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The whole number of deaths upon a population of
seven millions and an half will be about 220,000 annually. The number
arriving at twenty-one years of age will be about 100,000. The whole
number of these will not receive the proposed fifteen pounds, for the
reasons already mentioned, though, as in the former case, they would be
entitled to it. Admitting then that a tenth part declined receiving it,
the amount would stand thus:

[Illustration: table362]

There are, in every country, a number of blind and lame persons, totally
incapable of earning a livelihood. But as it will always happen that the
greater number of blind persons will be among those who are above
the age of fifty years, they will be provided for in that class. The
remaining sum of 316,666L. will provide for the lame and blind under
that age, at the same rate of 10L. annually for each person.

Having now gone through all the necessary calculations, and stated the
particulars of the plan, I shall conclude with some observations.

It is not charity but a right, not bounty but justice, that I am
pleading for. The present state of civilization is as odious as it is
unjust. It is absolutely the opposite of what it should be, and it is
necessary that a revolution should be made in it.(1) The contrast of
affluence and wretchedness continually meeting and offending the eye,
is like dead and living bodies chained together. Though I care as little
about riches, as any man, I am a friend to riches because they are
capable of good. I care not how affluent some may be, provided that
none be miserable in consequence of it. But it is impossible to enjoy
affluence with the felicity it is capable of being enjoyed, whilst so
much misery is mingled in the scene. The sight of the misery, and the
unpleasant sensations it suggests, which, though they may be suffocated
cannot be extinguished, are a greater drawback upon the felicity of
affluence than the proposed 10 per cent, upon property is worth. He that
would not give the one to get rid of the other has no charity, even for
himself.

1 This and the preceding sentence axe omitted in all
previous English and American editions.--_Editor._.

There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by
individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do,
when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may
satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he
has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing
civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pullies,
that the whole weight of misery can be removed.

The plan here proposed will reach the whole. It will immediately relieve
and take out of view three classes of wretchedness--the blind, the lame,
and the aged poor; and it will furnish the rising generation with means
to prevent their becoming poor; and it will do this without deranging
or interfering with any national measures. To shew that this will be the
case, it is sufficient to observe that the operation and effect of
the plan will, in all cases, be the same as if every individual were
_voluntarily_ to make his will and dispose of his property in the manner
here proposed.

But it is justice, and not charity, that is the principle of the plan.
In all great cases it is necessary to have a principle more universally
active than charity; and, with respect to justice, it ought not to be
left to the choice of detached individuals whether they will do justice
or not. Considering then, the plan on the ground of justice, it ought to
be the act of the whole, growing spontaneously out of the principles of
the revolution, and the reputation of it ought to be national and not
individual.

A plan upon this principle would benefit the revolution by the energy
that springs from the consciousness of justice. It would multiply also
the national resources; for property, like vegetation, increases
by offsets. When a young couple begin the world, the difference is
exceedingly great whether they begin with nothing or with fifteen pounds
apiece. With this aid they could buy a cow, and implements to cultivate
a few acres of land; and instead of becoming burdens upon society, which
is always the case where children are produced faster than they can be
fed, would be put in the way of becoming useful and profitable citizens.
The national domains also would sell the better if pecuniary aids were
provided to cultivate them in small lots.

It is the practice of what has unjustly obtained the name of
civilization (and the practice merits not to be called either charity
or policy) to make some provision for persons becoming poor and wretched
only at the time they become so. Would it not, even as a matter of
economy, be far better to adopt means to prevent their becoming poor?
This can best be done by making every person when arrived at the age
of twenty-one years an inheritor of something to begin with. The rugged
face of society, chequered with the extremes of affluence and want,
proves that some extraordinary violence has been committed upon it,
and calls on justice for redress. The great mass of the poor in all
countries are become an hereditary race, and it is next to impossible
for them to get cut of that state of themselves. It ought also to be
observed that this mass increases in all countries that are called
civilized. More persons fall annually into it than get out of it.

Though in a plan of which justice and humanity are the
foundation-principles, interest ought not to be admitted into the
calculation, yet it is always of advantage to the establishment of any
plan to shew that it is beneficial as a matter of interest. The success
of any proposed plan submitted to public consideration must finally
depend on the numbers interested in supporting it, united with the
justice of its principles.

The plan here proposed will benefit all, without injuring any. It will
consolidate the interest of the Republic with that of the individual.
To the numerous class dispossessed of their natural inheritance by the
system of landed property it will be an act of national justice. To
persons dying possessed of moderate fortunes it will operate as a
tontine to their children, more beneficial than the sum of money paid
into the fund: and it will give to the accumulation of riches a degree
of security that none of the old governments of Europe, now tottering on
their foundations, can give.

I do not suppose that more than one family in ten, in any of the
countries of Europe, has, when the head of the family dies, a clear
property left of five hundred pounds sterling. To all such the plan is
advantageous. That property would pay fifty pounds into the fund, and if
there were only two children under age they would receive fifteen pounds
each, (thirty pounds,) on coming of age, and be entitled to ten pounds
a-year after fifty. It is from the overgrown acquisition of property
that the fund will support itself; and I know that the possessors of
such property in England, though they would eventually be benefited by
the protection of nine-tenths of it, will exclaim against the plan. But
without entering into any inquiry how they came by that property, let
them recollect that they have been the advocates of this war, and that
Mr. Pitt has already laid on more new taxes to be raised annually upon
the people of England, and that for supporting the despotism of Austria
and the Bourbons against the liberties of France, than would pay
annually all the sums proposed in this plan.

I have made the calculations stated in this plan, upon what is called
personal, as well as upon landed property. The reason for making it upon
land is already explained; and the reason for taking personal property
into the calculation is equally well founded though on a different
principle. Land, as before said, is the free gift of the Creator in
common to the human race. Personal property is the effect of society;
and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property
without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.
Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a
continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot
be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all
cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained.
All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's
own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes
on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part
of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.
This is putting the matter on a general principle, and perhaps it is
best to do so; for if we examine the case minutely it will be found that
the accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect
of paying too little for the labour that produced it; the consequence
of which is, that the working hand perishes in old age, and the employer
abounds in affluence. It is, perhaps, impossible to proportion exactly
the price of labour to the profits it produces; and it will also be
said, as an apology for the injustice, that were a workman to receive
an increase of wages daily he would not save it against old age, nor be
much bet-ter for it in the interim. Make, then, society the treasurer to
guard it for him in a common fund; for it is no reason, that because he
might not make a good use of it for himself, another should take it.

The state of civilization that has prevailed throughout Europe, is as
unjust in its principle, as it is horrid in its effects; and it is the
consciousness of this, and the apprehension that such a state cannot
continue when once investigation begins in any country, that makes
the possessors of property dread every idea of a revolution. It is the
hazard and not the principle of revolutions that retards their progress.
This being the case, it is necessary as well for the protection of
property, as for the sake of justice and humanity, to form a system
that, whilst it preserves one part of society from wretchedness, shall
secure the other from depredation.

The superstitious awe, the enslaving reverence, that formerly surrounded
affluence, is passing away in all countries, and leaving the possessor
of property to the convulsion of accidents.



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