A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

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What are the six principal advantages of Jonathan Swift's plan in A Modest Proposal?

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"A Modest Proposal," Jonathan Swift's devastating, classic satire, is aimed squarely at British mistreatment of their fellow Irish. It specifically attacks the prevailing mercantilist notion that human beings comprise the wealth of a nation, which allowed the exploitation of child labor at terribly low wages. The horrifying concept of children as a delectable menu item for gourmet consumption is Swift's reductio ad absurdum of this mercantilist commodification of human beings.

The first of the advantages of such a scheme, he says, will be a reduction in the number of Papists, as Irish Catholics were described, who reproduce at a high rate and pose a political threat to the British.

Second, children will be a valuable commodity to tenant farmers, whose produce and livestock have already been seized by rack-rent landlords.

Third, Ireland's gross domestic product will be "encreased 50 thousand pounds per annum" by the export of child-flesh, "and the Money will circulate among our selves, the...

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