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to prepare for war, opens the door to a kind of industry, we speak of that of a soldier, which is criminal, because its purpose is homicide. The permission given to Congress to declare war, is the cause why public officers do not make proper use of prudence to prevent disturbing conflicts. The horrible effects and consequences of war are well known. Therefore, we should either take back these permissions given to Congress, which would be the simplest method, or so far alter the constitution, that war can only be declared in accordance with a general vote of the freemen, which would virtually amount to the same thing, because, as society is now constituted, people in general cannot but give a verdict against war. It is sheer nonsense, to prepare in peace for war, to expend a cent from any public treasury for military academies, stores and instruments. We will not raise and pay men to destroy selfgovernment. Where the reign of war commences, that of self-government stands still and ends. If we act as selfgoverning freemen, we never shall have war, and therefore never shall have an occasion to fight for a treaty of peace, as we do now in Mexico. Only savages can incur the necessity of war. We can safely dispense with all fortifications, and armies, and navies, and thus prevent a great waste of the public money. It may be easily calculated, that the annual Congressional expenditures will amount to about one million of dollars, provided the business there is limited to the wants of self-government.
17. Next to war, nothing interferes so much with the best rights and interests of self-governing freemen, as the governmental meddling and bungling with industry. We mention here,—
1. Licenses. These inventions of European financiers, to make money for their luxurious lords, are against the liberty of industry. If a trader, who is too poor to establish an expensive store, prefers to travel with his goods, let him do so. He will take a comfortable locality for his trade as soon as he can afford it. Let those who like to deal in alcohol, gunpowder, medicines, poisons, knives, forks and guns, do so. Town people and the grand jury will look out for safety; states have nothing to do with the
2. Charters for Industrious Associations. They are chiefly desired, to endow private business with politic rights and public credit, which in itself must be disadvan
tageous to unchartered business of the same kind. If charters are taken by stock companies for the purpose of making the stockholders not liable beyond their shares, they are superfluous, because this ought to be settled by general laws. Bankers and bank-stock associations may pay people with cash or promissory notes, (bank bills;) this is a mere private transaction, requiring no charter. If the charters are taken to support the circulation of paper money, (promissory notes, payable to the bearer, are paper money,) state interference is used as a means of creating fictitious capital, and thus, in proportion to the amount of this fictitious currency, causing overtrading and those revolutions in commerce which we unfortunately witness so often in our Union. If this business is left alone; if governments will cease to trouble themselves how the bankers make money and pay their debts, or lend money to the people, banking will be conducted according to the laws of commerce, and never produce general calamities. It is the height of folly to authorize the promissory notes or bankbills by contra-signatures of state officers. In this way a real state paper currency is made, which is against the tenor of the Federal Constitution, if we are not mistaken. Thus much is certain, that if banking is left alone, it never will have the tendency to raise artificially the value of things, as is at present the case, which is the greatest lever of the foreign importing business, to the disadvantage of our home industry.
3. Tariff, Customs, Indirect Taxes. They are open violations of the liberty of industry. They are the invention of despotic governments, and fraught with injustice, because they affect the poor more than the rich, producing therefore poverty of the masses; they are immoral, because they are interwoven with smuggling, fraud, perjury, and other crimes; they create extravagant expenses, political patronage, international discord, and furnish the ready means for war, and other follies and absurdities of designing and despotic men. We see that industry produces a constant emulation among industrious men. If governments establish what is termed protective tariffs, they must necessarily patronise one class of business men at the expense of the rest, and, of course, disturb the natural state of trade, and interfere with the liberty of industry. Protective tariffs establish a kind of monopoly in some way or other. It is sufficiently proved, that protective tariffs cause poverty in
the large masses, as we see in England, France, and other countries, and especially in Spain, the country which has been longest subjected to the so called protective policy. Nothing can be more against the principle of self-government. Each man ought to protect himself and his business as well as he can. Indirect taxes frequently lead to commercial treaties, which are always limitations of the liberty of commerce, advantageous only to financiers, political money makers and their governments, and always injurious to the commercial public and people in general. These treaties never ought to have been allowed, and they should be discontinued as soon as possible. We cannot expect that public officers, who are not merchants, should know much about the interests of merchants. That this is the case is proved, first, by these customs and treaties, and secondly, by the confessions of the shrewdest class of men of this kind-we mean the British ministers, who, in the late corn law debates, admitted that they knew not how to assist and protect the interests of traders. Certain state philosophers or statesmen have tried to systematize commerce, not aware that this is as impossible as it would be for them to regulate air and water, rain and sunshine. Each merchant has and must have a system of his own. He must try his own skill on the field of industrious warfare; and he will succeed, according as he understands mercantile tactics, among which the first is, secrecy of his plans of action. Hence the obvious impossibility of a governmental systematizing and directing of commerce; hence the superfluousness of commercial treaties and ambassades, as that to China, &c. Forcing factories by prohibitive tariffs, is yet more ruinous than stimulating commerce by protection, because people have to pay all that the factories gain, without getting any recompense. We therefore should labor to bring about a speedy change in our policy in this regard. Direct taxes are the only means of raising a revenue that freemen can admit. Political partizans or demagogues do not like them, because a great host of offices will be abolished by adopting a general system of direct taxation. In our plan of a federal constitution we propose, that the money required by Congress shall be drawn from the state treasuries, because these should serve as a sort of sub-treasuries. This, so far as we can judge, is the only fair, simple and safe way to fill the congressional treasury.
