TO THE CITIZEN
331. Having now given my Advice to the YOUTH, the grown-up MAN, the LOVER, the HUSBAND and the FATHER, I shall, in this concluding Number, tender my Advice to the CITIZEN, in which capacity every man has rights to enjoy and duties to perform, and these too of importance not inferior to those which belong to him, or are imposed upon him, as son, parent, husband or father. The word citizen is not, in its application, confined to the mere inhabitants of cities: it means, a member of a civil society, or community; and, in order to have a clear comprehension of man’s rights and duties in this capacity, we must take a look at the origin of civil communities.
332. Time was when the inhabitants of this island, for instance, laid claim to all things in it, without the words owner or property being known. God had given to all the people all the land and all the trees, and every thing else, just as he has given the burrows and the grass to the rabbits, and the bushes and the berries to the birds; and each man had the good things of this world in a greater or less degree in proportion to his skill, his strength and his valour. This is what is called living under the LAW OF NATURE; that is to say, the law of self-preservation and self-enjoyment, without any restraint imposed by a regard for the good of our neighbours.
333. In process of time, no matter from what cause, men made amongst themselves a compact, or an agreement, to divide the land and its products in such manner that each should have a share to his own exclusive use, and that each man should be protected in the exclusive enjoyment of his share by the united power of the rest; and, in order to ensure the due and certain application of this united power, the whole of the people agreed to be bound by regulations, called LAWS. Thus arose civil society; thus arose property; thus arose the words mine and thine. One man became possessed of more good things than another, because he was more industrious, more skilful, more careful, or more frugal: so that LABOUR, of one sort or another, was the BASIS of all property.