THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.

CHAPTER I.
OUR NEED OF IT.

OVER his pipe in the village ale-house, the labourer says very positively what Parliament should do about the "foot and mouth disease." At the farmer's market-table, his master makes the glasses jingle as, with his fist, he emphasizes the assertion that he did not get half enough compensation for his slaughtered beasts during the cattle-plague.These are not hesitating opinions. On a matter affecting the agricultural interest, statements are still as dogmatic as they were during the Anti-Corn-Law agitation, when, in every rural circle, you heard that the nation would be ruined if the lightly-taxed foreigner was allowed to compete in our markets with the heavily-taxed Englishman: a proposition held to be so self-evident that dissent from it implied either stupidity or knavery.

Now, as then, may be daily heard among other classes, opinions just as decided and just as unwarranted. By men called educated, the old plea for extravagant expenditure, that " it is good for trade," is still continually urged with full belief in its sufficiency.Scarcely any decrease is observable in the fallacy that whatever gives employment is beneficial : no regard being had to the value for ulterior purposes of that which the labour produces : no question being asked what would have resulted had the capital which paid for the labour taken some other channel and paid for some other labour. Neither criticism nor explanation appreciably modifies these beliefs. When there is again an opening for them they are expressed with undiminished confidence. Along with delusions of this kind go whole families of others. People who

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