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the Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, or by whatever other name it may be called. This tripled deification being found a breach upon the Jewish doctrine of one God only, the ridiculous dogma of the Trinity in Unity was set up, which more than any thing else has burlesqued all theology, and outraged the rational faculties of mankind.
The bigb-minded Pagans seeing such a sect, or such a multitude of sects, with an indescribable God and Gods, springing up; finding themselves alike insulted and outraged in their very temples and long established systems of worship, by this set of mad fanatics, such as had never before been seen among mankind; very justly stiled them CHRISTIAN Atheists, blasphemous and profane and execrable wretches, who insulted alike the Gods and every thing that was venerable among mankind as then existing. My attack upon your idolatry is decency forbearance and moderation itself, in comparison with the foul attacks of the first Christians upon the more rational worship of their neighbours. The early Christians ridiculed and outraged even the toleration and magnanimity of the Pagans, and madly challenged pains and penalties, when none were desirous of inflicting them!
But my more particular reason for calling you a Cbristian Atheist is, that you cannot prove any thing about those Gods of which you scribble and prattle. Knowing, that I am an Atheist towards all the Gods that man has juvented, created, or altered, I know also, that you, in the absence of all proof, all possibility, to the contrary, are an Atheist of the same kind; but, as you pique yourself upon being a Christian, there seems po objection to your being called a CHRISTIAN ATHEIST by
TU MR. R. CARLILE, DORCHESTER GAOL.
London, August 31, 1824. In your notes to Mr. Penny's proposition of an equal division of land, in the Republican, of the 22d inst., you have shewn the folly of such proposals, and in doing this you have done some service; there is a notion among men that all their wants arise from the unequal division of land, and this blinds them to the other causes of their degradation. It would be a great step gained if this no
tion could be put an end to. The modes of accumulating, as well as of holding of land, are not on the best possible footing, nor can they be until the body of the people become much wiser than they now are. But equal divisions of land under any system would, if it could be maintained for any considerable period, convert the whole of the population into a nation of ignorant savages.
Mr. Harrison Wilkinson's project is crude and would be unjust if adopted, you will find this fully explained in Mr. Mills's Elements of Political Economy-chap. iv. second edition. In as much as such a'tax as Mr. W. proposes would be partial it has nothing to recommend it above other taxes. But you add this, if a tax per acre were put upon the land-you “cannot conceive the possibility of a redundant population. I on the contrary cannot see how such a tax has any thing to do with the question of redundant population. For suppose the very best arrangements that you can imagine, to be in existence, and that by these arrangements you can maintain two persons to an acre and you breed four, will not that be a redundant population? Oh, but say you, let us stop complaining until that is the case, we need not concern ourselves about what may happen a hundred or a thousand years hence, and thus you blind your understanding, and grope about in the dark condemning those who see the light. You add "those who say redundant population do not say there is more than the produce of the earth will support. The acknowledged abundance of food sets that idea aside." I reply that you have begged the question, and made a very great mistake. Those who say redundant population, say, that in this country there is no abundance of food, it is useless talking of the “ earth” because those who are in this country and are poor must remain here, there is no other earth for them. The means of emigration to an extent to be felt among 20,000,000 of people do not exist, this then is their earth.
Let us now look at the abundance of food; a large proportion of the Irish people feed upon potatoes, a large proportion of the English people are not much better fed, yet all that is produced is eaten. So far then from an abundance of food, there is not enough. Millions of people are ill fed, yet all that is produced is eaten. Millions of people could eat as much again as they do eat, if they could get it to eat, yet all is eaten, where then is the abundance. I reply no where, there is no abundance. But the not having as much to eat as each
person would like to eat, or ought to eat to keep them in health end vigour is only part of the evil of want of the abundance which you say I and others admit, but which I say we deny. Hundreds of thousands of people linger on until the privations they endure brings on disease and they die. Millions of children die from the same causes, actually from the want of abundance, and it is this misery which “ they who say redundant population, would prevent, by not bringing into existence those who necessarily produce it and suffer from it. Aye, says on objector but the reason is,
you do not let the people consume, “ you must enable them to consume.” To this I reply you might just as well enable them to fly, it would be as reasonable to attempt the one thing as the other, and the one would as easily be accon?plished as the other, except so far as consuming in the first instance goes. Well, they shall be made consumers. You who have corn and cattle let all come and consume; is it not clear that all or nearly all would soon be consumed, and that the whole community would be in a state of starvation, all would be alike, in misery; and death would speedily thin the population. Aye, again says the objecter, but then you could produce a great deal more. I say no not if they eat up the seed, and the cattle-we shall want the means of producing. But let us look at this producing in another point of view. A man makes corn and cattle as he makes houses and clothes, for profit, and if he cannot get profit he will make neither. Why should a man manufactu
any thing whether food or clothes, but to gain by his manufacture, and why should one class of men be expected to go on manufacturing without profit any more than another class of men, surely no good reason can be given for this. Why should not a farmer having £10,000 gain as much by farming as another man with the same sum does by cloth making. No reason can be given why he should not; and what is more, unless he actually does gain as much, he will leave off farming, farmers as well as cloth makers must have the usual profits of trade or they will diminish in number, and the quantity of farm produce will decrease until its scarcity enables a farmer to get as good profits as other people. This is the inevitable course of things. But, say you, the people could produce more than is now produced if they were let to produce it. This is true and in a little time England would be enabled to feed more people than it now contains. But how? By making them all but brute breasts-carry this process on but a little while and you will produce the most degraded population possible. Is this what you mean? Surely not-you are striving to make the people wiser, and these attempts of yours are in direct opposition to the absurd doctrines
you are teaching in respect to population. In a very large portion of Ireland the people do produce for themselves, and what is the consequence-misery and degradation, unheard of in any other country on the face of the earth. They produce potatoes, and live like cattle upon them; they have increased in number to such an extent that they cannot give work to one another, and their taskmasters cannot give them employment beyond the amount of their rent, so that they have no money, and are half naked-and what is the consequence, what but a continually rapid increase of poor ill fed, uneducated, miserable beings, never wholly free from disease, swept off by thousands when the potatoe crop fails, yet not swept off so as they increase, for they actually breed more children in the intervals than the occasional typhus fever destroys.
