“Peace, Law, and Order” (1842)

by Thomas Hodgskin (1787-1869)

[Online editor’s note: While this work is often cited as Peace, Law, and Order, without quotation marks, the title page includes quotation marks around the title (“Peace, Law, and Order”), yet with no quotation marks around the subtitle (A Lecture, etc.). This might be taken to imply that the title is referring to the phrase “Peace, Law, and Order.” In support of this conjecture is the fact that it would indeed make sense, since – as Hodgskin explains in his note to the reader – this “popular phrase” is the actual topic of the work. Against the conjecture, on the other hand, are such facts as that the use of quotation marks to mark a use/mention distinction was less common in Hodgskin’s day than in our own; that the header immediately after the note to the reader repeats the title, this time without the quotation marks; that further references in the text to the words “peace,” “law,” etc. set them off with capital letters rather than quotation marks; and that another, earlier work of Hodgskin’s is likewise titled The Word BELIEF Defined and Explained, with no quotation marks around “BELIEF.” Infer what you will. – RTL]



ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1842.




PLO.1 The Committee of the National Association having requested me to deliver a lecture in their Institution, the following lecture on a popular phrase was drawn up and delivered. Some partial friends having thought it worthy of being more extensively circulated, it has been printed, and the author will be perfectly satisfied should the public verdict so far confirm that of his friends as to reimburse the spirited publisher, who is conspicuous for his zeal in the public cause, the expense of publication.


