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siduum of experience. “Whence these evils ? and what their remedy?" are universal inquiries. It is, however, remarkable that in revolutions present generations seldom solve the enigma of their own workings, and the true and ultimate tendency of great instinctive efforts have been unknown, though not unfelt, by the most violent actors in them. So also now, during our financial revolution, it is a common subject of reproach against the Democratic party, that they desire to destroy credit, and that such is the issue joined in this great political and financial struggle. But is this so? Credit is an element of man's nature, founded on faith in the promises of moral and accountable beings ; credit is a practical expression of that belief of man in man which constitutes the basis of society, and most of all of the democratic theory; credit exists most where honor and truth proffer the surest guarantees of fulfilment, and could only be annihilated by their destruction. Is it not then strange, if the great democratic mass be struggling against nature, and spite of proverbial enterprise be striving to ruin the very advantages which their own oft-tried honor has secured? In this country both capital and population have regularly doubled in less than a generation, and yet our mightiest resources are still unassailed -still exist in their primitive state of nature. With such means the wildest folly of legislation could not, even if it would, arrest credit; such an end could only be accomplished through our moral degradation, when faith should be more questionable than ability. Far from such insensate aims, the Democracy are struggling to destroy the monopolies of credit, which, because they were monopolies, must have rendered true credit less abundant, as well as less healthy; for when did monopolies ever produce other results ? The great mass of the wealth of our country has been thrust aside from its right to represent exchangeable values through banking, and the comparatively small means of a favored few, bloated with special privilege to seeming size, have failed in the Herculean task to monopolize that which the general wealth could alone accomplish. Our eight hundred banks, whose aggregate capitals and credit were but a tithe of the national wealth, were compelled, by the wants of an accumulating trade, to puff themselves to inordinate size, in the gigantic effort to represent all the exchangeable values of our mighty country, and resembled as many pyramids standing on their pinnacles, and the first breath of disaster tottled them over. Our inventions and systems have foolishly arrayed themselves in opposition to the inventions and systems of the world, both actual and past. Since the remotest antiquity, the precious metals have been the great medium of representation of exchangeable values; and, since then, and now, it has ever required all the gold and silver, and all the credit which their possesion gives, to represent those values, and our adversaries say that even then there is not sufficient; yet in spite of these allegations that such universality is defective, far from seeking plans to enlarge, their endeavors have been to diminish, that which they themselves de
clare to be too little ; instead of a universal system, working on the universal means, we have had a monopoly system founded on partial wealth ; instead of inviting all who had the means to aid, we have ordered the mass to stand aloof, stripped them of their equal rights, and with those strippings fed the big monsters and the little ones, Commerce needed the universal aids, but, in the face of monopoly, could only get the partial, and was obliged to give trust to our monopoly banks for the residue; and hence banking, to the amount of three times its capital, was an ordinary occurrence; and all must perceive that, as privilege is straightened, want, like a mirror, must give reflection instead of substance, and that in this view privileged banking'is not so much a means of lending as of borrowing.
In no country where banking was free have the banking classes ever been enabled to palm on the public, either through circulation, deposites, or discounts, a credit representing three times the amount of capital ; public competition would soon strip the fields which proffered so rich a harvest. The golden tree of the Hesperides grew not in a highway; and it must be apparent that in this, as in every instance, monopoly has received more than nature meant to give. In comparison with the banking means of the public, the banking capital of monopoly institutions is but a slender portion of the aggregate wealth ; and give but to the general means free scope, credit would become as extensive as their universality, while competition would strip discounts of the greatest possible portion of that noxious quality of credit, which lends to the lender through his own loans-a quality which, in all panics, has made our banks broken reeds of reliance to our merchants, for in all such they have been found themselves more indebted than even the community they appeared to trust, so that the question with them, in such times, has ever been, whether themselves to break, or to break their customers; and self-preservation naturally instigates the latter. If they only loaned their own capital who could run them? That debtors should run their creditors would be a queer miracle. How different the position of a real capitalist who lives on the interest of actual investment, and who loans only what he owns. He insures not his own position by forcing his customers in times of universal distress ; if assured of ultimate payment his promptings are directly the reverse, and self-interest gives a keener edge to the kindly feelings of nature to extend in such times even additional assistance.
Let then each sufferer patiently await until this great democratic fight has been fought, and Credit has been rescued from the strongholds of monopoly, and erected on the broad pedestal of liberty; and truly as freedom begets abundance, and privilege stint, so surely shall we find credit—that is, a true, healthy, and beneficial credit, resting securely on the basis of a sound and unshifting measure of value-both extended in quantity and improved in quality,