Of Property

William Godwin

[1793 / Chapters 7-8, and Appendix / Part 5 of 7]


Objection to this System from the Benefits of Luxury

The objections we have hitherto examined, attack the practicability of a system of equality. But there are not wanting reasoners, the tendency of whose arguments is to show that, omitting the practicability, it is not even desirable. One of the objections they advance, is as follows.

They lay it down as a maxim, in the first instance, and the truth of this maxim we shall not contend with them, "that refinement is better than ignorance. It is better to be a man than a brute. Those attributes therefore, which separate the man from the brute, are most worthy of our affection and cultivation. Elegance of taste, refinement of sentiment, depth of penetration, and largeness of science, are among the noblest ornaments of man. But all these," say they, "are connected with inequality; they are the growth of luxury. It is luxury, by which palaces are built, and cities peopled. It is for the purpose of obtaining a share of the luxury which he witnesses in his richer neighbours, that the artificer exerts the refinements of his skill. To this cause we are indebted, for the arts of architecture, painting, music and poetry. Art would never have been cultivated, if a state of inequality had not enabled some men to purchase, and excited others to acquire the talent which was necessary to sell. In a state of equality, we must always have remained, and with equality restored, we must again become, barbarians. Thus we see (as in the system of optimism(1*)) disorder, selfishness, monopoly and distress, all of them seeming discords, contributing to the admirable harmony and magnificence of the whole. The intellectual improvement and enlargement we witness and hope for, was worth purchasing at the expence of partial injustice and distress."(2*)

This view of the subject, under various forms, has been very extensive in its effects. It probably contributed to make Rousseau an advocate of the savage state. Undoubtedly, we must not permit ourselves to think slightly, of the mischiefs that accrue from a state of inequality. If it be necessary that the great mass of mankind should be condemned to slavery, and, stranger still, to ignorance, that a few may be enlightened, certainly those moralists are not to be blamed, who doubted whether perpetual rudeness were not preferable to such a gift. Fortunately this is by no means the real alternative.

Perhaps a state of luxury, such as is here described, and a state of inequality, might be a stage through which it was necessary to pass, in order to arrive at the goal of civilisation. The only security we can ultimately have for an equality of conditions, is a general persuasion of the iniquity of accumulation, and the uselessness of wealth, in the purchase of happiness. But this persuasion could not be established in a savage state; nor indeed can it be maintained, if we should fall back into barbarism. It was the spectacle of inequality, that first excited the grossness of barbarians to persevering exertion, as a means of acquiring. It was perservering exertion, that first gave the reality, and the sense, of that leisure, which has served the purposes of literature and art.

But, though inequality were necessary as the prelude to civilisation, it is not necessary to its support. We may throw down the scaffolding, when the edifice is complete. We have at large endeavoured to show,(3*) that the love of our fellow men, the love of distinction, and whatever motive is most allied to the energies of the human mind, will remain, when the enchantments of wealth are dissolved. He who has tasted the pleasures of refinement and knowledge, will not relapse into ignorance.

The better to understand the futility of the present objection, it may be proper to enter into a more accurate consideration of the sense of the term luxury. It depends upon the meaning in which it is understood, to determine whether it is to be regarded as a virtue or a vice. If we understand by a luxury, something which is to be enjoyed exclusively by some, at the expence of undue privations, and a partial burthen upon others; to indulge ourselves in luxury is then a vice. But, if we understand by luxury, which is frequently the case, every accommodation which is not absolutely necessary to maintain us in sound and heathful existence, the procuring and communication of luxuries may then be virtuous. The end of virtue, is to add to the sum of pleasurable sensation. The beacon and regulator of virtue, is impartiality, that we shall not give that exertion to procure the pleasure of an individual, which might have been employed in procuring the pleasure of many individuals. Within these limits every man is laudably employed, who procures to himself or his neighbour a real accession of pleasure; and he is censurable, who neglects any occasion of being so employed. We ought not to study that we may live, but to live that we may replenish existence with the greatest number of unallayed, exquisite and substantial enjoyments.