PLO.2 GENTLEMEN, – As I have not for several years delivered any lectures, and as I am not in the practice of public speaking, I felt some difficulty in complying with the request that was made to me, to deliver a lecture in this Institution. But having been assured that my doing so might be useful, I conquered my reluctance, I resolved to do my best, and to rely on your indulgence to make even that best acceptable to you.
PLO.3 Without further preface, I proceed to the subject on which I am to speak – the motto of PEACE, LAW, and ORDER, which has of late been frequently assumed by those who demand political reform. It was exhibited at the meeting held at the White Conduit House [Online editor’s note: A popular tavern and meeting house in the north of London. – RTL] about five weeks ago; it has been adopted in various parts of the country, and seems to be regarded as a kind of political trinity, in which men all men are called on to profess their belief. It may, perhaps, be intended as a substitute for the tri-color, erewhile the battle-flag of freedom. Such a rallying-sign ought to embody the chief sentiments which the mind approves, and to which the heart does homage. It is an expression of faith, an emphatic political creed signifying something which men at once love and almost worship.
PLO.4 It would be an insult to your understandings if I were to insist at any length on the paramount importance of connecting clear ideas with all words, but especially with such important and emphatic words as these, each of which may be said to embrace many rules of conduct. Nor is it necessary to enforce on you the propriety of using words with a strict regard to the ideas for which they usually stand. It will suffice on these subjects if I remark, that we are told by a much venerated authority [Online editor’s note: Matthew 15:11. – RTL], that it is not what enters into a man – now what he eats and what he drinks – but the words which come out of him that defile him; and that such was the well-weighed conviction of a philosopher of some celebrity of the last century,1 that he represented, and with great though not perfect truth, all immorality and all crimes to be nothing more than telling lies or giving a false representation of things. [Online editor’s note: cf. Bentham’s famous remark on Wollaston; “We have one philosopher, who says, there is no harm in any thing in the world but in telling a lie: and that if, for example, you were to murder your own father, this would only be a particular way of saying, he was not your father.” – RTL]
PLO.5 As a warning to you and in justice to myself I must make one preliminary observation. I am afraid you will say the lecture has no practical bearing – it is theoretic, Utopian, and can give rise to no improvement. In my opinion, gentlemen, we require in politics knowledge rather than acts. The whole world teems with politics put into action, and every society seems pretty nearly equally misgoverned and miserable. Before we act further we much require to know better; and on this account I hold, that if my observations convey any knowledge to you, they will be more serviceable than if they suggested an immediate course of action, which must, from the general ignorance at present, lead to unsatisfactory results.
PLO.6 PEACE, LAW, and ORDER, gentlemen, are very comprehensive terms, and each might serve as a text for many a long discourse. Limited to one, my object will be to attempt something like a description of the things for which these words stand, more with a view to notice contradictions than accordances betwixt them. For a reason which will, I am sure, be apparent to you, I shall transpose the words, and treat of Peace and Order before I treat of Law.
PLO.7 To begin with the word PEACE, it is said of a Roman tyrant who put many men to the sword, that he made a solitude and called it peace. [Online editor’s note: This was actually said not of a particular ruler but of the Roman Empire as such; the Roman historian Tacitus attributes the line to the Celtic chieftain Calgacos/Galgacus (Agricola 30), but is widely thought to have invented it himself. – RTL] Reformers seek not peace by the extirpation of their fellow creatures. The peace which they desire must prevail amongst numerous families in conjunction with cheerful and active contentment, the offspring of rosy abundance. It must be found in crowded workshops, in thronged streets, in teeming cities, and with ever-increasing multitudes of our race. It must exist amidst the ceaseless motions of the steam engine, the buzzing of ever-moving shuttles, and the din of ever-falling hammers. It must be felt in the hum of public schools, in the gay festivities of processions, and in the applause of congregated audiences in halls of science and theatres for amusement. That we may prosper, we must have peace on rivers incessantly agitated by the paddle of the steam-boat, and dashed into foam by the sailing ship; and we must have peace on roads where the active industry of our people never allows the whirl of carriages to be unheard. The peace we implore is not the peace of solitude made by tyrannic and brutal power; nor is it the peace which is ultimately to be reached, perhaps, through the process of withholding food from the people, for ere starvation effectually does its work the soul is agonized by the screams of hunger and the imprecations of despair.
PLO.8 To suppress the public voice and stifle public discussion is not peace. To close the doors of a public theatre to prevent an eloquent man from addressing a crowd of his admiring countrymen on the means of their political regeneration, is not peace.2 To gag those who would give utterance to sentiments of general discontent is not peace. Peace is the quiet and perfect toleration of every expression of opinion, such as I hope you will extend to all opinions which you may hear in this place, and particularly to any opinions of mine which you may think extraordinary, or which may not accord with your own opinions.
PLO.9 The subject of the communication of opinion is so important that I must dwell on it at some length.
PLO.10 Each man has his own feelings, perceptions, and sentiments, as he has his own peculiar colour, stature, and form. By no possibility can one man ever have or know the feelings, perceptions, and sentiments of another. [Online editor’s note: cf. Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments I.i.1.2. – RTL] But language, or the signs of our ideas and feelings, by a contrivance which would be marvellous were it not, like all extremely valuable things, extremely familiar, excites when used by one person some corresponding but not necessarily similar feelings, perceptions, and sentiments in other persons. Though our instrument of communication may be much superior to the instruments of communication used by other animals, a faculty of communication is common to them all. Bird chirps to bird, and sheep bleats to sheep: communication by signs or language is, therefore, a universal law of animal nature.
PLO.11 Man uses words to make known his wants to his fellow man. There might by possibility be some rude barter were there no spoken language, but there could be no extensive buying and selling, no division of labour, no society, in the true sense of that term. [Online editor’s note: cf. Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations I.ii.2. – RTL] The use of language, therefore, is indispensable to social existence, and it alone links man to man, and links all society in one common bond.
PLO.12 Now if the use of language may not be and cannot be suppressed, controled, and regulated by the legislator in all the ordinary business of life, if it must be left perfectly free for all the great purposes of buying and selling, and for carrying on all our daily occupation, can any man point out a limit at which the communication of wants and feelings becomes criminal or properly subject to prohibition? To me it seems as necessary and as essential to social welfare that every man should be perfectly at liberty to state that he wants political or religious freedom, and to consult or bargain with others as to the means of obtaining it, as he is and must be at liberty to say he wants a loaf of bread or a pound of meat, and to bargain for its possession. Being endowed with language, man is invited or commanded by his Maker to communicate his political wants and thoughts to others as he communicates his want, in order that it may be gratified, of a coat or a pair of shoes. Far from being offended with such a communication, all men ought at least to tolerate it, and in general to be pleased with it – and this is especially true of everything which concerns the common and general weal.
PLO.13 In the case of political wants, magistrates, statesmen, and men in authority supply, or profess to supply, the articles wanted, and they ought to receive the communication of what is required with as much satisfaction as a tradesman receives an order from a customer. That they do not, that they grow angry when these wants are communicated, that they endeavour to put down the expression of them under the pretext of preserving public peace, seems to me a sign that they are not true and fair tradesmen. They have one of the articles which they profess to supply, and which the people – their customers – want; they do not make them, they cannot make them, and therefore they grow fussy and angry when those articles are demanded, and seek to bully the people into taking something very different and very worthless. Peace, order, liberty, plenty, industry united with wealth, and idleness wedded to rags, virtue only rewarded, and crime only punished, are the political wants of mankind which they ask those to gratify who pay themselves very largely for undertaking the business; but statesmen very generally, from a consciousness of inability, and perhaps from uniting within themselves the characteristics of the quack and the bully, seldom hear them demanded without flying into a rage and forming a pious resolution, that cost what it may such demands must be silenced. The silence caused by the anger of men in authority is not the peace which we demand. It is not the suppression of any and every diversity of public opinion, still less is it the putting down wither by magistrates or individuals of free discussion, even though it be rude, noisy, confused, and disagreeable. The hissing of the escaping steam may alarm the ignorant or the timid, but the skilful and the wise know that the cessation of the noise indicates a closed valve, and warns them either to allow the pent-up power to escape, or look out for a ruinous explosion.
PLO.14 In Ireland, Spain, and some other countries, broken heads and wounded bodies frequently exist in conjunction with very abject submission to a particular order of men. But we do not call it peace when the soul is subdued into slavery by the M’Neil and Chalmers stolen-terrors of an invisible world. [Online editor’s note: Know who these guys are? Drop me a line. – RTL] It is not peace to have all the faculties benumbed, to have thought suppressed, enterprise nipped in the bud, and energies wasted, lest man should offend his creator by using his gifts. There may be a mental as well as a physical solitude, and a desolation of the mind as well as a destruction of the body, without that peace for which we are willing to struggle.
PLO.15 That man should better his condition, or, in the expressive phrase of the Americans, should go-ahead, is the law of his being. It is felt universally, and is the parent of civilization. For a man to remain contented “in that station of life” in which, according to the phrases of the Catechism, “it has pleased God to call him,” [Online editor’s note: A still quite common misquotation of the Book of Common Prayer, which actually says “to do my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to call me” (emphases added); as Hamilton Schuyler points out, the difference in tense allows for the possibility of advancement, while as G. K. Chesterton points out, the reference to duty rather than contentment means that this admonition is in principle as compatible with one’s duty being revolutionary agitation as with its being passive resignation. On the other hand, the catechism does also say “to submit myself to all my governors” and “to order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters,” phrases it is rather harder to put an anarchist spin on. – RTL] accords with the political system of the Hindoos, in which every man has a station arbitrarily assigned, but is terribly at variance with our competitive system, and even with the conduct of those who teach it, for they are all ambitious of rising to be Archbishop of Canterbury. Perhaps the precept was originally imported from a country in which the Hindoo system of castes prevailed, and is now taught without any reflection on its bearings; but certainly it is here very generally inculcated to make men contented under political wrongs. If rigidly obeyed, it can only check all hopes and all honourable ambitions, and make a desert of the heart and mind. Such an abnegation of all energy, such a withered dreariness of the soul, wanting new thoughts and new enterprize, brought about by the influence of an ambitious, self-interested priesthood, such as we see in Italy and did see in Spain, is not peace but mental desolation.
PLO.16 It is not peace, gentlemen, to employ troops and ships to slaughter the Chinese, because our legislature committed the blunder of attempting to establish its authority in the waters of china, and because two naval captains carried out the blunder with the arrogance which usually belongs to gentlemen of their profession. [Online editor’s note: A reference to the First Anglo-Chinese War (1839-1842). For the “arrogance which usually belongs” to naval captains, see Hodgskin’s first major work, On Naval Discipline (1813). – RTL] It is not peace to send English troops to slaughter the Affghans, however treacherous and cruel that people may be, for they never injured England. To bombard the towns of Syria and murder its people is not peace. [Online editor’s note: References to the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842) and the Syrian Expedition (1840-1841) respectively. – RTL] Taxes at home producing discomfort in every family are the consequences of these wars abroad, and such national outrages, being followed by numerous private calamities, are not peace but great crimes. Peace to be procured perhaps hereafter by present war made by men in authority, first on their own people, and men under their guidance made on foreign nations, is not the peace which is meant by reformers.
PLO.17 The peace which they mean is the peace of mutual forbearance and kindness amidst an active and crowded population. It is not the peace of solitude or the peace of mental desolation; it is the peace of great energies and active affections – it is brotherly love and sisterly tenderness – it is respect between employers and employed – it is honesty between buyers and sellers – it is contentment in families – it is harmony and love betwixt all the nations of the earth. It is totally different from the peace negotiated or decreed, but not obtained, by politicians – preached but not practised by the priesthood; it is equally alien from the tumult of an assembled multitude and the violence of an armed soldiery. It is the quiet pursuit of knowledge and wealth by individuals each after his own fashion, not the dominion of an armed force gloating over the broken heads and pierced bodies of their countrymen and countrywomen. It is not the power of a meddling busy magistracy, which seeks in vain to prevent all violence and crime but their own. Peace is not compelled silence nor motion restrained by fetters. The peace of the heart in the midst of freedom and enjoyment, which passeth all understanding, [Online editor’s note: Philippians 4:7. – RTL] is the peace which cannot be too highly honoured nor too intensely cultivated. If such be the peace meant by the motto, it is impossible to be too brightly emblazoned on the banners of reform.

