The love of domination never attains more than a factitious elevation, that is sure to make enemies of all its neighbours.
Nothing is more dangerous in practice, than an obstinate, unbending adherence to a system, particularly in its application to the wants and errors of mankind.
The ancients, by their system of colonization, made themselves friends all over the known world; the moderns have sought to make subjects, and therefore have made enemies.
Dominion by land or sea will appear equally destitute of attraction, when it comes to be generally understood, that all its advantages rest with the rulers, and that the subjects at large derive no benefit whatever.
Capital must work, as it were, in concert with industry; and this concurrence is what I call the productive agency of capital.
A treasure does not always contribute to the political security of its possessors. It rather invites attack, and very seldom is faithfully applied to the purpose for which it was destined.
What can we expect from nations still less advanced in civilization than the Greeks?
Still how unenlightened and ignorant are the very nations we term civilized!
Wherefore it is impossible to succeed in comparing wealth of different eras or different nations. This, in political economy, like squaring the circle in mathematics, is impracticable, for want of a common mean or measure to go by.
Opulent, civilized, and industrious nations, are greater consumers than poor ones, because they are infinitely greater producers.
It is, perhaps, a well founded objection to Mr. Ricardo, that he sometimes reasons upon abstract principles to which he gives too great a generalization.
An uniformity of weights and measures, arranged upon mathematical principles, would be a benefit to the whole commercial world, if it were wise enough to adopt such an expedient.
The occupation of the stock-jobber yields no new or useful product; consequently having no product of his own to give in exchange, he has no revenue to subsist upon, but what he contrives to make out of the unskilfulness or ill-fortune of gamesters like himself.
The celebrated Adam Smith was the first to point out the immense increase of production, and the superior perfection of products referable to this division of labour.
The most effectual encouragement to population is, the activity of industry, and the consequent multiplication of the national products.