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own system, they themselves profit by the palliatives recommended by themselves, but which yield no permanent or substantial relief. If, instead of improving the sanatory condition of overgrown towns, they were to remove the people to salubrious localities, where regular employment could be supplied, their benevolence would be less equivocal, and more generally acknowledged.
When the wretched culprit is condemned to a series of floggings, no one doubts the benevolence of the surgeon appointed to watch the effect of the barbarous punishment, and decide what intensity of suffering can be endured without danger to the life of the unhappy victim of neglected training : but if the surgeon and a few of his friends were well acquainted with that system of training which would prevent the recurrence of a breach of discipline, and were assured that their public advocacy of the system would insure its adoption, and yet by their silence prolonged the term of human suffering, certainly their motives would be very questionable.
There are some of the Commissioners, who, not content with their own lucrative appointment, withdraw the few disposed to assist in the struggle against selfishness and prejudice, alleging that they also know that the principle of the Self-supporting Institution must be finally adopted, and affect to ridicule those who, while they denounce competition, appeal to it for its own refutation. As if Plato and other writers who portrayed societies of common possessions were inconsistent in holding private property in a community differently constituted. When men of genius and talent can derive subsistence through the medium of
competition alone, how can their attention and talents be secured generally in the attainment of any object but by the prospect of pecuniary remuneration ?
We subjoin the sketch of a few Resolutions which were privately circulated, for suggestions, among those who would probably be inclined to assist in promoting the objects at a Public Meeting; and until some Society of the kind proposed is established, as a rallying point for all who are opposed to mercenary calculations, the suggestions of Mammon will be listened to rather than the Laws of God, and the Political Economists continue to sway the Councils of the Nation :
I. That the frequent recurrence of numerous and afflicting
cases of destitution, and the unsatisfactory condition of the people, both in the agricultural and manufacturing districts, as well as in large towns and cities, arising from precarious and ill-requited employment, in a country abounding and increasing in wealth,* and professing Christianity, is a
national reproach. II. That these evils, in a great measure, result from competi
tion, which, in appealing to selfish motives only, is a false, pernicious, and unchristian principle, engendering a spirit of envy and rivalry, obstructing moral improvement, and
wholly incompatible with the new commandment. III. That the struggles of competition have been of late years
intensely aggravated by the rapid progress of scientific power, the consequent decline in the general or market value of labour, and by the improved economy of production and distribution in large establishments, thereby still further enriching the few, while impoverishing the many.
* We have recently seen a well-authenticated statement of the increase of the aggregate wealth of the nation within fifty years, or from 1791, when Mr. Pitt considered it equivalent to one thousand three hundred million, to 1841, when it was estimated at more than six thousand million, being five times more.
IV. That an attempt to effect any sudden change in the consti
tution of society would, in consequence of the influence of settled habits and the complicated and conflicting interests of different classes, be attended with the greatest difficulty and danger; it is therefore proposed to organise associations for the combined industry and mutual benefit of the unem
ployed among the working class. V. That the moral and prosperous state of the Moravian Set
tlements, and the rapid increase of wealth in some other religious societies in America, from which competition is excluded, afford a well-grounded hope that establishments constituted upon a similar principle, with the greater facilities and scientific appliances of our own country, and directed by enlightened benevolence, would exhibit results
still more interesting and beneficial. VI. That a society be formed, to be denominated “ The
Society,” for collecting and diffusing information on the efficiency of self-supporting institutions, as the best means of promoting the regular and healthy employment of the people, and securing to them a due share of the advantages and comforts resulting from the produce of their own labour, with a religious education and training for their children.
PETITION TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT.-JULY, 1842.
Humbly Sheweth; That the destitution of the Working Classes, now prevailing with unprecedented extent and severity, being frequently greatest at periods of superabundance, demonstrates that this is an evil which could and ought to be removed.
That the proportion which the people obtain of those things which they themselves produce, depends not upon the quantity produced, but upon the market value of their labour.
That the market value of labour has been materially reduced, and often superseded, by that very power through which wealth has been immensely increased.
That scientific power is at present almost exclusively devoted to the creation of wealth, and not only without a due regard to the welfare and the im
provement of the people, but to their positive injury . and demoralisation.
That a remedy for this evil can be alone found in arrangements which will no longer expose the working classes to the contingencies of a market demand for their labour, but which will, with regular employment, secure to them food, clothing, convenient dwellings, moral and religious training, and education for their children.
That machinery, under such direction, would prove invariably beneficial, and far more wealth would be created than when it is made an exclusive object.
That your Petitioner has submitted a plan for the employment and support of 300 poor Families to many influential parties, and especially to the Clergy, who have honoured him with great encouragement and assistance.
That a Prospectus for one Experimental Establishment, to be denominated “The Church of England Agricultural Self-supporting Institution,” has been drawn up at Exeter Hall, by a Committee of which some distinguished Clergymen were members, and which Prospectus your Petitioner begs to present.
That this design involves no change in the existing order of Society, being intended solely for the unemployed and destitute poor, who will maintain their present relative position.
That if the Model Establishment realises the benefits expected, it would of course be speedily imitated, and all the valuable Institutions of Society thereby materially strengthened and extended, since a Church and Schools are required for every 300 Families located upon the principle proposed.
That as the Design embraces general views and combines various objects, it is less suited to the consideration of the different sections of the public, professional and commercial, than to the deliberation of a Legislative Assembly: your Petitioner therefore prays