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SOME NATURAL RIGHTS

same as "the right to an existence." The two "rights" are in plain contradiction.

In the first place, the "right to the complete product of labor" contains one of the usual ambiguities. Is it meant that the man who does any manual labor in connection with, or contribution to the production of a thing, should have the whole of that thing? Or, is it meant that the man who contributes manual labor to the productive enterprise should have all that part of the thing which belongs to the labor element, in proportion to the capital, land, and other elements which contribute to production? If the former, then we are face to face with a proposition for robbery, with all the social consequences which must be anticipated. Furthermore, although it may seem a very simple thing to provide that those who do the manual work shall have all the product, it is plain, so soon as we reflect upon the complicated combinations of labor which are involved in any case of production, and also upon the complicated character of modern "products" and the way in which they contribute to, and depend upon each other, that it would be impracticable to divide the products among those who have done the labor part of production.

If it is meant that the labor element shall have all the part of the product which is due to the labor element in it, the question arises, how is that element to be measured? How is its proportion to the whole to be determined? At present it is done by supply and demand, and until we have some standard of measurement provided, we cannot tell whether the present arrangement does not do just what is desired. There are constantly reiterated assertions that it does not. It is well worth noticing that no ground for these assertions is offered, and that there is no possibility of verifying them unless