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Book 1: plements, manures, drains, or any thing which is Chap. vii.
the result of past labor as auxiliary to the efforts
of the laborers actually employed, is this, that in the Auxiliary first case, the quantity of human power, compared
with the capital employed, remains unaltered ;—that in the second case, it is invariably increased. If a capital is used in employing three men on the soil, and then that capital is doubled, and six are employed, the power employed in cultivation is doubled, but it is not more than doubled; we have no reason for assuming that the labor of the three men last employed, will be more efficient than that of the three men first employed. But if instead of employing the second capital in employing three fresh laborers, means are found of applying it in some of the shapes of auxiliary capital to increase the power of the three laborers already employed, we may then safely take it for granted that the efficiency of the human labor employed directly and indirectly in agriculture has been increased, and that the three men assisted by this auxiliary capital, will have powers which six men employing all their power directly to the soil, would not possess. To perceive this distinctly, it seems to be only necessary to call to mind what must be the constant motive to employ human labor in framing machinery or implements, or in obtaining auxiliary capital of any kind, in preference to employing that labor directly to obtain the end for which the auxiliary capital is to be used; and what are the usual steps by which the agricultural and manufacturing efforts of civilized nations gain efficiency,
or travel from the rudeness and feebleness of the Book I. industrious efforts of the savage, to the power and Chap
. vii. comparative perfection of the arts of civilized man. Man, in his attempts to obtain or fashion to his Auxiliary
Capital. wants, the material objects of his desires, differs from the lower animals principally in this, that his intellect enables him to contrive the means of using the results of his past labor to push the efficiency of his actual exertions beyond the limits of his mere animal powers. While living on the game of the forest, the hunter devotes a portion of his time to forming his bow and arrows.
If the weapons, when made, enabled him to secure no more game than he could have acquired by his unassisted exertions in the time spent in making them, we may be sure the acquisition of them would not continue to tempt him. The husbandman after scratching the ground for a time with the crooked branch of a tree, devised at last an artificially constructed iron plough : but if the effects on the soil of this plough when used, were no greater than those which the labor would have produced, which was spent in constructing the plough, had that labor been applied directly to the land, then we may be sure that the plough would not have been made. It is so with all the helps contrived by man to assist his labor from the feeblest and simplest to the most complicated and powerful. If the labor employed in constructing a steam engine could be applied with the same effect as the engine itself in the various arts and callings of life, we may be sure that steam engines would never have become common.
Book 1. Whenever, therefore, we see a nation's stock of Chap. vii.
wealth accumulating in the shape of auxiliary ca
pital: when, instead of using their capital to supAuxiliary Capital.
port fresh laborers in any art, they prefer expending an equal amount of capital in some shape in which it is assistant to the labor already employed in that art, then we may conclude with perfect certainty, that the efficiency of human industry has increased relatively to the amount of capital employed.
In agriculture, the effects of auxiliary capital in strengthening human power, are less obvious, perhaps, than in manufactures; but certainly not less important. If we observe the quantity of implements, of live and dead stock, of fences, drains and buildings to be found on the surface of 1000 acres of land in a highly cultivated country, and compare them with the wild and ill-occupied districts of rude nations, we shall see that even in agriculture, the efforts made by human intellect, to use the results of past labor in strengthening the actual power of the husbandman to develope the resources of the earth, have been very considerable. The different extent to which different nations, have achieved this, forms one of the most important distinctions between them. As man, in his rudest state, and when chiefly employed in satisfying his bare physical wants, is distinguished from the brate creation by his capacity to use the hoarded results of his past exertions to augment his command over the material world; so when we view him in a more advanced state, and attempt to weigh and estimate
the causes of the very distinct productive powers Book 1:
The necessaries and luxuries of life
Bearing in mind then, that at every step in the accumulation of auxiliary capital in cultivation, a difference is created in the power of human labor, which does not occur when capital increases only in the shape of additional maintenance for fresh
Book I. workmen on the soil itself; we may proceed to the Chap. vii. second difference between the effects of the em
ployment of auxiliary capital, and of capital applied Auxiliary directly to the support of additional labor, which Capital.
is this: that when a given quantity of additional capital is applied in the shape of the results of past labor, to assist the laborers actually employed, a less annual return will suffice to make the employment of such capital profitable, and, therefore, permanently practicable, than if the same quantity of fresh capital were expended in the support of additional laborers.
Let us suppose £100. employed upon the soil in the maintenance of three men, producing their own wages, and 10 per cent. profit on them, or £110. Let the capital employed upon this soil be doubled. And first let the fresh capital support three additional laborers. In that case, the increased produce must consist of the full amount of their wages, and of the ordinary rate of profit on them. It must consist, therefore, of the whole £100., and the profit on it; or of £110. Next let the same additional capital of £100. be applied in the shape of implements, manures, or any results of past labor, while the number of actual laborers remains the same. And let this auxiliary capital last on the average five years : the annual return to repay the capitalist must now consist of £10. his profit, and of £20. the annual wear and tear of his capital: or £30. will be the annual return, necessary to make the continuous employment of the second £100. profitable, instead of £110., the amount necessary when direct labor was employed by it.