the surveillance of the coinage of the lords, and with preventing them from melting down and debasing his own money. Gradually, as the power of these protectors of the weak increased, he confiscated or bought the right of coinage from the lesser lords and appropriated it for himself. The industrious classes did not fail to profit by these changes. Their condition was improved again when the most bellicose and turbulent part of the nobility went to the crusades. The lords, convinced that the conquest of the east would makes their fortunes in this world and would assure their salvation in the next, granted their multitudes of serfs liberty at a low price. And as very few of them returned from "that religious California of the middle ages", 229 the serfs, who had bought their liberty, were able to keep it. Finally, the bourgeoisie of the cities, having become rich and powerful by their industry, undertook to make themselves completely independent of their lords. The communal movement commenced, and this movement, assisted by the kings, who sold their protection to the bourgeoisie of the communes, as they had before sold it to the lesser lords, contributed also to weakening the power of the nobility.

The feudal system thus fell little by little into ruins. The subject classes advanced each day with a more rapid step toward their enfranchisement, inscribing upon their banners the word liberty . (See "Bourgeoisie.") 230 The substitution of fire arms for the old tools of war gave the coup de grâce to feudalism, by permitting thence-forth the industrious classes to protect themselves against the invasions of the strong races of the north. Artillery had considerable advantages over and thus replaced the iron-clad giants of chivalry, and the noble order ceased to be the necessary rampart of civilization. Since the services which it rendered were losing their value, the supremacy and the privileges which it continued to claim for itself were borne with less patience. Above all was this the case in France, where, the royal power having ended by reducing the nobility to the condition of servants of the court, it presented the spectacle of the saddest moral and material decay. Its eldest sons, provided with magnificent sinecures, expended their incomes in idleness, and ran into debt to avoid being eclipsed by an industrious bourgeoisie, whose wealth kept increasing. Its younger sons, too numerous for the employments which the monarch had at his disposal, and too proud to devote themselves to commerce and industry, 231 filled the gaming houses and places of ill repute. The nobility, thus degraded, lost its old ascendency over the masses, and in 1789 the industrious classes rose up against he domination by a caste, which no longer could make arrogance and privileges forgotten through the magnitude of its services. The French nobility disappeared, swallowed up in the whirlpool of the revolution.

The following, according to the learned author of La France avant la révolution , is an account of the rights and feudal privileges which the nobility still enjoyed when the great catastrophe occurred: 232

"In almost all the rural districts there existed numerous vestiges of the feudal system. Each village had its lord, who, in general, possessed the best lands, and had certain rights over those which did not belong to him. Thus, there was the exclusive right of hunting upon all the territory of the fief; there was the tithe, the extent of which was more or less great; there was, with each transfer of property, the tax on the lot of land and on its sale. The lord could retain, for the price of sale, the land sold in his territory, could force the inhabitants to grind their grain in his mill, to bake their bread in his oven, to make their wine in his press, etc. On the vassal were incumbent also certain personal services, such as the obligation to work a certain number of days without compensation, which were called corvées , to render certain services under certain determined circumstances, etc. In some provinces, like Franche-Comté and Burgundy, mortmain existed still in many of the villages; the peasant could not quit the land or marry without permission of his lord, under pain of losing his property, and if he left no children, the lord was his heir.

But Louis XVI. had abolished mortmain in all the domains of the crown, and many lords followed his example. Justice was administered in the first resort, and sometimes in the last, by judges appointed by the lord. Finally, the clergy took the tithes, the government the villain tax and the tax on salt, and the peasant was subject, besides, to the corvée and the duty to serve in the militia , while all the nobles and almost all the bourgeois functionaries were exempt from it."

Finally, the nobility monopolized most of the great offices of the state, and had at its disposal numerous sinecures.

There are no precise data as to the number of the members of the French nobility, at the time when the revolution deprived them of their privileges. According to Sieyès, their number did not exceed 110,000. This is the way in which Sieyès made his calculation: 233

"I know," he said, "of one way to estimate the number of individuals of this order: it is to take the province where this number is the best known and compare it with the rest of France. That province is Brittany, and I remark in advance that it has more nobles than the others, either because they do not give up their noble privileges there, or because of the privileges which the families retain, etc., etc. There are in Brittany 1,900 noble families; I will say 2,000. Estimating each family as having five persons, there are in Brittany 10,000 nobles of all ages and of both sexes. The total population is 2,800,000 individuals. The ratio to the entire population of France is one to eleven. We must then multiply 10,000 by eleven, and we have 110,000 nobles at the most for the whole of the kingdom."

The author of La France avant la révolution thinks that the opinion of Sieyès is very near the truth.

Like the French nobility, but with more success, the British nobility has endeavored to maintain its old supremacy. No aristocracy has been able to derive more advantage from its position. With the establishment of the corn laws, it has endeavored to raise the value of the lands belonging to its eldest sons. By expanding the colonial empire of England, it has gradually increased the arena open to its younger sons. 234 Nevertheless the industrious classes have come to understand that the costs of this policy of monopoly fall chiefly upon them, while the aristocracy receives the most evident benefit from it. These classes have fought against the political and economic monopolies of the aristocracy, and thanks to the great agitation of the Anti-Corn Law League, and to the reforms of Sir Robert Peel, continued by Lord John Russell, this work of enfranchisement is very far advanced.

It is necessary to add, however, that if the British aristocracy has shown itself harsh in the matter of monopolies, it has displayed great and solid qualities in the exercise of the functions it has monopolized. It has done even better. Whenever it has discovered a man of eminent ability in the lower strata of society, it has had the intelligence and the skill to make a place for him in its own ranks. It is thus that it has known how to render its monopoly bearable, and to preserve a great and legitimate ascendency over the country.

When the noble classes shall have finally ceased to be privileged in a direct or indirect manner, it is probable that the titles which serve to distinguish them will lose their value. For this value depends much less upon a prejudice of opinion than upon the positive advantages which they can confer. These advantages amount to nothing in the liberal professions: let a merchant, for example, be noble or common, the credit which he enjoys in the market remains the same. 235 But it is quite otherwise in the functions which are connected with the government. It is rare that the nobility is not favored in an exceptional manner in the distribution of offices and of honors. Even in countries where the principle of equality has been proclaimed most emphatically, noble titles are all too often a piece of paper whose value is underwritten by the wallet of the taxpayers. As long as this piece of paper maintains its value, this will be proof that society has still not yet finished with the régime of privilege. 236

These old qualifications of the nobility constitute besides a peculiar anachronism in the organization of modern society. As has been seen above, the titles of duke, marquis, count, and baron served to designate the grades of the military hierarchy of feudalism; they roughly corresponded to the modern ranks of general, colonel, major, and captain. Would not bankers, manufacturers, scholars, or artists, invested with these titles borrowed from feudal hierarchy, present a somewhat ridiculous spectacle? Would they not have just as much reason for adorning themselves with the titles of mandarin, grand-serpent, or sagamore? How would this last nomenclature be more absurd than the other? Have our bankers, our manufacturers, our scholars, and our artists any more resemblance to the fierce warriors of the middle ages than they have to Indian chiefs or Chinese mandarins?

The privileges, and probably also the titles, of nobility will end by disappearing with so many other remnants of the old régime of servitude. But does this mean that our society is destined some day to undergo the process of egalitarian leveling ? By no means. There will always be, in the work of production, superior and inferior functions, functions requiring in a high degree the cooperation of the moral and intellectual faculties of man, and functions for which lesser skills will be sufficient. The former will always be better remunerated and more honored than the latter. The aristocracy of society will be formed by the former, and this natural nobility, so much more respectable because it will be better founded upon the superiority of merit and upon the greatness of its services, will have no need to make a show of haughty pretensions and superannuated titles in order to obtain public recognition.



1 Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (Paris: Guillaumin, 1849).

2 Dictionnaire de l'économie politique. Coquelin, Charles, and Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin, eds. Dictionnaire de l'économie politique, contenant l'exposition des principes de la science, l'opinion des écrivains qui ont le plus contribué à sa fondation et à ses progrès, la bibliographie générale de l'économie politique par noms d'auteurs et par ordre de matières, avec des notices biographiques et une appréciation raisonnée des principaux ouvrages, publié sur la direction de MM Charles Coquelin et Guillaumin. Paris: Librairie de Guillaumin et Cie., 1852–53. 2 vols. 2nd ed., 1854; 3rd ed., 1864; 4th ed., 1873.

3 Bastiat, "The State" ( JDD , 25 Sept. 1848), in CW2, pp. 93-104.

4 "Spoliation et Loi," JDE (15 May 1850.

5 On the popularisation of economic ideas by the French economists see my essay "Negative Railways, Turtle Soup, talking Pencils, and House owning Dogs: The French Connection and the Popularization of Economics from Say to Jasay" (Sept. 2014) <>. A shorter version of this was published as "Broken Windows and House owning Dogs: The French Connection and the Popularization of Economics from Bastiat to Jasay," The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy. Symposium on Anthony de Jasay (Summer 2015), vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 61-84. Online <>.

6 JDE , T. 37. N° 152. 15 Décembre 1853. Molinari, "Dictionnaire de l'économie politique," pp. 420-32. Quote from p. 426.

7 "Se faire de la centralisation et du communism." Molinari is using the word "communism" in the sense of community or government control instead of private and voluntary activities. He is not using it in the sense given to the word in the late 19th century to mean government ownership and control of "the means of production" as argued by Karl Marx and his followers.

8 ( Note by Molinari .) Treatise on Political Economy , by J. B. Say, Book II, chap. 11. [Editor's Note: Guillaumin 1841 ed., p. 433. This translation was made E. J. Leonard for the Lalor edition. The standard 19th century translation is by Biddle: Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth , ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French, (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed. ). <>.]