PLO.18 I proceed next, gentlemen, to offer you a few considerations on the word ORDER. Order, we are told by the poet,

“— is heaven’s first law; and that confessed,
Some are and must be greater than the rest –
More rich, more wise, but who infers from hence
That they are happier, shocks all common sense.”
[Online editor’s note: Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Essay on Man (1734), Epistle IV, slightly misquoted. – RTL]
PLO.19 To this description of order I in part demur and in part assent. That some men must be more wise and more rich than others is in the order of nature. Men are born with different capacities and powers, and with different means, therefore, of self-aggrandisement and self-instruction. One man is more industrious and skilful than another, and he acquires more wealth: he may be parsimonious, and keep together what he acquires; he may add heap to heap till he abound in riches. Another man may be not only little skilful or little industrious, but he may be withal very extravagant, or generous, or pleasure-loving, and may scatter and disperse his little acquisitions while the other is hoarding. That some men should be richer than others is a part of the natural order of society.
PLO.20 There are similar diversities of talents giving as their fruit great differences of wisdom. At one end in the scale of human capacity we have a Franklin, and at another a George III. One, a philosopher, conducting his own personal affairs with admirable skill to his own personal happiness and aggrandisement, while for the general good he enlarged by his discoveries the bounds of moral and physical science, and contributed to extend the sphere of human power and human enjoyment; the other little better than an obstinate idiot, rearing a great family to be a great public burden – I had almost said, considering their morals and their extravagance, a public nuisance, inflicting on mankind the untold woes of two long and bloody wars, and losing to his country the friendship and brotherhood of its most powerful swarm. [Online editor’s note: It’s not clear whether these “two wars” refer to the Seven Years’ War (17561763), the American Revolutionary War (1775-1802), the French Revolutionary Wars (1793-1801), or the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815). The “swarm” is presumably the American colonies. – RTL] Of these two men the idiot was, in the poet’s sense of the word, by far the greatest, the philosopher being a poor and humble printer, toiling for his daily bread, and happy in the enjoyment of a meal of water-gruel or oatmeal-porridge, [Online editor’s note: Poverty and humility did not figure notably in Franklin’s life; as for oatmeal and gruel, this reference may derive from a 1766 letter to a London newspaper, in which Franklin replies to an Englishman’s taunts over the culinary inadequacy of maize by asking “Did he never hear that we have oatmeal in plenty, for water-gruel ...?” – RTL] while the idiot was the king, the greatest man of a great nation, surrounded by a splendid court, having every animal appetite gratified without stint, and receiving daily the adulation of a not very wise people.
PLO.21 The illustration teaches us that one man must be wiser than another, and it also teaches us that the order which depends on degrees of riches or wisdom is not coincident with the order which depends on greatness or littleness. Men may be wiser or richer than their fellows without being greater; and admitting the truth of the poet’s description as to wisdom and wealth, I shall now endeavour to describe to you an order of society essential to its continuance, pervading all its parts in which one man is not greater than another.
PLO.22 I must take a somewhat wide scope to bring this subject clearly, however briefly, before you.
PLO.23 The great and immediate object of all man’s exertions is man’s own happiness. Self-preservation is not the first nor the chief law of nature. The chief law, the law of laws, is – BE HAPPY. This command, this call, this craving we all necessarily feel, and numerous are the instances in which individuals, despising pain and death, or rushing on self-destruction, endeavour to obey the command, “Be happy,” even in self annihilation. Happiness is, in truth, .

