By Say J.-B.
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Extra resources for A Treatise on Political Economy or the Production, Distribution and consumption of Wealth
In consequence of this exampie, other professorships of political economy were afterwards established at Milan, and more recently in most of the universities in Germany and Russia. In 1750, the abbe Galiani, so weli known since from his connexion with many of the French philosophers, and by his Dialogues on the Corn Trade, although at that time a very young man, published a Treatise on Money, which discovered such uncommon talents and information, as to • Breve Trattato d*U-e cause che possono far abondare li regni d'oro et d'argento dow ton son, miniere INTRODUCTION.
At present, authors who venture to write upon politics, history, and d fortiori upon finance, commerce, and the arts, without any previous knowledge of the principles of political economy, only produce works of temporary success, that do not succeed in fixing public attention. But what has chiefly contributed to the advancement of political economy, is the grave posture of affairs in the civilized world during the last thirty years. The expenses of governments have risen to a scandalous height; the appeals which they have been obliged to make to their subjects, in order to relieve their exigencies, have disclosed to them their own importance.
And what is the consequence? The science is involved in the clouds of their own minds, and that is rendered obscure which was becoming clear. Such is the indifference of the public, that they rather prefer trusting to assertions than be at the trouble of investigating them. Sometimes, moreover, a display of figures and calculations imposes upon them; as if numerical calculations alone could prove any thing, and as if any rule could be laid down, from which an inference could be drawn without the aid of Bound reasoning.