Front Page Titles (by Subject) 172.: 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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172.: 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, 3 June 1850
[vol. 7, p. 384]
My dear Friend,
Why have you confined the excellent letter you sent to the latest issue of Le Journal des économistes within such narrow limits? With regard to the events and causes, it is full of wisdom and reveals a level of business experience which we are often reproached for lacking, with some justification. Articles like this always satisfy readers and put forward principles without mentioning them. You ought to develop the thought that you indicate only at the end of your letter. Yes, because of the sluggishness of financial markets, the prices of cereals are lower than they ought to be, and it is inevitable that they will soon exceed the normal level. This is the general law of supply and demand. Busier trading would have brought the two extremes closer to the average. What is more, it would have lowered the average itself as it would have prevented waste and reckless exports. A work by you on this subject would be very useful from both the practical and the scientific points of view. From the latter aspect, it would dissipate the disastrous prejudices against middlemen and the cornering of goods. Please undertake this work.
Although I take little interest in politics, I have been able to convince myself, and painfully, that our great statesmen have succeeded only too well in the first part of their campaign plan, which is to spread disquiet in order to exploit it. Everywhere I have been I have seen a truly morbid terror reign. It seems that we are threatened with an agrarian law.331 People think Paris is sitting on a volcano. They go so far as to talk about an imminent conflict or foreign invasion, not for perverse reasons but out of fear of the worst. The Republic, republicans, and even those who merely submit are cursed and the lower classes are insulted by a flood of outrageous epithets. In short, I believe that everything is being thrown to the wind, even caution. Please God that this paroxysm passes quickly! Where will it lead?
[331 ]The rise of socialism during the 1848 revolution made this a serious problem for many classical liberals. See the article by Courcelle-Seneuil on “Lois agraires,” in the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique.