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principles on questions of Economy, Trade, and Finance." To “ give attention to Pauperism, and the topics related thereto; including the responsibility of the well-endowed and successful, the wise and educated, the honest and respectable, for the failures of others. To bring together the various societies and individuals now interested in these objects, for the purpose of obtaining by discussion the real elements of truth; by which doubts are removed, conflicting opinions harmonized, and a common ground afforded for treating wisely the great Social problems of the day.”
It includes four departments : 1. Education. 2. Public Health. 3. Economy, Trade, and Finance. 4. Jurisprudence and Amendments of Laws.
Its Officers are :
3d. Geo. S. Boutwell, M. C., Groton, Mass. ; 4th. Francis Lieber, LL. D., 48 E. 34th st., N. Y.
Directors. 1st. Erastus 0. Haven, D. D., Ann Arbor, Mich. ; 2d. Mrs. Mary Eliot Parkman, 109 Boylston st., Boston ; 3d. David A. Wells, Custom-House, N. Y.; 4th. Emory Washburn, LL.D., Cambridge, Mass.
At Large—Mrs. Caroline Healey Dall, 70 Warren Ave., Boston.
Corresponding Secretary. Saml. Eliot, LL. D., 30 Chestnut street, Boston.
Recording Secretary. F. B. Sanborn, 12 State House, Boston. Special Secretaries. 1st. Hon. Jos. White, Williamstown, Mass.; 20. J. C. White, M. D., 10 Park Square, Boston ; 3d. Hon. Geo. Walker, Springfield, Mass. ; 4th. Prof. Theo. W. Dwight, Columbia Law School, N. Y.
Treasurer. Captain Jas. J. Higginson, 40 State st., Boston.
The annual meetings are to be held on the second Wednesday of October, and at Boston, unless some other place is specially designated
Membership fees : Initiation, $3 ; Yearly, $5 or less ; Life, $50.
It now numbers one hundred and thirty-five regular members. It has ten honorary members, the most distinguished of whom is Henry C. Carey, of Philadelphia. They are all residents of America. The Association also has twenty-one corresponding members in Great Britain and Ireland, the foremost of whom is John Stuart Mill ; five in France, and five elsewhere.
communities not free at all. The lowest form of society we are acquainted with pre-supposes at least some degree of freedom in its constituent members ; and the highest form we can imagine must ever be bound in the shackles of human finiteness. Indeed there exist in nature no classifications of any kind-classifications being merely imaginary lines of demarcation drawn to assist the memory and the judgment.
But as in physics, solids, fluids, and gases, three different aspects of the same matter, are for convenience treated under the three separate heads of mechanics, hydrostatics, and pneumatics, so has it been deemed most advisable in this Essay to classify society into three conditions-Free, Partially Free, and Not at all Free-in order more conveniently to exhibit the physical laws which govern it. We say physical laws understandingly, because we believe, and shall prove, the law of taxation to be a physical one.
It is known that society is but a growth; that it differs to-day from what it was yesterday, and what it will be to-morrow; and that moreover no two communities are alike—the state of society in this country being different from what it is in other newlysettled countries, and different in those from what it is in oldersettled ones. The elements of social life are everywhere in a condition of ceaseless activity and change, and though, like the polar ice-drift in the backward eddies of some great equatorial current, society, on the great sea of Eternity, may ofttimes retrograde in its course, through the numerous reactionary influences which surround it, yet its main direction, if not even its rate of progress, is well determined-determined to be ever toward greater freedom, and at a rate of gradually decreasing velocity. Like its simile the ice-drift, its progress as a whole is constantly attended by coincident changes, which, as with its simile again, are occasioned by the very cause that impels it forward as a body-the Light that is shed upon it from Above.
To investigate the laws that reign over all stages of its structural change would therefore be to investigate those that govern the progress of society as an entirety—a subject altogether
too vast for the efforts of a single individual. It has for this reason been deemed expedient to inquire into them only as they affect certain particular periods of structural change, or of progress-periods of the most practical interest to us at present, and to leave the rest for future and more able expounders.
THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY.
The atoms of which society is composed are men, women, and
children, who, through mutual helplessness, cohere or cling together in masses or communities of various form and magnitude. The constituent parts of society are more or less approximated according to the degree of power among them, and hence arise the three remarkable forms in the masses, of Communities Free, Communities Partially Free, and Communities Not Free, which mutually change into each other, with change in the degree of power which distinguishes them. Certain modifications of helplessness and power produce the subordinate forms of Despotisms, Limited Monarchies, Centralized Republics, Decentralized Republics, etc.
THE NATURE OF TAXATION.
Taxation is of the nature of a pressure. The immediate result of its skilful application to a people is the squeezing out from that people a portion of its "power,” its intelligence, or the product of its intelligence, its wealth. The taxes so squeezed out or raised are intended to be devoted to the maintenance of government, an institution through which the helplessness of the many is mitigated by the wisdom and progress, or “power,” of the few.
Taxation has been opposed by some* as contrary to the principles of justice ; yet those who have opposed it, have not ventured to question the justice of there being some sort of government. In this there seems to be inconsistency; since any apology for government is always an equal apology for taxation; and
* See N. Y. Social Review for August, 1866, review of Mr. Scott's pamphlet.