Imatges de pàgina
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the public were continually exposed to fraud by the adulteration of coin by monarchs and by schemers; at present they are only exposed to the fraud of petty coiners of base metals, who are easily detected. It is astonishing that politicians should so long have neglected to observe the principle of general guarantee contained in the regulations for coining, which were discovered and applied by chance in a few branches of administration, such as the Mint, and the Post-office.

To enter into a minute examination, however, of all the effects of incoherence, and all the causes of divergency in political and scientific opinions, would occupy more time than we can now devote to that part of our subject; nor is it necessary to dwell very particularly on them here, as we shall frequently recur to them hereafter : suffice it to say, that incoherence in society is the inevitable result of incoherence in science; and a fragmentary and confused state of general science is inevitable, so long as the universal principles of attraction which govern the universe, both materially and spiritually, remain unknown or only partially discovered. When once human genius has discovered that human attractions and repulsions are exactly in proportion to the essential destiny of humanity upon earth, it is then known what form of society will admit of the harmony of the passions, and what is the cause of subversion and the necessity of compressive doctrines, during the period of incoherent civilization. The law of human attractions being in proportion to the destiny of humanity, is exactly analogous to the law of material attraction in the solar system, where the destiny of each planet is exactly in proportion to its particular powers of attraction and repulsion, combined with its particular distance from the sun, and the respective positions of other planets; the accidental destiny of humanity is a subversive and incoherent state of society until it can discover the laws of harmony and its natural destiny upon earth; the same as a comet is destined to follow an irregular course until it can find a proper position in the solar system. It is evident that truth, justice, candour, and harmony would be agreeable to every body, if we knew how to make them agree with the interests and pleasures of each individual ; and that, so long as the pursuits of interest and of pleasure are incompatible with truth and justice, there will be no hope of harmony. Social science, then, consists not only in uniting all private interests with each other, and with the general interests of society, but also in rendering the practice of falsehood, injustice, hypocrisy, and immorality, absolutely and directly injurious to those who practise them, and vice versa. This task is much less difficult than people may at first imagine; for when once the phalanx of industrial corporations is organized for the various pursuits of happiness, all other advantages become, not only easy, but absolutely inevitable : indeed, one of the general theorems of the science of attraction is, that THE ORGANIZATION OF REGULAR SERIES NECESSARILY GENERATES HARMONY; OR, THAT, THE LAWS OF SERIES ARE THE BASIS OF CONCORD. The solar system is an harmonic series of planets; the most delightful music is an harmonic series of simple notes; and, as the most exquisite music, or the most infernal noise, may be produced by the same band of instruments, according as the notes are combined in harmonic series, or jumbled together in horrid

disorder,—so the human instincts and passions combined in regular series may produce exquisite harmony; but, if allowed to act incoherently, they will produce a real hell upon earth, as they have done hitherto, and will ever continue to do, so long as they are left to act without unity of purpose. The moral doctrines of compressing the passions, that they may not produce such violent discord are, as Fourier says, exactly analagous to a theory of harmonizing musical instruments, by exhorting the base instruments to weaken their tones, others to soften their notes, and the rest to stifle their sounds, in order to render the discordant confusion less insupportable, while every different instrument was at liberty to play different notes, without any regard to time, melody, or unity. As such a theory of harmonizing musical instruments would be evidently ineffectual, so it is clearly proved to us by an experience of several thousand years, that compressing and moderating the passions is absolutely inadequate to the task of harmonizing them, while they are free to act as caprice and jarring interests may impel them. Nor would there be any lack of freedom in a general system of unity, obliging the same passions to act in unison with each other, as in the case of a band of musicians, because those who did not like the social music of one corporation could easily take a part in another; and besides that, they might vary from one to another, for the purpose of avoiding monotony and fatigue.

No wonder that philosophers and politicians should be divided in their opinions concerning civil and political institutions of an incoherent nature; for, as incoherency in every degree is contrary to the natural laws of harmony, every institution that is adapted to such a state as incoherent civilization, must necessarily be more or less defective; and, therefore, to disagree about the preference which may be given to either, is just as if we were to dispute about which was the least disagreeable noise amongst a great variety of discordant sounds. If this were once clearly and generally understood, we should no longer quarrel about political regulations that are contrary to the interests of certain classes; we should all agree to substitute harmonic institutions; and the only emulation would be, who should organize the most perfect corporations, who should compose the most rapturous harmony.