9 ( Note by Molinari .) "When the industries are destined to provide for daily consumption," we read in the Enquête , "they are located within reach of the consumers; when they contribute their products to commerce, they are situated with especial consideration of the means of production. The industries which supply food are almost all of the former class; those which are devoted to the manufacturer of articles known in trade as "articles de Paris" (Parisian luxury goods) are in the second. Among the furniture industries there are also certain ones whose work is offered directly to the consumers, and others which are more particularly devoted to manufacture. Consequently we find upholsterers in all parts of the city, while the manufacture of furniture is situated, on the contrary, almost exclusively in the eighth arrondissement, as the making of bronze wares is located in the sixth and seventh. Of 1,915 cabinet makers, doing a business of 27,982,950 francs, 1,093, with 19,679,835 francs, are in the eighth arrondissement. And of 257 makers of chairs, doing a business of 5,061,540 francs, 197, with 3,373,950 francs, are also in the eighth arrondissement. To the same arrondissement belongs also the preparation of pelts and leather. The tanneries and the places for dressing leather are nearly all situated in the quarter of the Gobelins, on the banks of the little river which takes this name, on entering Paris. Chemical products are not manufactured much in the heart of Paris, but those which are made there and which require space, water, and air, come from the eighth and twelfth arrondissements. Of this number are starch, candles of wax, spermaceti, and tallow. The manufacture of pottery is also found there. Work in metals and in the construction of machinery is found especially in the eighth, sixth, and fifth arrondissements. As to the manufacture of what are generally known as "articles de Paris," it extends through the whole of an important part of the city, on the right bank of the Seine, to the north of the streets of Francs-Bourgeois and Saint Merry, and in the belt comprised between the streets Montorgueil and Poissonnière on the west, and the Place des Voges and Roquette street on the east. It is there that are made articles of gold and silver, fine jewelry as well as imitation; there are manufactured the work boxes, drawstring bags, brushes, toys, artificial flowers, umbrellas and parasols, fans, fancy stationery, combs, portfolios, pocket books, and all the multitude of various small articles." Introduction, pp. 43-44. Undertaken by Horace Say for the Chamber of Commerce of Paris, Statistique de l'Industrie à Paris résultant de l'enquête. Faite par la Chambre de commerce pour les années 1847-1848 (Paris: Guillaumin, 1851).

10 ( Note by Molinari .) Memorials of the Empire of Japan in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries , edited with notes by Thomas Rundall. (London: Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 1850), p. 176.

11 ( Note by Molinari .) This progress has not yet been realized everywhere. The Calabrian peasants, for example, instead of dwelling in the open country, are obliged to remain in the towns, to be safe from the bandits who infest the country. We select the following fact from the correspondence of Paul-Louis Courier: "In Calabria at present," he says, "there are woods of orange trees, forests of olive, hedges of lemon. All these are on the coast and only near towns. Not one village, not one house in the country: it is uninhabitable, for lack of government and laws. But how do they cultivate it, you will ask? The peasant lodges in the city and tills the suburbs; setting out late in the morning, and returning before evening. How could anyone venture to sleep in a house in the country? He would be slain the first night." In Paul-Louis Courier, Pamphlets politiques et littéraires de P.-L. Courier: suivis d'un choix de ses lettres : précédés d'un essai sur la vie et les écrits de l'auteur , 2 Volumes. (Paris: P. Masgana, 1839). Vol. 2, Correspondence. Letter to M. de Sainte-Croix, dated Miletus, Sept. 12, 1806, pp. 199-200.

12 The following two sentences were cut from the Lalor translation.

13 ( Note by Molinari .) Luwik de Tegoborski, Etudes sur les forces productives de la Russie (Paris: Jules Renouard, 1852). 4 vols. Tome I, pp. 139-41.

14 ( Note by Molinari .) Alf. Legoyt, Mouvement de la population de la France pendant l'année 1850 and "Dénombrement de la population de 1836 à 1851," in Annuaire de l'Economie politique et de la statistique pour 1853 (Paris: Guillaumin, 1853), pp. 1-8. Quote p. 20.

15 ( Note by Molinari .) Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, edited with an Introduction, Notes, Marginal Summary and an Enlarged Index by Edwin Cannan (London: Methuen, 1904). Vol. 1, book III, chap. 4 "How the commerce of the towns contributed to the improvement of the country," pp. 382-83. <>.

16 ( Note by Molinari .) The following are the statistics in regard to this matter, of the administration of justice in France, from 1826 to 1850: "More than three-fifth of those charged with offenses had a place of residence; 612 in 1,000 resided in the rural communes; 388 dwelt in the town communes. In the entire population, the percentage of the inhabitants of towns is not exactly known; but approximate estimates put it at only one-fifth of the total population. The preceding proportions differ according to the nature of the crimes. Of 1,000 charged with offenses against individuals one counts in an average year 706 inhabitants of the countryside and 294 inhabitants of towns. Of 1,000 charged with crimes against property there are now only 566 inhabitants of rural communes and 434 inhabitants of towns. If one goes down the list of the various types of crimes one finds even greater variations than this. Among those charged with arson, the highest number, relatively, is found to be from the inhabitants of the rural districts; next come those charged with poisoning, infanticide, false testimony, parricide, and obtaining titles and signatures by compulsion. These are probably the only crimes in which the country people have a larger share than they should have, considering their total number in the whole population. The proportion of country people charged with political crimes, abortion, robbery, forgery, counterfeiting money, violation of the person and criminal outrages upon children, is, on the contrary, very small. In "Report of the minister of justice," Annuaire de l'Economie politique et de la statistique pour 1853 , pp. 108-9.

17 Molinari says "abandonner à la concurrence des particuliers" (left to competition between individuals). Of course, Molinari had spent considerable time in Les Soirées showing how he thought most, if not all, government supplied public goods and other services could be better supplied privately on the free market.

18 See the examples of how public goods could be provided privately and competitively in Les Soirées , such as in S3 (forests, canals, waterways), S8 (private banks and money, mail delivery), S9 (bakers, butchers, printers etc.), and S11 (security, police, and defence).

19 Molinari was struck by an expression used by J.-B. Say to describe government activities as "ulcerous" and referred to it in his DEP article on "Nations," namely "le gouvernement-ulcère" (see below p. abc ). See also "Ulcerous, Leprous, and Tax-Eating Government," in appendix 1.

20 On the economic motives which drove some people to emigrate, see his entry on "Émigration," DEP , T. 1, pp. 765-83.

21 "Des biens naturels, soit internes, soit externes." Molinari is close to having an idea of human capital which is related to his idea of "internal property" which he discusses in S8 and S9. He got the idea of "internal" and "external" natural goods from the Russian economist Henri Storch, who developed the former idea into a theory of "human capital." See footnote below in "Fine Arts" for more details.

22 The Botocudo were a native tribe which lived in eastern Brazil, named after their custom of wearing wooden disks or "boutique" (Portuguese for "plug") inserted in their lips and ears.

23 "Ce capital naturel."

24 Jean Bodin (1530-1596) was a lawyer and political theorist, and a member of the Parlement of Paris. He is best known for his theory of the sovereignty of the state.

25 Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755).

26 Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) was a German philosopher, poet, theologian, literary critic, and historian. Molinari is referring to Herder's unfinished Outline of a Philosophical History of Humanity (1784-91) which was one of the founding texts of German historicism.

27 New Zealand had been circumnavigated by the British explorer James Cook in 1769 and was occupied and made a separate colony in 1841 following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi with the Maori tribes. The colony of New Zealand was granted a representative government in 1852 when this article was probably being written.

28 Molinari discusses the barriers to free entry into many professions in S8 and S9.

29 See "Property Rights, the Self, and Self-ownership" and "Liberty and the complete Emancipation of Property," in appendix 1.

30 Molinari wrote the entries on "Esclavage"(Slavery) and "Servage" (Serfdom) for the DEP : T1, pp. 712-31and T.2, pp. 610-13.

31 Molinari does not use the term "the state of nature" here but something very similar: "à peine sortis des mains de la nature" (scarcely having left the hands of nature).

32 "L'action pacificatrice de ces sociétés de protection mutuelle." Another reference to Molinari's idea that security could be provided by private and competing private companies, although here, since he is referring to an early stage in the formation of societies, the word "association" might be better than "company" or "firm." See the discussion of "des compagnies d'assurances sur la propriété" (property insurance companies) in S11.

33 "Le respect systématisé et organisé de la liberté et de la propriété."

34 See his entry on "Paix. Guerre" in the DEP , T. 2 , pp. 307-14.

35 "Des capitaux matériels et immatériels." A reference to J.B. Say's idea of the importance of "non-material" things of value which we call today "services." Molinari expanded J.B. Say's idea of "non-material goods" or services to include not just the productive economic activities of lawyers, doctors, teachers, and judges but also those of theater directors and actors and producers of security.

36 Shortly after this article was probably written (1851-52) Molinari gave a lecture at his new home in Brussels at the Musée royal de l'industrie belge where he had a teaching position, on Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériel. In this work he argued that it was the job of the economist to be "les teneurs de livres de la politique" (the bookkeepers of history) (p. 116) who should weigh up the profits and losses of events such as the French Revolution, the wars of Napoleon, and the 1848 Revolution. In all cases, he thought, the losses far outweighed the profits and thus war and revolution should be avoided. Here he is attempting to do this for the barbarian invasions of Europe.

37 To explore this progress was the task Molinari set himself in his large volume work on the historical sociology of the state and the emergence of free political and economic institutions which he published some thirty years later. See, L'évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (1880) and L'évolution politique et la Révolution (1884).

38 "L'industrie militaire." One of Molinari's innovations was to view nearly every human activity as an "industry" of some kind, with producers and consumers, prices, profits and losses, and "entrepreneurs" who would be able to bring all these things together in a "market."

