Articles on Politics
On a New Secondary School to Be Founded in Bayonne
[vol. 7, p. 4. According to Paillottet, this article, probably
extracted from a copybook of Bastiat’s, and written by
him, was published in a Bayonne newspaper in 1834.]
The question was raised in the municipal council of providing Bayonne with a secondary school. But what can you do? You cannot do everything at once; the most pressing needs must be met and the town has ruined itself in order to provide a theater. Pleasure first; education can wait. Anyway, is not the theater also a school and even more a school of morals? Ask anyone in vaudeville or musical comedy.
As it happens, Bayonne’s fiscal capacity represents the high point of civilization and we can properly hope that the question of finance will prove no obstacle. Confident of this, I beg leave to submit a few ideas on public instruction to the city.
When I first heard of the municipal project, I asked myself if a secondary school whose curriculum focused on science and work which would dispense scientific and industrial instruction would not have some small chance of success. There is no lack of establishments close to Bayonne that teach or, to be more accurate, pretend to teach Greek, Latin, rhetoric, or even philosophy. Larresole, Orthez, Oléron, Dax, Mont-de-Marsan, Saint-Sever, and Aire provide classical education. There, the young generation which will succeed us behind the counter or in the workshop, in the fields and vineyards, in the night watch, and on the upper deck, is preparing to take on its rough task by being bored to death with the declension and conjugation of languages which were spoken some two or three thousand years ago. There, our sons, while waiting for machines to operate, bridges to build, moorland to clear, ships to deliver to the four corners of the earth, or strict accounts to keep, are learning to chant nicely using the tips of their fingers . . . Tityre, tu patuloe recu, etc. Let us be just, however; before sending them out into the world and as they approach their majority, they should be given a vague idea of counting and even perhaps a glimpse or two of natural history in the form of commented texts from Phaedrus and Aesop, it being understood, of course, that they will not miss a comma of the Lexicon and the Gradus ad Parnassum.
Let us suppose that, through an unheard-of singular occurrence, Bayonne in fact followed an opposite method, that it made science, the knowledge of what exists and a study of cause and effect, the founding principle and the reading of the ancient poets an accessory and ornament of education, do you not think that this idea, as ridiculous as it may appear at first glance, might prove attractive to many heads of families?
What is it basically that we are discussing? The composition of intellectual baggage which will nourish these children during their harsh journey through life. Some of them will be called upon to defend, enlighten, and teach morals; to represent and administer the people; to develop and perfect our institutions and laws, with the greater number by far having to seek through work and industry the means of earning a living for themselves and of supporting their wives and children.
And tell me, is it in Horace and Ovid that they will learn all of this? To be good farmers, do they have to spend ten years learning and reading the Georgics? To win their stripes in the army, do they need to wear out their youth in deciphering Xenophon? To become statesmen, to become imbued with the mores, ideas, and needs of our time, do they need to immerse themselves for twenty years in Roman life, make themselves the contemporaries of Lucullus and Messalina, and breathe the same air as Brutus and the Gracchi?
Not only does the long period of childhood spent in the past not initiate them into the present, but it inspires dislike of it in them. It warps their judgment and prepares only a generation of orators, seditionists, and idlers.
For what is there in common between ancient Rome and modern France? The Romans lived from plunder and we live from production, they scorned and we honor work, they left to slaves the task of producing and this is exactly the task for which we are responsible, they were organized for war and we aim for peace, they were for theft and we are for trade, they aimed to dominate and we tend to bring peoples together.
And how do you expect these young men who have escaped from Sparta and Rome not to upset our century with their ideas? Will they not, like Plato, dream of illusory republics; and like the Gracchi, have their gaze fixed on the Aventine Mount; and like Brutus, contemplate the bloody glory of sublime devotion?
I would countenance a literary education if we were, like the Athenians, a people of idlers. To talk at length on metaphysics, eloquence, mythology, fine arts, or poetry is, I believe, the best use of their leisure that a people of patricians can make, as they move above a host of slaves.
But for those who have to create the nutritium, the vestitum, and the tectum for themselves, what is the use of the subtleties of the school and dreams of the seven sages of Greece? If Charles has to be a ploughman, he has to learn what water, the earth, and plants are in reality and not what Thales and Epicurus said about them. He needs the physics of facts and not the physics of poetry, science and not erudition. Our century is like Chrysale:
- He lives off good soup and not fine language.
- I can hear Belise protest: Is it possible to encounter a man as prosaic and as vulgar as this,
- A spirit composed of such bourgeois atoms?
And is it not sad to see, to use the current jargon (which rather resembles that of Belise), facts smothering ideas?
I would reply that the idea of the heroic age, that of domination, plunder, and slavery, is neither greater nor more poetic than the idea of the industrial age, with its concept of work, equality, and unity, and I have the authority of two great poets, Byron and Lamartine, on my side.
Be that as it may, if man does not live by bread alone, he lives still less by ambrosia and I dare to say (asking you to forgive the play on words) that in our system of education it is the idea, and a false idea, that smothers facts. It is the idea that perverts our young people, which closes off the avenues to wealth to them and impels them toward a career by way of various positions or a desperate idleness.
And tell me, my native town, you whom corrupt laws (also the offspring of erroneous education) have stripped of your trade, you who are exploring new trade routes, who spin wool and linen, who smelt molten iron, dig up kaolin from your native soil, and do not know how to use it, you who build ships, maintain a model farm, and, in a word, you who draw power from a little boiling water and seek light in a little jet of gas, if you need hands to accomplish your undertakings and intellects to direct them, are you not obliged to call upon the children of the north for help, while your own sons, so full of courage and sagacity, walk the cobbles of your streets because they have not learned what it is essential to know today?
But let us allow that a classical education is really the most useful. We will at least agree that this is so only if it puts buyers in possession of the goods it produces. However, are these dead languages so generally taught widely known? You who are reading this, and who were perhaps first in your class, do you often walk on the banks of the Nive and the Adour with a work of Perseus or Sophocles in your hand? Alas! In the fullness of our age, after such lengthy studies we are scarcely left with enough knowledge to decipher the meaning of a simple epigraph. I remember that in a large meeting once, a woman actually dared to ask what the famous motto of Louis XIV, Nec pluribus impar, meant. The construction was worked out, followed by a word for word translation; a discussion was held on the force of the two negatives; each person had his own interpretation; no two were identical.
And it is for this result that you weary children. You saturate them with syntax for ten hours a day and for seven years in succession. You suffocate them with declensions and conjugations, you make them insipid and out of breath, you give them nausea, and then you say: “My son is charming, full of intelligence; he understands and catches half meanings, but he is frivolous, lazy, and does not want to take an interest.” Poor little boy! Why is he not wise enough to reply: “You see, nature gave me the taste and need for diversion, it made me curious, with a questioning mind ready to learn everything and what have these precious dispositions become in your hands? You enslaved all my moments to a single study, a study that was repellent and arid, one that explained nothing to me, taught me nothing, neither the origin of the sun that moves, the rain that falls, the water that flows, and the seed that germinates, nor what force supports ships in the water or birds in the sky, nor whence comes the bread that feeds me and the clothes I wear. No facts have entered my head. Words, just words, hour after hour, day after day, always and forever, from one end of my childhood to the other! To be determined that my noble will should be wholly concentrated on these miserable formulae, determined that I should not watch the butterfly that flutters by, the grass that grows green, or the ship that moves with neither oar nor sail, determined that my young instincts should not seek to penetrate the mystery of these phenomena, the food of my sensations, and substance of my thoughts, is to exact more than I can give. Oh, my father, if you tried this experiment on yourself, if you imposed this straitjacket on yourself, just for one month, you would see that it cannot be suitable to the energetic activities of childhood.”
Therefore, if Bayonne were to establish a secondary school in which Latin occupied one hour a day, which befits a useful accessory, in which the rest of the time was devoted to mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, living languages, etc., I think that Bayonne would be meeting a widely felt social need and that the current administration would deserve the benediction of the coming generation.
Freedom of Teaching
[vol. 7, p. 231. According to Paillottet,
this essay was originally published in
La République française, 4 March 1848.]
All the acts of the provisional government relating to public education are designed, we are annoyed to say, in a spirit that supposes that France has abandoned freedom of teaching.
The circular from the minister to the rectors convinces us of this.
Here is a decree that creates a commission for scientific and literary studies.
Out of the twenty members who make it up, fifteen of them at least, if we are not mistaken, belong to the university.
In addition, the final article of the decree lays down that this commission will add another ten members, chosen by itself, as it says, from civil servants in primary and secondary education.
We cannot help noticing here that, of all the branches of national activity, that which has made perhaps the least progress is the teaching profession. It is still approximately at the stage it was in the Middle Ages. The idylls of Theocrates and the odes of Horace are still the basis of the instruction we give to the youth of the nineteenth century. This appears to indicate that there is nothing less progressive and more immutable than that carried out by government monopoly.
In France, there is a large school of opinion that thinks that, apart from legal repression or abuse, every citizen should have the free exercise of his faculties. This is both the prerogative of progress and its necessary condition. This is how they view liberty in the United States, and empirically this experiment is just as revealing as our experiences with monopoly in Europe. It should be noted that none of the men who belong to this school, known as the économiste school, has been called upon to join any of the commissions that have just been organized.
It is not surprising that they have been kept away from paid public office. They have kept themselves away and they had to, since their ideal is to reduce the number of positions to those that are essential for maintaining order, internal and external security, respect for persons and property, and, at the very least, the creation of a few projects of national importance.
However, that their contribution to simple surveys is systematically overlooked is a significant eventuality; it proves that we are being swept along by a hypertrophy of government, one which threatens an endless diminution of true liberty.