So long as institutions are in harmonic, we may rest assured they will produce divergency of opinion; nor is it easy to know which of the political parties of the present day is most discordant in its pretensions. One thing, however, is certain ; as no sort of discordant noise can ever produce harmony, so no sort of incoherent political reform can ever produce peace or happiness.

Let us, then, briefly examine what degree of convergency in public opinion may be expected from a correct social and political science. The contrast may be interesting and instructive.

AN INCIDENTAL DIGRESSION. Before we discuss the advantages of a correct political science, it may not be useless to anticipate an objection which is very generally made concerning the innate depravity of human nature, and the impossibility of rendering man just and virtuous.

Without entering into a long disquisition on the various doctrines concerning original sin, we may adduce the authority of Scripture and of celebrated divines concerning the possibility of regeneration; and, without entering into a labyrinth of erudition to discover the literal meaning of certain scriptural allegories, we may state that our notion of original sin is, that the disobedience of God's commands, and the introduction of injustice amongst men, was the original sin of humanity upon earth: and, as all the most learned divines admit the possibility of regeneration, so do we. Indeed, if the possibility of regeneration were not admitted, where would be the utility of preaching morality and religion? How could souls be saved, if they could not be first regenerated ? Our conviction then is, that favourable circumstances in which the practice of truth and justice would be conducive to worldly interests, and vice versa, would be eminently efficient in seconding moral and religious instruction for the great work of regeneration.

In a preceding paragraph we quoted the opinion of Henry of Ghent, surnamed the solenn Doctor(of Divinity). In speaking of the political doctrines of Plato and Aristotle, he says, “But Christianity cannot adopt either of these doctrines : our mission is to regenerate man so as to restore him to his primitive state of perfection."

And if Christ died on the cross, was it not to atone for our sins, facilitate regeneration, and open the gates of heaven to humanity? And when he said, Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you,are we to disbelieve him, and suppose regeneration impossible ? Certainly not.

But to be as explicit as possible in consistence with brevity, we will quote a private letter of one of our friends, which contains a very remarkable analogy between the infancy of an individual and that of humanity. By the infancy of humanity we understand its political infancy during arbitrary civilization, and the absence of true social and political science.

"What can be more striking than the analogy between the infancy of an individual immediately after birth in this world, and that of humanity during the primitive ages of its existence? The infant is born helpless, without either experience or intelligence; it finds in the breast of its mother a suitable aliment already prepared, and, in her maternal affection, that fostering care which is necessary to its welfare. Without these precautions of nature, the infant would merely be born to experience a few hour's life in the cradle of death. Such, we may presume to have been the primitive existence of humanity, and this presumption is strengthened by the various profane traditions concerning Paradise, Eden, the Golden Age, &c., in which our first parents enjoyed in abundance all the fruits of luxuriant nature in reward for the simple efforts of gathering them. And, moreover, if nature had not abundantly provided every thing necessary to the preservation of human life, previous to the creation of man on the globe, how would it have been possible for our first parents to live, prosper and multiply, placed, as they must have been, defenceless and without experience in an unknown world? But the sacred traditions confirm our natural conceptions on this subject, for they tell us, that all the physical wants of man were abundantly provided for him on his

first appearance on this earth, and that his earliest steps in acquiring experience were under the immediate guidance of the Creator.”

*Without entering into any discussion concerning the first disobedience, &c. (which might lead to endless controversy), we may follow out the natural analogy between the birth and progress of individual existence and that of humanity. When the infant has accomplished the first period of its existence, and the milk of its mother is no longer sufficient for the support of its growing strength, the mechanical means of assimilating a stronger food become necessary, the travail of dentition commences, and a certain degree of suffering is the natural concomitant; and thus the second period of human infancy is beset with affliction.

“So it is with the infancy of humanity. When men had multiplied upon the earth to an extent that rendered its spontaneous productions insufficient for their physical wants; scarcity, privation, and discord must have afflicted them during their ignorance of industry and the means of cultivating natural productions. The invention of these means to secure a sufficiency of nourishment, may be compared to the cutting of teeth to enable the infant to assimilate other substances when the milk of its mother is no longer adequate to the function of nutrition. The second period, then, of infancy in the individual career, and in that of humanity, is marked by the generation of more powerful means of obtaining nutrition when the spontaneous aliment of the maternal breast no longer exists; and, in both cases, this generation is painful and protracted."

This is a natural mode of accounting for the fall of man into misery and sin; nor does it in any way contradict scriptural tradition; and our most intimate conviction is, that the natural mode of returning to truth, innocence, and harmony, will be in exact accordance with what is predicted in the Scriptures concerning the millennium, or second coming of Christ. Those who may think that this account is not in strict accordance with the letter of holy writ, should remember, that it is the spirit, and not the letter only, which we must attend to in allegorical writings. A moment's thought will suffice to show that the analogy in this case is perfectly natural, and consequently in strict accordance with the spirit of truth. The disobedience of men consisted in the unjust practice of robbing, and depriving each other of natural fruits, instead of cultivating and multiplying the means of subsistence that was one way of eating of the forbidden fruit; indeed, it appears more natural to understand the allegory of“ forbidden fruit" to mean the apple or fruit belonging to another person, according to a just distribution, than to suppose that God created an apple, or fruit of any sort, that was not meant for the use of man. According to our interpretation, the fruit was not absolutely forbidden to all mankind; but the injustice of robbing each other of a just share of the fruits of nature was forbidden to all the human race. (It is well known, that all oriental scholars understand the word Adam to mean the whole human race of the primitive ages, as well as the first man created on the globe: but to those who are particularly curious in this matter, we again recommend O'Brien's work on the Round Towers of Ireland, and the Monuments of Antiquity. The allegory of the forbidden frui is there explained scientifically.)

We take it for granted, then, that it is possible to regenerate humanity, and we now proceed to examine the advantages of a correct political science.

Of the Advantages of Correct Political Science, and the

consequent Convergency of Public Opinion. The advantages of a real science, and the disadvantages of arbitrary systems, are admitted by every body; and therefore our present task is not so much to prove the utility of a correct political science, and its application to society, as it is to strengthen in the reader's mind an impartial opinion concerning the discovery of this science. This can only be done in a vague and general manner, insomuch as we have not yet entered into the details of our subject; but, on the faith of what has already been said concerning the general principles and results in a single case of combinative organization, we may take a hasty glance at the political connexion of these individual associations. The natural contrast between association and incoherence will serve to elucidate our proposition :

1. By paying proper attention to cleanliness, wholesome food, good air, &c. &c., each corporate body would preserve the health of its individual members, and these precautions would be strengthened by paying medical men in proportion to the health of the members, instead of paying them in proportion to the amount of sickness.

2. Instead of paying poor-rates to able bodied people in idleness, they could advance money for general loans, enabling the poor to form industrious companies, in order to render waste lands fit for cultivation, and build habitations or Phalansteries upon them. When once they had built their habitation, and rendered the waste lands fit for cultivation, they could easily pay the interest of the money advanced for materials and nourishment during the preparatory operations.

This system would not only diminish the burden of poor-rates, but it would also partially provide for the exuberance of population, for which there is no earthly provision at present. Each association would then have to support its aged and infirm members; and the number of these would be greatly diminished by sanitary regulations and healthy occupation.

3. By procuring useful employment for all the able-bodied poor of each establishment, added to the regulations just now mentioned for providing new colonies, it is clear that indigence might be thoroughly eradicated, and its consequent crimes prevented.

4. Each corporation buying and selling on a wholesale scale, would want but few retail dealers, and therefore the greater part of the present swarm of traders would return to productive and useful industry; and, as competition would be confined to large and enlightened bodies, having to maintain their credit and an honourable character, fraud, adulteration, and bankruptcy would be rendered almost impossible. The property of the whole phalanx would be a guarantee against bankruptcy; and, as each corporation would exchange its superfluities for those of other individual societies, it is evident that they would be mutually injuring themselves by adulterating their respective productions.

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