Essays on some unsettled Questions of Political Economy Tower com

Do not let us flinch from probing this matter of compulsion to the core. If you really think that for some purposes we may rightly compel men, and for other purposes we may not, you are bound to arrange your perceptions on the subject and discover what is the dividing line between “the may” and “the may not.” It is unworthy not to take your true position in this great matter–that of a human being whose reason can put all the facts of this world in order and subjection to itself, can become their intelligent regulator, by strenuously and resolutely seeking out the principle or law which underlies them–and simply to wait, as a slave instead of a master, to be swept in whatever direction the forces that are round you may happen to take. Let us grasp the great truth clearly. No man is acting consciously and with distinct self-guidance, no man possesses a fixed goal and purpose in life, until he has brought the facts of his daily existence under the arrangement of general principles. Until he has done this, the facts of life will use and command him; he will not use and command them.

Excerpt from Essays on Some Unsettled Questions …

Deep Revision helps to ensure that the essay says something interesting and worthwhile.

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political …

Now I do not hesitate to say that this question stands in importance far before all other questions which the human race has to answer. Indeed if we could see clearly, we should see that the decision of all these other questions is wrapped up in this one great decision; for I know of no question that would not be settled in one fashion by a free race and in another by a state-regulated race. But apart from this influence on character, which freedom and state-regulation must respectively exercise, the answer which every man finds it in his soul to make to this great question, “By what title do men exercise power over each other?” must decide for him the general course of his own life. In one of the two rival armies, which stand fronting each other today, as they have always done, and between which there never has been and never can be enduring reconciliation, whether he wills it or not, he has to take his place. All his hesitations, and inconsistencies and clever adjustments of opinion will not save his being enlisted in the one or the other cause. He must strike his blow and spend his small grain of life service either on the side of force, that is, of strong governments and interfering departments, of protection and regulation, of uniformity and system, of socialism and life divided between rulers and ruled, between slave owners and slaves; or on the side of liberty, that is, of self-dependence and self-responsibility, of free thought, free religion, free enterprise, free trade, of every free moral influence that grows where force is not, of all those countless individual energies and countless individual differences that arise where men are not constrained to live in imitation of each other, and of that natural selection that eventually preserves every improved form in other mental or material things, where these individual energies and individual differences are allowed to clash freely together. In other words every man has to decide for himself, as his creed in life, whether men are to be made happier by a system that rests on and believes in coercion, or a system of self-directed agencies and moral influences; whether their continual cooperation throughout life is to be voluntary or to be imposed; whether each is to take charge of his own existence and happiness, or those who can count most votes on their side are to take upon themselves, like a universal Roman Catholic council, to decide in what collective happiness consists, and administer it for the rest of the world. For strange as it may sound in some ears, these are the only two rival forces, the only two rival creeds that exist in the world. And whichever it is, liberty or force, that is to emerge as conqueror from the great struggle, by that one will the minds of men, their hopes, their fears, their pleasures, their pains, their beliefs and their systems, be molded and shaped.

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political: …

And now let us look a little more closely into the rights of the individual. I claim that he is by right the master of himself and of his own faculties and energies. If he is not, who is? Let us suppose that A having no rights over himself, B and C, being in a majority, have rights over him. But we must assume an equality in these matters, and if A has no rights over himself, neither can B and C have any rights over themselves. To what a ridiculous position are we then brought! B and C having no rights over themselves, have absolute rights over A; and we should have to suppose in this most topsy-turvy of worlds that men were walking about, not owning themselves, as any simple-minded person would naturally conclude that they did, but owning some other of their fellow-men; and presently in their turn perhaps to be themselves owned by some other. Look at it from another point of view. You tell me a majority has a right to decide as they like for their fellow-men. What majority? 21 to 20? 20 to 5? 20 to 1? But why any majority? What is there in numbers that can possibly make any opinion or decision better or more valid, or which can transfer the body and mind of one man into the keeping of another man? Five men are in a room. Because three men take one view and two another, have the three men any moral right to enforce their view on the other two men? What magical power comes over the three men that because they are one more in number than the two men, therefore they suddenly become possessors of the minds and bodies of these others? As long as they were two to two, so long we may suppose each man remained master of his own mind and body; but from the moment that another man, acting Heaven only knows from what motives, has joined himself to one party or the other, that party has become straightway possessed of the souls and bodies of the other party. Was there ever such a degrading and indefensible superstition? Is it not the true lineal descendant of the old superstitions about emperors and high priests and their authority over the souls and bodies of men?

Essays on some unsettled questions of political economy John Kozah Cover image
Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy Project Ipgproje com

