The Political Economy Of Hunger Selected Essays

The Political Economy Of Hunger Selected Essays-13
This principle is capital, false property, interest, and usury, which by the old régime, is made to weigh upon labour."Ever since the aristocrats invented the incredible fiction, that capital possesses the power of reproducing itself, the workers have been at the mercy of the idle.

This principle is capital, false property, interest, and usury, which by the old régime, is made to weigh upon labour."Ever since the aristocrats invented the incredible fiction, that capital possesses the power of reproducing itself, the workers have been at the mercy of the idle.

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Will it, therefore, be a cause for surprise, if, when they awake, they find themselves mangled and bleeding?

Such a danger as this is enough to justify me fully, if, in the course of the discussion, I allow myself to be led into some trivialities and some prolixity.

It is in vain to tell them that they ought to have recourse to legal and pacific means: it would be a hypocritical recommendation.

When on the one side there is a strong man, poor, and a victim of robbery--on the other, a weak man, but rich, and a robber--it is singular enough that we should say to the former, with a hope of persuading him, "Wait till your oppressor voluntarily renounces oppression, or till it shall cease of itself." This cannot be; and those who tell us that capital is by nature unproductive, ought to know that they are provoking a terrible and immediate struggle.

"At the end of a year, will you find an additional crown in a bag of one hundred shillings?

At the end of fourteen years, will your shillings have doubled in your bag?But quotations are superfluous; it is well known that the people attribute their sufferings to what they call the trafficking in man by man.In fact, the phrase, tyranny of capital, has become proverbial.It would be a waste of time to seek any satisfactory explanation from the writings of economists.They have not thrown much light upon the reasons of the existence of interest."Will a work of industry or of skill produce another, at the end of fourteen years?"Let us begin, then, by demolishing this fatal fiction." I have quoted the above, merely for the sake of establishing the fact, that many persons consider the productiveness of capital a false, a fatal, and an iniquitous principle.I believe there is not a man in the world, who is aware of the whole importance of this question:-- "Is the interest of capital natural, just, and lawful, and as useful to the payer as to the receiver? Then we differ entirely; but it is of the utmost importance to discover which of us is in the right, otherwise we shall incur the danger of making a false solution of the question, a matter of opinion.If the error is on my side, however, the evil would not be so great.If, on the contrary, the interest of capital is natural, lawful, consistent with the general good, as favourable to the borrower as to the lender, the economists who deny it, the tribunes who traffic in this pretended social wound, are leading the workmen into a senseless and unjust struggle, which can have no other issue than the misfortune of all. So much the better, if these two powers are really antagonistic; and may the struggle soon be ended!But, if they are in harmony, the struggle is the greatest evil which can be inflicted on society. And for that purpose I shall have recourse to example rather than to demonstration; or rather, I shall place the demonstration in the example.

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