The British Food Journal is in no way concerned with politics, and as it would appear that the propositions put forward by Mr. CHAMBERLAIN are commonly regarded as constituting matter for political controversy instead of being looked upon as subjects for serious investigation and discussion entirely outside the field of politics, it would be an undesirable course and one likely to be misunderstood and, no doubt, misrepresented, were we to refer to the great question which is now before the country without plainly indicating at the outset that we have no intention of supporting or opposing any political party or any section of politicians. We believe Mr. CHAMBERLAIN'S suggestion that the subjects which he has brought forward should be discussed on a higher plane than on the muddy plane of party politics was a reasonable and proper suggestion which all men of sense who are not blinded by political bias should applaud and endeavour to adopt. We do not mean to say that problems of so complicated a character are capable of being accurately solved, in the present state of knowledge, by scientific methods other than actual experiment. They certainly cannot be solved by abstract discussions of a pseudo‐scientific character. The factors which enter into the problems of political economy are so numerous, so complex, and so little understood, that to endeavour to argue even on the basis of what are alleged by political economists to be well‐ascertained facts in the so‐called “dismal science” is to lay oneself open to the charge of theorising from insufficient data. HERBERT SPENCER has lucidly demonstrated the universality of this scientific crime. On comparatively simple subjects, in regard to which a man has no special knowledge, he will, if possessed of the quality known as common sense, generally decline to deliver oracular opinions; but, let a subject be sufficiently complex and let the data relating to it be few, obscure, and uncertain, then decisive opinions will be delivered by all and sundry,—and the more profound the ignorance the more decisive will be the expression of opinion.
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