39 Molinari uses the English word "machinery" here.

40 (Note by Molinari .) "… Force will probably be found in the future on the side of civilization and enlightenment; for civilized nations are the only ones which can have enough wealth to maintain an imposing military force. This fact removes, so far as the future is concerned, the probability of the recurrence of those great upheavals of which history is full, and in which civilized nations became the victims of barbarians." J. B. Say, Traite d'Economie Politique, liv. 3, ch. 7. Guillaumin ed., p. 484.

41 However, this invention also gave rise to the problem of copyright and intellectual property which he discusses in S2.

42 He explores the problem of the proper size of nations and how they can get on well with other by means of free trade and communication in the entry in the DEP on "Nations" a translation of which can be found below.

43 The English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who was an early advocate of the scientific method.

44 "Les arts matériels."

45 The habit of wealthy aristocrats of opposing international free trade while at the same time enjoying the benefits of access to foreign luxury goods was mocked by free traders like William Fox whose famous 1844 speech on the need to be independent of foreigners was quoted by Molinari and Bastiat. See Molinari's entry in the DEP on "Freedom of Commerce" (below) and his long quotation of him in S7.

46 See his discussion of this and other arguments for protectionism in "Freedom of Commerce" (below)

47 By this Molinari had in mind the socialists who had emerged during the 1848 Revolution. In his mind, there were two kinds of socialists and socialism, "le socialisme d'en haut" (socialism from above) and "le socialisme d'en bas" (socialism from below) which the Economists had to oppose. The latter came from the streets and were led by people like Louis Blanc and Victor Considerant; the former were the wealthy protectionist landowners and manufacturers, and the government interventionists led by Louis Napoléon. His book Les Soirées was designed to counter the socialists from below, while the DEP was designed to oppose the socialists from above.

48 "Une classe dominante."

49 Molinari probably has in mind thinkers like the conservative Chateaubriand whose posthumous Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb were published by in 1850. In the conclusion to the Memoirs Chateaubriand states "Material conditions are improving, intellectual progress is increasing and nations, instead of benefiting, are regressing. … This is the explanation for the decline in society and the progress made by individuals. If moral sense developed along with the development of the mind, there would be a counter-weight and the human race would grow free of danger. But exactly the opposite happens. The perception of good and evil is dimmed as the mind becomes enlightened, conscience shrinks as ideas expand." Mémoires d'outre-tombe (Paris: E. et V. Penaud frères, 1850). T.11, Conclusion "Chute des monarchies. Dépérissement de la société et progrès de l'individu," pp. 462 and 464.

50 Molinari discusses the positive impact of religion on moral and economic development in two later works, Religion (1892, trans. into English 1894) and Science et religion (1894). He believed that only an institution like the Church can encourage people to take a longer term view of their life (i.e. to have longer time preferences) by promising them rewards and punishments in the after-life in exchange for changing their behaviour in the present.

51 Saint Dominic of Caleruega (1170-1221) founded the order which bears his name in 1215. Tomás de Torquemada (1420–1498) was a Dominican friar who became the first Grand Inquisitor of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (established 1478) which later became known as the "Spanish Inquisition." His task was to purge the church and Spain of heretics and people of other religions who refused to convert to Catholicism (such as Jews and Muslims). Jews were ultimately dispossessed of their property and expelled from Spain in 1492.

52 He discusses the problem of population growth in S10. See also "Malthusiansim and the Political Economy of the Family," in appendix 1.

53 Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) was a mathematician, liberal philosophe and politician during the French Revolution.

54 ( Note by Molinari .) Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain , in Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat marquis de Condorcet, Oeuvres de Condorcet publiées par A. Condorcet O'Connor, et M. F. Arago (Paris: Firmin Didot frères, 1847), vol. 6, "Xe Époque," pp. 257-58.

55 Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind, being a posthumous work of the late M. de Condorcet. (Translated from the French.) (Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1796). <>. pp. 273-74.

56 Molinari's colleague Bastiat was one of the foremost advocates of the possibility of human advancement or "perfectibility" if freedom existed. The idea pervades his unfinished treatise Economic Harmonies (1850, 1851) for which he had planned an entire chapter on the topic (chap. 24).

57 Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) was an Italian political philosopher, historian, and jurist, whose Scienza Nuova (1725) was an attempt to organize the entire field of the humanities into a coherent science in which history could be explained as a series of cycles of the rise and fall of societies.

58 See, "Second discours sur les progrès successifs de l'esprit humain, prononcé le 11 décembre 1750 (en Sorbonne)" and "Idées générales sur la géographie politique" (1751), in Oeuvres de M. Turgot, précédées et accompagnées de mémoires et de notes sur sa vie, son administration et ses ouvrages. Ed. Pierre-Samuel Dupont de Nemours. (Paris: A. Belin, 1808-1811). vol. 2, pp. 52-92 and pp. 166-208.

59 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Possibly a reference to "Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose" (1784) or "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch" (1795).

60 Johann Gottfried Herder, Outline of a Philosophical History of Humanity (1784-91).

61 The German Russian economists Henri-Frédéric Storch (1766-1835). Possibly a reference to his Cours d'économie politique, ou exposition des principes qui déterminent la prospérité des nations (1815).

62 The conservative French historian and politician François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874) who gave lectures on and turned into books: Histoire générale de la civilization en Europe (1828), and Historie de la civilization en France (1829-32). See Liberty Fund's edition: François Guizot, The History of Civilization in Europe. Translated by William Hazlitt. Edited and with an Introduction by Larry Siedentop (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).

63 ( Note by Molinari .) On the origins of the idea of civilization, see A. Javary, De l'idée de progrès (Paris: Ladrange, 1851).

64 A reminder that a major purpose in publishing the DEP was to oppose the spread of socialist ideas.

65 Molinari discusses trade marks and the ownership of technical designs in his broader discussion of intellectual property in S2.

66 A cross-reference to the entry by Molinari, "Propriété littéraire et artistique," DEP , T. 2, pp. 473-78.

67 ( Note by Molinari .) Essai sur le principe de la population , liv. III, chap. XIII, p. 445 (Guillaumin ed.). [Editor: Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, or a View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it Occasions (London: John Murray 1826). 6th ed. Book III, Chapter XIII: "Of increasing Wealth, as it affects the Condition of the Poor," p. 222.<>.

68 ( Note by Molinari .) Principes d'économie politique . Traduction de M. Augustin Planche, T. II, p. 82. [Editor: John Ramsay McCulloch, The Principles of Political Economy, with some Inquiries respecting their Application . 5th ed. (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1864). p. 370. <>.]

69 A cross-reference to the entries by Léon Faucher, "Salaires," DEP , T. 2, pp. 570-86, and A.E. Cherbuliez, "Taxes des pauvres," DEP , T. 2, pp. 716-21.

70 ( Note by Molinari .) Traité d'économie politique , liv. III, chap. IV. Guillaumin 1841 ed., p. 449. [Editor: Molinari has condensed the passage somewhat.]

71 Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth, ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French , (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed. ). Book III, Chapter IV: "Of the Effect of Unproductive Consumption in General," p. 398. <>.

72 Molinari says "de la papillonne" (in the manner of a butterfly). Molinari is using a term used by the socialist Charles Fourier in his bizarre theory of harmony: "papillonner" (to flit or move from one object or one extreme to another). This was one of the many terms adopted by Fourier to describe harmonious human behavior in his utopian society which would be harmonious literally and figuratively. See Manuscrits de Fourier , "Des séries mesurées" in La Phalange: revue de la science sociale, XIVe année, Deuxième semestre 1845 (Paris: Bureau de la Phalange, 1845). pp. 368, 372, 376.

73 Molinari misquotes John Dryden. The line is "This is the porcelain clay of humankind" from the play Don Sebastian, King Of Portugal (1690). The full quotation is " M. Mol. Ay; these look like the workmanship of heaven; This is the porcelain clay of human kind, And therefore cast into these noble moulds." The Works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes. Illustrated with notes, historical, critical, and explanatory, and a life of the author, by Walter Scott, esq. Vol. vii (London: William Miller, 1808), p. 315.

74 ( Note by Molinari .) Brochure in 8. Londres, 1835. [Editor: Richard Cobden, England, Ireland and America, by a Manchester Manufacturer (London, 1835).]

75 ( Note by Molinari .) Richard Cobden, The Political Writings of Richard Cobden, with a Preface by Lord Welby, Introductions by Sir Louis Mallet, C.B., and William Cullen Bryant, Notes by F.W. Chesson and a Bibliography, (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1903). Vol. 1, England, Ireland, and America , Part III America, pp. 98-100. <>.

76 From the French "la pomade" which was a greasy or waxy product which was applied to the hair as a gel to shape or stiffen it. It was often made of bear fat, lard, or beeswax.

77 A reference to a public statement of bankruptcy.

78 "Les classes dirigeantes."

79 "Une société affairée."

80 ( Note by Molinari .) Dictionnaire de Millin : Article "Beaux-Arts." [Editor: Aubin-Louis Millin, Dictionnaire des Beaux-Arts , par A. L. Millin, membre de l'Institut, conservateur des médailles, des antiques et des pierres gravées de la Bibliothèque impériale, professeur d'antiquités, etc. (Paris: Jacques Desray, 1806). 3 vols.]