Let us apply these reflections to the state of equality we have endeavoured to delineate. It appeared in that delineation4, that the labour of half an hour per diem on the part of every individual in the community, would probably be sufficient to procure for all the necessaries of life. This quantity of industry therefore, though prescribed by no law, and inforced by no direct penalty, would be most powerfully imposed upon the strong in intellect, by a sense of justice, and upon the weak, by a sense of shame. After this, how would men spend the remainder of their time? Not probably in idleness, not all men, and the whole of their time, in the pursuit of intellectual attainments. There are many things, the fruit of human industry, which, though not to be classed among the necessaries of life, are highly conducive to our well being. The criterion of these things will appear, when we have ascertained what those accommodations are which will give us real pleasure, after the insinuations of vanity and ostentation shall have dismissed. A considerable portion of time would probably be dedicated, in an enlightened community, to the production of such accommodations. A labour of this sort is perhaps not inconsistent with the most desirable state of human existence. Laborious employment is a calamity now, because it is imperiously prescribed upon men as the condition of their existence, and because it shuts them out from a fair participation in the means of knowledge and improvement. When it shall be rendered in the strictest sense voluntary, when it shall cease to interfere with our improvement, and rather become a part of it, or at worst be converted into a source of amusement and variety, it may then be no longer a calamity, but a benefit. Thus it appears that a state of equality need not be a state of Stoical simplicity, but is compatible with considerable accommodation, and even, in some sense, with splendour; at least, if by splendour we understand copiousness of accommodation, and variety of invention for the purposes of accommodation. Those persons therefore who may be concluded to have small appearance of reason, who confound such a state with the state of the savage; or who suppose that the acquisition of the former, is to be considered as having a tendency to lead to the latter.


  1. Book IV, Chap. XI.
  2. The great champion of this doctrine is Mandeville. It is not however easy to determine, whether he is seriously, or only ironically, the defender of the present system of society. His principal work (Fable of the Bees) is highly worthy the attention of every man, who would learn profoundly to philosophise upon human affairs. No author has displayed, in stronger terms, the deformity of existing abuses, or proved more satisfactorily how inseparably these abuses are connected together. Hume (Essays; Part II, Essay II) has endeavoured to communicate to the Mandevilian system his own lustre and brilliancy of colouring. But it has unfortunately happened, that what he adds in beauty he has subtracted from profoundness. The profoundness of Hume, which has never been surpassed, and which ranks him with the most illustrious and venerable of men, is for the most part the profoundness of logical distinction, rather than of moral analysis.
  3. Book VIII, Chap. I, IV, VI.
  4. Book VIII, Chap. VI.


Objection to this System from the Inflexibility of its Restrictions

An objection that has often been urged against a system of equality, is, "that it is inconsistent with personal independence. Every man, according to this scheme, is a passive instrument in the hands of the community. He must eat and drink, and play and sleep, at the bidding of others. He has no habitation, no period at which he can retreat into himself, and not ask another's leave. He has nothing that he can call his own, not even his time or his person. Under the appearance of a perfect freedom from oppression and tyranny, he is in reality subjected to this most unlimited slavery."

To understand the force of this objection it is necessary that we should distinguish two sorts of independence, one of which may be denominated natural, and the other moral. Natural independence, a freedom from all constraint, except that of reasons and inducements presented to this understanding, is of the utmost importance to the welfare and improvement of mind. Moral independence, on the contrary, is always injurious. The dependence, which is essential, in this respect, to the wholesome temperament of society, includes in it articles, that are, no doubt, unpalatable, to a multitude of the present race of mankind, but that owe their unpopularity only to weakness and vice. It includes a censure to be exercised by every individual over the actions of another, a promptness to enquire into and to judge them. Why should we shrink from this? What could be more beneficial, than for each man to derive assistance for correcting and moulding his conduct, from the perspicacity of his neighbours? The reason that this species of censure is at present exercised with illiberality, is, because it is exercised clandestinely, and because we submit to its operation with impatience and aversion. Moral independence is always injurious: for, as has abundantly appeared in the course of the present enquiry, there is no situation in which I can be placed, where it is not incumbent upon me to adopt a certain conduct in preference to all others, and, of consequence, where I shall not prove an ill member of society, if I act in any other than a particular manner. The attachment that is felt by the present race of mankind to independence in this respect, and the desire to act as they please, without being accountable to the principles of reason, are highly detrimental to the general welfare.

But, if we ought never to act independently of the principles of reason, and, in no instance, to shrink from the candid examination of another, it is nevertheless essential, that we should, at all times, be free, to cultivate the individuality, and follow the dictates, of our own judgement. If there be any thing in the idea of equality that infringes this principle, the objection ought probably to be conclusive. If the scheme be, as it has often been represented, a scheme of government, constraint and regulation, it is, no doubt, in direct hostility with the principles of this work.