“—— our being’s end and aim:
Good, pleasure, ease, content, whate’er its name;
That something still which prompts the dormant sigh,
For which we bear to live or dare to die.”
[Online editor’s note: Likewise Essay on Man, Epistle IV, again slightly misquoted. – RTL]
PLO.24 The first and chief natural law for individuals must also be the chief law for society, which is only an aggregation of individuals, and has no natural laws other than those which are generated in the bosoms of individuals. The first and chief law or command for society, therefore, as for individuals, is – BE HAPPY.
PLO.25 I scarcely need observe that to live we must eat, and that the gratification of appetite is also a pleasure. Nature has not entrusted the preservation of the race to the deductions of reason or the discoveries of science; she has placed it under the surer guarantee of enjoyment. We do not think of the preservation of life when we eat and drink, but eating and drinking, which are great pleasures, ensure, within certain limits, the preservation of life. The be-happy principle, enjoy and live, is the foundation of self-preservation which nature has bounteously and lovingly made contingent on gratification.
PLO.26 Nature has created little or no food for man, but she has endowed him with the means of creating it. Food is obtained and can only be obtained by labour. Now as the great command of nature is be happy, as life cannot be sustained nor happiness possessed without food, the production of food, which depends on man’s will and his exertions, is the first and main business or duty of every individual and of every society. He and it must ensure subsistence to obtain enjoyment. It consequently follows that the wise direction of labour in order to obtain food is or ought to be the prime end and aim of all social institutions. It is not the only but it is the first and the chief object, to which all other objects are subordinate. All the protection given by laws or governments is only intended to promote security to men while they labour in their food-winning vocations. The soldier rightly exists only to protect the ploughman. “In my mind,” said Lord Brougham, in his celebrated speech on reforming the law, “he was guilty of no error – he was chargeable with no exaggeration – he was betrayed by his fancy into no metaphor – who once said that all we see about us, Kings, Lords, and Commons, the whole machinery of the state, all the apparatus of the system and its varied workings, ended in simply bringing twelve good men into a box. Such – the administration of justice – is the cause of the establishment of government.” [Online editor’s note: English scientist, politician, and antislavery activist Henry Peter Brougham (1778-1868), in his Speech on the Present State of the Law (1828). – RTL]
PLO.27 But to what end is justice administered, except that each man may be secured in the possession of what he produces, and, producing it, what he owns, and thus be enabled to feed and clothe himself? The merchant, in sending a ship across the deep, or in exploring the furthest recesses of the globe, has for his first and main object to supply himself with food or increase his command over the means of subsistence. The artist designs and the poet composes, in the great majority of cases, in order that he may have food for himself and his family. To this end, first, all men toil. To this end the plodding inventor racks his brains, and the more fortunate man of genius spreads before the world the rich fruits of his inspirations. This sets in motion the whole beautiful ingenuity of society, and to secure an abundance of subsistence, I repeat, ought to be the main and prime object of all social institutions.
PLO.28 We ask for liberty of thought, for liberty of speech, for liberty of action and of enterprize, that we may in the end feed and clothe ourselves in our own way, in comfort and security, and have all the enjoyment, moral and intellectual, we can command, or be happy on the earth which God has given us for an heritage. Out of this fundamental principle of every individual’s existence, and from the actions it dictates, there grows a great SYSTEM OF SOCIAL ORDER, IN WHICH NO ONE IS GREATER THAN ANOTHER, though he may be wiser and richer, and which is, I think, or ought to be the order contemplated by the motto.
PLO.29 Take it at its commencement. The foundation or beginning of society is the union of the sexes. In all ages and in all countries, whatever may have been their political institutions and consequently the political relations of the sexes, the sexes have always had different employments. As the rule, the man has taken the out of home occupation, and the woman the at-home labour. I need not advert to the marked differences and striking peculiarities in the constitutions and natural functions of each which of necessity make the sexes embrace different occupations, in order to procure subsistence for both and for the family. If at a certain period the man must provide food or all would starve, the woman must for a certain time take care of the children. On these great natural differences between the sexes is founded the first division of labour which serves to maintain each family; and families, as you know, constitute society, which consists of them and them only.
PLO.30 Although the differences between the sexes are great and striking, they are so essential to each other, and their different labours are so mutually serviceable and indeed mutually indispensable, in order that both may be happy, that neither one is greater than the other. They are, as Dr. Franklin described them, the two halves of a pair of scissors; [Online editor’s note: Letter to John Sargent, 27 January 1783. – RTL] or, not exactly resembling each other, they may b compared to the chain and spring of a watch, both of which are equally essential to the completion of the movement. The division of the whole human race into twos exes, each of which, by its peculiar attributes, does as the rule devote itself to a particular branch of the labour necessary to support themselves and rear a family in the pursuit of individual happiness, is the foundation of all division of labour in society, and in that division neither of these two is greater, or better, or more serviceable than the other.
PLO.31 Next to this first and chief natural source of division of labour, comes the different faculties and capacities of individuals, which make at all times, in the rudest state of society and in the most civilized, one man better adapted to one employment than another: one man, for example, better adapted to make weapons, and another to run down the game; one man with a powerful muscular frame to be a smith, and another of less proportion and strength to be a tailor; one man with a fine eye to be a painter, another man with defective vision or no vision at all, and the sense of hearing very acute, to be a musician; one man to be an inventor and contriver like James Watt, [Online editor’s note: Scottish inventor James Watt (1736-1819), one of the early developers of the steam engine. – RTL] and another to be the manipulator of his beautiful conceptions; one man with a quick eye and a firm nerve to be a great surgeon, the Liston [Online editor’s note: pioneering Scottish physician Robert Liston (1794-1847). – RTL] of his day, – another with superior mental powers and a fine voice to be the leading orator of a senate. I give these few and brief examples merely as illustrations; the principle pervades society, and as individuals have different powers and capacities, so they are adapted to different employments, and contribute, by devoting themselves to them, to provide for the subsistence of the whole.
PLO.32 After the diversities of talents which make men betake themselves to different occupations, come diversities of circumstances, such as one man living on the bank of a river or the ocean and becoming a fisherman, and another inhabiting a fertile valley and becoming a farmer; such as one man living in a climate which is favourable to the production of sugar and becoming a planter, and another living in a country suitable to wool-bearing animals, which becomes the home of a woollen manufacture. I can only, in this brief discourse, indicate the principles which force on men and on nations, at all times and in all countries, in the pursuit of individual happiness, first to get subsistence, afterwards to procure luxuries – a division of labour which in its results – though that is not contemplated by the individual, as the preservation of life is not contemplated when we take food – more easily procures subsistence for all, and tends to make society happy. These principles are now as continually in operation and influence the conduct of the sexes, of individuals, and of nations, as at the very beginning of society. In truth, an enlarged deduction demonstrates that they become intense and extensive as population increases. As mouths, which mean wants, are multiplied, so are hands, talents, and powers, and exactly in that proportion facilities for extending division of labour and easily supplying the wants of all.
PLO.33 Whether this brief explanation indicates satisfactorily or not to you, the true source of the origin, progress, and extension of that division of labour which facilitates production, it is a fact that at present few or no individuals in any part of the world supply all the materials of their own subsistence; and it is also a fact that all, by combining their labour, are much more easily supplied than they could be by each one seeking to supply his own wants by his isolated labour. I have adverted to the origin of the system and to the principles which determine its progress, to make you aware that it does not spring from parliamentary regulations or forced and legislative separation of men into classes or castes. It exists at all times, though in different degrees, in every form of society, and must therefore have a NATURAL not a POLITICAL origin. It is the result of laws of man’s being[,] not of the laws of Parliament.
PLO.34 At present we are all buyers and sellers, and all supply our wants by the mutual interchange of services. The farmer, the miller, and the baker, each contributes his part to supplying us with bread, and in turn the manufacturer, the tailor, and the shoemaker, clothe the farmer, the miller, and the baker. The result of all this useful and combined labour is to supply the whole society with food and clothing, which, as I have said and must repeat, is the main object and aim of all human exertions and all institutions. That being fully achieved by these combined exertions, nothing else being wanted to that end but those exertions, and everything else in society being the mere ornament, the lace and fringe and frippery, of subsistence, that embracing the end and the whole means of social existence, every other species of order being absolutely unimportant compared to this, is there either in fact or in principle any superiority in the occupation of any one of these component parts of the social whole, or in any one buyer or seller or producer, which makes him greater than any other. No, gentlemen. In this system of natural social order, which by division of labour amongst individuals and nations provides for the subsistence of all, ALL ARE EQUAL; and as the maker of bows and the hunter were equal in the first rude stage of society, so in its most advanced condition, whatever may be its political form, apart from greater or less wealth, greater or less wisdom, the baker, the miller, the farmer, the manufacturer, the shoemaker, the tailor, the merchant, the banker, all buyers and sellers, are equal, and equally useful to one another. What can a seller do without a buyer? What use is spinning if there be no weaving? Why set up a bank if there be no depositors? In this great system of order by which, without the intervention of the law-giver, all our wants are supplied, each individual and each class of tradesmen is separately exactly like the odd half of a pair of scissors – he can cut nothing; and all being mutually and equally serviceable, no one can say, or in fact does say, he is greater than another.
PLO.35 There are diversities of wealth, and diversities of talent – some men are richer and others wiser. There are certain political relations in society which constitute greatness and littleness; but a rich farmer, or a rich shoemaker, or a rich tailor, is as great a man as a rich merchant or a rich banker. All these men and all other classes exchange their products with one another on perfectly equal terms. There is no compulsion, no constraint on one side or the other; they make their bargains and deal mutually on a footing of perfect equality. The apple-woman at the stall in the street bargains with her customers on as perfect a footing of freedom as does the greatest banker in London.
PLO.36 The system of social order by which the subsistence of all is assured, and in which all are equal, is not confined to any one country or particular assemblage of men. To prepare the cotton shirts in which most of us are clothed, the labour of the Manchester spinner and the Manchester weaver are not more indispensable nor more serviceable than the labour of the American seaman who brings the cotton across the ocean to Liverpool, or the labour of the American cultivator who grows it. [Online editor’s note: Re the obvious question about the labour of the American cultivator of cotton, see below. – RTL] We might extend the remark to all those foreigners who supply us with any of the materials of our food and clothing. Being equally serviceable, they are in other respects on a perfect footing of equality; and a cotton grower in Georgia, or a merchant in New Orleans, or the captain of an American packet-ship, would hear with infinite surprise that he was an inferior person to the Liverpool merchant, the Manchester manufacturer, or the metropolitan haberdasher. No, gentlemen; all the thousand different occupations, I repeat, into which civilized society is split by men pursuing their own happiness are all equal, and no one is more required or more useful than another. By the combined exertion of those who full them society is fed, clothed, and sustained with regularity and order, of which the daily supply of the metropolitan markets, without the interference of any law, is an illustration.
PLO.37 All these various labourers, producers, buyers, and sellers work together, moreover, with admirable harmony, each producing what satisfies the demands of the other, though they know not even of the existence of one another. At this moment men in the United States of America, in the West Indies, and in farthest China, are labouring to clothe you and supply you with your morning’s meal; and you in turn, or your countrymen at Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield, with whom you immediately exchange the produce of your labour, are labouring to supply the Americans, the West Indians, and the Chinese with cutting instruments or woollen cloth. This great scheme of social order, therefore, by which the wants of all the human race are supplied, compared to which the several systems of political order engrafted on it are no better than the disfigurements which savages mark on their bodies, and of which the active and component parts do not necessarily know any more of the existence and working of each other, than does the piston of the steam engine know of the existence of the crank by which its own motion is converted into a totally different motion, – this great system of social order is palpabaly and plainly not the will and work of man, but the will and work of that over-ruling Providence of which we trace the order and wisdom through every part of the visible world. It is found in that