81 ( Note by Molinari .) Essai sur la nature de l'imitation dans les arts imitatifs, Oeuvres posthumes , T. II, p. 84. [Editor: Molinari has the title of the book wrong. It was in Essais philosophiques; par feu Adam Smith, précédés d'un précis de sa vie et de ses écrits; par Dugald Stewart . Traduits de l'anglais par P. Prevost (Paris: H. Agasse, 1797). 2 vols. T. 2, p. 84. [Editor: Adam Smith, Essays On, I. Moral Sentiments: II. Astronomical Inquiries; III. Formation of Languages; IV. History of Ancient Physics; V. Ancient Logic and Metaphysics; VI. The Imitative Arts; VII. Music, Dancing, Poetry; VIII. The External Senses; IX. English and Italian Verses , ed. Joseph Black and James Hutton (London: Alex. Murray & Son, 1869). <>. Quote from Part II <>.pp. 415-16.

82 Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862).

83 ( Note by Molinari .) J.-B. Say, Traité d'économie politique , liv. I, chap. XIII. Guillaumin 1841 ed, p.124.

84 Biddle trans., p. 120. <>.

85 ( Note by Molinari .) J. B. Say, Traité d'économie politique , Liv. I, chap. xiii. Guillaumin ed. p. 125.

86 Biddle trans., p. 120. <>.

87 Molinari is toying with the idea of "human capital" but neither he nor Henri Storch actually use this expression. Storch comes very close with his distinction between "le capital matériel" and "le capital immatériel" (material and non-material capital); "le travail matériel" and "le travail immatériel" (material and non-material work); and "les biens matériels" and "les biens immatériel" (material and non-material goods). Molinari seems to prefer the terms "le capital extérieur" and "le capital intérieur" (exterior and interior capital) which he uses here. According to Storch "non-material capital" is made up of "les biens internes" (internal goods) which in turn are made up of things like "de santé, de dextérité, de lumières, de goût, de mœurs et de sentimens religieux" (health, dexterity, enlightenment, tastes, morals, and religions feelings) as well as "les hommes éclairés, les livres, les idées, les institutions utiles" (enlightened men, books, ideas, and useful institutions." All these he thought could be accumulated over time and reproduced as they were needed. See, Storch, Cours d'économie politique (1823), vol. III, chap. VIII "Du capital immatériel, et de la consommation des biens internes," pp. 300-7.

88 ( Note by Molinari .) See the treatise De la Liberté du travail (1845), vol. 1, pp. 349-50.

89 On the other hand, in S8 Molinari discusses the waste caused by state subsidies to theatres and libraries in France.

90 Possibly a reference to Angelica Catalani (1780–1849) the Italian soprano opera singer who was the greatest bravura singer of her day.

91 The Italian mezzo-soprano opera singer Giuditta Angiola Maria Costanza Pasta (1797-1865). Donizetti and Bellini wrote title roles especially for her: Donizetti in "Anna Bolena" (1830); and Bellini in "La somnambula" (1831) and "Norma" (1831).

92 The Swedish opera singer Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind (1820-1887) was one of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century. She was in great demand during the 1840s and decided to retire at the age of 29 in 1849. On several occasions Bastiat uses her and other famous singers of his day (Maria Galibran, Rachel, Rubini) as examples of the kind of non-material services which are voluntarily traded in a free market. See Economic Harmonies , chap. V "On Value.".

93 On Molinari's theory of rent see "Rent, Disrupting Factors, and Equilibrium," in appendix 1.

94 The Dutch landscape painter Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709) who was a pupil of the master Jacob van Ruisdael.

95 The Dutch Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640).

96 The French neo-classical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867).

97 The French painter of famous military battles, Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (1789-1863).

98 ( Note by Molinari .) Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce dans le milieu du quatrième siècle avant l'ère vulgaire . 2 vols. (Paris: Didier, 1843), vol. 1, p. 457.

99 ( Note by Molinari .) Barthélémy, Voyage du jeune Anacharsis , vol. 1, p. 331.

100 A saying attributed to Emperor Augustus that "I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble."

101 Saint Euverte or Euverte of Orléans was the fourth bishop of Orléans during the 4th century.

102 Fulbert de Chartres (970-1028) became Bishop of Chartres in 1006. The Cathedral in Chartres burnt down in 1020.

103 ( Note by Molinari .) Les cathédrales de France , par Chapuy et Jolimont. [Editor: A reference to Cathédrales françaises: dessinées d'après nature et lithographiées par Chapuy; avec un texte historique et descriptif (Paris: Leblanc, 1823-41), 2 vols. By Joseph Chapuy, Théodore de Jolimont, and Jean-Geoffroy Schweighaeuser.]

104 Molinari's friend and colleague Frédéric Bastiat developed a theory of "theocratic fraud" and "theocratic plunder" in his Economic Sophisms and elsewhere.

105 Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) was the Comptroller-General of Finance under King Louis XIV from 1665 to 1683. He epitomized the policy of state intervention in trade and industry known as "mercantilism."

106 Molinari is using its more modern name the "Academy of Fine Arts" which was founded in 1816. In its earlier incarnation it was comprised of three instituions, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (founded 1648), of Music ((1669), and Architecture (1671).

107 ( Note by Molinari .) Pierre Clément, Histoire de la vie et de l'administration de Colbert: contrôleur général des finances, ministre secrétaire d'état de la marine, des manufactures et du commerce, surintendant des bâtiments (Paris: Guillaumin, 1846), pp. 200-1.

108 ( Note by Molinari .) Pierre Clément, Histoire de la vie et de l'administration de Colbert , p. 201.

109 The French Baroque painter Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721); the French Rococo style painter François Boucher (1703–1770); possibly a reference to the most famous member of the Van Loo family of painters, Charles-André van Loo (1705-1765); and the Neo-classical style French painter Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).

110 The following section on French government spending on the fine arts was cut from the Lalor article probably because it was so specific to France. It continues with the paragraph beginning "It is a common opinion …"

111 For more details on French government expenditure in 1848-49 see Appendix 3 "French Government's Budgets for Fiscal Years 1848 and 1849." The following discussion is very similar to that in S8.

112 On government spending on the arts see Table 7 "Expenditure by the Ministry of the Interior in 1848," in appendix 3.

113 ( Note by Molinari .) The costs of construction of the Stock Exchange have been covered by means of a special tax levied on commercial activities in Paris.

114 Mécène Marié de l'Isle (22 May 1811 – 14 August 1879) was a French musician and opera singer, who used the stage name Marié.

115 Molinari puns on the words bureaucratic "savoir faire" and artistic knowledge ("le savoir").

116 ( Note by Molinari .) Horace Say, Études sur l'administration de la ville de Paris et du département de la Seine (Paris: Guillaumin, 1846), pp. 295-97.

117 The Lalor translation continues with Molinari's text from here.

118 I.e., technology.

119 Molinari no doubt has in mind the spectacular class and steel pavilion known as the "Christal Palace" in London for the 1851 Great Exhibition. He would also have witnessed the building of some of large railway stations in Paris in the early and mid-1840s, especially that of La Gare de Saint-Lazare which would be the subject of several paintings by Claude Monet in 1877.

120 The fellow Belgian Adolphe Sax, for example, patented his design for a new musical instrument known as the "Saxophone" in 1846.

121 Molinari deals with free trade in S7. He also wrote a two volume history of tariffs in 1847 and the key entries for the DEP on "Céréales" (Grain), T. 1, pp. 301-26; "Liberté des échanges (Associations pour la)" (Free Trade Associations), T. 2, p. 45-49; "Tarifs de douane" (Tariffs), T. 2, pp. 712-16; "Union douanière" (Customs Union), vol. 2, p. 788-89. He would go on to write two more collections of "conversations" about free trade in 1855 and 1885.

122 New Holland was the name given to the continent of Australia by the first European explorers, such as the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644. After the establishment of the British colony in Sydney in 1788 the eastern part of the continent was called New South Wales and the western part retained the name of New Holland. This name remained in popular usage until the 1850s even though the western colony of Swan River (Perth) (founded in 1828) had been renamed "Western Australia" in 1832.

123 Molinari has inserted a cross reference to another article in the DEP : Charles Coquelin, "Échange," DEP , vol. 1, pp. 637-40.

124 Horace Say, "Division du travail," DEP , vol. 1, pp. 567-69.

125 Molinari sometimes uses the terms protectionism (and protectionist) and prohibition (and prohibitory) interchangeably, but there was a significant difference between the two. Under "prohibition" goods from another country were banned entry to the home market; under "protectionism" foreign goods would be allowed in but only after tariffs (i.e. taxes) had been paid at the point of entry.

126 A castellany was a medieval district which was administered by a castellan. The term originated from the Latin for castle "castellum" and the castellan was the appointed administrator of the feudal domain around the castle.

127 Horace Say, "Douane," DEP , vol. 1, pp. 578-604.

128 A reference to the tax and tariff reforms introduced by Colbert, the Minister of Finance under King Louis XIV, in 1664.

129 Tariffs were completely reorganized by a law of August 1791 which abolished most prohibitions on imported material, abolished tariffs on primary products used by French manufacturers and food stuffs for consumers, and reduced tariffs on manufactured goods gradually down to 20-25% by value of the goods imported. See "Tariff Policy," in appendix 2.

130 The octroi was a tax imposed on certain goods entering a town to pay for various thingsw such as streets and lighting. See the section of "Octroi" in "Taxation," in appendix 2.

131 Hippolyte Passy, "Impôt," DEP , vol. 1, pp. 898-914.

132 Molinari wrote the article on "Colonies - Colonisation - Système colonial," DEP , T. 1, pp. 393-403; as well as "Colonies agricoles" and "Colonies militaires," DEP , T. 1, pp. 403-5.

133 Molinari uses the English word.

134 Horace Say, "Primes et drawbacks," DEP , T. 2, pp. 433-34.

135 C. de Brouckère, "Traités de commerce," DEP , T. 2, 759-60.

136 Molinari puts the word "ravir" in quote marks.

137 Frédéric Bastiat also noted the militaristic language used by protectionists in ES1 22 "Metaphors" (c. 1845) (CW3, pp. 100-03).

