Rae, 1834, Book II, Chapter XI: Luxury
Paraphrase of Rae's abstracts, pp. xv, 265.
Part I.. p. 265
The preceding chapters are devoted to circumstances that advance the wealth of nations, the capital and stock of communities.
This chapter is devoted to "opposite" or "contrary principles", that is, those that retard the growth, or actually diminish, the stock of nations. Chief of these are selfishness, and debased intellectual and moral parts of human nature. The first of these is vanity, that is, the desire for superiority over others, without merit.
Vanity is gratified by possessions others cannot afford, commodities of which the consumption is conspicuous, and which satisfy needs that could be satisfied with less expense. Such commodities that satisfy vanity are called luxuries. The others are called utilities. Labor expended on luxuries is a direct loss to the community.
Part II., p. 292
Narcotics may be classed with luxuries.
Revised 17 October 2004 by Ralph Abraham