Still, if there had been a William Lynch whose word was so valued that he should deliver such a short speech in person rather than in writing, then certainly his speech would have been reprinted and commented upon in the local newspapers.
Also, he claims to want to give an "outline of action," yet no such plan is clearly given.
It seems that a person who travels from the West Indies to Virginia for a speech would have elaborated more.
Thirdly, in paragraph 6, the author writes that "distrust is stronger than trust," yet only 5 sentences later, contradicts himself, saying, "it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us." Such a big contradiction would be expected from someone whose audience is listening intently for detailed information about specific steps in maintaining its livelihood through better control of his property.
If, then, a man’s labor, in simply taking of those works of nature, which no had produced, and which were therefore free to all mankind, be sufficient to give him such an absolute dominion over them, against all the world; who can pretend that his labor, in actually commodities—as ideas, for example—which before had no existence, does not give him at least an equal, if not a superior, right to an absolute dominion over them?
But the analogy, which the objector would draw, between the works of nature and the works of man, in order to prove that the latter should be as free to all mankind as the former, is defective, not only in disregarding the essential difference between the works of man and the works of nature, to wit, that the former are produced by a being who labors for himself, and not for others; and who the fruits of his labor as a means of subsistence and happiness; while the latter are produced by a Being, who neither needs nor asks any compensation for his labor; but it is defective in still another particular, to wit, that it disregards the fact, that the works of nature themselves are no longer free to all mankind, after they have once been taken possession of by an individual. It is not necessary that he should his possession of them, in order to retain his right of property in them, and his right of dominion over them; but it is sufficient that he has taken possession of them. They are then forever against all the world, unless he to part, not merely with his possession, but with his of property, or dominion, also. They are his, on the principle, and for the reason, that otherwise he would lose the labor he had expended in of them. Even this labor, however slight it may be, in proportion to the value of the commodity, is sufficient to give him an absolute title to the commodity, against all the world. And he may then part with his of it at pleasure, without at all impairing his of dominion over it.
Do those, who say that an should be free to all who can use it, without collision with the producer, say that the builders of roads and canals have no rights of property in them, nor any right of dominion over them, except the simple right of themselves passing over them unmolested? That they have no right to forbid others to pass over them, without first purchasing their (the owners’) consent, by the payment of toll, or otherwise? No one, who acknowledges the right of property at all, will say this. Yet, to be consistent, he should say it.
But since the government has a direct jurisdiction only over the land and reaches the possessor of it (before he has actually incorporated himself in the society) only as he dwells upon and enjoys that, the obligation any one is under by virtue of such enjoyment to submit to the government begins and ends with the enjoyment; so that whenever the owner, who has given nothing but such a tacit consent to the government will, by donation, sale or otherwise, quit the said possession, he is at liberty to go and incorporate himself into any other commonwealth, or agree with others to begin a new one in vacuis locis, in any part of the world they can find free and unpossessed; whereas he that has once, by actual agreement and any express declaration, given his consent to be of any commonweal, is perpetually and indispensably obliged to be, and remain unalterably a subject to it, and can never be again in the liberty of the state of Nature, unless by any calamity the government he was under comes to be dissolved.122.
There is no analogy between the two cases. The ocean, the atmosphere, and the light, so far as they are free to all mankind, are free simply because the author of nature, their maker and owner, is not, like man, dependent upon the products of his labor for his subsistence and happiness; he therefore offers them freely to all mankind; neither asking nor needing any compensation for the use of them, nor for his labor in creating them. But if the ocean, the atmosphere, and the light had been the productions of —of beings dependent upon their labor for the means of subsistence and happiness—the producers would have had absolute dominion over them, to make them subservient to their happiness; and would have had a right to forbid other men either to use them at all, or use them only on the condition of paying for the use of them. And it would have been no answer to this argument, to say, that mankind at large could use these commodities, without coming in collision with the owners; that there were enough for all; and that therefore they should be free to all. The answer to such an argument would be, that those, who had created these commodities, had the natural right to supreme dominion over them, as products of their labor; that they had a right to make them subservient to their own happiness in every possible way, not inconsistent with the equal right of other men, to a like dominion over whatever was theirs; that they could get no adequate compensation for their labor in creating them, unless they could control them, forbid other men to use them, and thus induce, or make it necessary for, other men to pay for the use of them; that they had created them principally, if not solely, for the purpose of selling or renting them to others, and not merely for their own use; and that to allow others to use them freely, and against the will of the owners, on the simple condition of avoiding personal collision with them, would be virtually robbing the owners of their property, and depriving them of the benefits of their labor, and of their right to get paid for it, by demanding pay of all who used its products for their own benefit. This would have been the legal answer; and it would have been all-sufficient to justify the owners of these commodities, in forbidding other men to use them, except with their consent, and on paying such toll or rent as they saw fit to demand.