138 ( Note by Molinari ). Les singes économistes. Brochure in-8, anonyme, traduit par Benjamin Laroche. [ Editor : It was published by one of the leading English defenders of free trade Col. Thomas Perronet Thompson as "The Article on Free Trade," Westminster Review (January 1830) with a cartoon drawn by Thomas Landseer. Molinari also refers to this cartoon and pamphlet in S7. See "The Monkey Economists and Free Trade," in the glossary.

139 Molinari probably got the idea of "un inventeur à rebours" (an inventor in reverse) from his friend and colleague Bastiat who denounced on several occasions the arguments of the protectionists and the socialists as "l'économie politique à rebours" (backwards political economy) which "prendre le moyen pour le but, l'obstacle pour la cause, alpha pour oméga" (mistakes the means for the end, the obstacle for the cause, and the alpha for the omega). See EH VI "Wealth" (CW5) and "Damn Money!" (CW4).

140 ( Note by Molinari .) Richesses des nations, liv. I, chap. III, pp. 107-8 (Guillaumin ed.). [Editor: Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, edited with an Introduction, Notes, Marginal Summary and an Enlarged Index by Edwin Cannan (London: Methuen, 1904). Vol. 1, Book I, chap. III "That the division of labour is limited by the extent of the market," pp. 19-20. <>.]

141 Say, "Primes et drawbacks."

142 The following two sentence were cut from the Lalor version of the article.

143 Clos de Vougeot is a famous wine producing "château" in Burgundy. Cistercian monks grew pinot noir grapes there in the early 12th century. The "close" was created when the monks built a wall around the abbey in 1330 and the chateau was constructed in 1551. When land owned by the clergy was confiscated during the revolution the banker Gabriel-Julien Ouvrard acquired the Clos de Vougeot.

144 Château Lafite is a famous vineyard in the commune of Pauillac near Bordeaux on land originally owned by the La Fite family. The first vines were grown in the late 17th century by Jacques de Ségur. The chateau and vineyards were bought by the wealthy banker James de Rothschild in 1868.

145 "Dupes" is a term much used by Bastiat to describe the people who have been fooled by the "sophisms" or false arguments of the protectionists. "Bastiat on Enlightening the 'Dupes' about the Nature of Plunder," in the Introduction to CW3, pp. lv-lviii.

146 See his entries in the DEP on "Paix, Guerre," T. 2, pp. 307-14, and "Nations" (below).

147 The theory of "le déplacement" (displacement) and "des causes perturbatrices" (disturbing factors was also an important part of Bastiat's economic theory. See, "Theory of Displacement" and "Disturbing and Restorative Factors," in Appendix 1, in CW3.

148 "Ces industries de guerre."

149 The wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars disrupted trade significantly between 1793 and 1815, especially Napoleon's policy of the "continental blockade" (1806) which was designed to prevent English goods being sold in occupied Europe.

150 Say, "Douane."

151 In 1826 Huskisson stated in Parliament that "This was our state, though in a far less degree than at present, when America became independent. She started by applying towards us the system, which we had applied towards Holland. She was then poor, with a very small commercial marine, without manufactures, having corn and raw materials to export;—and we know what her shipping now is. Let Gentlemen reflect on these circumstances, before they decide that it is necessarily wise to enter upon a similar contest with other poor and unmanufacturing countries. Let them seriously consider, whether a system of discriminating duties, now that the exclusive patent by which we held that system is expired,—is not the expedient of such a country as I have described, rather than the resource of one which already possesses the largest commercial marine in the world. They will then see, that it may possibly be a wise policy to divert such countries from that system, rather than to goad them on, or even leave them a pretext for going into it." "Exposition of the State of the Navigation of the United Kingdom" (May 12, 1826) in The Speeches of the Right Honorable William Huskisson: With a Biographical Memoir, Supplied to the Editor from Authentic Sources (London: J. Murray, 1831), vol. 3, p. 34.

152 William Huskisson(1770-1830) was a British Member of Parliament who served from 1796 to 1830. He rose to the post of secretary to the treasury 1804-09 and later president of the Board of Trade (1823-27). Huskisson introduced a number of liberal reforms, including the reformation of the Navigation Act. This was eventually abolished in 1849. See "Navigation Acts" in the glossary.

153 "La machine à fabriquer les primes." This is similar to Bastiat's idea of "la grande fabrique des lois" (the great law factory) which he used to describe the Chamber of Deputies which "manufactured laws" in order to create economic privileges for some at the expense of others. See, WSWNS 7 "Trade Restrictions" (CW3, pp. 427-32).

154 The major theorists of "legal plunder" was Molinari's friend and colleague Frédéric Bastiat, especially in his pamphlet The Law (June 1850). See "Theory of Plunder," in Appendix 1 (CW5, forthcoming).

155 "La clientèle confisquée" Since earlier Molinari used the word "ravir" (kidnap) to describe how one country "stole" another country's markets by means of tariffs, it seemed fitting here to talk about their customers in a similar way as "confiscated or abducted" clients or customers.

156 He means most of the Economists in the Guillaumin network who believed in the natural right to own and dispose of one's property without government interference.

157 Bastiat made a similar argument about how protectionists opposed free traders by saying that there were "no absolute principles" which should be applied in all cases, that everything was "flexible" and negotiable except them giving up protectionist policies. See, ES1 18 "There Are No Absolute Principles" (c. 1845) (CW3, pp. 83-85).

158 The master of writing short articles to debunk the "economic sophisms " of the protectionists was Frédéric Bastiat, who Molinari will acknowledge at the end of this section. He wrote about 72 of them, many of which he published in two collections published in 1846 and 1848. The remainder can be found in CW3, "Economic Sophisms "Third Series"," pp. 257-399.

159 Molinari uses the English word "free traders" here. He means Richard Cobden who helped organize the Anti-Corn Law League which successfully lobbied the British government to end protectionism in 1846.

160 William Johnson Fox (1786-1864) was a Member of Parliament, a journalist and renowned orator, and became one of the most popular speakers of the Anti-Corn Law League.

161 ( Note by Molinari. ) Speech given at a Meeting of 26 January 1844. Quoted by Bastiat in Cobden and the League , 1st ed., p. 182. [ Editor : Molinari also quoted this speech in S11. He uses a translation by Bastiat which differs slightly from the original version. This is retranslation of Bastiat's version. For the original English version see above, p. abc . W.J. Fox, speech given at the Covent Garden Theatre on January 25, 1844, Collected Works, vol. IV: Anti-Corn Law Speeches , pp. 62-63.]

162 These two sentences were cut from the Lalor version.

163 Charles Coquelin, "Balance du commerce," DEP , T. 1, pp. 101-6.

164 The Zollverein was the German customs union that emerged in 1834 when the southwestern German states of Baden and Württemberg joined the Prussian customs union.

165 Charles Coquelin, "Balance du commerce," DEP , T. 1, pp. 101-6.

166 Or in modern parlance, "to create a level playing field."

167 The following sentence was cut from the Lalor versions.

168 [A long foot note here was cut from the Lalor versions]. On this matter one can find some valuable information in the Inquiry into the Iron Industry which was published in 1829. 188 One learns that the iron industry received in 1822 an extraordinary supplement to its tariff protection. Soon afterwards this industry underwent a considerable expansion but, and this is a striking and curious thing, it employed for this development English capital and English workers. The iron forge owners, who were the beneficiaries of this much increased premium paid for by French consumers, thus had to share this premium with the latter, the very people the legislators had wanted to hit. The testimony of M. Boigues, owner of the Fourchambault mines, and M. Wilson, manager of the mines at Le Creusot, confirm in particular that English workers were in the majority in the new establishments. We will limit ourself to quoting the testimony of M. Wilson: Question : How many and what kind of workers do you employ for the making of iron? What is the proportion of English workers and French workers? Answer : 126 workers, namely 28 puddlers, 6 fire workers, 42 rollers, and 80 other workers. In the first year of operation, with the exception of simple tasks, all the workers were English. In the second year, we began to employ French puddlers who were quite well trained. After 1824 half of the workers we employed in puddling were French; but we have never employed French workers at Charenton for rolling. The English puddlers earned 14 francs per 1,000 kg, and French puddlers 10 francs; English rollers were paid at the rate of 10 francs per 1,000 kg of iron, and they would produce 80,000 kg per week. Thus they received 800 francs per week, out of which they had to pay the cost of assistants and aids. I estimate that what remained as their wage was about 100 francs per week. Q : Did the wages of the French workers rise to the level of the English workers, or did the wage of the English workers drop to the level of the French workers? A : On the contrary, there was a lowering of the wage of the French workers; both now only earn 8 francs for puddling 1,000 kg of iron. 188 The same thing occurred in 1841 and 1842 when the tariff on cotton and linen was increased to a prohibitive level. The new "French" factories that prohibition had encouraged to expand had done so principally with the assistance of a large importation of English capital and workers.

169 Molinari, "Émigration," DEP , T. 1, pp. 675-83.

170 A.E. Cherbuliez, "Paupérisme," DEP , T. 2, pp. 333-39.

171 Friedrich List's book Das nationale System der politischen Ökonomie (The National System of Political Economy) was published in German in 1841 and translated into French in 1851. It was very critically reviewed by Adolphe Blanqui in the JDE in May 1852, who called him "un véritable transfuge, un renégat de la liberté commerciale" (a veritable defector and renegade from commercial liberty) (p. 78). See also Joseph Garnier, "List (Frédéric)," DEP , T. 2, pp. 76-82. Friedrich List, Système national d'économie politique. Traduit de l'Allemand par Henri Richelot. Avec un préface, une notice biographique et des notes par le traducteur (Paris: Capelle, 1851); "Système national d'économie politique, par Frédéric List." (Compte-rendu par M. BLANQUI, de l'Institut) JDE , T. 32, nos. 133-34, Mai-Juin 1852, pp. 78-82. In English, see, Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy by Friedrich List, trans. Sampson S. Lloyd, with an Introduction by J. Shield Nicholson (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1909). <>.