Freedom of Trade
[vol. 7, p. 14. According to Paillottet, this was an
unpublished article that appears to have been intended for
a newspaper in the south of France. It dates from 1844.]
During the session on 29th February last, M. Guizot said: “We constantly speak of the weakness of the king’s government with respect to England. I cannot allow this calumny.
“In Spain, no one can say that we have merely supported what England has done or simply got rid of the same things as she.
“There has been talk of a treaty on trade which is to be imposed by England; has this happened?
“Did we not revoke the regulations which have changed trade relations between England and France with respect to linen thread and cloth?
“Did not the prime minister pass a law on Algerian tariffs which has materially harmed in more than one respect real British interests?”
From all of this it results that, if the authorities are not under the yoke of England, they are certainly under the yoke of monopoly. All this shows that while the government may not be England’s creature it is certainly a creature of monopoly.
Is the public really not going to open its eyes finally to this shameful misrepresentation and duplicity?
A few years ago, one might have thought that protectionism had very few years left to live.
Theoretically in ruins, it slipped into our legislation only as a transitory measure. The very minister who did most to let it linger on, M. de Saint-Cricq, constantly warned us that these mutual taxes, which workers paid each other, were basically unjust and, to the little extent that they were reasonable, were so only on the grounds of their supporting infant industries. Indeed, even the beneficiaries of these arrangements saw them not as a prerogative but as an essentially temporary privilege.
The actions being accomplished in Europe were such as to increase the hopes of the lovers of freedom.
Switzerland had opened its frontiers to products of all origins and this was working well.
Sardinia also went down this road and found no reason to regret it.
Germany had replaced a host of internal barriers with a single ring of customs posts based on a moderate tariff.
In England, the most vigorous effort ever attempted by the middle classes was on the point of overthrowing a system of restrictions which in that country represented another aspect of feudal power.
Even Spain seemed to understand that its fifteen agricultural provinces were unjustly sacrificed in favor of one manufacturing province.
Lastly, France was preparing for free trade by way of negotiating treaties of transition and by joining a customs union with Belgium.
Thus was labor to be set free. Wherever on the globe that fate had caused them to be born, men were going to reconquer the natural right to exchange with each other the fruits of their labors and we were reaching the moment of seeing the achievement of a holy alliance of nations.
How did France allow herself to be turned away from this path? How did it come about that its children, who took pride in being the leaders of civilization, were suddenly seized with Napoleonic ideas and embraced the cause of isolation, antagonism between nations, theft carried out by its citizens one against the other, restrictions laid down on the right of ownership, in short, all that is barbarous in the bosom of protectionism?
To seek an explanation of this sad phenomenon, it would seem that we have to move away from our subject for a moment.
If, within a General Council, a member succeeded in creating a majority against the administration, it would not necessarily follow that the prefect would be dismissed and still less that the leader of the opposition would be appointed prefect in his place. In the same way, although general councillors are made of the same clay as deputies, their ambition is not satisfied by the maneuvers of systematic opposition, which explains why these maneuvers are not seen to happen in these meetings.
This is not the case in the Chamber. It is a maxim of our public law that if a deputy is cunning enough to mount a majority in opposition to a government, he will himself ipso facto become minister and will deliver the government as a prey to his colleagues who allied themselves to his undertaking.
The consequences of such an organization leap to the eye. The Chamber is no longer an assembly of those governed, who come to take note of measures projected by those who govern, to admit, modify, or reject these measures in line with the public interest which they represent; it is rather an arena in which government, dependent on the support of members’ votes, is competed for.
Therefore, to overturn the government it is necessary only to remove its majority. To remove its majority, it is necessary to discredit it, make it unpopular, and debase it. The law itself, aided and abetted by the irremediable weakness of the human heart, has arranged things thus. It is useless for M. Guizot to cry: “Will we never learn to attack each other, combat each other, and overthrow each other without attributing shameful motives to each other?” I must say that I find these complaints puerile. You allow that your adversaries aim to replace you and yet you advise them charitably to neglect the means of success! In this respect, M. Guizot, the leader of the opposition, would do to M. Thiers, the minister, what M. Guizot, the minister, reproaches M. Thiers, the leader of the opposition, for doing.
We have therefore to admit that our mechanism of representation is organized in such a way that the opposition and all forms of opposition united have not and cannot have other than one single aim, namely to discredit the government, whichever one it is, in order to overthrow it and replace it.
But the most certain way, in France, to discredit the government is to represent it as treacherous, cowardly, in the pay of foreigners, and forgetful of national honor. Against M. Molé, this was the tactic used by M. Guizot in coalition with the legitimists and the Republicans; against M. Guizot, this was the tactic of M. Thiers, in coalition with the Republicans and the legitimists. One used Ancona as the other used Tahiti.
However, opposition parties do not limit themselves to acting within the Chamber. They also feel the need to take some account of public opinion and the views of the electorate. All the opposition newspapers are thus obliged to work in concert, to exalt, irritate, and mislead national feeling, to represent the country as having descended to the lowest level of degradation and opprobrium as a result of the work of the government; and it has to be said that our national susceptibility to the memory of Empire and to the wholly Roman education which has prevailed among us gives this parliamentary tactic considerable chances of success. This being the situation, it is easy to predict all the gains that pampered lines of production would inevitably extract from it.
At a time when monopoly was about to be cast aside and the free communication of peoples gradually established, what could the cosseted groups do? Waste their time establishing protectionist principles at the very heart of their outlook, opposing such principles to the theory of free trade? It would have been a fruitless venture; on the soil of free and fair discussion, error stands little chance against truth.
No, the privileged groups had a clearer view of what might prolong their existence. They understood that they could continue peacefully to pick the pockets of the public so long as contrived antagonisms would prevent the drawing together and merging of nations. This being so, they harnessd their forces, influence, capital, and activity to national hatred. They, too, adopted the mask of patriotism. They bribed such newspapers as had not yet adopted the banner of false national honor, and it may rightly be said that this monstrous alliance stopped the march of civilization.
In these strange circumstances, the local press, especially in the south, might have been of great service. However, either because it did not perceive the motive behind these Machiavellian intrigues or feared to appear weak in the eyes of the enemy, the fact is that it foolishly added its voice to those of the newspapers funded by the privileged groups and today may well fold its arms at the sight of us, the men of the south, robbed and exploited, doing its work, the work it should have done itself, and devoting all the resources of our intelligence and all the energy of our feelings to consolidating the shackles and perpetuating the extortions it inflicts on us.
This weakness has borne fruit. To repudiate the accusations heaped on it, the government had one thing only to do and it did it: it sacrificed us.
The words of M. Guizot, which I quoted at the beginning, did they not mean in essence:
“You say that I am subjecting my policy to that of England, but consider my actions.
“It was just to return to French citizens the right to trade, appropriated by a few privileged people. I wished to go down this path through trade treaties, but there were shouts of Treason! and I broke off negotiations.
“I thought that if French citizens needed to buy linen thread and cloth abroad, it was better to obtain more rather than less for a given price, but there were shouts of Treason! and I created differential dues.
It was in the interest of our young African colony to be provided with everything at a low cost in order to grow and prosper. However, there were shouts of Treason! and I handed over Algeria to monopolistic interests.
“Spain aspired to shake off its submission to a single province. This was in its interest. It was in ours and also in that of the English. There were shouts of Treason! and, to stifle this inopportune cry, I maintained what England wished to overturn, the exploitation of Spain by Catalonia.”
This is our present position. The engine of war of all the parties is the hatred of foreigners. Left and right alike use it to disparage the government; in the center they go further, translating it into action to prove their independence and the monopolists fasten on to this uncertain outlook, fanning discord in order to perpetuate their situation.
Where will all this lead us? I do not know, but I believe that this game by the parties hides danger and I ask myself why, in a period of total peace, France maintains four hundred thousand men under arms, increases its navy, fortifies its capital city, and pays a billion and a half in taxes.
The Parisian Press
[vol. 7, p. 226. According to Paillottet, this
article was originally published in
La République française, 1 March 1848.]
The Parisian press offers a spectacle that is no less extraordinary or less imposing than the population on the barricades.
What has happened to the burning and often brutal controversy of late?
The lively discussions will doubtless return. But is it not very consoling to see that at the moment of danger, when the country has an overwhelming need for security, order, and confidence, all forms of bitterness are forgotten and even the most eccentric doctrines endeavor to present themselves in a reassuring light?
Thus, Le Populaire, the communist newspaper, shouts “Respect for ownership!” M. Cabet reminds his followers that they should seek triumph for their ideas only through discussion and by convincing the public.
La Fraternité, the workers’ newspaper, publishes a lengthy program that economists might adopt in its entirety, except perhaps for one or two maxims that are more illusionary than dangerous.
L’Atelier, another newspaper edited by workers, beseeches its brothers to stop the ill-considered movement that in the first instance led them on to smash machinery.
All the newspapers vie with one another in trying to moderate or anathematize another barbarous sentiment that unfortunately the partisan spirit had worked for fifteen years to bolster: chauvinism. Apparently a single day of revolution has caused this engine of war incarnate, to which all the opposition parties have recourse, to disappear, simply by making it irrelevant.
External peace, internal order, confidence, vigilance, and fraternity: these are the watchwords for the entire press.
Petition from an Economist
[vol. 7, p. 227. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 2 March 1848.]
At the moment a petition is being signed that asks for: A Ministry of Progress or for the Organization of Production. On this subject, La Démocratie pacifique has this to say:
“In order to organize production in French society, you have to know how to organize it at the village level, in the living and breathing workshops of the nation. Any serious doctrine of social development must therefore succeed at the level of the basic workshop and be tried out initially on a small parcel of land. Let the Republic therefore create a Ministry of Progress and Organization of Production whose function will be to examine all the plans put forward by the various socialist doctrines and to favor over them a local, free, and voluntary experiment carried out in a territorial unit, the square league.”
