Front Page Titles (by Subject) 109.: Letter to Bernard Domenger - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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109.: Letter to Bernard Domenger - 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 Bernard Domenger
Paris, 3 September 1848
[vol. 7, p. 386]
Tomorrow we are starting to debate the constitution. However, whatever you say, this work will always carry within its heart an all-devouring canker, since it will be debated in an atmosphere of siege and in the absence of freedom of the press. As for us, the representatives, we feel that we are totally free, but that is not enough. The parties will exploit the abnormal nature of our situation to undermine and discredit the constitution. I therefore voted against the state of siege yesterday. I believe that Cavaignac is making the common and very natural mistake of sacrificing the future to the present. As disposed as I am to lending strength to this honest and well-intentioned government we have put in place, I cannot go beyond this. Here I am then, voting yet again with the Red Republic, but it is not my fault. People should not look at with whom one votes, but why.
I presume that a new effort will be attempted in favor of freedom of the press. I will join this; above all I want the constitution to be respected. If in Paris there are such great ferments of disorder that the rule of law cannot be maintained, I would prefer the combat to be renewed and the country to learn to defend itself.
All the rumors are of legitimist plots. I cannot believe them! The legitimists who were powerless in ’89 hope to be strong in 1848? May God prevent them from reawakening the beast of revolution! If you chance to see them, tell them clearly that they should be under no illusion. They are opposed by all the workers, all the socialists, all the republicans, and all the people, with leaders capable of prolonging events right up to the limit. Above all, the clergy should be circumspect. Men of principle who, like me, have faith in the power of truth ask only for a free debate and accept in advance the triumph of public opinion, even if (except for changing it) these men are few in number. Those who accept the struggle elsewhere, on the battlefield, are countless and determined to take things right to the end. Let the legitimists and clergy not give the signal for action; they would be overrun. Legitimists know that their principles have had their day, and as for the clergy, while they are not totally blind, they cannot ignore their vulnerable side. Let a degree of popular irritation arising from the industrial crisis and financial problems not inspire dangerous and wild hopes in them, unless they want to play their trump card once and for all.
Use your influence to safeguard our beloved département from the consequences of a desperate struggle. God knows that I do not want to deprive anyone of the right to express and put across his ideas! But we should carefully avoid anything that might resemble a conspiracy.