Front Page Titles (by Subject) 97.: Letter to Horace Say - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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97.: Letter to Horace Say - 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).
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Letter to Horace Say
Mugron, 12 April 1848
[vol. 7, p. 381]
My dear friend, I constantly look for your name in the newspapers, but they are not yet discussing the elections. They are probably too busy reporting on the political clubs. This is the only explanation I can give of the silence of the Paris press. Perhaps Paris is too stormy a theater, given your character and the life you are used to. I now regret that you have not considered moving to one of the départements. Socialist folly has whipped up such terror that because of your well-known antecedents you would have had wonderful opportunities there. Your candidature has the advantage of giving you the opportunity of putting about sane ideas. This is a great deal but not enough for our cause. For this reason, make a supreme effort, abandon your customary reserve for a few days, start something of a campaign, and leave no stone unturned to enter the Constituent Assembly. I sincerely believe that the salvation of the country depends on our principles gaining a majority.
If there is no change in public opinion here, my election is assured. I even think that I will gain all the votes except for those of a few traders in resin who are terrified of free trade.
All the committees210 in the cantons support me.
Next Sunday, we will be having a general central meeting. I would have to make a huge mess of things to change the attitudes of electors toward me.
A very strange fact is the ignorance of socialist doctrines of the people in this country. There is a horror of communism. But communism is seen only as the sharing out of land. Last Sunday, during a large public meeting, a general murmur arose when I said that communism was not a threat in this respect. People seemed to deduce from these words that I was only very tepidly opposed to this form of communism. The rest of my speech removed this impression. It is really very dangerous to speak before an audience that is so little informed. You risk not being understood. . . .
I must admit to you that I am very worried about the future. How can industry revive when it is accepted in principle that the scope for regulation is unlimited? When every minute a decree on earnings, working hours, the cost of things, etc., can upset all economic decision making?
Farewell, my dear M. Say. Please remember me to Mme Say and M. Léon.
P.S. The central meeting of delegates took place yesterday; I do not know why it was brought forward. After answering questions, I withdrew and this morning learned that I have all of the votes except two. Having forgotten to post my letter before leaving, I have opened it to tell you this result which may please you. Try to make a supreme effort, my dear friend, to ensure that political economy, which is lifeless in the Collège de France,211 is represented in the Chamber by M. Say. Shame to the country, if it excludes a name of this eminence that is so nobly borne!
[210 ]Candidates to the elections of deputies were heard, then nominated, by county committees who then gathered to establish a list of candidates for the district. Each district would then discuss its candidates with the other districts in order to arrive at a single list for the département.
[211 ](Paillottet’s note) The chair occupied by M. Michel Chevalier had been withdrawn and not yet reinstated.