If this idea is put into practice, we will ask that we too be given our square league to try out our ideas. Why, after all, should the various socialist schools of thought be the only ones to have the privilege of having at their disposal square leagues, basic workshops, and everything which constitutes a locality, in short, villages?
They say that it is a matter of free and voluntary experiments. Are we to understand that the inhabitants of the commune who will be subjected to socialist experimentation will have to agree to it and that, on the other hand, the state should not take part with revenue raised from other communes? If so, what is the use of the petition, and what prevents the inhabitants of communes from carrying out freely, voluntarily, and at their own expense social experiments on themselves? Or is the intention that the experiment be forced or at the very least supported by funds raised from the entire community?
This in itself will provide a highly inconclusive result for the experiment. It is quite clear that having all the nation’s resources at our disposal, we might squander a great deal of welfare on a square league of land.
In any case, if each inventor in the field of social organization is called upon to carry out his experiment, let us register ourselves and formally request a commune to organize.
Our plan is otherwise very simple.
We will claim from each family and through a single tax a very small part of its income, in order to ensure the respect of persons and ownership, the elimination of fraud, misdemeanors, and crimes. Once we have done this, we will carefully observe how people organize themselves.
Religion, teaching, production, and trade will be perfectly free. We hope that, under this regime of liberty and security, with each inhabitant having the facility, through free trade, to create the largest sum of value possible, in any form which suits him, capital will be built up with great speed. Since all capital is intended to be used, there will be fierce competition between capitalists. Therefore earnings will rise; therefore workers, if they are far-sighted and thrifty, will have a great opportunity to become capitalists; and therefore it will be possible to create alliances or associations whose ideas are conceived and matured by themselves alone.
As the single tax will be modest in the extreme, there will be few civil service posts and few civil servants, no wasted efforts, and few men withdrawn from production.
As the state will have very restricted and well-defined powers, its inhabitants will have total freedom to choose their work. Here it should be noted clearly that any wasteful civil service post is not only a burden on the community but an infringement of the freedom of citizens. About the public services imposed without debate on the citizens, there are no half measures; either they are useful or else essentially harmful; they cannot be neutral. When a man exercises an action with authority, not over things but over his fellow men, if he does not do them good, he must necessarily do them harm.
With taxes thus reduced to the minimum required to procure security for all, lobbyists, abuses, privileges, and the exploitation of laws for individual interests will also be reduced to a minimum.
Since the inhabitants of this experimental commune will have, through free trade, the opportunity of producing the maximum value with the minimum work, the square league will provide as much welfare as the state of knowledge, activity, order, and individual economy allows.
This welfare will tend to spread out in an ever-more egalitarian manner, since, as the highest paid services will be the most sought after, it will be impossible to amass huge fortunes, especially since the minimum level of tax will not allow great public contracts, loans, nor speculation, all sources of the scandalous fortunes we see accumulating in a few hands.
Since this small community will be interested in attacking no one and all the others will have an interest in not attacking it, it will enjoy the most profound peace.
Citizens will feel loyal to the country because they will never feel slighted or held back by the agents of the government, and to its laws because they will recognize them as based on justice.
In the conviction that this system, which has the merit at least of being simple and respecting human dignity, is all the better if it applies to a wider territory and a greater number of people, since it is there that the most security is obtained with the least taxes, we conclude that if it succeeds in a commune, it will succeed at the level of the nation.
Article in La République française
[vol. 7, p. 223. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 1 March 1848.]
A newspaper does not achieve high circulation figures without echoing a few ideas dominant in the country. We acknowledge that La Presse has always been able to speak to the interests of the moment and even that it has often given good advice; in this way it has been able to sow in the soil of the country, along with the good grain, a great deal of chaff which will take a long time to remove.
Since the Revolution, it must be said, its attitude has been frank and resolute.
We are in complete agreement, for our part, with the two clarion calls which it is broadcasting today, No diplomacy! No rush for positions!
No diplomacy! What has the Republic to do with this institution, which has done so much harm and which perhaps has never done any good, where sharp practice is so traditional that it is used in the most simple matters and where sincerity is considered foolishness? It was by a diplomat and for diplomacy’s sake that it was first observed that speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.
One of the purest English democrats, Mr. Cobden, on a visit to Madrid, was visited by Mr. Bulwer. He said to him: “Ambassador, in ten years Europe will no longer need you.”
When on principle nations are the property of kings, diplomacy and even diplomatic trickery are conceived. Events must be prepared well in advance, as must alliances and wars to expand the domain of the master.
However, what does a people which belongs to itself have to negotiate? All its diplomacy is carried out in the open in deliberating assemblies; its traders are its negotiators, the diplomats of union and peace.
It is true that, even for free peoples, there is a territorial question of the highest importance, that of natural borders. But does this question require the intervention of diplomacy?
Nations know full well that it is in the common interest and in the interest of order and peace that each should have borders. They know that if France withdrew within its limits, that would be one more guarantee of security for Europe.
What is more, the principle that peoples belong to themselves guarantees that, if there has to be a merger, it will take place with the free consent of those involved and not by armed invasion. The Republic has only to proclaim its rights, wishes, and hopes in this respect. There is no need for either ambassadors or trickery to do this.
Without ambassadors and kings, we would not in recent times have had the question of Spanish marriages. Has anyone ever given attention to the marriage of the president of the United States? As for the rush for positions, our desire echoes that of La Presse. We would have liked France in February not to give the world this sad and disgusting spectacle. But we have little hope of this, as we have no illusions about the weakness of the human heart. The means of reducing the rush is to reduce the number of positions themselves. It is puerile to expect lobbyists to restrain themselves; it is up to the public to restrain them.
For this reason, we must constantly repeat: Let us eliminate all superfluous positions. We advise children to think twice before saying something rash. We, for our part, say to the government: Break thirty quills before endorsing the creation of new positions.
A sinecure eliminated will thwart its holder but not enrage him. A sinecure passed from hand to hand exasperates him who has lost it, disappoints ten would-be placemen, and angers the public.
The most difficult part of the task handed down to the provisional government will probably be resisting the flood of requests for such sinecures.
All the more so because several schools of thought, which today are much in favor, hope to increase indefinitely the scope of the government, by repeated taxation, and to have the state do everything.
Other people say: The state needs to spend a great deal in order to provide a living for a great many people.
Is it therefore really so difficult to see that, when the government spends taxpayers’ money, it is not the taxpayers who spend it?
The Scramble for Office
[vol. 7, p. 232. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 5 March 1848.]
All the newspapers, without exception, are speaking out against the scramble for office of which the Town Hall is given a sad example. Nobody could be more indignant about, or more disgusted by, this frenzied greed than we.
But at the end of the day we have to find the cause of the evil, and it would be puerile to expect the human heart to be other than it has pleased nature to make it.
In a country in which, since time immemorial, the labor of free men has everywhere been demeaned, in which education offers as a model to all youth the mores of Greece and Rome, in which trade and industry are constantly exposed by the press to the scorn of citizens under the label profiteering, industrialism, or individualism, in which success in office alone leads to wealth, prestige, or power, and in which the state does everything and interferes in everything through its innumerable agents, it is natural enough for public office to be avidly sought after.
How can we turn ambition away from this disastrous direction and redirect the activity of the enlightened classes toward productive careers?
Obviously by eliminating a great many public posts, limiting government action, leaving a wider, freer, and more prestigious role to private activities and reducing the salaries for high public office.
What should our attitude be then to those theories, so fashionable currently, which propose the transfer into the world of paid public service, of activities still in the realm of private industry? La Démocratie pacifique wants the state to provide insurance, public transport, and haulage, and also to handle the trading of wheat, etc., etc., etc.
Do these ideas not provide fresh fuel for this disastrous mania which so offends honest citizens?
We do not want to discuss the other disadvantages of these proposals here. Examine one after the other all the industries managed by the state and see if these are not, indeed, the ones through which citizens are the most badly and most expensively served.
Take education, obstinately limited to the study of two languages dead these two thousand years.
See what kind of tobacco is provided to you and at what price.
Compare in terms of regular supply and proper market price the distribution of printed matter by the public authority in the rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau with that by individual enterprises in the rue de la Jussienne.
However, setting aside these considerations, is it not evident that the scramble for office is and will always be proportional to the enticement to it?
Is it not evident that having industry run by the state is to remove work from honest activity in order to deliver it to lazy and indolent intrigue?
Finally, is it not clear that it will make the disorder which the Town Hall exemplifies, a disarray which saddens the members of the provisional government, permanent and progressive?
Impediments and Taxes
[vol. 7, p. 234. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 6 March 1848.]
While a movement, possibly an irresistible one, is pushing us toward the hypertrophy of the state, and an increase in the number of taxes as well as of the irritating encumbrances such an increase inevitably entails, a very pronounced change in the opposite direction is apparent in England, one which will perhaps lead to the fall of the government.
There, every experiment and every effort to achieve good through the intervention of the state results in disappointment. It will soon be realized that good is not being achieved and that the experiment leaves behind it just one thing: tax.
Thus, last year, a law was passed to regulate the work of factories and the execution of this law required the creation of a body of civil servants. Today, entrepreneurs, workers, inspectors, and magistrates agree in acknowledging that the law has encroached upon all the interests in which it has interfered. Only two things remain: disorder and taxes.
Two years ago, the legislature dashed off a constitution for New Zealand and voted for considerable expenditure to implement it. In spite of this, the said constitution collapsed badly. The only thing that did not fall, however, was taxation.
