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career, as a charity commissioner-_—this highly meritorious servant of the state passed his laborious life, which terminated on January 20th, 1855.
The present work has been edited by Dr. Whe\velL We rather regret the absence of dates to several of the essays, especially on so quick-growing a subject as political economy ; some repetition there is, too; but the main desideratum of the work is, a large reference to fixed principles in political economy ; a science requiring throughout its structure the constant presence of definitions and axioms, which may act as party walls, preventing common confusion in the extreme admixture of its concrete details. These details may be likened to the condition of a. large crowd of men requiring in a limited space barriers to prevent overpressure. The principles of political ‘economy have a constant tendency to press upon and overlap each other ; the consequence is, that reasoners must constantly recur to those most fundamental. Thus differing from the gradations of geometry, where each floor, so to speak, is so aptly placed upon the last—that the first principles once established, ue can neglect the ladders by which we mounted. On the other hand, in political economy, in the entanglement of social conditions, we are often compelled to reduce our first principles to the simplest form, in order to observe their normal tendencies when in conflict with other principles; and if, as Mr. Buckle (Civilisation, vol. i.) asserts, the science is so much indebted to Hutcheson, who deduced its leading conceptions from the phenomena of selfishness, it is that the stimulus of this instinct is required in c.>mplicated cases to show us the direction of our rights, at the same time that it healthfully checks the vagueness of speculation.
In Lecture I , pp. 1-20, Mr. Jones gives us a vivid anticipation of a view lately extended by Mr. Buckle, upon the relative bearing of natural and moral agents upon the production of wealth ; and shows us that where the luxuriant bounty of nature is left to its full efl'ect, the agencies of man are oft n stifled, and his labour paralyzed. The author first referred to, while he con
nects the efliciency of labour with the influence of climate, sees VOL. vn. NO. XIV. 2 B
in the bounty of the soil the operation of one part of external nature on another ; while he traces the elficiency of labour to the operation of external nature, not on itself, but on man. And when Mr. Buckle shows that fertility, or the operation of one part of nature upon another, being less complicated, and less liable to disturbance, comes earliest into play, he has clearly gone far to solve the politico-economical problem of the gradual advance of nations In the agency of climate, coming later into play, from its connection with the increase of man’s personal resources, there is a constant tendency to supplant civilisations which were based mainly on fertility of soil.
With the subject of labour Mr. Jones always shows an intimate acquaintance. In his remarks on this subject, the Professor fails to note that the division of labour is but a case, and application of the higher law-—'the combination of labour ; for the more we break down each process of industry into parts, the more closely must we play into the hands of those who are associated with us in a common end.
In Lecture III., p. 345 Professor Jones opens on the subject of capital; the vagueness which attends the theory of this word is evidently felt by him. But, in his lucid explanation of its Protean applications, he forces upon us the doubt, whether the term is not more useful regarded simply as “savings,” and exposed to no further definition. However we refine upon the idea, it is clear that capital, whatever it is, must depend for its increase partly upon savings from future revenue, partly on its own replacement
with profit, sooner or later.
How far rents can be said, as such, to contribute to capital, as cause and effect, or in any other than a recurring cycle (in which‘: the use of capital on land adds to our apparent rent by mixing the pure rent with profits), is perhaps questionable; for rent does not seem to be an independent addition to the national wealth over and above the revenues which the owner derives from that appropriate natural agent the soil, and which he obtains in full after deduction of the labour and risk of cultivation undergone by the farmer (see p. 41) ; so that, in other words, the same improvements might be effected by a landlord farming his own land (thus receiving no rent), and capitalizing his profits in order to improve his land.
