But the illustrious orator ought at the same time to demand that each elector shall have as many votes as he has shares; as is the case in commercial associations. That is true; but it seems to me that there is a mistake in the date. Gratitude fills people with adoration and enthusiasm. Has, then, the translator of “L’Imitation” forgotten that he who offends charity cannot honor virtue?

He loves property, because it enables him to do at leisure what he pleases and when he pleases.

But if physics has fully corrected our judgment in this respect, we still make use of the prejudice of St. Augustine; and when we say that a thing has fallen, we do not mean simply and in general that there has been an effect of gravitation, but specially and in particular that it is towards the earth, and from above to below, that this movement has taken place. But this nature, grounded as in former times upon slavery and war, would, by its own energy, have produced nothing but war and slavery.

Thus is annihilated the Roman definition of property — the right of use and abuse — an immorality born of violence, the most monstrous pretension that the civil laws ever sanctioned.

When approached, he cares only to know that your motive is not one of futile curiosity, but the love of truth; he assumes you to be serious, he replies, he examines your objections, sometimes verbally, sometimes in writing; for, as he remarks, ‘if there be some points which correspondence can never settle, but which can be made clear by conversation in two minutes, at other times just the opposite is the case: an objection clearly stated in writing, a doubt well expressed, which elicits a direct and positive reply, helps things along more than ten hours of oral intercourse!’ In writing to you he does not hesitate to treat the subject anew; he unfolds to you the foundation and superstructure of his thought: rarely does he confess himself defeated — it is not his way; he holds to his position, but admits the breaks, the variations, in short, the evolution of his mind.

An ambiguous principle leads to a false conclusion.

The memoir on “Property,” published last year by the pensioner of the Academy of Besançon, is simply a study of this nature. The number of places being of necessity equal at all times to that of the spectators, no spectator can occupy two places, nor can any actor play several parts; 3. This rent does not represent the product of the implement, since of itself the implement produces nothing; we have just proved this, and we shall prove it more clearly still by its consequences. Some, such as the light of the stars, the atmosphere of the earth, the water composing the seas and oceans, exist in such large quantities that men cannot perceive any sensible increase or diminution; each one can appropriate as much as his needs require without detracting from the enjoyment of others, without causing them the least harm. — Increase receives different names according to the thing by which it is yielded: if by land, farm-rent; if by houses and furniture, rent; if by life-investments, revenue; if by money, interest; if by exchange, advantage gain, profit (three things which must not be confounded with the wages or legitimate price of labor).
God, soul, religion, — eternal objects of our unwearied thought and our most fatal aberrations, terrible problems whose solution, for ever attempted, for ever remains unaccomplished, — concerning all these questions we may still be mistaken, but at least our error is harmless.

How do we measure the value of land?


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