By Say J.-B.
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Extra resources for A Treatise on Political Economy or the Production, Distribution and consumption of Wealth
INTRODUCTION. \[v other; which on the one side will naturally induce Jess oppression, and on the other beget more confidence. At present, authors who venture to write upon politics, history, and d fortiori upon finance, commerce, and the arts, without any previous knowledge of the principles of political economy, only produce works of temporary success, that do not succeed in fixing public attention. But what has chiefly contributed to the advancement of political economy, is the grave posture of affairs in the civilized world during the last thirty years.
He distinguishes natural from artificial production. He styles natural, whatever creates those objects of consumption required by a family, or, at most, whatever is obtained by exchanges in kind. No other advantage, according to him, is derived from real production; artificial gain he condemns. Besides, he does not support these opinions by any reasoning founded upon accurate observation. *he cause of our always being misled in political economy, whenever we have subjected its phenomena to mathematical calculation.
They knew, what has always been known wherever the right of property has been sanctioned by laws, that riches are increased by economy, and diminished by extravagance. Xenophon extols order, activity, and intelligence, as certain means of obtaining prosperity; but without deducing these maxims from any general law, or without being able to show the connexion between causes and their consequences. He advises the Athenians to protect commerce, and to receive strangers with kindness; yet so little was he aware to what extent this advice would be proper, that, upon another occasion, he expresses doubts whether commerce be really profitable to the republic.
A Treatise on Political Economy or the Production, Distribution and consumption of Wealth by Say J.-B.