172 The following sentence was cut from the Lalor version.

173 Sir John Bowring (1792-1872) was an English businessman, Member of Parliament (Bolton 1841-49), political economist, translator, and the fourth Governor of Hong Kong (1854-59).

174 The Congrès des Économistes was founded by the Belgian Free Trade Association. A European-wide congress was held in Brussels in September 1847 which was attended by 170 people who were a "who's who" of the leading advocates of liberal political economy in Europe. It was at this conference that Molinari may have met Karl Marx who also attended.

175 ( Note by Molinari .) Congrès des Économistes réuni à Bruxelles en 1847 , p. 135-36.

176 The "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations" (also known as "The Great Exhibition" was held in Hyde Park, London, between 1 May and 15 October 1851.

177 ( Note by Molinari .) Examen du système commercial connu sous le nom de système protecteur. — Appendice, p. 280. [Editor: See the second edition, Michel Chevalier, Examen du système commercial connu sous le nom de système protecteur. 2e ed. (Paris: Guillaumin et Ce, 1853), "Lettres sur l'avancement comparé de l'industrie française et de l'industrie étrangère," I. "L'Europe," pp. 326-27.]

178 ( Note by Molinari .) Discours de M. Thiers sur le régime commercial de la France, prononcé à l'Assemblée Legislative, le 27 juin 1851. [ Editor : Thiers gave two speeches: CLXVII. "Discours sur le régime commercial de la France, discussion de la proposition de M. Sainte-Beuve, prononcé le 27 juin 1851, à la Chambre des députés," pp. 135-244; and CLXVIII. "Discours sur le régime commercial de la France, discussion de la proposition de M. Sainte-Beuve, prononcé le 28 juin 1851, à la Chambre des députés," pp. 245-75. In Adolphe Thiers, Discours parlementaires de M. Thiers. Publiés par M. Calmon. Troisième Partie (1850-1864) (Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1880). Vol. IX.

179 ( Note by Molinari .) Examen du système commercial connu sous le nom de système protecteur. Pièces justificatives, deuxième lettre de M. Jean Dolfus , p. 354.[ Editor : Second ed.: "Pièces justificatives, Lettre de M. J. Dolfus de Mulhouse," pp. 381-88. Seconde lettre du même," pp. 388-400.]

180 Auguste Pierre Mimerel de Roubaix (1786-1872) was a textile manufacturer and politician from Roubaix who was a vigorous advocate of protectionism. He co-founded the protectionist "Association pour la défense du travail national" (Association for the Defense of National Employment) in October 1846 to counter the the French Free Trade Association for which Molinari and Bastiat worked.

181 The Conservative prime minister Sir Robert Peel announced the repeal of the Corn Laws on 27 January 1846, to take effect on 1 February 1849 after a period of gradual reduction in the level of the duty. The act was passed by the House of Commons on 15 May and approved by the House of Lords on 25 June, thus bringing to an end centuries of agricultural protection in England.

182 The following quotation was omitted from the Lalor version. ( Note by Molianri .) "Lettre communiquée par M. Natalis Rondot à la Société d'Économie politique de Paris," JDE , no. du 15 avril 1852, t. XXXI, p. 192.

183 Jérôme Adolphe Blanqui (1798-1854) was a liberal economist and brother of the revolutionary socialist Auguste Blanqui.

184 Bastiat published his first collection of Economic Sophisms in January 1846 and his second in January 1848. They can be found, along with a third collection in CW3.

185 Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was the leader of the Tories, served as Home Secretary under the Duke of Wellington (1822–27) and was prime minister twice (1834–35, 1841–46). Molinari wrote the entry on Peel for the DEP : "Peel (Robert)," T. 2, pp. 351-54.

186 ( Note by Molinari .) "My expectations concerning the tariff of 1846," wrote recently M. R.J. Walker, ex-minister of finance in the United States, "my expectations have been surpassed: customs revenue, which had been $26 million in that year under the tariff of 1842, in 1851 under the lower tariff regime were $50 million, and at the same time our exports doubled. Upon request by the Senate, I examined the matter in 1847 and the official report which I produced for them demonstrated that, taking into account the foreign market price, the increase in the price of imported goods, after the introduction of the tariff of 1842, the situation was that, in addition to the taxes levied and paid to the government, there was still a rise in prices which was equivalent to an additional tax imposed on the American consumers, the total cost of which could be estimated at $80 million. This enormous sum represents the cost of protection which resulted from too high a tariff. However," added M. Walker, " our tariff of 1842 was a lot less than your French tariff and it contained no protectionist component. It was clear to me that if your customs duties were cut back to just the amount necessary for fiscal purposes, imports alone would triple the amount of customs and would at the same time take a weight off commerce and even industry." "Lettre écrite à M. Horace Say, vice-président de la Société d'Économie politique, par M. R.-J. Walker," JDE , Aug. 1852, T. XXXII, p. 409.

187 What follows is a long bibliography of works on trade and commerce which we do not include here for reasons of space. See, DEP , T. 1, pp. 61-63.

188 ( Note by Molinari .) Enquête sur les fers , p. 70. [Editor: Enquête sur les fers. Commission formée avec l'approbation du roi, sous la présidence du ministre du commerce et des manufactures, pour l'examen de certaines questions de législation commerciale (Paris, Imprimerie royale, 1828). Molinari also discusses this government inquiry and quotes this passage in his Histoire du tarif (1847), vol. 1, pp. 25 ff, 37 ff.

190 Molinari uses the terms "fractionner" and "le fractionnement" throughout this entry. We have translated these as "to divide, break up, or fragment" and "division, breaking up, or fragmentation) accordingly.

191 "Le fractionnement."

192 Here Molinari uses the word "la morcellement" which was commonly used to describe the breaking or splitting up of holdings of land into smaller and smaller pieces as a result of French inheritance laws. he discusses this problem for French agriculture in S4.

193 "Un principe d'émulation" might also be translated as "a principle of competition."

194 The "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations" (also known as "The Great Exhibition" was held in Hyde Park, London, between 1 May and 15 October 1851. It was the first in a series of so-called "World's Fairs" which became popular in Europe and America in the 19th century to showcase a country's economic development, industry, and culture. It was organized by the inventor Henry Cole and Prince Albert , the husband of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria. See the almost rapturous article on "Expositions des produits de l'industrie" by Blanqui in DEP , vol. 1, pp. 46-51, on how strongly the economists thought such expositions could end national rivalries and promote peace.

195 "Le fractionnement des sociétés."

196 Molinari had personal experience of this, having been born in Liège in 1818 which was then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and which would become part of the new Kingdom of Belgium in 1830. The rivalry between Dutch/Flemish speakers and French speakers continues to this day.

197 The Revolution of July 1830 in Paris which saw the overthrow of the Bourbon King Charles X and his replacement by Louis Philippe, sparked an uprising in Brussels and the French-speaking southern provinces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This lead to the secession of these provinces and the formation of the new Kingdom of Belgium.

198 A reference to Say's Law of Markets, which states that "supply creates its own demand" or "goods are exchanged for others goods." See footnote on p. 476 ["that "products are bought with other products" which is a variant of "Say's Law" applied to foreign trade, namely that "supply creates its own demand."]

199 ( Note by Molinari .) Traité d'Économie politique , liv. I, chap. XV, p. 145 (Guillaumin 1841 ed.)

200 Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth, ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French , (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed.), p. 138. <>.

201 ( Note by Molinari .) Idem ., liv. II, chap. IX. [Editor: The quote comes from a footnote added to the 6th edition of the Traité , vol. 2, p. 225. See 1841 Guillaumin ed. p. 408. This footnote does nt appear to have been translated in the Biddle edition.]

202 ( Note by Molinari .) Traité d'Économie politique , liv. I, chap. IX, p. 106 Guillaumin 1841 ed.

203 Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth, ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French , (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed.), p. 109. <>. Book I, chapter IX: "Of the different methods of employing commercial industry, and the mode in which they concur in production"

204 Molinari uses the colourful expression "réunir toutes les nations en un seul troupeau gouverné par un berger omniarcal." Bastiat had a similar set of colorful terms to describe the would-be socialist planners of society, such as "the great mechanic," or social "gardeners." See "The Social Mechanism and its Driving Force," in Appendix 1 CW4 (forthcoming).

205 ( Note by Molinari .) By Alphonse de Lamartine (Saint-Point, 28 mai 1841) in Revue des Deux mondes . [Editor: Alphonse de Lamartine, Œuvres complètes de Lamartine (Chez l'Auteur, 1860), vol. 5, "la Marseillaise de la paix" pp. 95-100 (quote p. 97).

206 Literally "sans être humanitaires ou unitéistes" (without being humanitarians or 'unitarians' (or "unity-ists")).

207 Molinari wrote the entry on "Paix. Guerre," DEP , T. 2, pp. 307-14.

208 As he argued in S11.

209 See "Ulcerous, Leprous, and Tax-Eating Government," in appendix 1.

210 "Le gouvernement-ulcère." Molinari discusses this idea at greater length in Cours , vol. 2, p. 530.

211 In S11 he argues not that government will be abolished by replaced by private, competing insurance companies, but that its "monopoly" over providing that servie will be abolished. He also discusses the issue of nationalism under such a system of "la liberté du gouvernement."

212 In S11 Molinari argues that in fact the feeling of "nationality" would be stronger in a free society as national boundaries would be "natural" (i.e. not formed coercively).

213 ( Note by Molinari .) Traité d'Économie politique , liv. I, chap. XIV. Guillaumin 1841 ed. p. 133.