“—— law which moulds a tear,
      And bids it trickle from its source;
Which law preserves the earth a sphere,
     And guides the planets in their course.”
[Online editor’s note: English poet Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), “On a Tear.” – RTL]

It is found, too, in the bosom of man, and guides the labour of his hands.
PLO.38 There is, however, another species of order, properly called political order or rather disorder, in society, which is more generally contemplated by men in authority than this natural system of social order. I think I can make the difference and the distinction between them apparent by referring to the condition of the farmer.
PLO.39 In relation to the miller, the shop-keeper, the tailor, the merchant, and generally the whole body of consumers, the farmer, supplying their wants, is an important member of the system of natural social order; in relation to the landlord he forms no part of it. Whether he be the owner of the land he cultivates, as the farmer generally is in the United States, or pays a rent for it to some Duke of Newcastle, is of no importance to those whom he supplies with food. In a system of free competition and free trade, en will give no more for a quarter of corn to a rent-paying than to a non-rent-paying farmer. The landlord – the mere receiver of rent – does nothing for other men; and he is not a part of the natural system of social order. He contributes neither to the production nor to the distribution of the means of subsistence. The payment of rent is altogether the offspring of an early monopoly of the soil. It is the money-compensation increased as labour has become more productive for the notorious services which the warrior, who first reduced men to slavery and then became a landlord, exacted of them at the point of the sword. The farmer, though equal to the miller and the baker, and to every other member of the natural order of society, is not equal to the sword monopolizer of the soil and the inheritors of his power. The farmer is a tenant-at-will; he must cultivate the ground, that is labour, as the landowner or custom prescribes. His rent is sometimes abated as process fall to keep him dependent; and the landlord, who makes laws for him, who administers them also as a justice, and drives him to the poll to vote for the candidate of the landowner’s choice, is not his equal but his master.
PLO.40 Now such a relation as this between farmer and landlord, which is known in other cases under the terms master and servant, employer and employed, pervades a great portion of society, and is found in the United States as well as in Europe, under the avowed form of slavery in the persons of the once stolen negroes or their descendants, and in the concealed form of servitude in the persons of the expatriated Irish, the once and indeed often mastered and ill-treated slaves of the rude Saxon tribes who overran this part of Europe. The relations between landlord and tenant, capitalist and labourer, which is a relation growing out of slavery, are not created by nature, and they form no part of the natural order of society. They are the offspring of conquest, the results of almost forgotten usurpations, which the extension of the natural order of society has a continual tendency to override and destroy. Gradually, the lord enforcing his will with the battle axe and sword, and the trembling thrall with a fetter round his arm on which was branded the name of his master, have disappeared from among us; and a numerous middle class, of which all the members are equal to one another, the offspring of division of labour and mutual exchange, has supplied their place. The effects of the original wrong, however, still fester in the constitution of society. We suffer now from the consequences of ancient usurpations which must be outgrown, and can only be outgrown by the extension of the system of division of labour, of mutual buying and selling and mutual service – or free trade, before the natural social order I have described can reign supreme and bestow on man the happiness it is destined to confer on him.
PLO.41 I may not at present enter further into the subject of political order, which I have merely alluded to in order to contrast it with natural social order. In the one all is gentleness, kindness, and mutual service; in the other all is violence, constraint, and mutual injury. One is perfect freedom, the other coercion. In the one there is perfect equality, in the other dominion and degradation, lordship and serfship. Servants and workmen are equal amongst themselves, or to one another; master and employer are equal amongst themselves; the landowners, except as one is richer than another, are equal amongst themselves: but between these classes there is neither political nor social equality – there is superiority and inferiority, and there is a constant struggle for ascendancy, which disturbs order and puts an end to peace. This anti-peace order does nothing for mankind but vex and harass them; the natural order which I have briefly described maintains them in comfort and wealth, and carries out to its fullest extent the object of all society – the realization of the great command, BE HAPPY, while it prescribes PERFECT EQUALITY amongst all its multitudinous members.3
PLO.42 We are told, gentlemen, that all the hairs of our head are numbered, and that a sparrow does not fall to the ground without its being known to our heavenly Father; [Online editor’s note: Matthew 10:29-30; Luke 12:6-7. – RTL] think ye, therefore, that he rise and progress of humans society – the extension of the human race, so as now to occupy almost the whole surface of the globe – at least there is no part of it which is not now to some extent explored and peopled, producing great changes on that apparently eternal surface, altering the course of its rivers, lowering its mountains, and filling up its vallies, [Online editor’s note: Perhaps an echo of Isaiah 40:4’s “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight”; or else an anticipation of the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. – RTL] – think ye, gentlemen, that human society, the grandest of all moral phenomena, which is daily developing itself before our eyes, and is as yet perhaps but in its infancy, of which, as it is not like a well-dressed page at court or a watch, the offspring of human will, and is not governed by periodic laws as are the planets, but has a progressive law of its own, no man can tell what it will be hereafter, – think ye, when the hairs of each individual’s head are numbered, and the more minute functions of the body are carefully provided for, that the whole stupendous phenomena of man’s social existence are not equally provided for, and natural laws laid own for its government and guidance? There are such laws, which we must study and learn in order to make society answer that great command, “Be happy,” which is engraved on the heart of every individual.
PLO.43 My object has been, in treating of the word ORDER, to point out, very briefly and imperfectly I am aware, the consequences of some of these natural laws in the existence of a natural order in society which arises and extends from man obeying them. If that be the order thought of by those who have invented and used the motto which has occasioned this lecture, like other great parts and portions of the order of the universe, it cannot be too highly honoured. On the contrary, if it mean political order, whether that of a monarchy or a republic – if it mean the order established in the United States of America of master and slave, and formerly established throughout Europe, and which has, we know, to be upheld by cruel laws – if it mean the relation between landlord and tenant, master and servant, capitalist and labourer, monarch and subject, governor and governed, which are now maintained by coercion, and which are the consequences of the slavery which once existed in Europe – such an ORDER seems so adverse to the happiness of man, that it ought not to be the object of our respect and veneration.