essays on some unsettled questions of political economy 1844

To resume the argument, once let this right be granted —this right of free action and full enjoyment—and what follows? By it all those attempts of government to restrain people for their own good, are condemned. The man is to be his own judge, and you are not to tell him in what fashion he is to follow his religion, pursue his trade, enjoy his amusements, or in a word, live any part of his life. Neither are you to protect him in either body or mind. To protect one man you must take from the resources of another man—you must abridge the amount which the latter by his exertions has earned for himself. It is impossible to protect any one man save by diminishing the result of what the perfect enjoyment of liberty—that is the free use of his own faculties—has brought to another man, and therefore without taking into consideration here the weakening and destroying effects of protection upon the person protected, all protection equally with all restraint by force of government, must be held as a diminution from perfect liberty. It comes then to this, that except to protect the liberty of one man from the aggression of another man, that is, to repel force and fraud, which latter is force in disguise, you cannot justify the interferences of government in the affairs of the people, however benevolent or philanthropic may be the cloak you throw over them. That there may be certain cases which, from their very nature, are not cases to which the law applies, and which require special consideration, such, for example, as the management of property, wisely or unwisely placed in the hands of a government, I at once admit; into these I need not here enter. But bearing in mind that which Mr. Spencer has pointed out, the imperfection of all human definitions, and that at the boundary of every division into which we place existences of any kind, whether physical or mental, there is a point where it is impossible to say on which side of the line the thing in question lies; remembering that nature has not divided plant or animal, qualities of the mind, or even those ancient opposites, good and bad, into black and white squares, like those of a chessboard; but that, however complete and manifest may be their differences today, in virtue of that common root which existed in the ages of long ago, they still melt into each other by gradations too delicate for any point of separation to be fixed; remembering this, and making such allowance for it as is necessary, we may still say, and say truly, that the law knows no exception. You must accept human liberty whole or entire, or you must give up all cogency of reasoning by which to defend any part of it. Either it is a right, as sacred in one part as in another, an intelligible and demonstrable right, from which political justice and political equality intelligibly and demonstrably descend, or else it only exists in the world as a political luxury, a passing fashion, a convenience for obtaining certain economical advantages, which today is and tomorrow is not. Either you must treat men as self-responsible, as bearing their own burdens, and making their own lives, as free in thought, word and action, or you must treat them as so much political matter, which any government that can get into power may protect, restrain and fashion as it likes. In this case it all becomes subject matter for experiment, and Tory or Communist are alike free to work out their theories upon it, if they can only once count hands enough to transfer the magic possession of power to themselves. It is easy to perceive how long the reign of force has lasted in the world, how withering to conscience and to intellect has been its influence, when we find the great mass of men practically supporting such a creed. Out belief in force, our readiness to use it, and our obedience yielded to it, are but forms of fetish worship still left amongst us. Written in almost every heart, though unknown to the owner of it, are the words “force makes right.” Those who wish to escape from this baneful superstition, who wish to destroy its altar and cut down its groves, can only do so by taking their stand on plain, intelligible principle; can only do so by recognizing that there are moral laws standing above our human dealings with each other, laws which we cannot depart from, which we cannot recognize at one moment and ignore at the next to suit our party conveniences. No detached effort, no rising of a few people against some special wrong which personally affects them, will ever alter the world's present way of thinking. It must be the battle of principles—the principle of liberty against the principle of force. With slight alterations we may take the words of Lowell, and read our own meaning in them:

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy John Internet Archive

Essays on some unsettled questions of political economy Term

I come now to another great evil which accompanies an official system. In granting public money for education you must either give it on the judgment of certain public officers, which exposes you to different standards of distribution and to personal caprice, or you must give it according to some such system of results as exists at present with us. Payment by results has the merit, as a system, of being simple, easy to administer, and fairly equal; but it necessarily restricts and vulgarizes our conceptions of education. It reduces everybody concerned, managers, teachers, pupils, to the one aim and object of satisfying certain regulations made for them, of considering success in passing standards and success in education as the same thing. It is one long unbroken grind. From boyhood to manhood the teacher himself is undergoing examinations; for the rest of his life he is reproducing on others what he himself has gone through. It is needless to say that the higher aims of the teacher, methods of arousing the imagination and developing the reasoning powers, which only bear fruit slowly and cannot be tested by a yearly examination of an inspector–whose fly will be waiting at the school door during the few hours at the disposal of himself or his subordinate–new attempts to connect the meaning of what is being learned with life itself, and to create an interest in work for work's own sake instead of for the inspector's sake, above all, the personal influences of men who have chosen teaching as their vocation, because the real outcome of their nature is sympathy with the young, and have not been drilled into it through a series of examinations owing to some accident of early days, all these things must be laid aside as subordinate to the one great aim of driving large batches successfully through the standards and making large hauls of public money. In our ignorant and unreasoning belief in examinations we have not perceived how fatal the system is to all original talent and strong personality in the teacher. Whether it be a professor at a university or a master in a board school, this modern exaggeration of the use of examinations makes it impossible for him to treat his subjects of teaching from that point of view which is real and living to himself, or to follow his own methods of influencing his pupils. In all cases he must subdue his strongest tastes and feelings, and recast and remodel himself until he is a sufficiently humble copy of the inspector or examiner, upon whose verdict his success depends. Any plan better fitted to reduce managers, teachers, and pupils to one level of commonplace and stupidity could scarcely be found. The state rules a great copybook, and the nation simply copies what it finds between the lines.

9 months of endless anticipation leading to someone’s first chance at seeing the world for the first time.

Supply creates its own demand - Wikipedia

I cannot here enter fully into the many complexities that surround this special question; nor can I here undertake to show that, as in the case of the central government, so also in the case of local governments, compulsory powers have proved and must always prove a curse and not a blessing. The compulsory powers of municipalities have made it easy to carry out any great work for a town without difficulty or loss of time, but great works are a poor compensation for other serious evils. Great debts have been accumulated; the burden of rates has become grievous to be borne; possession of power has become a matter of political party, with all its innumerable evils; great monopolies are beginning to occupy the ground–and let it be remembered that all systems, once authoritatively adopted, stand in the way of new discoveries and improvements–jobbery is said to exist; the divine right of some to direct the manner in which the resources of others shall be used has more and more become a fixed national idea; and we have all, poor and rich alike, been prevented from learning the fruitful lesson of voluntarily combining to supply our own special wants in our own special fashions. It is enough for our purposes here to say that until the great principle of is carried out we cannot hope to discover the best form of local management. Where an existing body is clothed with compulsory powers there can be no real competition between other forms and itself. To discover what is really in the interest of men, there must be free competition between all systems; and free competition there cannot be where one system can enforce its own methods, and keep all rivals out of the field.