Finally. The objection we have now been considering, seems to have had its origin in some loose notion or other, that the works of man should be, like certain works of nature—as the ocean, the atmosphere, and the light, for example—free to be used by all, so far as they can be used by all without collision.
The fallacy of both objections consists, in this—that they deny to the laborer the right and power of obtaining any compensation for his labor, other than such as he may chance to obtain, from his own personal possession and use of the commodities, which he produces or acquires by his labor. They assert the right of all other men to use those commodities, without his consent, and without making him any compensation—provided only that they can do it without coming in personal collision with him. They thus deny that he has any right to forbid other men to use the commodities he has produced, or to demand pay of them for such use. They thus virtually deny his right to sell or rent the products of his labor, or to obtain in exchange for them such other commodities as he desires. They assert that, after a man has himself incurred the whole labor and expense of producing a commodity—a commodity that is capable of accommodating others, as well as himself; and that will be of as much, perhaps more, value, to others, than to himself—he is bound to give them as free use of it, as he has himself, without requiring them to bear any part of the burden, or compensate him for any portion of the labor and expense, incurred by him in producing it. They thus virtually assert that labor, is no longer entitled to be rewarded, however beneficial it may be to others than the laborer; that commodities, are no longer entitled to be paid for, by those who use them, (other than the producers,) however valuable they may really be to them; that a man, therefore, has no such right of property in, nor of control over, the products of his labor, as will enable him to forbid other men to use them, or to demand pay of other men, for them, or for the use of them; that all men, consequently, have a perfect right to seize, and appropriate to their own use, the products of each other’s labor, without the consent of the producers, and without making any compensation, provided only that they do it without coming in personal collision with the producers; that if a man have produced enough of any particular commodity, (as wheat, for example,) to supply the world, he can rightfully control only so much of it, as he needs for his own consumption, and can maintain his actual possession of; that he can withhold the surplus from no one, with a view to getting an equivalent for it; that every man’s surplus, of any particular commodity, is not his property, to be exchanged for the surplus commodities of other men, by voluntary contract, but is rightfully free to be seized, by any one, to the extent of his particular needs for his own consumption; consequently that the exchanges, which take place among men, of their respective surpluses of the different commodities they severally produce, all proceed upon false notions of men’s separate rights of property in the products of their separate labor, and upon a false denial of the right of all men to participate equally with each man in the products of his particular labor; that men have no right to produce any thing but only to and that if any one man be so foolish as to produce more, of any specific commodity, than he himself can use—as for example, more food than he himself can eat, more clothes than he himself can wear, more houses than he himself can live in, more books than he himself can read, and so on to the end of the catalogue—such folly is his own, committed with his eyes open, and he has no right to complain if all such surpluses be taken from him, against his will, and without compensation, by those who consume them; that it is not the labor of commodities, but the will and power to them, that gives the right of property in, and dominion over, them; that the right of property, therefore, not upon production, but upon men’s appetites, desires, wants, and capacities for and consequently that all men have equal rights to every thing they desire for consumption, whoever may have been its producer—provided only they can seize upon it without committing an actual trespass upon the body of such producer.
It being demonstration that if any one born under the dominion of another may be so free as to have a right to command others in a new and distinct empire, every one that is born under the dominion of another may be so free too, and may become a ruler or subject of a distinct separate government.