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others. My hands have still eyes at their finger-ends: their faith is strong in all money which actually they see. For
caution,” as you call it — for guaranties — they are nothing : security be d-d; and that's an old saying.
The latter part of the speech wanders off into the dif ference between the system of prompt payment on the one hand, and of credit on the other. But the part in italics confines itself to the difference between value in use and value in exchange, — between the class of things valuable which could be had for nothing, and that other class of things valuable which must be paid for; secondly, which must also be paid for on the spot. The former class is a limited class; the latter so extensive, that she makes no attempt to enumerate the items: she simply selects two, bread and wine, as representative items, one of which is the more striking, because it represents a necessity already provided for by nature in the gratuitous article of water.
Here, then, already two centuries before the Christian era, in the second or chief Punic war, is the great distinction brought out into broad daylight between the things useful to man which are too multiplied and diffused to be raised into property, and the things useful to man which are not so multiplied and diffused, but which, being hard to obtain, support the owner in demanding a price for them. Many people fancy that these two ideas never are, nor could be, confounded: and some people fancy, amongst whom was Mr. Malthus, that in the intercourse of real life the word value, or valuable, never is employed at all, rightly or not rightly, in the original sense, as implying mere value in use, but that (except amongst affected or pedantic talkers) this word “value ” must always indicate some sort of value in exchange. therefore, according to Mr. Malthus, use or could use such
a phrase as “a valuable friend,” or “a valuable doctrine.” It would be impossible to say that “we ascribed great value to any deliberate judgment of such a judge”; or that “the friendship of a wise elder brother had proved of the highest value to a young man at Cambridge”; or that “the written opinion, which we had obtained from Mr. Attorney-General, was eminently valuable." Literally, it is terrific to find blank assertions made by men of sense so much in defiance of the truth, and on matters of fact lying so entirely within an ordinary experience. Full fifty times in every month must Mr. Malthus himself have used the word “ value” and “ valuable” in this very natural sense, which he denounces as a mere visionary sense, suggested by the existing books. Now, to show by a real and a recent case, how possible it is for a sensible man to use the words value or valuable in this original sense, not merely where a pure generic usefulness is concerned, but even in cases which must forcibly have pointed his attention to the other sense (the exchange sense) of the words, -I cite in a note a striking instance of such a use, from this day's paper (the London Standard) for February 27th, 1843.
Value in use, therefore, is an idea lurking by possibility under the elliptical term “ value” quite as naturally, though not so frequently, as the idea of value in exchange. And, in any case of perplexity arising out of the term value employed absolutely, it may be well for the reader to examine closely if some such equivocation does not in reality cause the whole demur. One moment's consideration will convince the student that the second form of value — viz. value in exchange does not exclude the first form, — value in use; for, on the contrary, the second form could not exist without presupposing the first. But, in the inverse case, the logic is different: value
in use, where it exists antithetically to the other form, not only may but must exclude it.
This leads to another capital distinction: Value in exchange is an idea constructed by superadding to the original element of serviceableness (or value in use) an accessory element of power [howsoever gained] to command an equivalent. It follows, therefore, that the original element, value in use, may be viewed in two states, · 1st, as totally disengaged from the secondary element; 2dly, as not disengaged from that element, but as necessarily combining with it. In the second state we have seen that it takes the name of " value in exchange.” What name does it take in the first state, where it is wholly disengaged from the power of purchasing? Answer — [and let the reader weigh this well]- it takes the name of 6 wealth.”
Mr. Ricardo was the first person who had the sagacity to see, that the idea of wealth was the true polar antagonist to the idea of value in exchange; and that, without this regulative idea, it is impossible to keep the logic of political economy true to its duties. This doctrine, so essentially novel, he first explained in his celebrated chapter (numbered xviii. in his first edition) which bears for its title, “ Value and Riches; their distinctive Properties.” And in the early part of it he remarks most truly, that “ many of the errors in political economy have arisen from errors on this subject, from considering an increase of riches and an increase of value as meaning the same thing." But it is singular enough, that even Ricardo did not consciously observe the exact coincidence of riches, under this new limitation of his own, with“ value in use.” This was an accident likely enough to arise under the absence of any positive occasion for directing his eye to that fact. It was, no doubt, a pure case of inadvertence.
But there is the same sort of danger from holding two ideas radically identical to be different, or in opposition to each other, as there is from confounding two ideas radically opposed. Meantime, no chapter in Ricardo's book (with the single exception of the first) has been so much singled out for attack, or for special admiration, as this particular chapter which rectifies the idea of wealth. Even amongst the leading supporters of Ricardo, it will be seen further on, (in the brief commentary upon this eighteenth chapter,) that some have unconsciously surrendered it. Not only have they been unaware of their own revolt, in this particular instance, from that theory which they had professed to adopt; but they have been equally unaware that, simultaneously with the collapse of this doctrine concerning wealth, collapses the entire doctrine of Ricardo concerning value; and if that basis should ever seriously be shaken, all the rest of Ricardo's system, being purely in the nature of a superstructure, must fall into ruins. These questions, however, with respect to the truth of particular doctrines, and their power to resist such assaults as have menaced them, will come forward by degrees, in proportion as their development ripens under our advance. For the present my office is, not to defend them, but to state them, and to trace their logical deduction ; by which word, borrowed from a case strictly analogous in the modern expositions of the civil law, I understand a process such as, by a more learned term, would be called a systematic “genesis” of any complex truth, - the act, namely, of pursuing the growth which gradually carries that truth to its full expansion through all its movements, and showing of each separately how it arose, and in what change or movement of the principal idea, under what necessity supervening at that point, or on the suggestion of what occasional falling in with some other and kindred truth.
I have now traced the generic idea of “value," taken absolutely and without further limitation, into the two subordinate modes of, 1st, Value resting exclusively on a power to serve a purpose; and, 2d, Of value resting on that power, but combined with the accessory power of commanding an equivalent, — into value which does and value which does not involve the idea of property. The simpler mode of value I have announced to be identical with the Ricardian idea of wealth, and, under that head, it will come round for consideration in its proper place. But the other mode of value — viz. Exchange Value — which is far more important to political economy, being no longer a regulative but a constitutive idea,- now steps naturally into the place, standing next in order for investigation; and I warn the young student that, at this point, he steps forward upon perilous ground, of which every inch is debatable. Here it is that the true struggle takes place, that unavoidable combat between principles originally hostile, which into every subsequent section carries forward its consequences, and which, upon every system past or to come, impresses that determinate character, exposes that determinate tendency or clinamen, eventually decisive of its pretensions.
SECTION II. - VALUE IN EXCHANGE.
What is value in exchange? What is its foundation ? Most remarkable it seems, that up to a certain point all systems of modern economy answer this question correctly; yet, after passing that point, that all are wrong. In the vast accumulation of books on this subject, English, French, or Italian, (for German books go for nothing