Lord Palmerston believed he had to intervene in the affairs of Portugal. He thus brought down on the name of England the hatred of an allied nation, and that at a price of fifteen million francs, or a hefty tax.
Lord Palmerston persists in seizing Brazilian ships engaged in the slave trade. To do this, he endangers the lives of a considerable number of English sailors, subjects British subjects living in Brazil to affronts, and makes a treaty between England and Rio de Janeiro impossible; all this damage is paid in ships and legal actions, that is to say, in the form of taxes.
The result is that the English are paying, not for receiving benefits, but for suffering damages to England.
The conclusion that our neighbors appear to wish to draw from this phenomenon is this: that the people, after having paid what is necessary to their political masters to guarantee their security, keep the rest for themselves.
This is a very simple thought, but it will sweep the world.
[vol. 7, p. 235. According to Paillottet, this article
was originally published in the first issue of
Jacques Bonhomme, dated 11-15 June 1848.]
I have lived a long time, seen a great deal, observed much, compared and examined many things, and I have reached the following conclusion:
Our fathers were right to wish to be free, and we should also wish this.
It is not that freedom has no disadvantages, since everything has these. To use these disadvantages in argument against it is to say to a man trapped in the mire: Do not get out, as you cannot do this without some effort.
Thus, it is to be wished that there be just one faith in the world, provided that it is the true one. However, where is the infallible authority which will impose it on us? While waiting for it to manifest itself, let us maintain the freedom of discussion and conscience.
It would be fortunate if the best method of teaching were to be universally adopted. But who has it and on what authority? Let us therefore demand freedom of teaching.
We may be distressed to see writers delight in stirring up all forms of evil passion. However, to hobble the press is also to hobble truth as well as lies. Let us, therefore, take care never to allow the freedom of the press to die.
It is distressing that man should be reduced to earning his bread by the sweat of his brow. It would be better for the state to feed everyone, but this is impossible. Let us at least have the freedom to work.
By associating with one another, men can gain greater advantage from their strength. However, the forms of association are infinite; which is best? Let us not run the risk that the state imposes the worst of these on us; let us seek the right one by trial and error, and demand the freedom of association.
A people has two ways of procuring something. The first is to make it; the second is to make something else and trade it. It is certainly better to have the option than not to have it. Let us therefore demand the freedom to trade.
I am throwing myself into public debate; I am trying to get through to the crowd to preach all the freedoms, the total of which make up liberty.
[vol. 7, p. 237. According to Paillottet, this article
was originally published in the first issue of
Jacques Bonhomme, dated 11-15 June 1848.]
Laissez-faire! I will begin by saying, in order to avoid any ambiguity, that laissez-faire is used here for honest things, with the state instituted precisely to prevent dishonest things.
This having been said, and with regard to things that are innocent in themselves, such as work, trade, teaching, association, banking, etc., a choice must be made. It is necessary for the state to let things be done or prevent them from being done.
If it lets things be done, we will be free and optimally administered most economically, since nothing costs less than laissez-faire.
If it prevents things from being done, woe to our freedom and our purse. Woe to our freedom, since to prevent things is to tie our hands; woe to our purse, since to prevent things requires agents and to employ agents takes money.
In reply to this, socialists say: “Laissez-faire! What a disaster!” Why, if you please? “Because, when you leave men to act, they do wrong and act against their interests. It is right for the state to direct them.”
This is simply absurd. Do you seriously have such faith in human wisdom that you want universal suffrage and government of all by all and then you proclaim these very men whom you consider fit to govern others unfit to govern themselves?
Under the Republic
[vol. 7, p. 210. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 27 February 1848.]
No one can say what the repercussions of the Revolution will be in Europe. Please heaven that all the peoples will be able to withdraw from the sad necessity of launching an attack on each other at a signal from the aristocracy and their kings.
But let us suppose that the absolutist powers retain their means of acting abroad for a short time.
I put before you two facts which seem to me incontestable and whose consequences will then be seen:
- 1. France cannot take the initiative of disarming.
- 2. Without disarmament, the revolution can fulfill the hopes of the people only imperfectly.
These two facts are, as we say, incontestable.
As for disarmament, the greatest enemy of France could not advise her to do this as long as the absolutist powers are armed. There is no point insisting on this.
The second fact is also obvious. Keeping oneself armed so as to guarantee national independence is to have three or four hundred thousand men under the flag and thus to find it impossible to make any significant cuts in public expenditure such as would permit a restructuring of the tax system immediately. Let us allow that, by means of a tax on luxury articles, we might reform the salt tax and a few other exorbitant ones. Is this something that might content the French people?
Bureaucracy will be reduced, they say. This may be so. However, as we said yesterday, the probable reduction in revenue will outweigh these partial reforms, and we should not forget that the last budget ended in a deficit.
But if the revolution finds it impossible to restructure an iniquitous tax system whose incidence is unfair, and which oppresses the people and paralyzes work, it will be compromised.
However, the revolution has no intention of perishing.
Here are the necessary consequences of this situation with regard to foreigners. We, of course, will never advise wars of aggression, but the last thing that can be asked of a people is to commit suicide.
For this reason, if the armed bellicosity of foreigners forces us to keep three or four hundred thousand men in a state of readiness, even if they do not attack us directly, it is as though they were asking us to commit suicide.
In our view, it is perfectly clear that if France is placed in the situation we have just described, whether she wishes to or not, she will scatter the lava of revolution across Europe.
This will be the only way to create embarrassment for kings within their own territory, which will enable us to breathe more freely at home.
Let foreigners understand this clearly. They can escape danger only by taking the initiative and disarming straightforwardly. This advice will seem foolhardy to them. They will hasten to say, “This is rash.” And we, for our part, say, “This is the most consummate prudence.”
It is this which we will undertake to demonstrate.
Paris, 27 February 1848
[vol. 7, p. 215]
Today, Le National is looking at our situation with regard to the outside world.
It asks, “Will we be attacked?” and, after having taken a look at the problems faced by Austria, Prussia, and Russia, it answers in the negative.
We agree entirely with this opinion.
What we fear is not being attacked but that the absolutist powers, with or without premeditation and simply through maintaining the military status quo, will reduce us to seeking the salvation of the revolution in armed propaganda.
We do not hesitate to repeat what we have said, since we wish to be understood both here and elsewhere. What we say with total conviction is this: We cannot take the initiative of disarming, and yet the simple military status quo gives us the alternative of perishing or fighting. It is for the kings of Europe to calculate the consequences of this fatal alternative. There is just one salvation for them: to disarm themselves first and immediately.
Readers will perhaps allow us a little useful fiction.
Let us imagine a small island, for many years more exploited than governed, with countless taxes and life insufferably curtailed, economically and politically. The nation is bent under the weight of this taxation and what is more it has to withdraw a significant part of its healthy population from the labor force to defend the realm and arm and feed it.
Out of the blue, this nation overthrows its oppressive government, with the aim of freeing itself from burdensome taxes and intolerable politics.
But the government, as it falls, leaves it with a huge burden of debt.
Initially, then, aggregate expenditure increases.
In parallel, however, all sources of revenue have diminished.
Now taxes are so odious that it is morally and materially impossible to maintain them, even provisionally.
Faced with this situation, the great and the good, who run all the nearby islands, anxiously entreat caution on the fledgling Republic:
“We hate you but we do not wish to attack you, in case we suffer harm ourselves. We will make do with surrounding you with a ring of soldiers and guns.”
At this the young Republic is forced to come up with many soldiers and guns in like measure.
It cannot cut back on taxes, even the most unpopular ones.
It cannot keep any of its promises to its people.
It cannot fulfill any of the hopes of its citizens.
It flounders about in its financial straits, increasing taxes with all the burden that that entails. No sooner is the people’s capital—the source of all paid employment—accumulated than it confiscates it.
In this desperate situation, nothing in the world could prevent our government from replying, “Your so-called moderation is killing us. Forcing us to maintain huge armies at the ready is to propel us toward social upheaval. We do not wish to perish and, rather than suffer this, we will stir up within your borders all the elements of disaffection that you have engendered in your own people, since you leave us no other path to salvation.”
This illustrates rather precisely our position with regard to the kings and aristocracies in Europe.
We fear that the kings will not understand this. When have we ever seen them save themselves through prudence and justice?
Nevertheless, we should tell them this. They have just one resource, to act justly toward their people, relieve them from the weight of oppression, and immediately take the initiative and disarm.
Other than this, their crowns run the risk of a huge and prolonged struggle. This is not a question of revolutionary fever, but of historical understanding and the actual nature of the things which conduce to such fever.
The kings will say, “Is it not our right to remain armed?”
Probably so, but at their own risk and peril.
They will also say, “Does not simple prudence require us to remain armed?”
Prudence requires them to disarm immediately and today rather than tomorrow.
In fact all considerations which will impel France to break her bounds, if she is forced to arm, will retain her within them if she is put into a position to reduce her military forces.
In this event the Republic will have a good reason for swiftly eliminating the most odious of the taxes, allowing the people to breathe, giving capital and labor the opportunity to develop, and abolishing the restrictions and encumbrances that are inseparable from heavy taxation.
It will welcome with joy the chance to put into practice the great principle of fraternity it has just emblazoned on its flag.
The Kings Must Disarm
[vol. 7, p. 221. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 29 February 1848.]
If only the kings of Europe were prudent, what would they do?
England would freely renounce the right of search. She would freely recognize that Algeria is French. She would not wait for these burning questions to be raised, and she would disband half her navy and use these savings to benefit her people by reducing the duties on tea and wine accordingly.
The king of Prussia would liberalize the half-baked constitution of his country, and by giving notice to two-thirds of his army he would ensure the devotion of the people by relieving them of the weight of taxes and military service.