214 Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth, ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French , (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed.), pp. 131-32. <>.

215 Here Molinari appears to be backtracking somewhat from his stronger claims made in S11 when speaking as "The Economist." He was criticised for doing this by Charles Coquelin in his review of Les Soirées in the JDE . Perhaps here, in writing this entry for the DEP , he was obliged to speak on behalf of all the economists, not just himself, and so took a more moderate position.

216 In his treatise the first edition of which appeared three years after this was written, Molinari listed all the ways in which governments "sin" (pécher) against the laws of political economy in their provision of goods and services, such as ignoring the division of labour, growing too large to best be able to satisfy the needs of consumers, prohibiting competition and free trade which keep prices down, and preventing the development of specialisation. See Cours , vol. 2, p. pp. 522-26 .

217 ( Note by Molinari .) Traité d'Économie politique , liv. III, chap. VI, p. 477( Guillaumin 1841 ed.).

218 Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy; or the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth, ed. Clement C. Biddle, trans. C. R. Prinsep from the 4th ed. of the French, (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855. 4th-5th ed. ). Book III, chap. VI, "Of the Charge of Civil and Judicial Administration," pp. 421 ff. <>.

219 The words "cancerous" and "ulcerous" played an important part is Molinari's theory of the state. See "Ulcerous, Leprous, and Tax-Eating Government," in appendix 1. Also Molinari's entry on "Esclavage," DEP , T. 1, pp. 712-31.

220 Molinari dealt with the issue of the injustice of eminent domain in S3. There he took a much more radical position opposing the coercive acquisition of private property by the state on the grounds that it violated the rights of property owners. He was criticized for this position in at the October 1849 meeting of the Political Economy Society. See below, p. abc . Here, he seems to have backtracked by taking a more utilitarian approach to the problem, perhaps because he felt obliged to speak on behalf of all the Economists this time, instead of just himself as he did in S3.

221 ( Note by Molinari .) Henri comte de Boulainvilliers, Essais sur la noblesse de France: contenans une dissertation sur son origine & abaissement (Amsterdam: p.p., 1732), pp. 4-5.

222 Perhaps a reference to Jacques Basnage (sieur de Beauval), Annales des Provinces-Unies: depuis les négociations pour la paix de Munster. Avec la description historique de leur gouvernement (La Haye: Charles le Vier, 1719), pp. 94-99.

223 Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe: A Romance (1819). A French translation appeared in 1831: Ivanhoe. Traduction de M. Defauconpret, avec des éclaircissements et des notes historiques (Paris: Furne, 1831).

224 ( Note by Molinari .) [Editor: Some sections of the quote were omitted by Molinari. These are indicated in bold. The translation we have used is by William Hazlitt. His footnotes have been omitted.) The Domesday Book is nothing but a great inventory of the Norman conquest. We quote from the excellent history of M. Augustin Thierry some interesting details concerning the origin of this curious inquiry, and upon the way in which it was drawn up:

From this epoch dates a spirit of mutual distrust and secret hostility between the king and his old friends; they accused each other of avarice and selfishness. William reproached the Norman chiefs with caring more for their private interest than for the common safety; with thinking more of building farms, raising flocks, or forming studs, than of holding themselves in readiness against the native or foreign enemy. In their turn, the chiefs reproached the king with being beyond all measure greedy of gain, and with desiring to appropriate to himself, under false pretexts of general utility, the wealth acquired by the labour of all. In order to rest his demand of contributions, or money services, on a fixed basis, (King) William ordered a general territorial inquest to be made, and a register prepared of all the mutations of property brought about in England by the conquest; he desired to know into what hands throughout the country the Saxon domains had passed, and how many of these still retained their possessions in virtue of special agreements with himself or his barons, how many acres of land there were in each domain, how many were sufficient for the maintenance of a man-at-arms, and how many men-at-arms there were in each province or county of England; what was the gross amount derived in various ways from the cities, towns, boroughs and hamlets, what was the exact property of each earl, baron, knight, or sergeant-at-arms; what land, how many men holding fiefs on that land, how many Saxons, how much cattle, and how many ploughs each possessed.

This undertaking, in which modern historians have thought they discerned the stamp of administrative genius, was simply the result of the peculiar position of the Norman king, as chief of a conquering army, and of the necessity of establishing some kind of order in the chaos of the conquest. This is so entirely the case, that in other conquests, the details of which have been transmitted to us, for example, in that of Greece by the Latin crusaders in the thirteenth century, we find the same kind of inquest instituted by the chiefs of the invasion, on a wholly similar plan.

In virtue of the orders of king William, Henry de Ferrieres, Walter Giffard, Adam, brother of Eudes the seneschal, and Remi, bishop of Lincoln, with other personages selected from among the officers of justice and of the Exchequer, made a progress through the counties of England, establishing a court of inquiry in each place of any importance. They summoned before them the Norman viscount of each province, or of each Saxon shire , a personage whom the Saxons, in their language, still called by the ancient title of shire-reve or sheriff . They then summoned, or caused the viscount to summon, all the Norman barons of the neighbourhood, and called upon them to state the precise limits of their possessions and of their territorial jurisdictions; then some of the inspectors, or commissioners delegated by them, proceeded to each large domain and to each district, or hundred, as the Saxons called it. There they made the French men-at-arms of each seigneur, and every English inhabitant of the hundred, declare upon oath how many free-holders or lease-holders there were on the domain,1 what portion each occupied in full and modified property, the names of the actual holders, the names of those who had possessed them before the conquest, and the various mutations of property that had taken place since. So that they required, say the narratives of the time, three declarations concerning each estate; what it had been in the time of king Edward; what it was when William gave it, and what it was at the time being. Under each particular return was inscribed this form: "This is what has been sworn by all the Frenchmen and all the Englishmen of the hundred."

In each town they inquired what taxes the inhabitants had paid to the ancient kings, and what the town produced to the officers of the Conqueror; how many houses the war of the conquest or the construction of fortresses had done away with; how many houses the conquerors had taken; how many Saxon families, reduced to utter poverty, were not in a condition to pay anything. In cities, they took the oath from the high Norman authorities, who convoked the Saxon citizens in their old Guildhall, now become the property of the king or of some foreign baron; lastly, in places of less importance, they took the oath of the royal provost, of the priest, and of six Saxons or villeins, as the Normans called them, of each town. This survey occupied six years, during which the commissioners of king William went over all England, with the exception of the mountainous districts, north and west of Yorkshire, that is to say, the five modern counties of Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire. …

However this may be, the register, or, to use the old term, the terrier of the Norman conquest, makes no mention of the domains conquered beyond the province of York. The compilation of this roll for each county mentioned in it, was formed on an uniform plan. The king's name was placed at the head, with the list of his lands and revenues in the county; then followed the names of the chiefs and lesser proprietors, in the order of their military rank and territorial wealth. The Saxons who had been spared by special grace in the great spoliation, figured only in the last ranks; for the few men of that race who remained free proprietors, or tenants, en chef du roi , as the conquerors expressed it, possessed only very small estates. They were inserted at the end of each chapter under the name of thanes of the king , or with various qualifications derived from offices in the royal household. The other names of Anglo-Saxon aspect which occur here and there in the roll, belonged to men who farmed portions, of greater or less extent, of the domains of the Norman earls, barons, knights, sergeants-at-arms or cross-bow-men.

Such is the form of the authentic and still existing book, whence have been derived most of the facts as to expropriations given in the present work. This precious volume, in which the conquest was registered in its entirety, so that its memory might never be effaced, was called by the Normans, le grand rôle , le rôle royale , or le rôle de Winchester , because it was preserved in the treasury of the cathedral of that city. The Saxons called it by a more solemn name, Dom-boc, or Doomsday Book , because it contained their sentence of irrevocable expropriation.

A. Thierry, Histoire de la Conquête d'Angleterre par les Normands , T. II, pp. 237-44.

[Editor: In Augustin Thierry, History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, translated from the seventh Paris edition, by William Hazlitt (London: H.G. Bohn, 1856). In 2 volumes. Vol. 1, pp. 299-303. <>.]

225 ( Note by Molinari .) Histoire de la Conquête de L'Angleterre par les Normands, T. II, p. 31. [Editor: Molinari cites the 5th edition of 1835, Histoire de la Conquête de L'Angleterre par les Normands: De ses causes et de ses suites jusqu'à nos jours en Angleterre, en Ecosse, en Irlande et sur le continent (Paris: Alexander Mesnier, 1835), T. 1, p. 34. In Hazlitt's translation the quoted passage reads: "This natural and general nobility of all the conquerors at large, increased in proportion to the personal authority or importance of individuals. After the nobility of the Norman king, came that of the provincial governor, who assumed the title of count or earl ; after the nobility of the count came that of his lieutenant, called vice-count or viscount ; and then that of the warriors, according to their grade, barons, chevaliers, ecuyers , or sergents , not equally noble, but all nobles by right of their common victory and their foreign birth. Vol. 1, p. 198.

226 Bastiat used the terms "la spoliation transitoire" (transitory or temporary plunder) and "la spoliation permanente" (permanent or institutionalised plunder). Mancur Olson would use a similar set of terms to describe the formation of early states, from "roving bandits" to "stationary bandits." See, Mancur Olson, Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships (New York: Basic Books, 2000).

227 The Scottish historian William Robertson (1721–1793) who wrote History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, with a View of the Progress of Society in Europe (1769) (4 vols.).

228 ( Note by Molinari .) Montesquieu has revealed with great clarity the nature of this transformation of the feudal system, as well as the causes which determined it.

THE manner of changing an allodial estate into a fief, may be seen in a formulary of Marculfus. The owner of the land gave it to the king, who restored it to the donor by way of usufruit, or benefice, and then the latter nominated his heirs to the king.