But the truth is, that a system of equality requires no restrictions or superintendence. There is no need of common labour, meals or magazines. These are feeble and mistaken instruments, for restraining the conduct, without making conquest of the judgment. If you cannot bring over the hearts of the community to your party, expect no success from brute regulations. If you can, regulation is unnecessary. Such a system was well enough adapted to the military constitution of Sparta; but it is wholly unworthy of men enlifted in no cause but that of reason and justice. Beware of reducing men to the state of machines. Govern them through no medium but that of inclination and conviction.

Can there be a good reason for men's eating together, except where they are prompted to it by the impulse of their own minds? Ought I to come at a certain hour, from the museum where I am working, the retreat in which I meditate, or the observatory where I remark the phenomena of nature, to a certain hall appropriated to the office of eating; instead of eating, as reason bids me, at the time and place most suited to my avocations? Why have common magazines? For the purpose of carrying our provision to a certain distance, that we may afterwards bring them back again? Or is this precaution really necessary, after all that has been said, to guard us against the knavery and covetousness of our associates?


Of Cooperation, Cohabitation and Marriage

It is a curious subject, to enquire into the due medium between individuality and concert. On the one hand, it is to be observed that human beings are formed for society. Without society, we shall probably be deprived of the most eminent enjoyments of which our nature is susceptible. In society, no man, possessing the genuine marks of a man, can stand alone. Our opinions, our tempers and our habits are modified by those of each other. This is by no means the mere operation of arguments and persuasives; it occurs in that insensible and gradual way, which no resolution can enable us wholly to counteract. He that would attempt to counteract it by insulating himself, will fall into a worse error than that which he seeks to avoid. He will divest himself of the character of a man, and be incapable of judging of his fellow men, or of reasoning upon human affairs.

On the other hand, individuality is of the very essence of intellectual excellence. He that resigns himself wholly to sympathy and imitation, can possess little of mental strength or accuracy. The system of his life is a species of sensual dereliction. He is like a captive in the garden of Armida; he may revel in the midst of a thousand delights; but he is incapable of the enterprise of a hero, or the severity of a philosopher. He lives forgetting and forgot. He has deserted his station in human society. Mankind cannot be benefited by him. He neither animates them to exertion, nor leads them forward to unexpected improvement. When his country or his species call for him, he is not found in his rank. They can owe him no obligations; and, if one spark of a generous spirit remain within him, he will view his proceedings with no complacency. The truly venerable, and the truly happy, must have the fortitude to maintain his individuality. If he indulge in the gratifications, and cultivate the feelings of man, he must at the same time be strenuous in following the train of his disquisitions, and exercising the powers of his understanding.

The objectors of a former chapter(1*) were partly in the right, when they spoke of the endless variety of the mind. It would be absurd to say that we are not capable of truth, of evidence and agreement. In these respects, so far as mind is in a state of progressive improvement, we are perpetually coming nearer to each other. But there are subjects about which we shall continually differ, and ought to differ. The ideas, associations and circumstances of each man, are properly his own; and it is a pernicious system that would lead us to require all men, however different their circumstances, to act by a precise general rule. Add to this, that, by the doctrine of progressive improvement, we shall always be erroneous, though we shall every day become less erroneous. The proper method for hastening the decline of error, and producing uniformity of judgment, is not, by brute force, by laws, or by imitation; but, on the contrary, by exciting every man to think for himself.

From these principles it appears, that every thing that is usually understood by the term cooperation, is, in some degree, an evil. A man in solitude, is obligated to sacrifice or postpone the execution of his best thoughts, in compliance with his necessities. How many admirable designs have perished in the conception, by means of this circumstance? It is still worse, when a man is also obliged to consult the convenience of others. If I be expected to eat or to work in conjunction with my neighbour, it must either be at a time most convenient to me, or to him, or to neither of us. We cannot be reduced to a clock-work uniformity.