The emperor of Austria would quickly evacuate Lombardy and by reducing his army would put himself in a position to increase Austria’s proverbial power.
The tsar would return Poland to the Poles.
All this done, France, no longer anxious as to her future, would concentrate on internal reform and let moral considerations take charge.
The kings of Europe, however, would expect to lose out if they followed this policy, the only one that can save them.
They will do exactly the opposite; they will want to stifle liberalism. So they will arm and the republics will arm too. Lombardy, Poland, and perhaps Prussia will become the theater of war. The alternative laid down by Napoléon, that Europe will be Republican or Cossack, will have to be resolved to the sound of guns. In spite of her ardent love of peace, expressed unanimously by the newspapers, but forced by her evident interest, France will not be able to avoid throwing her sword into the balance and . . . kings perish but nations do not.
Articles in La République française on the Political Situation
26 February 1848
[vol. 7, p. 212]
When we go through the streets of Paris, which are scarcely wide enough to contain the throngs of people, and remember that in this immense metropolis at this moment there is no king, no court, no municipal guard, no troops, and no civil administration other than that exercised by the citizens over themselves, when we reflect that a few men, only yesterday emerged from our ranks, are taking care of public affairs on their own, then, judging by the joy, the sense of security, and the confidence shown on every face, our initial feelings are admiration and pride.
We soon return to the past, however, and say to ourselves, “So popular self-government is not as difficult as certain people tried to persuade us it was, and economy in government is not utopian.”
There is no getting round the fact that in France we have become accustomed to excessive and grossly intrusive government. We have ended up believing that we would tear each other to pieces if we had the slightest liberty and if the state did not regulate all our movements.
This great experiment reveals indestructible principles of order within the hearts of men. Order is a need and the first of the needs, if not of all, at least of the vast majority. Let us be confident therefore and draw from this the lesson that the great and extravagant government machine which those involved called indispensable can and should be simplified.
27 February 1848
[vol. 7, p. 213. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 28 February 1848.]
Let us share this thought in La Presse:
What we need to ask a provisional government, those men who devote themselves to public salvation amid incalculable difficulties, is not to govern in exact accord with all of our ideas, but to govern. We should help it, support it and make its rough task easy, and postpone any doctrinal discussion. The agreement of all the newspapers on this will not be among the least glorious events in our revolution.
We can all the more render to ourselves this homage to abnegation in favor of the common cause, because it is deep within us.
In a few of the decrees which follow one another, we see signs of the application of a doctrine which is not ours. We have combated this and will do so again when the time permits.
Two systems are confronting one another, both of which are born of sincere convictions and both having the common good as their objective. But, it has to be said, they emanate from two quite different ideas, which moreover oppose one another
The first, more seductive and popular, consists in taking a great deal of the people’s earnings, in the form of taxes, in order to spread largesse among the people by way of philanthropic institutions.
The second wants the state to take very little, give very little, guarantee security, and give free rein to the honest exercise of every faculty; one consists in expanding indefinitely, the other in restricting as far as possible, the prerogatives of power. The one of these two systems to which we are attached through total conviction has few outlets in the press; it could not have had many representatives in government.
However, full of confidence in the rectitude of the citizens, to whom public opinion has entrusted the mission of building a bridge between our fallen monarchy and our burgeoning and well-ordered republic, we are willing to postpone the manifestation of our doctrine, and we will limit ourselves to sowing ideas of order, mutual trust, and gratitude to the provisional government.
27 February 1848
[vol. 7, p. 218]
All our cooperation, all our poor portion of influence, is devoted to the provisional government.
Certain of the purity of its intentions, we do not need to discuss all its measures in detail. It would be extremely demanding and even unjust, we might say, to demand perfection in emergency measures whose weight almost exceeds the limits of human strength.
We find it perfectly natural, at a time when the municipality needs so many resources, that local taxes be maintained, and it is an obligation for all citizens to ensure that this revenue is used wisely.
We would have liked the provisional government, however, not to appear to prejudge a major question with these words, “This tax must be revised and it will be shortly; it must be modified so as to make it less burdensome for the laboring classes.”
We consider that we should not seek to modify the city toll but aim to eliminate it.
Paris, 28 February 1848
[vol. 7, p. 218. According to Paillottet,
this article was originally published in
La République française, dated 29 February 1848.]
The general good, the greatest sum possible of happiness for everyone, and the immediate relief of the suffering classes are the subjects of every desire, every wish, and every preoccupation.
Such, moreover, constitute the greatest guarantee of order. Men are never better disposed to help one another than when they are not suffering, or at least when they cannot accuse anyone, especially not the government, of those sufferings inseparable from human imperfection.
The revolution began with a cry for reform. At that time, this word was restricted just to one of our constitutional arrangements. Today, it is still reform that we want, but of the fundamental kind, reform of our economic organization. The people, their complete freedom restored, are going to govern themselves. Does this mean the realization of all their hopes? We cannot bank on this chimera. The people will choose the measures that appear best suited to their purposes, but choice entails the possibility of error. However, the great advantage of government of the nation by the nation is that it has only itself to blame for the results of its errors and that it can always benefit from its experience. Its prudence now should consist in not allowing system builders to experiment too much on it and at its expense.
So, as we have said, two systems, discussed at length by polemicists, now confront one another.
One aspires to create the happiness of the people through direct measures. It says: “If someone suffers in any way, the state will be responsible for relieving him. It will give bread, clothing, work, care, and instruction to all those who need it.” If this system were possible, one would need to be a monster not to embrace it. If somewhere, on the moon perhaps, the state had an always accessible and inexhaustible source of food, clothing, and remedies, who could blame it for drawing on it with both hands for the benefit of those who are poor and destitute?”
But if the state does not have in its possession and does not produce any of these things, if they can be created only by human labor, if all the state can do is to take them by way of taxation from the workers who have created them in order to hand them over to those who have not created them, if the natural result of this operation must be, far from increasing the mass of these things, to discourage their production, if from this reduced mass the state is obliged to keep a part for its agents, if these agents who are responsible for the operation are themselves withdrawn from useful work, and if, finally, this system which appears so attractive at first sight, generates more misery than it cures, then it is proper to have doubts and seek to ascertain whether the welfare of the masses might not be generated by another process.
The one we have just described can obviously be put into practice only by an indefinite extension of taxes. Unless we resemble children who sulk when they are not given the moon when they first ask for it, we have to acknowledge that, if we make the state responsible for spreading abundance everywhere, we have to allow it to spread taxes everywhere, since it cannot give what it has not taken.
However, major taxes always imply major restrictions. If it were only a question of asking France to provide five or six hundred million, you might conceive an extremely simple financial mechanism for gathering it. But if we need to extract 1.5 to 1.8 billion, we need to use all the ruses imaginable in the operation of the tax laws. We need the town taxes, the salt tax, the tax on drink, and the exorbitant tax on sugar; we need to restrict traffic, burden industry, and limit consumers. An army of tax collectors is needed, as is an endless bureaucracy. The liberty of the citizens must be encroached upon, and all this leads to abuse, a desire for civil service posts, corruption, etc., etc.
It can be seen that, if the system of abundance drawn by the state from the people in order to be spread over the people by it, has its attractive side, it is also a medal that has its reverse side.
We, for our part, are convinced that this system is bad, and that there is another for achieving the good of the people, or rather for the people to achieve their own good; this consists in our giving the state all it needs to accomplish its essential mission, which is to guarantee internal and external security, respect people and property, the free exercise of faculties, and the repression of crime, misdemeanors, and fraud, and, after having given this liberally to the state, in keeping the rest for ourselves.
Finally, since the people are called upon to exercise their right, which is to choose between these two systems, we will often compare these before them, in all their political, moral, financial, and economic aspects.
To Citizens Lamartine and Ledru-Rollin
[vol. 7, p. 246. According to Paillottet, this
article was originally published in the third issue of
Jacques Bonhomme, dated 20-23 June 1848.]
Dissolve the national workshops. Dissolve them with all the care that humanity requires, but dissolve them.
If you want a reborn confidence, dissolve the national workshops.
If you want production to revive, dissolve the national workshops.
If you want shops to empty and fill, dissolve the national workshops.
If you want factories to reopen, dissolve the national workshops
If you want the countryside to become peaceful, dissolve the national workshops.
If you want the National Guard to have some rest, dissolve the national workshops.
If you want the people to bless you, including one hundred thousand workers out of the one hundred and three thousand in these workshops, dissolve the national workshops.
If you have not concluded that the stagnation of business followed by the stagnation of employment, followed by poverty, followed by starvation, followed by civil war, followed by desolation will become the Republic’s funeral procession, dissolve the national workshops.
If you have not decided to ruin the finances, crush the provinces, and exasperate the peasants, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not want the entire nation to suspect you of deliberately having the specter of riots hanging over the National Assembly, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not want to starve the people after having demoralized them, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not want to be accused of having imagined a means of oppression, fright, terror, and ruin which exceeds anything the greatest tyrants have ever invented, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not have the ulterior motive of destroying the Republic by making it hated, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not want to be cursed in the present and if you do not want your memory to be reviled from generation to generation, dissolve the national workshops.
If you do not dissolve the national workshops, you will draw down onto the country every plague simultaneously.
If you do not dissolve the national workshops, what will happen to the workers when you have no more bread to give them and private production is dead?
If you retain the national workshops with sinister intent, posterity will say of you, “It was doubtless by cowardice that they proclaimed the Republic, since they killed it by treason.”
Report Presented to the 1849 Session of the General Council of the Landes, on the Question of Common Land
[vol. 7, p. 263]
You have referred the question of common land to your third commission. It has charged me with making its report to you. I beg leave to regret that it was not possible for this work to be completed by the colleague of yours who, last year, began it so well.