In order to find out the reasons which induced them thus to change the nature of the allodia , I must trace the source of the ancient privileges of our nobility, a nobility who for these eleven centuries have been ready to undergo every hardship, and to spill their blood in their country's service.

They who were seized of fiefs enjoyed very great advantages. The composition for the injuries done them was greater than that of freemen. It appears by the formularies of Marculfus, that it was a privilege belonging to the king's vassal, that whoever killed him should pay a composition of six hundred sous. This privilege was established by the Salic law†, and by that of the Ripuarians; and while these two laws ordained a composition of six hundred sous for the murder of the king's vassal, they gave but two hundred sous for the murder of a person freeborn, if he was a Frank or Barbarian living under the Salic law; and only a hundred for a Roman. 237

After having enumerated various other privileges which the vassals of the king enjoyed, the author of the Esprit des lois adds:

It is very natural therefore to think that those Franks who were not the king's vassals, and much more the Romans, became fond of entering into the state of vassalage; and that they might not be deprived of their demesnes, they devised the usage of giving their allodium to the king, of receiving it from him afterwards as a fief, and of nominating their heirs. This usage was continued, and took place especially during the times of confusion under the second race, when every man being in want of a protector, was desirous to incorporate himself with the other lords, and to enter as it were, into the feudal monarchy, because the political no longer existed . [ ( Note by Molinari .) De l'esprit des lois , book xxxi., chap. 8. OLL version pp. 441-42. ]

229 Molinari uses a very colorful expression here: "cette Californie religieuses du moyen âge." it should be noted that the California Gold Rush had begun in 1849 while Molinari was probably writing these lines. Molinari also referred to California and its mining laws in S3. He has the Conservative exclaim "Property! That is the real California. Long live property!" See above, pp. abc .

230 Henri Baudrillart, "Bourgeoisie," DEP , T. 1, pp. 200-6.

231 ( Note by Molinari .) Noble prejudice banned poor nobles from entering into industry and commerce, which had formerly been degraded by slavery. It was not till the eighteenth century that there began to be a reaction against this prejudice. A writer, who then enjoyed some notoriety, the abbé Coyer, wrote a work entitled the Noblesse commerçante (The Business-Minded Nobility), [Note: Gabriel François abbé Coyer, La noblesse commerçante (Paris: chez Duchesne, 1756).] in which he urged the nobles to have recourse to the useful and remunerative occupations of industry and commerce to restore their patrimonies, which the abuse of luxury had considerably reduced. The work of the abbé Coyer was well received by the young nobility, who were beginning to be impregnated with philosophic ideas; but it excited in the highest degree the indignation of the partisans of the old ideas. An aristocratic writer, the chevalier d'Areq, undertook to refute the unseemly and incongruous propositions which were advanced therein. The arguments of this defender of noble prejudice were not lacking in a certain originality. The chevalier d'Areq stated, in the first place, with a sorrowful horror, that the nobility was only too disposed to follow the degrading counsels of the abbé Coyer, and he begged them, in the name of their honor and of the safety of all, to pause on the brink of so fatal an abyss.

"It would be necessary, on the contrary" he exclaimed with indignation, "to place new barriers between the nobility and the path it is proposed to open. Without such barriers, instead of seeing only one gentleman in a family follow this path, it is to be feared that all, or at least almost all, the members of the family will rush into it, and that we shall see a crowd of nobles upon our merchant vessels, with no other arms than the pen, instead of seeing them upon our war vessels, the sword in their hands to defend the timid trader.

… It is asked, what do you wish a gentleman to do, who only possesses ancient titles, one more reason to make him blush for his misery? Is it in France that they dare to put this question? Is it in France that a gentleman remains idle upon his estate, while victory is waiting to crown the nobility on the battle-fields? Is it in France that a gentleman is advised to give himself over to baseness, to infamy, in short, to dishonor the name of his ancestors, virtuous, without doubt, since they were judged worthy of nobility, with no other pretext than to save him from indigence, while there is a gracious monarch to serve, a country to defend, and arms always ready for whoever wishes to walk down the road of honor?" [ ( Note by Molinari .) Philippe-Auguste de Sainte-Foix Arcq, La noblesse militaire, opposée à la noblesse commerçante ou le patriote françois (Amsterdam: 1756), pp. 73, 87-8.]

The chevalier d'Areq then reprimanded the nobility for its excessive luxury; he begged them to practice economy, and ended by posing this curious dilemma:

"Commerce on a large scale, the only commerce which can be suitable for the nobility, if indeed commerce can be suitable for it, is not carried on without the funds necessary to purchase the raw materials, and without which, desire, zeal, activity and intelligence become useless tools. Either the nobility, which it is wished to make commercial, possesses these funds, or it does not possess them. If it possesses them, it has no need of commerce; these funds should be sufficient for its subsistence, while awaiting the reward which its merit and its services should naturally provide for it. (pp. 97-98)… If the nobility has not the funds necessary for the purchase of the commodities, in what way can it take the first steps in commerce? A gentleman acknowledges no other masters but God, honor, his country, and his king. Is it then into the service of a commoner that one wants to subject him under the title of an apprentice? Is it by laying aside the trappings of war to don the harness of servitude that one claims will lead him to make his fortune? By what means! With what shame! Is not indigence a thousand times preferable to him?" ( Note by Molinari .) La noblesse militaire , etc., p. 98. [Editor: 1756 ed., pp. 101-2.]

The abbé Coyer replied with two volumes, entitled, Développement et défense du système de la noblesse commerçante ;( Note by Molinari .) Coyer, Développement et défense du système de la noblesse commerçante (Amsterdam: Chez Duchesne, 1757). and Grimm, giving an account of the quarrel in his correspondence (1757), [Note: Friedrich Melchior baron Grimm, Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique, adressée à un souverain d'Allemagne, depuis 1753 jusqu'en 1769 (Paris: Longchamps, 1813). 2 vols.] wrote a plea in favor of the military nobility. The question remained undecided, and in our days there are still many nobles imbued with the prejudice which the abbé Coyer combated. Yet the most obstinate are willingly resigned to "break with tradition" by investing their funds in industry, provided that the investment is remunerative.

232 ( Note by Molinari .) La France avant la révolution , par Raudot, p. 103. [Editor: Claude Marie Raudot, La France avant la révolution: son état politique et social en 1787 à l'ouverture de l'Assemblée des notables, et son histoire depuis cette époque jusqu'aux États généraux (Paris: Paulin, 1841), pp. 75-76. On "la corvée" see the section on "Taxation," in Appendix 2.]

233 Comte Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, Q'uest-ce que le tiers-état? Pamphlet publié en 1789, précédé d'une étude sur l'auteur par M. Chapuys-Montlaville (Paris: Pagnerre, 1839), pp. 75-77.

234 ( Note by Molinari. ) See, on the subject of this policy of monopoly and of war of the British aristocracy, the introduction to Cobden et la Ligue, ou l'Agitation anglaise pour la liberté du commerce , by Fred. Bastiat. [Editor: Bastiat's Introduction will appear in CW6 (forthcoming).]

235 See his comments about the the copying by the bourgeoisie and then the gradual disappearance of aristocratic styles of dress in his entry "Fashion" (below).

236 ( Note by Molinari .) According to Bentham, no system of rewards is more costly than that which consists in according titles of nobility as a payment for services rendered to the state. The following are the reasons given by the illustrious utilitarian philosopher for his opinion: [( Note by Molinari .) Bentham, Théorie des récompenses et des peines , liv. II, chap. 5. Raisons pour l'économie des récompenses . Guillaumin ed. pp. 142-43.]

"It is commonly said that rewards in honors cost the state nothing. This is an error; for not only do honors render services dearer, but moreover there are burdens which can not be estimated in money. All honor supposes some pre-eminence. Among individuals placed on a level of equality, some can not be favored by a degree of elevation, except by making others suffer by a relative abasement. This is true, above all, of permanent honors, of those which confer rank and privileges. There are two classes of persons at whose expense these honors are conferred: the class from which the new dignitary is taken, and the class into which he is introduced. The more, for example, the number of the nobles is increased, the more their importance is diminished and the more the value of their order is detracted from.

… Profusion of honors has the two-fold disadvantage of debasing them and of causing also pecuniary expenses. If a peerage is given, a pension must frequently be added to it. If only to maintain the dignity of it.

It is thus that the hereditary nobility has raised the rate of all rewards. If a simple citizen has rendered brilliant services, it is necessary to begin by taking from the common class and raising him to the rank of nobility. But nobility without an independent settlement is only a burden. Therefore it is necessary to add to it gratuities and pensions. The reward becomes so great, so onerous, that it can not be paid all at once. It is necessary to make of it a burden, with which posterity is loaded.

It is true that posterity must pay in part for the services, the fruits of which it shares; but if there were no noble by birth, personal nobility would be sufficient. Among the Greeks a pine branch or a handful of parsley, among the Romans a few laurel leaves, rewarded a hero.

Fortunate Americans, fortunate for so many reasons, if, to have happiness, it is sufficient to possess all that constitutes happiness! This advantage is still yours. Respect the simplicity of your manners and customs; take care never to admit an hereditary nobility. The patrimony of merit would soon become that of birth. Give pensions, raise statutes, confer titles; but let these distinctions be personal. Preserve all the force, all the purity of honor; do not alienate that precious fund of the state in favor of a haughty class, which will not be slow in using it against you." [Note: A slightly different version of this was published in English as The Rationale of Reward (1790s). See The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 2. The Rationale of Reward (1790s), Chapter V.: "Matter of Reward—Reasons for Husbanding," pp. 201 ff. <>.]

237 ( Note by Molinari .) Montesquieu, chap. VIII "In what Manner the allodial Estates were changed into Fiefs." in Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2, p. 440. <>.