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Principles of Political Economy

Principles of Political Economy

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Excerpt from Principles of Political Economy: Part the First: Of the Laws of the Production and Distribution of Wealth

In offering this work to the public, the author is perfectly aware of the disadvantage under which he labours, when attempting to controvert doctrines supported by the authority of Malthus, Ricardo, M'Culloch, and Torrens, and which are deemed by one of the most distinguished writers of the day, to be "almost too plain for formal statement." He is fully aware that by a large portion of those who think upon Political Economy, a doubt of the truth of those doctrines is considered as evidence that they are not "even comprehended," and that, therefore, his book is likely to be thrown aside as unworthy of the time required for its perusal.

To all such, he would desire to call to mind the fact that in almost all departments of knowledge the orthodoxy of the present day is but the heresy of time past, and that many of those doctrines now held by themselves, and believed to be undeniably true, were, but a little time since, ridiculed as absurd. The disciples of Ptolemy had, as they believed, undoubted evidence of the truth of his system. They saw the sun revolve round the earth, and they found in the Scriptures confirmation of the correctness of his theory. Copernicus was denounced as a heretic, and his system was deemed too absurd for serious confutation, yet that of Ptolemy exists no longer, and it would now be as ridiculous to call in question that of Copernicus, as it was in former times to believe in its truth.

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