Two diametrically opposed ideas have always dominated this question.
Some people, struck by the spectacle of infertility widely offered by these withered fields known as heath or common land and knowing, moreover, that what belongs to everyone is properly exploited by all, but taken care of by no one, are in a hurry to see the common domain become part of the private domain and invoke the help of the law to bring their system to fruition.
Others point out to us that agriculture, and consequently all the means of existence of this country, rest on common land. They ask what would become of the private domain without the resources of the common domain. Unless we find a system of crop rotation which enables us to do without fertilizer (an agricultural revolution that is not within sight), they consider alienation a public calamity and, in order to prevent it, they also invoke the help of the law.
Your commission considered that neither of these conclusions took enough account of a fact that dominates the entire subject and considerably simplifies the task of the legislator. This fact is property, before which the legislator himself has to give way.
In effect, does not the question whether the law should force or prevent alienation begin by giving communes property rights?
We have been struck by the lack of attention paid to this right, either in the questions asked by the ministers or in the replies given by the Council before the February revolution.
This is how the ministerial circular set out the problem in 1846:
“What is the best use to which common land should be put? Should it be left as it is today? Or should it be let under a short or long lease? Should it be shared or sold?”
Is this a question that could be asked when it is a matter of a given property, short of its status as such being denied?
And what was the answer from the Council?
After speaking in justificatory and almost laudatory terms of the ancient means of appropriation, such as confiscation or usurpation, means which do not exist today, it concluded with the necessity of alienating, adding:
“The consent of municipal councils, which will nevertheless always be consulted, would not be absolutely essential for alienating common land which is either heath land or vacant. . . .”
And further on:
“The Municipal Council would be consulted on the necessity of alienation, and, whatever its opinion, would the proposal, communicated to the District Council, submitted to the General Council, and approved by it, legitimate the order authorizing the act of sale?”
It must be admitted that this dialogue between the minister and the Council totally misunderstood the rights of property. However, it is dangerous to let it be thought that this right is subordinate to the wish of the legislator. Doubtless, reasons of public good and progress were invoked, but do not those whom we have since seen take such little note of private property also invoke these reasons?
And here it was all the more worrying that the right of the commons was lost to sight, since it is precisely in this right that the solution to a number of the difficulties linked to the question of common land is to be found.
What is, in fact, the most notable of these difficulties? It is the extreme difference observed between the situations and the interests of the various localities. We would like to draw up a general law, but when we turn our hand to it, we seem to be pitting ourselves against the impossible and begin to understand that, in order to satisfy all requirements, we would have to draw up as many laws as there are communes. Why is this? Because each commune, depending on its antecedents, agricultural methods, needs, customs, the condition of its communications, and the market value of the land, has different interests with regard to its common land.
The deliberation of the General Council in 1846 accepted this in the following terms:
“The development of a policy entailing consultation as to the situation of individual interests for each département and each village would be going too far. Here, we are content to state that nothing is possible if this first law is not observed, and it is above all in this matter that local custom must play an important part in the law and that the main arrangements of the law itself must leave a great deal of liberty and authority to the electoral bodies which are responsible for representing or protecting the commune.”
The impossibility of drawing up a general law comes out in each page of the report made to you last year by M. Lefranc.
“Among the purposes that we may allot to our communal assets,” he said, “in each département it is necessary to choose the one which will allow one place to be dried out and irrigated, another to provide easy and prompt transport, sowing and plantation in the Landes, advanced agriculture in the Chalosse, etc.”
In fact, it seems to me that this means: since there are as many separate interests as there are communes, let us leave each commune to administer its common land. In other words, what should be done is not to violate common property but respect it.
Therefore, the one that has common lands only, which are essential for the grazing of livestock or for making fertilizer, will keep them.
The one that has more heath land than it needs will sell it, lease it out, or enhance its value depending on the circumstances and opportunity.
Is it not a good thing that, on this occasion, as on many others, respect for the law, in harmony with public utility, is in the end the best policy?
This policy may appear very simple, perhaps too simple. These days, we are inclined to want to carry out experiments on others. We do not allow them to decide for themselves, and when we have fathered a theory, we seek to have it adopted in order to go faster, using coercive means. To leave communes to dispose of their common land would seem to be folly both to partisans and to opponents of improvement. Communes are people of habit, the first will say; they would never want to sell. They are improvident, the others will say, and will not be able to keep anything.
These two fears are mutually destructive. Besides, nothing justifies them.
In the first place, the facts prove that communes do not oppose alienation absolutely. In the last ten years, more than fifteen thousand hectares have moved into the private domain and we can predict that this movement will accelerate with the improved viability, the growth of the population, and the rise in the market value of the land.
As for the fear of seeing the communes hurry to strip themselves of their wealth, this is even more of an illusion. Each time that administrative zeal has been directed to alienations, has it not met with resistance from the communes? Is it not this resistance, allegedly customary, that constantly provokes the legislator and all our deliberations? Did not M. Lefranc remind you last year that the Convention itself was not able to put across in this country a method of alienation truly attractive to people in the communes: sharing! I cannot stop myself from quoting the words of our colleague at this point:
“In order for a legislator, as powerful in his deeds and radical in his determination as the legislator of 1793, to have hesitated both to prescribe sharing in a uniform manner and to do violence to what he called the retrograde ideas of the provinces, he must have had a deep and irresistible sense of some sacred right, some imperative necessity hidden under the routine of tradition. In order for populations so violently dragged into the revolutionary current not to have found almost unanimously within their ranks a third of the votes favorable to the new procedure, eager for immediate and personal satisfaction and forgetful, given the price proffered, of the common interests and duties attaching to this common land, individuals determined, in the face of resistance, to introduce a standard, uniform law, the state of things that they wanted to destroy must have had its raison d’être elsewhere than in routine and ignorance.”
From the above, sirs, you will guess the conclusion: that the interfering law should be limited to acknowledging communal rights of property with all their consequences.
But communal property is not placed under the sole safeguard of the municipal councils. These councils are frequently renewed. A majority may occur in one of them that is the result of a momentary upset, especially under the effect of a brand-new law which is, so to speak, at the experimental stage. An intrigue ought not to result in irremediable damage for the commune. Even though the municipal councillors are the natural administrators of the commons, your commission considered that with regard to important measures, such as alienation, the General Council might be armed with a temporary veto, without the right of property being compromised. It would have the right to adjourn the execution of the Municipal Council’s conclusions until an election had given the inhabitants of the commune the opportunity of making their own opinion on the importance of the measure known.
We cannot end this report without drawing your attention to the opinion issued by the prefect, not that we share all of his views, but because they are imbued with the most generous sentiments toward the poor classes and show all his care for the public good.
The prefect bases great hope on the common lands, not as a means of increasing the wealth of the region, since he agrees that personal appropriation would achieve this aim better, but as a means of rendering it more equal.
I have to say I find it difficult to understand how it can be the case that the exploitation of common lands, although this produces less wheat, less wine, less wool, and less meat than personal appropriation, nevertheless achieves the result that the whole community, even the poor, is better provided with all these things.
I do not wish to discuss this conception here, but I have to make the following remark: the belief of the prefect in the power of the common land is such that he is in favor, not only of absolute inalienability, but even of the setting up of common land where it no longer exists. What next? Are we now going down the path of moving land from the private to the common domain when so many years have been spent by the government in moving land from the common to the private domain?
Nothing is more likely, it seems to me, to give us confidence in the solution we have put before you than a respect for property with all its consequences. The law must stop at the point where it encounters the rights it is responsible for maintaining and not destroy them. For lastly, if for a few years the law forces common lands to be alienated because of the prevalence of the idea that common land is harmful, and if for another few years the law forces common land to be restored because it is thought to be useful, what will become of the poor inhabitants of the countryside? Will they have to be pushed in opposite directions by external forces, in line with the theory of the moment?
Note that the question is worded wrongly when you are asked, “What should be done with common lands?” It is not up to the legislator but the owner to dispose of it.
However, the commission is in full agreement with the views of the prefect when he speaks of the usefulness to the communes of adding value to the heath land that is not needed by agriculture. The council will probably second his efforts in this direction and the region will reward him with gratitude.
For these reasons, the third commission has charged me with submitting to you the following draft proposal:
The General Council considers that a law on common lands cannot do other than recognize properties of this type and regulate the method by which they are administered;
It considers it natural that the Municipal Council should be charged with this administration in the name of the inhabitants of the commune;
It is of the opinion that, should the Municipal Council vote for a land sale, the General Council should have the right to suspend the implementation of this vote, if it considers this to be appropriate, until it is confirmed by the Municipal Council at the next election.
[vol. 7, p. 237. According to Paillottet, this article
was originally published in the first issue of
Jacques Bonhomme, dated 11-15 June 1848.]
“Master Jacques, what do you think of the National Assembly?”
“I think it is excellent, well intentioned, and devoted to the good. It is a product of the people; it loves the people and wants them to be happy and free. It brings honor to universal suffrage.”
“But how hesitant it is! How slow! How many storms in a teacup there are! How much time wasted! What good has it done? What evils has it prevented? The people are suffering, production is failing, work is at a standstill, the treasury is ruining itself, and the Assembly spends its time listening to boring speeches.”
“What are you saying? The Assembly cannot change the nature of things. The nature of things is at variance with nine hundred people governing with a will at once determined, logical, and swift. This being so, you must see how the Assembly is waiting for a government that will reflect its thought, how it is ready to give it a compact majority of seven hundred votes in favor of democratic ideas. However, no such government is in the offing at present and could hardly be so in the interim situation in which we find ourselves.”
“What should the Assembly do?”
“Three things: deal with the emergency, draw up the constitution, and make itself scarce.”
