GENERAL OPINIONS CONCERNING PRODUCTION
THE subject matter of the second part of this treatise is composed of a variety of topics which bear upon the production of wealth and concerning which Webster expressed some opinion. It involves a study of Webster's thoughts on the different forms of productive enterprise, of his general theory of production, and of his views concerning distribution, the machine technique, the corporate principle, capital, labor and its problems. In handling each of these topics, it has been necessary to allot time and space unevenly owing to the fact that Webster discussed some of them more fully and explicitly than he did others.
Whenever Webster spoke of the production of wealth in general, he was mindful of both individual and national points of view. The national wealth he regarded as the aggregate of all the wealth belonging to all individuals, but, as an individualist himself, it was easy for him to perceive that no individual was consciously aware that he was contributing to the aggregate. "Individuals seek their own good, not any artificial aggregate of national wealth."1 Although the enlargement of the national wealth was one of his strongest desires, he did not ignore the existence of a problem of distribution. To him, the latter was "quite as important" as accumulating a large aggregate.
Webster was not meticulously accurate in defining wealth. In one of his greatest speeches, wealth was described as "the____________________