Hence ensues necessarily, moral and material, individual and political weakness. The danger is aggravated when neighboring nations pursue a different policy: some making progress in every respect, others retrograding; some hoping for a brighter future, the courage and enterprise of their people being aroused; the absence of hope extinguishing by degrees in others all courage, intelligence, and enterprise.
History is not without examples of entire nations having perished, because they knew not and seized not the critical moment for the solution of the great problem of securing their moral, economical, and political independence, by the establishment of manufacturing industry, and the formation of a powerful class of manufacturers and tradesmen.
Source of English translation: Friedrich List, National System of Political Economy, with an introduction by Michael Hudson. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1974, pp. 70-82.
Copyright © 1974. From Friedrich List, National System of Political Economy, with an introduction by Michael Garland. Reproduced by permission of Routledge/Taylor & Francis Books, Inc.