Godek Gardwell (Edward Kellogg) to the Merchants’ Magazine

Godek Gardwell, “Labor and Other Capital” The Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review, 18, 1 (January 1848), 65.

Freeman Hunt, Esq.—Dear Sir: Although it is universally admitted that nearly all wealth is the product of labor, yet the laboring classes of all civilized nations have been, and are, as a body, poor. If the natural product of labor be wealth, the natural result of toil would be competence or wealth to those who performed the labor, unless something intervened to deprive them of their natural rights. Many philanthropic men have endeavored to ascertain the causes of the poverty of producers, and many reasons for it have been assigned, but not one of them is sufficient to account for it, and no practicable plan has been suggested for the removal of the evil.

I am about to publish a work entitled ” Labor and Other Capital: the Rights of each Secured, and the Wrongs of both Eradicated;” in which I expect to show the true and only means by which producers have been, and are, deprived of their just and natural reward, and to point out a practicable remedy for the removal of the evils. It will be my aim to exhibit those means so clearly that they will be understood not only by the statesman and man of science, but also by those who have hitherto bestowed little or no thought upon the subject, and who are now ignorant of the causes of their frequent suffering, and often scanty means of subsistence. When the causes are understood by which these evils are produced, it will be clearly seen that the remedy proposed for their removal is practicable, and entirely adequate to accomplish the purpose. Although the system is so simple that a school-boy may understand it, yet it is sufficiently powerful to secure the reward of labor throughout the world, and to direct the destiny of nations. The means necessary to put it into operation are as easy and simple as the system itself. The adoption of the system is so evidently the duty, and for the interest of the producing classes, not only of one, but of all political parties, that when its principles shall be once generally known, I doubt not that it will speedily be put into operation.

Public opinion on this subject must be changed, and it must, and will, undergo a complete revolution. It has been my aim in the forthcoming volume so to exhibit the principles and the practicability of the system which it advocates, that they shall be as evident as a mathematical demonstration, that all may see the bearings, and appreciate the importance of its adoption.

Although the system will secure to labor its reward, it will at the same time protect the capitalist in all his rights in property, and it will in nowise interfere with any disposal of his property that he may deem for his advantage. It will not diminish any right to form contracts, and it will make all contracts formed far more certain of fulfilment; and, therefore, instead of encroaching upon the liberty of man, it will add greatly to his freedom and independence. It is, in fact, a system which is necessary to the perpetuation of a republican government, to the security of individual property, and of the general rights of man.

The insertion of this communication in your valuable periodical will much oblige Your obedient servant, Godek Gardwell.

New York, Dec, 13th, 1847.

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Independent scholar, translator and archivist.