Parliamentary Conflicts of Interest
[This letter and the next one were sent to La Sentinelle des Pyrénées,
which published them on 21 and 25 March 1843, respectively. We
have grouped them under the new title, “Parliamentary Conflicts of
Interest.” From the private collection of Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean.]
We draw the attention of our readers to the following letter, which has been sent to us by one of our friends from the département of the Landes. This letter seems to us to envisage from an accurate viewpoint the current composition of our Chamber of Deputies, to which so many people bring just one preoccupation, that of climbing the greasy pole to power.
The Chamber has been presented for the third time with a huge question: the incompatibility of civil service functions with the function of a deputy or rather the inaccessibility of high positions to members of the National Assembly. Would you be willing, sir, to open the columns of your journal to a few reflections on this most serious matter? Above all, I would like to identify the class of readers to which these are addressed.
Two ideas are embossed on the July flag, and it will forever give shade to two major political parties, one which prefers to devote itself to the word freedom and the other which has made itself the principal defender of public order.
Parliamentary reform forms a natural part of the views of the Progressive Party. “How is it,” they say, “that public freedoms are not in danger when they are entrusted to men whose existence is at the mercy of the authorities? How can we count on the independence of deputies who are civil servants when an independent vote may lead to their ruin? Is it wise to put men in the position where they have to choose between their interest and their duty? Besides, if we hand over the purse strings to the hands that take from the contents of the purse, should we expect the purse to be well managed? If we entrust the right to create positions of power to those who will be occupying them, should we not fear that the number of these will increase unreasonably? And what is the extension of the field of civil service functions if not a restriction of the field of private activity, in other words a restriction of freedom itself? Is it reasonable to expect deputies who are engineers, customs officers, or members of the university staff to hand back to us the freedom to oversee major public works, the freedom to trade, and the freedom of education?”
From the Progressives’ point of view, these ideas seem to me to be too clear and obvious for it to be worth my while developing them. I would therefore like to address the Conservatives and examine with them whether public order is not as concerned with parliamentary reform as freedom itself, whether the principal cause of the instability they deplore and which rightly worries them is not the easy access to positions of power of those who control power.
What is the Chamber, as it is constituted at the present time? An arena in which the parties, or rather cliques, combat each other for public power. To lay siege to ministerial portfolios and to defend them, that is the sole business of parliamentary tactics.
A deputy comes to the Palais Bourbon. What is the attractive image that meets his gaze? It is power, flanked by its shining cortege of wealth, authority, influence, reputation, and consideration; I would be happy if these assets did not undermine his stoic virtue, but even if this man has no ambition, he has at least an idea which he wants to have accepted and it will not be long before he seeks advancement, if not in his own individual interest at least in the interest of his political beliefs. Our constitution has made power accessible to him and our parliamentary customs show him two avenues for achieving it. One is easy and regular: he just has to give his allegiance to a government and he will be rewarded with a good position for his pains. The other is steep and rough, but it leads higher and suits powerful ambitions; he must attack the government, place obstacles in its path, hinder its administration, decry its actions and make it unpopular, whip up the press and public opinion against it until at length, with the assistance of those who have hitched themselves to his star, he finally achieves a majority for a day and enters into the council of the crown as a victor.
But the conflict does not abate for all that; the roles merely change. He who was a defender the day before becomes an assailant in his turn. On leaving his position, he discovers the weapons that were used against him and takes control of them; it is his turn to make pompous speeches, seek popularity, paint a picture of France being shamefully propelled toward an abyss, revive in the depths of people’s souls the ancient love of freedom and national independence and mislead them if necessary, and finally turn all these powerful missiles against his enemy. For his enemy, the aggressor of yesterday, is now on the defensive. All he can do is to struggle painfully against constantly renewed attacks and abandon attention to business to devote himself wholeheartedly to parliamentary conflict. His fragile majority soon escapes him. To achieve it he did not bargain with promises; to retain it, he has to be able to avoid bargaining with demands. Little by little the cliques distance themselves and go to swell the ranks of the besieging coalition. In this way, as with the famous routs in our military celebrations, power is taken over and retaken perhaps up to twenty times in the space of ten years.
Is this order? Is this stability? And yet I challenge anyone to accuse me of having drawn a fanciful picture. These are facts, this is history, and even our constitutional history is nothing other than a narrative of conflicts like these.
And can it be otherwise? Our constitution can be summed up in these words: “Power is in the hands of deputies who know how to take hold of it. Those of them who are clever enough to seize the majority from the government will become ministers and will distribute all the high positions in the army, the treasury, the law, and the bench to their followers.”
Is this not indeed a species of organized war, anarchy, and disorder? In another article, I will examine how parliamentary reform might change this order of things.
I am, sir, your obedient servant
In a previous letter, I endeavored to point out the vice that is degrading our national representation. With regard to freedom, handing over positions to those who finance them, and with regard to order, handing over the reins of government to those who overturn it, these are concepts, as I have said, whose twin danger leaps to the eye. I would add that this line of reasoning is borne out by experience. If the limits of a journal allowed this, I would now tell the tale of our countless ministerial crises; with Le Moniteur in my hand, I would compare M. Thiers, the chairman of the council, with M. Thiers, the leader of the opposition; and M. Guizot, the instigator of the coalition, with M. Guizot, the minister of foreign affairs. We would see whether these assaults on ministerial portfolios, these formal sieges that we call questions to the government, reintroduced several times a year, are motivated by a love of the public good or a thirst for power. We would see whether or not this determination to overturn in order to rebuild retreats in the face of any contingency, whether it does not welcome auxiliaries to the point where a general conflagration becomes likely, and whether this is not provoked where necessary. We would finally see whether this constant struggle, not of opinions but of rival ambitions, is not overshadowed by risk, which, while weakening the country, causes it in the profoundest peace to be forever ready for war.
There are, however, several objections to parliamentary reform.
Ambition, it is said, is innate in the hearts of men, and reform will not uproot it.
Faith probably cannot destroy ambition, but it can destroy what gives it sustenance.
The members of general councils are sons of Adam just as the deputies are; why then does ambition not give rise to the same crises in these councils as it does in the Chamber? Solely because it finds nothing to feed on.
But if you introduce into the law that governs them an article with the following wording:
“If the prefect loses his majority in the General Council, he will be replaced by the leader of the opposition, who will distribute to his followers all the leading positions in the département, the headships of financial services, general and individual tax collecting, and seats on the bench and in the public prosecutor’s department. These new civil servants will continue to be members of the Council and will retain their positions until a new majority snatches these from them.”
I ask you, will a disposition like this not transform these deliberating bodies that are now so calm into hotbeds of intrigue and cliques? Will it not remove any spirit of continuity from the administration and any freedom of action from the prefect, and in sum all stability from the authority?
And what reason do we have for thinking that what would cause trouble in the sphere of the prefecture does not throw the governmental sphere into disarray? Is it because the stage is larger or because the passions whipped up by more powerful bait grow with more energy on it?
The objection having been voiced against reform that human ambition is an irremediable ill, reform is rejected because ambition in the Chamber is not even admissible.
Support for this reform, it is said, would be a condemnation of parliament; it would be a calumny pronounced against itself and would imply that there existed base passions in this Assembly that should not have access to it. In a word, it would be a law of suspects.
In the first place, however, I do not see that the fact that the law declares two functions incompatible by nature must sully those who occupy them. Mayors cannot be national guards, judges do not participate in juries, and nobody has heard it said that in these instances of incompatibility there is any form of personal discredit wished upon them by the law.
All that might be said is that the law takes account of the incurable and incontrovertible weaknesses in human nature.
And, to tell the truth, is the entire structure of the law anything other than a set of precautions taken against the weakness and perversity of mankind? We require guarantees from ministers and from the king, and the charter is merely a series of obstacles put in the path of possible encroachments and rivalries in the major offices of the state. And would society not be allowed to require the most rational of guarantees from its direct representatives?
It has to be agreed that parliamentary reform, as understood by the absolute prohibition for any civil servant to achieve national representation, presents two major disadvantages.
The first is that it restricts the rights of election and eligibility.
The second is that it lessens the consultative experience of the nation.
Would it not be dangerous in fact, at least in the current state of our legislative structure, to exclude magistrates, financiers, soldiers, and sailors from an assembly that is principally concerned with legislation, finance, and military and naval organization? Would a reform like this have any chance of being accepted?
This being so, does the problem consist not in setting out particular exclusions but in establishing general guarantees?
It may be formulated in these words:
“Placing the representatives of the nation in a situation in which they have no personal interest in giving their allegiance to a government or in overturning it.”
If it is true that a well-phrased question is halfway to being resolved, a law that satisfies this double requirement should not be difficult to find.
It is not in my brief to go further and I will end this by noting that M. de Sade is far from facing up to the problem. He does not seem to have even noticed it. What is he proposing? To forbid deputies from taking up civil service appointments . . . except for ministries, embassies, general departments, etc.
He thus accepts that high positions must continue to arouse the cupidity of the nation’s representatives, that they can continue to dispute the possession of power among themselves, even if the conflict reduces this power to shreds. But it is precisely in this that the danger lies. And can we embellish with the title of parliamentary reform a measure that, while it restricts the domain of a few minor ambitions, leaves the way open to ambitions that throw the world into disarray?
I am, sir, your obedient servant.
[vol. 7, p. 289. According to Paillottet, this
outline, as Bastiat describes it in the margin and
which survives as a fragment, is later than 1840.]
The July revolution has placed the soil of the country under a flag on which are emblazoned two words, liberty and order.