Hence it follows that all supererogatory cooperation is carefully to be avoided, common labour and common meals. "But what shall we say to a cooperation, that seems dictated by the nature of the work to be performed?" It ought to be diminished. There is probably considerably more of injury in the concert of industry, than of sympathies. At present, it is unreasonable to doubt, that the consideration of the evil of cooperation, is, in certain urgent cases, to be postponed to that urgency. Whether, by the nature of things, cooperation of some sort will always be necessary, is a question we are scarcely competent to decide. At present, to pull down a tree, to cut a canal, to navigate a vessel, require the labour of many. Will they always require the labour of many? When we recollect the complicated machines of human contrivance, various sorts of mills, of weaving engines, steam engines, are we not astonished at the compendium of labour they produce? Who shall say where this species of improvement must stop? At present, such inventions alarm the labouring part of the community; and they may be productive of the temporary distress, though they conduce, in the sequel, to the most important interests of the multitude. But, in a state of equal labour, their utility will be liable to no dispute. Hereafter it is by no means clear, that the most extensive operations will not be within the reach of one man; or, to make use of a familiar instance, that a plough may not be turned into a field, and perform its office without the need of superintendence. It was in this sense that the celebrated Franklin conjectured, that "mind would one day become omnipotent over matter."(2*)

The conclusion of the progress which has here been sketched, is something like a final close to the necessity of manual labour. It may be instructive in such cases, to observe, how the sublime geniuses of former times, anticipated what seems likely to be the future improvement of mankind. It was one of the laws of Lycurgus, that no Spartan should be employed in manual labour. For this purpose, under his system, it was necessary, that they should be plentifully supplied with slaves devoted to drudgery. Matter, or, to speak more accurately, the certain and unremitting laws of the universe, will be the Helots of the period we are contemplating. We shall end in this respect, oh immortal legislator! at the point from which you began.

To return to the subject of cooperation. It may be a curious speculation ot attend to the progressive steps, by which this feature of human society may be expected to decline. For example: shall we have concerts of music? The miserable state of mechanism of the majority of the performers, is so conspicuous, as to be, even at this day, a topic of mortification and ridicule. Will it not be practicable hereafter for one man to perform the whole? Shall we have theatrical exhibitions? This seems to include an absurd and vicious cooperation. It may be doubted, whether men will hereafter come forward in any mode, formally to repeat words and ideas that are not their own? It may be doubted, whether any musical performer will habitually execute the compositions of others? We yield supinely to the superior merit of our predecessors, because we are accustomed to indulge the inactivity of our faculties. All formal repetition of other men's ideas, seems to be a scheme for imprisoning, for so long a time, the operations of our own mind. It borders perhaps, in this respect, upon a breach of sincerity, which requires that we should give immediate utterance to every useful and valuable idea that occurs.

Having ventured to state these hints and conjectures, let us endeavour to mark the limits of individuality. Every man that receives an impression from any external object, has the current of his own thoughts modified by force; and yet, without external impressions, we should be nothing. Every man that reads the composition of another, suffers the succession of his ideas to be, in a considerable degree, under the direction of his author. But it does not seem, as if this would ever form a sufficient objection against reading. One man will always have stored up reflections and facts that another wants; and mature and digested discourse will perhaps always, in equal circumstances,, be superior to that which is extempore. Conversation is a species of cooperation, one or the other party always yielding to have his ideas guided by the other: yet conversation, and the intercourse of mind with mind, seem to be the most fertile sources of improvement. It is here as it is with punishment. He that, in the gentlest manner, undertakes to reason another out of his vices, will probably occasion pain; but this species of punishment ought, upon no account, to be superseded.

Let not these views of the future individuality of man, be misapprehended, or overtrained. We ought to be able to do without one another. He is the most perfect man, to whom society is not a necessary of life, but a luxury, innocent and enviable, in which he joyfully indulges. Such a man will not fly to society, as to something requisite for the consuming of his time, or the refuge of his weakness. In society he will find pleasure; the temper of this mind will prepare him for friendship and for love. But he will resort with a scarcely inferior eagerness to solitude; and will find in it the highest complacence and the purest delight.

Another article which belongs to the subject of cooperation, is cohabitation. The evils attendant on this practice, are obvious. In order to this human understanding's being successfully cultivated, it is necessary, that the intellectual operations of men should be independent of each other.(3*) We should avoid such practices as are calculated to melt our opinions into a common mould. Cohabitation is also hostile to that fortitude, which should accustom a man, in his actions, as well as in his opinions, to judge for himself, and feel competent to the discharge of his own duties. Add to this, that it is absurd to expect the inclinations and wishes of two human beings to coincide, through any long period of time. To oblige them to act and to live together, is to subject them to some inevitable portion of thwarting, bickering and unhappiness. This cannot be otherwise, so long as men shall continue to vary in their habits, their preferences and their views. No man is always cheerful and kind; and it is better that his fits of irritation should subside of themselves, since the mischief in that case is more limited, and since the jarring of opposite tempers, and the suggestions of a wounded pride, tend inexpressibly to increase the irritation. When I seek to correct the defects of a stranger, it is with urbanity and good humour. I have no idea of convincing him through the medium of surliness and invective. But something of this kind inevitably obtains, where the intercourse is too unremitted.