In Lecture V., p. 63, the Professor lays great stress on the division of capital into that which is “sustaining” and that which is “auxiliary.” There may be a question whether such a distinction may not cripple the generality of our views, both sorts of capital being in some sort savings :—the first being “ employed to sustain labour, and being saved for that express purpose ; and the other being so natural to men, that no human society has ever been wholly without it. Provisionally used, and not too intently regarded, such distinctions facilitate the register of our observations; nor does the Professor, in his practical remarks on the subject, seem at all encumbered by it. It is well established, that if what people consume is always exactly equal to what they possess, there will be no residue; and therefore, no capital being accumulated, all must be employed in gaining food or starve. An overplus can only arise when the produce exceeds the consumption, and its increase eventually becomes a fund supporting all who do not win their own sustenance ; and now an intellectual class is possible, because leisure is possible, and men can attend to subjects for which the pressure of their daily wants would have left them no time.” 1
In Lecture VI., p. 7-1~, Professor Jones grasps with great force the condition of the labourer, and shews, what is most important, how the distribution of the surplus, and the condition of its possessors, determine the occupations and efliciency of the nonagricultural artisan class; yet at p. 79, in a discussion on rents and wages, equally cursory and obscure, he foregoes the opportunity of connecting his rich store of social facts with the science of political economy.
The question of population is treated by the Professor with great amplitude and delicacy of thought; and the conclusion is brought home to us with enormous force, that the capacity of mere animal increase cannot terrify the philosopher who weighs in
1_ Vida a. learned chapter hereon in Buckle's “History of Civilisation," vol, i.
the scale not merely the material framework, but the intellect and emotions of men.
Holding to the law that man will ever marry when he has obtained a sufliciency of necessaries,he sees that the term “necessaries” is one of an import which fluctuates with his social elevation; raise its level, and the term then becomes connected with all that dignifies the intellect and the heart—-with all that refines our appreciation of the blessings of time and immortality.
The characteristic of Mr. J ones’s mind was comprehensiveness rather than depth. The subjects with which he dealt had a tendency to grow large in his hands. But his eye was telescopic rather than microscopic ; the microscopic eye which could see the essence, the moving principle, of the fact close beneath him, was wanting. He could take a large sweep of particulars; if he failed, it was in detecting the true character of each unit. His mind was inductive rather than deductive, though saved from the mere empiricism of details by the business-like habit of his mind, and that largeness of observation by which errors of inspection are avoided.
There is no occasion to amplify the domain of induction. On all sides the questions of life present themselves in the concrete form of facts, requiring some preliminary hypothesis before induction can be used. But facts unsorted or ranged together on account of mere similitude, are only empirical uniformities and coexistences ; and this undue elevation of the inductive method in its application to subjects requiring another method, is connected with that error as to merely coexistent facts, which has been commented on by the learned writer on civilization we have already referred to.
When speaking of Lord Bacon, he says, “ Yet, in reference to the study of coexistences, all his caution, all his knowledge, and all his thought in (applying the method of induction to them) were useless. His weapons, notwithstanding their power, could make no impression on that stubborn and refractory topic." Now the theory of rent, as being one of the most general of any in political economy, is well calculated to illustrate this view of
coexistent facts; it strikingly shews the defect in method which the disavowal of deduction in political economical inquiries involves; and we use the term disavowal purposely, since induction and deduction must, in practice, combine their forces in every branch of knowledge; for every branch of knowledge must have its abstract as well as its concrete portion-—that part which is devoted to its science, and that part which is devoted to its practice.
The essential errors of those who deny deduction to political economy, is in forgetting that a. principle may remain operative, though its action may become invisible ;-invisible from the temporary interference of other and more potent agencies in practice. And our knowledge of the allowances on this score which at any time have to be made, must depend on our knowledge, not only of the temporary and varying circumstances of each case, but also of those more constant, though more latent conditions, which, though invisible in the unit, are potent in the mass. In the observation of the particulars, induction may well hold its own ; but in the sifting them, and shewing upon an average of many cases how their mutual perturbations tend to correct each other, deduction, which, if not a more potent weapon, is at least one of finer edge, is our real resource. That part of a problem which, though latent in the unit, becomes at once discoverable in the mass, is more really a part of it than that which is the fluctuating result of circumstance. Take, for instance, the various tenancies of which, in detail, Mr. Jones has given an account, equally rich in learning and in style. Take the serf, the metayer, the ryot, and the cottier. If the relations of each of these to other forms of rent are to be ascertained, some general rule, some centre, to which our comparisons are to be referred, must be instituted. Just so, if we wish to compare the European with the Australian, and to obtain their true points of difference, we must deductively establish a certain standard of humanity common to both; in other words, we must study the idea of humanity, rather than of any given specimen; we must abstract the central idea. of