4. Patent Rights. They belong to the class of monopolies, and are therefore opposed to the liberty of industry. As stimulants to industry they are of less value than many think, because only a very few of the patented rights are worth more than the high expense bestowed upon them. This institution and its kin, the system of protective duties, were originally calculated to create a kind of industrial aristocracy, to serve as a support to the tottering rule of the landed aristocracy and their sovereigns in AsiaticEuropean empires. There the governments have, under different pretexts, as that of crown rights, domains, sovereignty, &c. great revenues. The nobility are similarly situated. The industrious men of influence have, in their turn, in the course of time, succeeded in extorting from them certain monopolies, protective duties, patent rights, &c., to get rich also. Hence we meet in such countries some very rich men and an immense mass of poor people, who are now so much degraded or degenerated, that they prefer, when in distress, humbly to beg their governments, who deprived them first of the means of subsistence, for support and bread, instead of trying self-government, and reclaiming their primitive rights, first among which is liberty of industry. Shall we have such a state of things in America? With us, it should be left to the people to reward meritorious discoveries and public benefactors. Neither states nor Congress can do it better, nor will they have the means of doing it, if we take proper care of ourselves. States are not established to make people rich. This should be borne in mind by those who clamor for high tariffs, charters, incorporation acts, bank privileges, harbor, road, bridge, and other repairs, at the public
5. Post. This forwarding business is, as a public one, also of well known European financial origin, where, at the same time, it is used by government officers to discover the contents of letters trusted to their care. That gov
ernments, generally, do not understand how to manage this forwarding business well, has been proved of late by the post office reforms in England and America, planned and forced through by private citizens, almost in spite of the officers of government. It is obviously against liberty of industry to place this forwarding business in the hands of governments. If left free, it will be done better, more cheaply and safely, by enterprising men, than it ever will
be by officers, who are appointed according to the dictates of the policy of the ruling party, with little or no regard to their qualifications. The late Congressional law, which prohibits private competition, deserves the name of a legislative outrage. It is a rude aggression and infringement of the liberty of industry. This prohibitive clause should have been discarded by a uniform movement of all the courts, as unconstitutional. Congress ought to suspend or give up (as advised by Mr. Amos Kendall when in office as Postmaster General) this business. This, alas, obviously will not be done by the political parties of to-day.*
*The reader may find proof of what we have stated here in Mr. C. Johnson's Post Office Department Report to the Congress, in December, 1846. Among other equally significant things, he says,
1. That the Post Office Department should have the exclusive control of the Magnetic Telegraph.
2. Because this Telegraph is so powerful for good or for evil to the citizen, that it cannot be permitted to remain in the hands of individuals uncontrolled by law.
3. That the evils or benefits of this Telegraph cannot be over estimated.
4. That the government should get the exclusive control of it by purchase.
We ask, what this Telegraph has to do with the letter-forwarding business? If the Telegraph supercedes letter-writing and transportation, why, we ask, should Mr. Johnson and Congress trouble themselves about it? Is a letter a part of the Union? Must we write letters for Congress' sake? That is the very language of despotic governments, who frequently make use of similar phrases about the press, liberty of speech and conscience, and who have controlled all these bulwarks of humanity, by laws, licenses, and prohibitions, in such a manner, that their humble subjects cannot utter or write a word to the public without the most gracious permission of their lords, because, forsooth, "the evils or benefits of the press, speech, pulpit, magnetic telegraph, &c., cannot be over estimated!"' Before long, our terrible Secretary of War will raise the same cry concerning the evils and benefits which may be or may not be produced by the vegetable gunpowder, and will insist upon controlling it by very sharp laws, exactly as the petty princes in Europe have done already. Very gratifying to the European statesmen will be such a document, addressed to the North American Congress in the year of our Lord 1846, and it cannot fail, that its despotic author will acquire quite an "European reputation," which seems to be at present the highest aim of our statesmen and soldiers !
The only evil which we are able to discover about that telegraph is, that it is not so universally practicable as to crush at once by competition this public nuisance called the Post Office Department. This purchasing and money wasting, and interfering with private industry, is the curse of such impertinent business. Is a Mr. Johnson a better letter-forwarder than a Mr. Harnden, or a Mr. Adams, because he