VI - How Protection Affects Commerce

Men are everywhere flying from British commerce, which everywhere pursues them. Having exhausted the people of the lower lands of India, it follows them as they retreat toward the fastnesses of the Himalaya. Afghanistan is attempted, while Scinde and the Punjab are subjugated. Siamese provinces are added to the empire of free trade, and war and desolation are carried into China, in order that the Chinese may be compelled to pay for the use of ships, instead of making looms. The Irishman flies to Canada; but there the system follows him, and he feels himself insecure until within this Union. The Englishman and the Scotsman try Southern Africa, and thence they fly to the more distant New Holland, Van Dieman's Land, or New Zealand. The farther they fly, the more they must use ships and other perishable machinery, the less steadily can their efforts be applied, the less must be the power of production, and the fewer must be the equivalents to be exchanged, and yet in the growth of ships, caused by such circumstances, we are told to look for evidence of prosperous commerce!

The British system is built upon cheap labour, by which is meant low priced and worthless labor. Its effect is to cause it to become from day to day more low priced and worthless, and thus to destroy production upon which commerce must be based. The object of protection is to produce dear labour, that is, high-priced and valuable labour, and its effect is to cause it to increase in value from day to day, and to increase the equivalents to be exchanged, to the great increase of commerce. (pp. 71-72)

....the school of discords [is] that which teaches to buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market, and sees great advantage to be gained by reducing the cotton of the poor Hindoo to a penny a pound, careless of the fact that famine and pestilence follow in the train of such a system. The policy that produces a {necessity} for depending on trade with people who are poorer than ourselves tends to reduce the wages of our labour to a level with theirs, and to diminish commerce... By bringing the Irishman here, and enabling him to make his exchanges with us, we raise him to our level as a producer. By exporting our people to Ireland, and compelling them to make their exchanges there, we would sink their wages to a level with those of that country. The policy that brings people here and raises them in the scale of civilization, is that which promotes commerce. That which causes them to return home, and thus arrests the tide of immigration, preventing advance in civilization, is the one which diminishes commerce. (p. 77)