Front Page Titles (by Subject) 141.: Letter to Prosper Paillottet - 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:
141.: Letter to Prosper Paillottet - 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 Prosper Paillottet
Paris, 14 July 1849
[vol. 7, p. 436]
My dear Paillottet, I am very grateful that you remembered me in our Pyrenees and at the same time I am proud of the impression they made on you. How happy I would have been to accompany you on your outings! We would perhaps have brought a chill and a touch of vulgarity to these fine landscapes by adding political economy to them. Actually, no, since social laws have their harmonies just like the laws governing the physical world. This is what I am trying to demonstrate in the book that I am currently working on—I have to admit that I am not happy with it.278 I had a magnificent subject to which I have not done justice and have no time to rewrite, since the first pages are being printed. Perhaps this fiasco is not my fault. It is a difficult if not impossible thing to talk appropriately about social harmonies to an audience that is ignorant of, or which contests, the most elementary notions. Everything has to be proved, right up to the legitimacy of interests, etc. It is as if Arago wished to demonstrate the harmony of the movement of the planets to people who know nothing of arithmetic.
What is more, I am ill disposed and do not know to what to attribute this given that I am in good health. I am living at Le Butard where I hoped to find inspiration; instead of this, inspiration has fled.
It is being said that the Assembly will be prorogued from 15 August to 1 October. Please God that this is so! I will try to retrieve myself in my second volume in which I will be drawing the consequences of the first with regard to our current situation. A social problem—a French problem. . . .
Political economy owes a great deal to you as do I for your zeal in recommending us. Please continue to do so. One convert produces others. The country has a great need of this science, which will be its savior.
Farewell, your very devoted