The subject of cohabitation is particularly interesting, as it includes in it the subject of marriage. It will therefore be proper to pursue the enquiry in greater detail. The evil of marriage, as it is practiced in European countries, extends further than we have yet described. The method is, for a thoughtless and romantic youth of each sex, to come together, to see each other, for a few times, and under circumstances full of delusion, and then to vow to eternal attachment. What is the consequence of this? In almost every instance they find themselves deceived. They are reduced to make the best of an irretrievable mistake. They are led to conceive it is their wisest policy, to shut their eyes upon realities, happy, if, by any perversion of intellect, they can persuade themselves that they were right in their first crude opinion of each other. Thus the institution of marriage is made a system of fraud; and men who carefully mislead their judgments in the daily affair of their life, must be expected to have a crippled judgment in every other concern.

Add to this, that marriage, as now understood, is a monopoly, and the worst of monopolies. So long as two human beings are forbidden, by positive institution, to follow the dictates of their own mind, prejudice will be alive and vigorous. So long as I seek, by despotic and artificial means, to maintain my possession of a woman, I am guilty of the most odious selfishness. Over this imaginary prize, men watch with perpetual jealousy; and one man finds his desire, and his capacity to circumvent, as much excited, as the other is excited, to traverse his projects, and frustrate his hopes. As long as this state of society continues, philanthropy will be crossed and checked in a thousand ways, and the still augmenting stream of abuse will continue to flow.

The abolition of the present system of marriage, appears to involve no evils. We are apt to represent that abolition to ourselves, as the harbinger of brutal lust and depravity. But it really happens, in this, as in other cases, that the positive laws which are made to restrain our vices, irritate and multiply them. Not to say, that the same sentiments of justice and happiness, which, in a state of equality, would destroy our relish for expensive gratifications, might be expected to decrease our inordinate appetites of every kind, and to lead us universally to prefer the pleasures of intellect to the pleasures of sense.

It is a question of some moment, whether the intercourse of the sexes, in a reasonable state of society, would be promiscuous, or whether each man would select for himself a partner, to whom he will adhere, as long as that adherence shall continue to be the choice of both parties. Probability seems to be greatly in favour of the latter. Perhaps this side of the alternative is most favourable to population. Perhaps it would suggest itself in preference, to the man who would wish to maintain the several propensities of his frame, in the order due to their relative importance, and to prevent a merely sensual appetite from engrossing excessive attention. It is scarcely to be imagined, that this commerce, in any state of society, will be stripped of its adjuncts, and that men will as willingly hold it, with a woman whose personal and mental qualities they disapprove, as with one of a different description. But it is the nature of the human mind, to persist, for a certain length of time, in its opinion or choice. The parties therefore having acted upon selection, are not likely to forget this selection when the interview is over. Friendship, if by friendship we understand that affection for an individual which is measured singly by what we know of his worth, is one of the most exquisite gratifications, perhaps one of the most improving exercises, of a rational mind. Friendship therefore may be expected to come in aid of the sexual intercourse, to refine its grossness, and increase its delight. All these arguments are calculated to determine our judgement in favour of marriage as a salutary and respectable institution, but not of that species of marriage in which there is no room for repentance and to which liberty and hope are equally strangers.

Admitting these principles therefore as the basis of the sexual commerce, what opinion ought we to form respecting infidelity to this attachment? Certainly no ties ought to be imposed upon either party, preventing them from quitting the attachment, whenever their judgement directs them to quit it. With respect to such infidelities as are compatible with an intention to adhere to it, the point of principal importance is a determination to have recourse to no species of disguise. In ordinary cases, and where the periods of absence are of no long duration, it would seem that any inconstancy would reflect some portion of discredit on the person that practised it. It would argue that the person's propensities were not under that kind of subordination which virtue and self-government appear to prescribe. But inconstancy like any other temporary dereliction, would not be found incompatible with a character of uncommon excellence. What, at present, renders it, in many instances, peculiarly loathsome is its being practised in a clandestine manner. It leads to a train of falsehood and a concerted hypocrisy, than which there is scarcely anything that more eminently depraves and degrades the human mind.

