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added considerably to the quantity of product that can be raised by a given amount of labor. But this increase bears no sort of proportion to that effected by the use of the machinery in the case of the cotton manufacturer, and by the use of the locomotive and many other forces. It is, doubtless, wisely ordered that it should be so. Agricultural labor is the most healthy employment, and is attended by the fewest temptations. It has, therefore, seemed to be the will of the Creator that a large portion of the human race should always be thus employed, and that whatever effects may result from social improvement, the proportion of men required for tilling the earth should never be essentially diminished. It is also to be remarked that division of labor, which so greatly increases the productiveness of human industry in the other modes of production, can be applied but in a small degree to agriculture. No man can devote himself exclusively to ploughing, sowing, or reaping; because, only a small part of the year can be employed in either of these occupations. The farmer must, therefore, practice them all, at different times; and, of course, every farmer must be able to perform not one, but all the several operations required in his trade. This forms another reason why the increase of productiveness of human industry, in this department of labor, has not kept pace with that which has been witnessed in manufactures and commerce.
THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF HUMAN INDUSTRY.
Industry is any form of human exertion employed in the creation of value. This, of course, includes exertion, both of body and of mind. The object of industry, as we have seen, is to produce change of some sort; since change is necessary, either to the creation or to the increase of intrinsic value, and is always necessary to the existence of exchangeable value.
We have also seen that all the changes which human industry can effect in matter, may be reduced to three, namely: Change in elementary form ; change in aggregate form, and change in place.
But when man puts forth exertion to effect change, it is not any change at random, but some specific change which he has directly in view. Were it otherwise, his labor would be worse than useless, and, like the effort of a maniac or an idiot, would, in nine times out of ten, destroy, instead of creating value.
It is also evident that the changes which can be effected in matter, are not produced at random, but in obedience to certain laws. If we wish to kindle a fire, it is not any kind of effort that will do it, but effort exerted in obedience to the laws of combustion. If we wish to raise wheat, it is not every kind of labor that will do it, but labor exerted in obedience to the laws of vegetation. And so, in general, if we wish to effect either of the three kinds of change mentioned above, we must act in obedience to those laws of the Creator, to which this kind of change has been subjected.
Again: Supposing the laws of nature, in respect to a particular change to be known, it is also necessary to know the manner in which they may most successfully be applied to the accomplishment of a particular result. The laws of combustion and of gravitation may be known, and yet a very important effort of human ingenuity may be required, before we ascertain the best method of so applying them, as to be able to construct a good fireplace. The expansive power of steam was known long before a steam engine was invented ; and still longer before any application of it was devised by which it might be used for propelling vessels through the
water. And still further, a man may understand the general laws of physiology, and yet be unable to apply them to the cure of diseases. A man may understand the general principles of jurisprudence, and yet not know how to avail himself of them, in such a manner as to procure either defence from injury, or redress of grievance.
But suppose this also to be known: it still remains for us to put those means into operation, by which, in obedience to the laws of nature, a given result may be accomplished. He who understands the laws of combustion and gravitation, and the mode of their application, may now set himself to work, according to these laws, and build a chim
He who understands the laws of hydrostatics and the mode of their application, may now set himself to work, to build a boat. It is, however, true that there would still be required a certain degree of skill and dexterity, before he could perform either of these operations well; although he now could perform them, in some way or other. This skill can be acquired only by practice; and the power of acquiring it, is, in general, very universally bestowed upon men.
From what has been said, it is evident that the industry of which man is capable, may assume three different forms, namely : Industry of discovery or investigation ; Industry of application or invention ; and Industry of operation.
1. Industry of Discovery or Investigation. Under this class of laborers, are to be comprehended those who discover the laws of nature, and those who make them known to mankind, after they have been discovered. Newton labored in this department, when he discovered the laws of gravitation, optics, and of the motions of the heavenly bodies; Franklin, when he discovered the laws of electricity; and Sir Humphrey Davy, when he discovered the alkaline bases, and the laws of their combination. The labor of each of these men was also of the same kind, when they made known these laws to the public. The labor of those who are called philosophers, belongs to this class.
2. Industry of Invention or Application. It is very rarely that a simple law can be of any use, without some adjustment by which we may avail ourselves of its advantages. Hence, a very important department of human industry is that which teaches us how to make the application of the principle, so as to accomplish a particular purpose. Newton performed this labor, when he invented the telescope; Hadley, when, by means of the quadrant, he applied the laws of light to the measurement of angles; Franklin, when he invented the conductor, or lightning rod; Sir Humphrey Davy, when he invented the safety lamp; and Fulton, when he invented that modification of the steam engine, by which vessels may be propelled through the water.
Únder this class, I think, may also be comprehended professional labor, generally. The business of the clergyman is to teach us in what manner we may avail ourselves of the moral laws of the Creator. The lawyer teaches us how to avail ourselves of the laws of that civil society, of which we are the members. The physician teaches us how to obey the physiological laws under which we are created, so that we may be relieved from sickness, or preserved in health.
3. To the third class of human industry belong all those who put forth the physical effort necessary, in order to create the values desired. They are the laborers who produce those changes, either in elementary form, in aggregate form, or in place, of which we have already spoken, and they compose by far the most numerous class of society.
It may here be remarked, that two of these forms of labor are frequently performed by the same person. For instance, he who discovers a law, sometimes also teaches us how to apply it. Thus, as we have already shown, Sir Isaac Newton, Franklin,
and Sir Humphrey Davy, were both discoverers and inventors; that is, they performed both the first and the second kinds of industry. Thus, the second and the third are also frequently united ; that is, the individual who labors at a particular operation, also invents some machine by which a particular process in that operation is improved. Thus, Sir Richard Arkwright, a mechanic, invented the spinning machinery now in common use; and, in general, many of our most important inventions have been made by operative laborers. And there can be no doubt that, if a knowledge of the laws of nature were more generally diffused throughout this class of society, the progress of invention would be inconceivably more rapid. I know of nothing which would tend so directly to the general improvement of the useful arts, as a wide diffusion of the knowledge of principles among those whose business it is to employ those principles in their daily avocations.
Although I have arranged the several forms of human industry in the above order, I by no means assert that this is the order in which they actually arise among men.
The reverse is, on the contrary, far more commonly the fact. Men commence by creating, at first, the simplest forms of value, and those absolutely necessary to their actual existence. Still, in order to create these values, with certainty and with regularity, they must very soon have discovered, by experiment, some rules by which the process must be conducted.
Men would very soon discover that stones would not ignite, and that a fire could not be kindled in a pool of water. As they advanced, by successive experiments, they invented tools, by which, without knowing why, they found themselves able to accomplish their purposes with less labor and with greater success. Thus, a man would construct a raft to transport himself and his property over a river, before he knew any thing of the laws of hydrostatics; and he would employ a wedge, before he understood the doctrine of forces.