PLO.44 The things expressed by the two words of the motto, which I have endeavoured to explain, are worthy of all honour. I now come to the third term, LAW, meaning, in contradiction to the laws of nature or of God, the laws of man. What is law in this sense that it should be considered of equal value and importance with peace and order? Law in this sense is the pleasure of a most ignorant selfish despot, like the Czar of Russia or the Sultan of Turkey; it is the dictate of the self-interest of landowners, who have, as already explained, no part in natural social order – or it is the decree of an ignorant democracy, far too much and too necessarily engaged in providing subsistence for themselves and others to be able to comprehend[,] much less direct and govern, social phenomena. In fact, no man can direct and govern them; and if there be, as I have endeavoured to shew, a natural social order which is ever growing, and cannot be known till it comes into existence, all human laws, which can have only a future effect, must be short-coming, inefficient, and mischievous, if not absurd. Such laws are in many cases contrary to peace, in many adverse to order; and if peace and order be good things, law cannot be a good thing.
PLO.45 It was according to law that heads were lately broken at Kennington Common. It was by law that your estimable secretary was imprisoned in Warwick Gaol. It is, I believe, strictly according to law that public meetings may be, as they have been, suppressed by a police officer. The law is decreed by very ignorant, very selfish men, who constitute the legislature, or by judges who pretend to interpret and act on the wisdom of men who lived centuries ago, and knew no more of the present condition of our society than a horse. The law establishes a £10 franchise, and regards all who do not live in a house of that value as outlaws and slaves. The law punishes as a crime in the workman the non-fulfillment of a contract, which in the master is only a civil offense, for which possibly damage may be recovered. The law proceeds in some cases on the old Saxon principle of compensating an offence for a sum of money, which to the rich is no punishment at all, [Online editor’s note: For a reply to this objection see Randy Barnett’s “Restitution: A New Paradigm of Criminal Justice. – RTL] and being beyond the ability of the poor to pay it, they are treated as felons on account of their inability or their poverty, and condemned to imprisonment and hard labour. The pains and penalties such laws inflict on the industrious classes are almost endless; and the extraordinary part of the business is that they are inflicted by men in the name of social order who are not members of the social order which nature establishes.
PLO.46 The law being founded in conquest, maintains entails and primogenitures; it sedulously nourishes that monopoly of the soil which originated in violence, and is the source of much social woe. It decrees certain incomes to these monopolists, and will not allow men to feed themselves lest those incomes might be abated. The order which the law enforces is the relation between master and servant, between landlord and tenant, between tenant and labourer, and when it has secured the opulence and ease of the first, though the last be starved, the law is said by those who have made it to have fulfilled its intention. The order which the law decrees is that recommended by the priest, and which consists in endeavouring to preserve amongst us the separation of men into classes, something similar to the castes of Asia. It is an order totally different from the order in which there is no superiority; and between the two species of order there is a continual conflict in society.
PLO.47 It is an established truth, to which all men of science who have investigated the subject have given their assent, that the law never interferes with trade but to derange it. All modern knowledge, all the experience we have gathered of late years, whether it concern corn laws, coffee laws, sugar laws, timber laws, license laws, bounty laws, protective duty laws, bank and currency laws, or any other trade laws, has distinctly proved that the great natural system of order which I have brought under your notice, which grows from the command to be happy engraved on every heart, is never interfered with or touched by the laws of politicians without causing great mischief. A derangement of the great natural relation of supply and demand ensues, the rules or laws which nature lays down for the conduct of individuals and of nations (which are equally apparent and certain in nourishing the body and in obtaining the means of nourishing it, and which can no more be infringed with impunity in respect to trade than in respect to the functions of digestion) are disturbed and perverted, or wholly turned awry, by the law of Westminster; and gluts and dearths, great fortunes and great bankruptcies, puffed up and gilded prosperity, and empty, dreary, nothingless adversity, [Online editor’s note: I don’t know what “nothingless” means either. – RTL] extensive demands for labour which an increasing population cannot answer, and a listless inaction alternate in the community in the community like the painful fits of an ague. The whole beautiful order by which the subsistence of society would be assured, is interrupted and vitiated, and the people are starved by the law which in the motto is as much honoured as peace and order. To my mind this one discrepancy is quite decisive of the whole important question. The law never interferes with the trade by which the subsistence of the society is obtained and assured but to derange it. The law, therefore, is adverse to that system of natural social order I have brought under your notice; and the words law and order can never be used, except to signify totally opposite conditions of society and of human welfare, without causing confusion, mischief, and disorder.
PLO.48 At least, if law is to be in the motto, let it be some specific law. What say you, gentlemen, to the militia law, which is sure to take the poor and spare the rich; which makes one man shed his blood at the command of politicians, while another has only to take as much gold out of his purse as he gives for a box at the opera for a night? What say you to the law of impressments, for that is as much a law as any other judge-consecrated custom? What do you think of the law which did exist for hanging a man who stole a pair of boots, and honours the plunderer of the patient and swarthy Indians with a peerage in life and a splendid monument after death? Perhaps the New Poor Law, which under the pretence of charity gives a scanty allowance of food to the poor, separates husband from wife and parent from child, and makes prisoners of those it purports to relieve, is the object of your respect. About peace and order there is not much diversity of opinion – they have been honoured in all times, in all countries; but the laws of England are considered barbarous in Germany, and the laws of Germany are more ridiculed than honoured in England. The Mahomedans have a law of their own, and the Christians have a different law, which two laws have been for ages the cause of war and bloodshed betwixt them. If we are to have law combined with order, it must be some specific law; and I should vote probably for the starvation law as the best emblem I am acquainted with of the whole system.
PLO.49 The law, gentlemen, as the rule says, and now carries that rule into daily practice, that multitudes of men cannot assemble without endangering the public peace. The makers of the law are, generally speaking, a few idle gentlemen who have no part, as I have already observed, in the great system of natural social order. They can know nothing, therefore, of its rules. You who form part of this system, and mingle amongst your fellows, know that order and regularity of conduct follow from division of labour – that kindness and good fellowship are the consequences of mutual dependence – that civility is enforced on every individual by the immense power of the whole requiring each individual to be civil – that as our streets have become crowded, the fierce passions which animated our ancestors have died away; and, in short, you know, that the multitude, of which the ignorant lawmaker is so much afraid, carries in its own breast its own laws, which now makes our crowded country far more peaceable and far more orderly than were the few quarrelsome retainers of the proud barons, who formerly hunted in wastes which now echo to the click of the power-loom or the whirl of the artisan’s fire steed. Gentlemen, the multitude carries with it, and ever has carried, its own natural laws of order; but from knowing nothing of these, the ignorant legislator is filled with alarm at the assemblies of his fellow creatures, and out of his fear he hastens to prohibit them and put them down by force. Were other men as arbitrary and self-willed as he is, our crowded cities and peaceful streets would soon be filled with violence and carnage.
PLO.50 I have now said enough, I think, to indicate the contrast which exists between peace and order on the one hand and law on the other. It would be easy to extend my observations on the last subject to great detail, and to show in what manner corn laws, bank monopolies, lying enactments that an ounce of gold is always of a certain value in silver, sugar bounties, complicated tariffs, both at home and abroad, interfere with the natural order of society; and easy to show you in what manner laws to prevent public meetings, to suppress the expression of certain opinions, or to maintain the ascendancy in the state of certain classes or certain persons, are injurious to peace and order, but I must leave that to yourselves to perform; and I must be contented to have indicated in this one discourse the principle which is worthy of your notice. If I have attained the object I had in view, I have made you sensible that there is a natural order in society which human law perverts, and a natural peace which it breaks; and to me, therefore, it seems very deceiving to make of these three words a trinity in the same phrase, as if they each had a similar meaning, and one homogenous [sic] whole were signified by the words Peace, Law, and Order.

