cule the position of its enemies is not in accordance with the nature of ideas or the custom of Mr. Babcock. How often have we listened with delight to his sarcastic dissection and merciless exposure to the light of common sense of some popular and well-nigh universal delusion in religion, politics, finance, or social life! He is in the habit of holding ridiculous all those things, whoever supports them, which his own reason pronounces absurd. And he is right in doing so, and wrong in saying that we ought not to follow his example. So, while it is clear that on the first minor point Mr. Babcock has the better of Liberty, on the second Liberty as decidedly has the better of Mr. Babcock.
Now to the question proper. Labor, says our friend, never gains anything by extravagant claims. True; and no claim is extravagant that does not exceed justice. But it is equally true that labor always loses by foolish concessions; and in this industrial struggle every concession is foolish that falls short of justice. It is to be decided, then, not whether Liberty's claim for labor is extravagant, but whether it is just. "Whatever contributes to production is entitled to an equitable share in the distribution!" Wrong! Whoever contributes to production is alone so entitled. What has no rights that Who is bound to respect. What is a thing. Who is a person. Things have no claims; they exist only to be claimed. The possession of a right cannot be predicated of dead material, but only of a living person. "In the production of a loaf of bread, the plough performs an important service, and equitably comes in for a share of the loaf." Absurd! A plough cannot own bread, and, if it could, would be unable to eat it. A plough is a What, one of those things above mentioned, to which no rights are attributable.
Oh! but we see, "Suppose one man spends his life in making ploughs to be used by others who sow and harvest wheat. If he furnishes his ploughs only on condition that they be returned to him in as good state as when taken away, how is he to get his brea ?" It is the maker of the plough, then, and not the plough itself, that is entitled to a rewar ? What has given place to Who. Well, we'll not quarrel over that. The maker of the plough certainly is entitled to pay for his work. Full pay, paid once; no more. That pay is the plough itself, or its equivalent in other marketable products,said equivalent being measured by the amount of labor employed in their production. But if he lends his plough and gets only his plough back, how is he to get his bread? asks Mr. Babcock,
much concerned. Ask us an easy one, if you please. We give