The mutual kindness of persons of an opposite sex will, in such a state, fall under the same system as any other species of friendship. Exclusively of groundless and obstinate attachments, it will be impossible for me to live in the world, without finding in one man a worth superior to that of another. To this man I shall feel kindness, in exact proportion to my apprehension of his worth. The case will be the same with respect to the other sex. I shall assiduously cultivate the intercourse of that woman, whose moral and intellectual accomplishments strike me in the most powerful manner. But "it may happen that other men will feel for her the same preference that I do." This will create no difficulty. We may all enjoy her conversation; her choice being declared, we shall all be wise enough to consider the sexual commerce as unessential to our regard. It is a mark of the extreme depravity of our present habits, that we are inclined to suppose the sexual commerce necessary to the advantages arising from the purest friendship. It is by no means indispensable, that the female to whom each man attaches himself in that matter, should appear to each the most deserving and excellent of her sex.

Let us consider the way in which this state of society will modify education. It "may be imagined, that the abolition of the present system of marriage would make education, in a certain-sense, the affair of the public; though, if there be any truth in the reasonings of this work, to provide for it by the positive institutions of a community, would be extremely inconsistent with the true principle of an intellectual nature.(4*) Education may be regarded as consisting of various branches. First, the personal cares which the helpless state of an infant requires. These will probably devolve upon the mother; unless, by frequent parturition, or by the nature of these cares, that be found to render her share of the burden unequal; and then it will be amicably and willingly participated by others. Secondly, food and other necessary supplies. These will easily find their true level, and spontaneously flow, from the quarter in which they abound, to the quarter which is deficient. Lastly, the term education may be used to signify instruction. The task of instruction, under such a form of society, will be greatly simplified and altered from what it is at present. It will then scarcely be thought more necessary to make boys slaves, than to make men so. The business will not then be to bring forward so many adepts in the eggshell, that the vanity of parents may be flattered by hearing their praises. No man will think of vexing with premature learning the feeble and inexperienced,left, when they came to years of discretion, they should refuse to be learned. The mind will be suffered to expand itself, in proportion as occasion and impression shall excite it, and not tortured and enervated by being cast in a particular mould. No creature in human form will be expected to learn any thing, but because he desires it, and has some conception of its value; and every man, in proportion to his capacity, will be ready to furnish such general hints and comprehensive views, as will suffice for the guidance and encouragement of him who studies from the impulse of desire.

These observations lead us to the consideration of one additional difficulty, which relates to the division of labour. Shall each man manufacture his tools, furniture and accommodations? This would perhaps be a tedious operation. Each man performs the task to which he is accustomed, more skillfully, and in a shorter time than another. It is reasonable that you should make for me, that which perhaps I should be three or four times as long in making, and should make imperfectly at last. Shall we then introduce barter and exchange? By no means. The moment I require any further reason for supplying you, than the cogency of your claim, the moment, in addition to the dictates of benevolence, I demand a prospect of reciprocal advantage to myself, there is an end of that political justice and pure society of which we treat.

The division of labour, as it has been developed by commercial writers, is the offspring of avarice. It has been found that ten persons can make two hundred and forty times as many pins in one day as one person.(5*) This refinement is the growth of monopoly. The object is, to see how vast a surface the industry of the lower classes may be beaten, the more completely to gild over the indolent and the proud. The ingenuity of the merchant is whetted, by new improvements of this sort to transport more of the wealth of the powerful into his coffers. The practicability of effecting a compendium of labour by this means, will be greatly diminished, when men shall learn to deny themselves partial superfluities. The utility of such a saving of labour, where labour shall be changed from a burthen into an amusement, will scarcely balance the evils of so extensive a cooperation. From what has been said it appears, that there will be a division of labour, if we compare the society in question with the state of the solitaire and the savage. But it will produce an extensive simplication of labour, if we compare it with that to which we are at present accustomed in civilised Europe.


  1. Book VIII, Chap. V.
  2. I have no authority to quote for this expression but the conversation of Doctor Price. I am happy to find upon enquiry, that Mr. William Morgan, the nephew of Dr Price, and editor of his works, distinctly recollects to have heard it from his uncle.
  3. Book IV, Chap. III.
  4. Book VI, Chap. VIII.
  5. Smith's Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chap. I.

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