PLO.51 I must, in conclusion, say a few words as to the origin of this motto. It is extremely difficult to trace exactly the date when such a phrase may have first been used. It is, however, of modern origin. Our ancestors contended not for but against law. The great Revolution [Online editor’s note: The English Civil War of the 1640s. – RTL] was a struggle of the people against the law as laid down by the crown and some judges, beginning with the law for levying ship-money, which was successfully resisted. All the privileges enjoyed by the House of Commons, and which were not given to that house to be used as instruments for annoying and sometimes punishing the people, though they have been perverted to this purpose – all the privileges of the House of Commons were conferred on it to enable that house to protect itself and protect the people whose servant it ought to be against the law, as that was laid down by the judges or decreed by the proclamations of the monarch. The very existence of those privileges which the Commons will not allow the judges to take cognizance of, carries with it an idea of opposition and hostility between the rights and liberties of the people, which these privileges were to protect, and the law of the land.
PLO.52 The same principle was manifested and acted on at the Revolution of 1688, which was the overturning of the law of hereditary succession of the principles of the constitution. The rights of the people, especially the right of conscience was then expressly vindicated against the authority of the sovereign and the law. Following the same lead, the reformers and strugglers for liberty down to the period of the first French Revolution demanded the rights of men – they demanded the constitution, they demanded liberty, they demanded free and full representation, but they never thought of professing a respect for the law which they manfully avowed they wished to amend or destroy. For them to have professed such respect would have been to deny their own thoughts and to honour the vilest perversion of right and justice by a set of greedy and usurping boroughmongers which ever a nation tamely submitted to. The parliamentary reform which has been made, which is a mockery and an insult to four-fifths of the people, has not altered this state of things, nor made the law which was passed by the boromongers [Online editor’ note: Spelling variation sic. – RTL] more an object of just veneration to the present race of men than it was to their ancestors. We find reformers in the olden time appealing to the old common law – that is, the rights and franchises of our free Saxon ancestors, as contradistinguished from the Norman statutes, and from the law made by Norman judges and borrowed from the Romans, and as contradistinguished from ecclesiastical usurpations under the name of the canon and civil law; but in general they struggled only for liberties and rights, and struggled avowedly against the law.
PLO.53 I am not quite sure, but I believe the use of the phrase amongst us does not date much beyond the last French revolution, the peace and order of which, combined with it success, raised it high in the estimation of mankind. Peace, Law, and Order was and is a French motto; it is a piece of catching sentimentality not suited to the masculine-minded countrymen of Bacon, Locke, and Smith, who distinguished between order which is natural and necessary, and law which changes with climate and age. Law as opposed to right never was venerated in England, and being opposed to peace and order, the phrase I have commented on ought never to have been adopted.
PLO.54 The use of it is, I believe, a result in part of the imitative spirit which blindly adopts institutions and phrases from other countries without considering their applicability to our own. So we have had French centralization introduced and French police, and are now threatened with Prussian schools and Prussian controul and enumeration of traffic, as if statistics were prosperity. On the imitative policy so unworthy of men capable of working out from acknowledged principles a system of freedom. I could dwell for some time, and perhaps with advantage; but I must leave the subject, asserting for myself that I am so much of a John Bull, however far I may carry my theories of government, as not to find it a recommendation to any institution or phrase that it has been invented or adopted in much misgoverned France, or in overruled and military Prussia.
PLO.55 Gentlemen, I have done. What I have said I must leave to your judgment. Those of my remarks which on reflection you disapprove of you will reject as worthless; those of which you approve you will incorporate with your won thoughts, and allow them in due and fitting time to ripen into action. When the phenomena implied by the three important words I have brought under your notice are generally known, – when the great problem they involve is clearly stated, I have no doubt but that the humble and true-hearted people will work it out to their own satisfaction and the instruction of mankind.

