Principles of Social Science (1858-1859) - Vol. 2

Principles of Social Science (1858-1859) - Vol. 2

Principles of Social Science (1858-1859) - Vol. 2

Principles of Social Science (1858-1859) - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The early settler -- the Crusoe of our island -- dependent on his hands alone, is forced to exhaust his powers in travelling over extensive surfaces in quest of game; and it is only occasionally that he has the opportunity of applying his labors even to the simple work of appropriation. In time, however -- having made a bow and arrows, and thus secured the aid of certain of the natural forces -- he obtains larger and more regular supplies of food; and in return to a diminished proportion of his time and labor. His powers being thus economized, he is enabled to apply a larger proportion of his time to the augmentation of his capital -- to increasing his supplies of arrows -- to the making of a boat -- or to the construction of a hut. Each and every of these changes being attended by further diminution in the effort required for effecting changes of place, and by increase in that which may be given to other employments, there is thus produced a continty in the demand for the force resulting from the consumption of food; with consequent economy of power -- greatly facilitating the further accumulation of capital.

The cost to a community of maintaining a man in a state of perfect efficiency for mental and physical effort is the same, precisely, whether his powers be applied or wasted. He must eat -- must be clothed -- and must be protected from the weather; and must therefore consume a quantity of capital, which is thus withdrawn from the common stock. Although withdrawn, and although consumed, it is not, however, destroyed, for it reappears on the . . .

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