But says the obstinate objecter, it has been asserted that high wages is the cause of a too rapid increase of people, how then do
make it out that in Ireland where wages are from 6d. to 2d. a day, and where even at that rate there is no more employment than enables a man to pay his rent, and to purchase a few coarse woollen rags to cover the bodies of himself and family, how do you make it out that they should increase so fast as they do? Why thus you goose. As there are no means of employing the people, they must employ themselves, if they can, this the land owner enables them to do by letting his land in small patches. Thus marriages are very early, and children are produced in multitudes. A boy and a girl marry, the relations on both sides having secured a piece of ground for them, set to work, build a mud hut, for them supply them with potatoes for seed, dig the ground and plant them. They must be maintained as usual until the potatoes are ripe, and then they are on their own hands. These effects are continually going on, and a more effectual mode of breeding in excess never was devised. But our potatoe headed objector will not give up his absurd notion, “they pay rent,” he says. Well let us give up the rent, let them have the ground for nothing. Now what will be the consequence, why this, the landlord will keep some few of them as labourers all the year round and the rest will remain just as they are. Their possessions will do little more than feed them, at any time surplus produce of potatoes would be useless—for there would be no market for them, they would not be worth collecting and carrying away-but, say they are worth something, a very few years would so thickly people the land that there would be no more ground for a family than would just feed the family, and then, they would all be at the very lowestend of the scale of human degradation. Is there not then a redundant population? and while it continues at its present amount, must it not continue to subsist on the very lowest kind of food, which from the failure of the crop, necessarily produces the plague, is not this a redundant population? Is not this so? and where is the “superabundance" which you say, “ Government is to enable the people to consume. Show me I beseech you
“ Government" can take to enable the “ unemployed to consume the superabundance." Do this, I pray you, , I have the well being of the people, the working people, at heart, more than any other thing, I have all my life long been working gratuitously for their good, and happy indeed shall I be, if you can shew me how they can be made comfortable in any way what
You say the eye of the producer is always on the market--true and unless he can get a remunerating price he will cease to be a producer, and how is this price to be produced by the mass of the people---what have they to offer, nothing but their labour? Well is it not very absurd to say that labour cannot be produced in excess? And if in excess will it not fall in price--if more labour is
offered than can be employed, must not some of it remain un-employed, and must not all be badly remunerated, will not the unemployed undersell those who are employed until all are reduced to poverty and misery? Is not this actually the case ? And what is the remedy? One and one only-cease to produce human beings faster than employment is provided and wages will be high, and
poverty, and the miseries, the vices, and crimes which poverty engenders will cease. There is no other remedy. To this. they must come or they must remain a degraded, demoralized miserable people, going from bad to worse, to that which is the worst of all.
But all that are produced are to be fed. This is I say impossible so long as people are produced faster than capital accumulates, For all beyond the gradual increase which the gradual accumulation of capital can give employment to, food cannot be produced, unless you adopt the Irish system, the consequences of which are
Let us say a word on this accumulation of capital. Suppose I and you and others have a certain capital and it enables us to emply all the people, and that we could actually employ more people if they existed. What would be the consequence? Why this to be sure—we should bid against one another and give high wages and every one would be well off. In this state many of the labouring people would put something by--save something —that is they would begin to have capital; and in time they would increase it so as to enable them also to give employment to others. We who had capital would also go on increasing it in the same manner, that is by saving, from year to year. Is it not evident that the demand for labour would go on increasing continually. And is it not also evident that if people were produced no faster than the accumulation of savings, called capital, enabled those who saved to give employment, that the working people would continue to be well off. Now take the actual circumstances as they exist, instead of people being produced no faster than the increased demand for labour, they are produced much faster, in fact three persons are produced to do the work of two, whereever the savings enable any person to employ two, three are produced and what is the consequence, what indeed, but misery among the whole mass, the odd man will undersel the other two, and the contest goes on until all three are brought to the lowest state of degradation. This has been the case in all the nations in the world except newly settled countries, and except also in some cases where the population has been thinned by physical
In the reign of Edward the third a plague destroyed, some say half, some a third of the people--and what was the consequence ? this—those who remained got very high wages.
Such was the demand for labour, that every one was willing to give all he could spare to induce a man to leave his neighbour and