PLO.n1.1 1. Wollaston. The Religion of Nature delineated. [Online editor’s note: A book (1722) by the English deist philosopher William Wollaston (1659-1724). – RTL]
PLO.n2.1 2. Mr. Vincent [Online editor’s note: Presumably Chartist leader Henry Vincent (1813-1878). – RTL] had a few days before found the doors of the theatre at Darby locked against him lest he should excite the people.
PLO.n3.1 3. It is a coincidence worthy of notice, that on the day before the lecture was delivered, M. de la Martine’s address on the “Industrial progress of the human race” [Online editor’s note: French poet and liberal politician Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869), Address to the Academy of Mâcon (1842). – RTL] was published in a London newspaper; and some of his opinions are so much in accordance with those of the text, that they confirm their accuracy. I quote a passage here, which a fear of making the lecture too long prevented me from quoting at the time of delivering it –
PLO.n3.2 “To prove how cautious we should be in predicting consequences, even from the most trifling facts, I will mention three chances, yet providential ones, at the commencement of this age.
PLO.n3.3 “In 1768, I believe, they for the first time brought a few grains of tea as a curiosity to the Governor-General of the Indies, and to-day entire fleets are employed in furnishing its consumption to England, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, &c., the mighty exchange of two worlds.
PLO.n3.4 “Another fact is this. Forty years since they presented a cotton plant to the Egyptian Pacha, [Online editor’s note: Mehmet Ali (c. 1769-1849), Ottoman Pasha of Egypt (1805-1849). – RTL] and now one-half of the Mediterranean navigation bears the cotton of the Nile into Europe. This is nothing. His eyes are opened by his new wealth to political wisdom, and he has suddenly bethought him that the isthmus of Suez, so long forgotten by trade, is the shortest road to India. He is about to open the path between the two Continents. [Online editor’s note: Alas, the unedifying subsequent history of this project under Mehmet’s son Sa’id, involving forced labour on Egypt’s part and nationalist sabre-rattling on Britain’s, would have brought Hodgskin little satisfaction. – RTL]
PLO.n3.5 “Again, a last fact. Fifty years since an English machinist discovered the incalculable force of expansion possessed by the compressed vapour of boiling water. The steam-engine was invented. [Online editor’s note: Presumably James Watt again, though he was not English, and “invented” is an exaggeration. – RTL]
PLO.n3.6 “What results, gentlemen, from these three coincident industrial facts, occurring in the same age? A second creation of the geographical, political, moral, and commercial world. The extremes of the earth have approached: languages, races, interests, religions have been fused. The result for all humanity ahs been an increase of force and unity that God alone could compute. In short, these result in a certain and perhaps nigh future, the realization of that chimera of all conquerors and of all creeds – universal monarchy: but at the time of universal monarchy, [Online editor’s note: “at the time of” seems to be an error; Lamartine’s original says “the true universal monarchy.” – RTL] the monarchy of intellect, commerce, industry, and thought.
PLO.n3.7 “Industries are the degrees of rising civilization. Will you dare to curse, to check, and to destroy them? But I know such a thought is far from you. I know your complaints are only jests. But, sir, it is a dangerous thing to sport with the truth. By such men as you are [Online editor’s note: A less misleading translation would be: “From such men as you are.”– RTL] all is considered serious. In scoffing at your age, you run the risk of forcing an error on it.
PLO.n3.8 “Independently of this, [Online editor’s note: A better translation: “At the bottom of all this.” – RTL], what is the truth? It is that the world is changing, and becomes more and more industrial and democratic. The one must follow the other. Well, shall we deny the facts for aye [Online editor’s note: The translator has evidently mistaken “facts of our time” for “facts for all time.” – RTL] – shall we abstain from resolving these two grand and difficult problems which Providence itself hath placed before us? No, in place of stopping our workmen, and destroying our machines, let us accept and triumph over the difficulties of our epoch. The great successes of civilization are born convulsive efforts. The world becomes industrial. Give industry a soul which shall nullify its great vice – the hardness of heart begotten in nations who make wealth their idol.”
PLO.n3.9 I will make one criticism on this passage, and will notice one fact. M. de la Martine has not traced the system of division of labour to its source, nor been duly sensible of the immense force it exercises in its progress. Had that been the case, he would have been sensible that industry has a soul of its own, and requires none from the hands of statesmen, and above all requires none form those persons who do not understand the laws or soul of industry. My remarks tend, I think, to prove that industry has a soul, as what great material body, what glorious creation which has life in it, is without one?

“All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.”
[Online editor’s note: Again Pope’s Essay on Man, Epistle I this time. – RTL]

It is a poor philosophy, which cannot trace in the laws of the planetary world and in the laws of animal life – in the majestic and regular motions of the planets and in the gambols of a kitten – a soul in both peculiar to each; and such a soul, prescribing its being, is found in the industry of man. The industrious classes are sensible of this; and it is not they, but the idle classes subsisted by the labour of others, who really make wealth their idol, who say that industry has no soul; and who continually traduce manual labour of all kinds, that they may enjoy undisturbed the ravished fruits of its exertions.
PLO.n3.10 The fact I will notice is, that so little influence have such writings as that of M. de la Martine, and of course I am ready to infer such as that of the present production, over the public acts, that all the recent legislation of France, and particularly the regulation about linen yarn, has “dared to curse” and tended “to check and destroy” some of the “industries” which “are the degrees of rising civilization.” That comes in France and probably in England from supposing that industry has not a soul or laws of its own.

H. Hetherington, Printer, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street.

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