Front Page Titles (by Subject) 95.: Letter to Bernard Domenger in Mugron - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
Return to Title Page for The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
95.: Letter to Bernard Domenger in Mugron - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Letter to Bernard Domenger in Mugron
Paris, 4 March 1848
[vol. 7, p. 385]
My dear Domenger,
You are quite right to remain calm. Apart from the fact that we will all need it, the tempest would need to howl furiously before it was felt in Mugron. Up to now, Paris is enjoying the most perfect peace, and this spectacle is in my view just as imposing in its way as courage in battle. We have just witnessed the funeral ceremony.207 I think that the entire universe was out in the street. I have never seen so many people. I have to say that the population appeared to be friendly but cold. Nothing can bring it to utter cries of enthusiasm. This is perhaps all to the good and appears to prove that time and experience have matured us. Are not unbridled demonstrations something of an obstacle to the proper management of affairs?
The political aspect of the future is not being given much attention. It seems that universal suffrage and other rights of the people are so unanimously agreed upon that they are given no further thought. But what is darkening our prospects are economic matters. In this respect, ignorance is so profound and widespread that severe experiences are to be feared. The idea that there is a scheme yet unknown but easy to find, which is bound to ensure the well-being of all by reducing work, is the dominant theme. As it is adorned with such fine terms as fraternity, generosity, etc., no one dares attack these wild illusions. Besides, no one would know how to do so. People instinctively fear the consequences which may arise from the exaggerated hopes of the working classes, but between this and being in a position to determine the truth there is a wide gap. For my part, I continue to think that the fate of the workers depends on the speed with which capital is built up. Anything that can, directly or indirectly, damage property, undermine confidence, or weaken security is an obstacle to the accumulation of capital and has an unfavorable effect on the working classes. This is also true for all taxes and irritating governmental interference. What should we therefore think of the systems in fashion today which have all these disadvantages at once? As a writer, or in another capacity, if my fellow citizens call upon me, I will defend my principles to the last. The current revolution is not changing them any more than it is changing my behavior.
Let us say no more about the statements attributed to F——. This is far behind us. Frankly this meretricious program could not be sustained. I hope that people will be satisfied with the choices made in our département. Lefranc is a courageous and honest Republican who is incapable of making life difficult for anyone without serious and just reasons.
[207 ]The ceremony that took place on Saturday, 4 March, organized by the provisional government in honor of the citizens who died for the Republic during the days of 23 and 24 February.