much with both. In China and Indostan, accordingly, 
both the rank and the wages of 
country labourers are said to be superior to 
those of the greater part of artificers and manufacturers
They would probably be so 
everywhere, if corporation laws and the corporation 
spirit did not prevent it. 
The superiority which the industry of the 
towns has everywhere in Europe over that of 
the country, is not altogether owing to corporations 
and corporation laws. It is supported 
by many other regulations. The high duties 
upon foreign manufactures, and upon all 
goods imported by alien merchants, all tend 
to the same purpose. Corporation laws enable 
the inhabitants of towns to raise their 
prices, without fearing to be undersold by the 
free competition of their own countrymen
Those other regulations secure them equally 
against that of foreigners. The enhancement 
of price occasioned by both is everywhere finally 
paid by the landlords, farmers, and labourers
of the country, who have seldom opposed 
the establishment of such monopolies
They have commonly neither inclination nor 
fitness to enter into combinations; and the 
clamour and sophistry of merchants and manufacturers 
easily persuade them, that the private 
interest of a part, and of a subordinate 
part, of the society, is the general interest of 
the whole. 
In Great Britain, the superiority of the industry 
of the towns over that of the country 
seems to have been greater formerly than in 
the present times. The wages of country labour 
approach nearer to those of manufacturing 
labour, and the profits of stock employed 
in agriculture to those of trading and manufacturing 
stock, than they are said to have 
done in the last century, or in the beginning 
of the present. This change may be regarded 
as the necessary, though very late consequence 
of the extraordinary encouragement 
given to the industry of the towns. The 
stocks accumulated in them come in time to 
be so great, that it can no longer be employed 
with the ancient profit in that species of industry 
which in peculiar to them. That industry 
has its limits like every other; and the 
increase of stock, by increasing the competition
necessarily reduces the profit. The lowering 
of profit in the town forces out stock to 
the country, where, by creating a new demand 
for country labour, it necessarily raises its 
wages. It then spreads itself, if I may say 
so, over the face of the land, and, by being 
employed in agriculture, is in part restored to 
the country, at the expense of which, in a 
great measure, it had originally been accumulated 
in the town. That everywhere in Europe 
the greatest improvements of the country 
have been owing to such overflowings of the 
stock originally accumulated in the towns, I 
shall endeavour to shew hereafter, and at the 
same time to demonstrate, that though some 
countries have, by this course, attained to a 
considerable degree of opulence, it is in itself 
necessarily slow, uncertain, liable to be disturbed 
and interrupted by innumerable accidents, 
and, in every respect, contrary to the 
order of nature and reason. The interests, 
prejudices, laws, and customs, which have 
given occasion to it, I shall endeavour to explain 
as fully and distinctly as I can in the 
third and fourth books of this Inquiry. 
People of the same trade seldom meet together, 
even for merriment and diversion, but 
the conversation ends in a conspiracy against 
the public, or in some contrivance to raise 
prices. It is impossible, indeed, to prevent 
such meetings, by any law which either could 
be executed, or would be consistent with liberty 
and justice. But though the law cannot 
hinder people of the same trade from 
sometimes assembling together, it ought to do 
nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much 
less to render them necessary. 
A regulation which obliges all those of the 
same trade in a particular town to enter their 
names and places of abode in a public register, 
facilitates such assemblies. It connects 
individuals who might never otherwise be 
known to one another, and gives every man 
of the trade a direction where to find every 
other man of it. 
A regulation which enables those of the 
same trade to tax themselves, in order to provide 
for their poor, their sick, their widows 
and orphans, by giving them a common interest 
to manage, renders such assemblies necessary. 
An incorporation not only renders them necessary, 
but make the act of the majority 
binding upon the whole. In a free trade, an 
effectual combination cannot be established 
but by the unanimous consent of every single 
trader, and it cannot last longer than every 
single trader continues of the same mind. 
The majority of a corporation can enact a bye-law, 
with proper penalties, which will limit 
the competition more effectually and more 
durably than any voluntary combination whatever. 
The pretence that corporations are necessary 
for the better government of the trade, is 
without any foundation. The real and effectual 
discipline which is exercised over a workman, 
is not that of his corporation, but that 
of his customers. It is the fear of losing their 
employment which restrains his frauds and 
corrects his negligence. An exclusive corporation 
necessarily weakens the force of this 
discipline. A particular set of workmen must 
then be employed, let them behave well or ill. 
It is upon this account that, in many large 
incorporated towns, no tolerable workmen are 
to be found, even in some of the most necessary 
trades. If you would have your work 
tolerably executed, it must be done in the