Monday, April 23, 2007
Happy St George's Day !
Icon from Church of St. George in the village of Dripchevo, Bulgaria.
The reason assigned for this admission of foreigners into our service, is the want of men; but if there be any truth in that main principle of Mr. Malthus's admirable "Essay on Population," I apprehend it cannot be controverted, and hope that I have not misunderstood it—That population depends upon food; that, in long peopled-countries, it is only restrained from increasing, by the incapacity of the country to produce or procure a greater quantity of food: it follows that, if our country has sufficient food to give to foreigners, it has the same to give to Englishmen, and it would surely be better to give it to them, since they must be attached, by opinion, to their country; since they are, in every point, more industrious subjects, more courageous sailors, and better men; while the others have nothing to attach them to our country, they are destitute of legal principles for fighting in our defence, and have no motives for virtue but fear ...
Perhaps it may be said, that our want of these men is immediate, and that Englishmen would require to be born and bred up; but this, I conceive, furnishes the strongest objections that can be urged against the admission of foreigners into any part of our country; for, if they were not to eat the food which our labours procure, it would have been shared amongst Englishmen; consequently, a greater number than now exist would have been reared to manhood. Now, as the general repressing causes of population are vice and misery, for even in our country moral restraint represses but a small part of it, this admission of foreigners has caused a greater portion of vice and misery than would otherwise have existed in our country. As the end of legislation, and entrusting power to any men, is to promote the happiness and morality of all, our rulers, by the encouragement they have given to foreigners, have acted in direct opposition to that end for which they had power entrusted to them.
When the English character is so much superior to every other; when English opinions are so strongly tinctured with the love of liberty, and liberty is so valuable to mankind, true policy would have dictated a prohibition to strangers entering the country ...
(Thomas Hodgskin - An Essay on Naval Discipline, 1813)
(Englishmen with high blood pressure are advised to ignore the atrocity committed at the Telegraph)