If we set aside certain completely eccentric theories, apocalypses of our modern luminaries, what forms the basis of common desires and general opinion is the longing for the simultaneous realization of these two goods, liberty and order. They include, in fact, everything that man must ask of government. The eccentric schools of which I was just speaking go much further, it is true. They require governments to provide riches for all, morality, education, well-being, happiness, and who knows what else? As if the government were itself anything other than a product of society and as if government, far from being able to give society wisdom and instruction, were not itself more or less wise and enlightened, in proportion to the virtue and enlightenment of society.
Be that as it may, the point on which the majority of men agree is this: allow any reform that extends liberty at the same time as it consolidates order; reject any innovation that compromises both one and the other of these benefits.
But what forms the greatest gulf between minds is the preference, or rather the preeminence, they give to either liberty or order. I have no need to say that I am not at all discussing the men who rally behind doctrines to satisfy their ambition. These make themselves the apostles of order or liberty, depending on whether they will gain or lose by a particular innovation. I am referring only to those minds that are calm, impartial, and which, after all, form public opinion. I am saying that what these minds have in common is that they all want liberty and order; they differ on one point, however: some concentrate more on liberty and others are concerned above all with order.
For this reason parliamentary debating chambers have centers, extreme rights and lefts, the liberals and the conservatives, the progressives and those who have been inaccurately labeled the “narrow-minded.”
We should note in passing that the mutual accusations between those conscientious men who, for the most part, fix their gaze on just one of the words of the July motto are really puerile. Among the friends of liberty, there are none who would agree to a change in the law if it were shown that this change would result in disorder in society, especially if this was permanent. On the other hand, within the party of order, there is no one so narrow-minded that he would not welcome a reform that favored the development of liberty if he were totally reassured that order would be maintained and all the more if he thought that it would also have the effect of rendering government even stronger, more stable, and more capable of fulfilling its mission and guaranteeing the security of both people and property.
Thus, if among the reforms on which the public mind has been so concentrated in the last few years, there had been one which might satisfy both these twin conditions whose manifest result was first to limit government to its genuine prerogatives, tearing from its hands everything it held by way of encroachments on public freedoms, and second to restore to this properly limited authority a stability, a permanence, a freedom of action, and a popularity that it does not have today, this reform, I am emboldened to say, might well be rejected by those who benefit from the political wrongs whose reversal is the issue, although it should be welcomed by conscientious men on all the benches of the House and, in the public arena, by all the sectors of opinion that these men represent.
I consider parliamentary reform to be constituted thus:
To know what liberty and order would have to gain or lose from this reform, we need to examine how they are affected by the current state of affairs.
Under our electoral dispensation, about a hundred and fifty to two hundred civil servants entered the legislative chamber, and this number may be increased still further. It remains to be seen what influence this will have on liberty.
What is more, this legal dispensation also means that deputies who are not civil servants and who, by virtue of their backgrounds or their commitments to the electors, cannot become such, by allying themselves to a government, may break into the circle of government through another route, that of opposition. We will ponder the result of this state of affairs in connection with the stability of government and the question of social order.
We will examine the objections made to the principle of conflicts of interest.
Lastly, we will endeavor to put forward the grounds of a proper legal arrangement, taking account of those objections which have some foundation. . . .
On the Influence on Liberty of the Eligibility of Deputies for Public Office
In the eyes of the class of men who call themselves liberals, who are far from believing that all the progress made by society toward liberty is made at the expense of public order, who, on the contrary, are convinced that nothing is more suited to strengthening peace, security, respect for property and rights, than those laws which conform to absolute justice, for this class of men, I say, the proposal which I have to substantiate here appears so obvious that it seems unnecessary to lay much stress on its demonstration.
What is, in fact, the basis of representative government? It is that the men who make up a people are not the property of a prince, a family, or a caste; they are their own masters. It is that the government has to be carried out, not in the interest of those who govern, but in the interest of those who are governed. It is that the taxpayers’ money should be spent for the benefit of the taxpayers and not for the benefit of the agents among whom this money is distributed. It is that the laws should be made by the mass who are subject to them and not by those who lay them down or who apply them.
It follows from this that this huge section of the nation which is governed has the right to keep an eye on the small section to whom government is entrusted, that it has the right to decide in what direction, within what limits, and at what price it wants to be governed, to stop government when it usurps prerogatives, either directly by rejecting those laws which shape these prerogatives or indirectly by refusing to make any payments to the agents by whom these pernicious prerogatives are exercised.
As the nation as a whole cannot exercise these rights, it has this done by its representatives. It chooses from within its ranks deputies to whom it entrusts this mission of control and supervision.
Does it not plainly follow that this control risks becoming totally ineffective if the electors choose as deputies the very men who administer, manage, and govern, that is to say, if power and control are placed in the same hands?
Our total tax burden exceeds 1.5 million and there are 34 million of us. We therefore pay an average of 45 francs each, or 225 francs for each family of five people. This is certainly exorbitant. How have we come to this in peacetime and under a regime in which we are supposed to hold all the purse strings? Heavens, the reason is simple; it is that if we, the taxpayers, are supposed to hold the purse strings, we do not genuinely hold them. We have them in our fingers for a moment in order to unfasten them very kindly and, once this has been done, we put them into the hands of those who draw on them. What is funny is that we are then astonished to find the purse lighter each day. Are we not like the cook who, as she went out, said to the cat, “Take good care of the buntings and, if the dog comes along, show him your claws.”
What I have said about money applies equally to liberty! To tell you the truth, and even though this seems a bit prosaic, money and liberty are just the same. Let us develop this idea . . .
Suppose I am the king. Suppose that, as I have been led by events to provide a constitution for my people, I nevertheless want to retain as much influence and power as possible, what should I do?
I would begin by saying, “Deputies will not be paid any fee.” And in order to have this article passed I would not hesitate to be sentimental, to vaunt the moral beauty of self-sacrifice, devotion, and sacrifice. However, in fact, I would understand perfectly that the electors could send only two classes of men to the Chamber, those who have a considerable fortune, as M. Guizot says, and these are always willing to ally themselves with the court, and then a host of adventurers incapable of resisting the allure of Parisian life, the dazzle of riches, positioned between their inevitable ruin and that of their family and an assured ascension to the upper realms of fortune and prestige. I am aware that a few exceptional natures would emerge triumphant from the test, but in the end, a disposition like this would enable me to hope at least for considerable influence over the shaping of majorities.
But how could I attract these deputies? Should I offer them money? But it should be acknowledged at once, to the credit of our country, that corruption in this form is not practicable at least on a wide scale—anyway, a civil list would not be sufficient for this. It is much cleverer and more amusing to have corruption paid for by the very people who suffer from it and to take from the pockets of the public what is needed to purchase the apostasy of its defenders. It will therefore suffice for a constitution to include these two strategies:
- The king decides on all appointments
- Deputies are eligible for all posts
I would have to be very clumsy or human nature of surpassing sophistication if, given these two lines in the charter, I were not master of the parliament.
Note, in fact, how slippery the step is for the deputy. It is not a question here of abject corruption, votes formally bought and sold. “You are skillful, M. Deputy; your speeches reveal a wide knowledge of diplomacy. France would be only too happy to have you represent her in Rome or Vienna.” “Sire, I have no ambition; what I like most of all is retirement, rest, and independence.” “Sir, one has a duty to one’s country.” “Sire, you are imposing on me the hardest of sacrifices.” “The whole nation will be grateful to you.”
Another fellow is a simple justice of the peace in his town and is content with this.
“Really, sir, your position is scarcely befitting to your legislative mandate. The procurator of the king who is now flattering you may be criticizing you tomorrow.” “Sire, I value my modest position; it was the sole ambition of the great Napoléon.” “You must, however, leave it. You must become a counsellor to the royal court.” “Sire, my interests will suffer; there is all the travel, expenses. . . .” “You have to know how to make sacrifices,” etc.
Sentimentality is all in vain; you have to have no knowledge of the human heart, to have never examined yourself sincerely, to have never followed the advice of the oracle: Nosce te ipsum, and to know nothing of the subtleties of passions to imagine that deputies, who are called upon to cut a certain figure in the world, on whom all eyes are fixed and of whom exceptional liberality is required, would constantly reject the means to provide themselves with comfort, wealth, influence, the wherewithal to raise and introduce their sons, all this by an opening carefully presented to them as honorable and meritorious. Do we need to spell out here the secret argument that in the depths of their heart dooms them to fall?
It is said that we should have confidence in those who govern. This position is puerile. If caution is not admissible, what good is representative government? Political writers of great talent, among them M. de Lamartine, have rejected parliamentary reform and the conflict-of-interest rule, on the pretext that France is a country of honor, generosity, and disinterestedness, such that it cannot be supposed that a deputy, qua deputy, would extend the authority invested in him as a civil servant or seek larger emoluments, that the conflict-of-interest rule would constitute a new law of suspicion, etc.
Oh really! Is there in our seven codes a single law which is not a law of suspicion? What is the Charter if not a whole system of barriers and obstacles to possible encroachments by the king, the peers, and ministers? Was the law on forced tenure made for the convenience of judges or in view of the dreadful consequences which their dependent position might have?
I must say I cannot accept that instead of scrupulously examining a measure we should repudiate it with flowery words and sonorous sentences which are, in any case, in flagrant contradiction of the entire set of acts constituting our private lives. I would very much like to know what M. de Lamartine would say to his steward if this man tried to talk this kind of language to him: “I have brought you the accounts of my stewardship but bad faith is not presumed. Consequently, I hope that you will leave me to check the accounts on my own and to have them checked over by my son.”
You really need to close your eyes deliberately to the light, and refuse to see the human heart and the motives for our actions, such as they are, to say that since honor, delicacy, and virtue should always be presumed, it makes no difference if the control over government is assumed by government itself. It would be much simpler to eliminate the control. If you are so confident, take this confidence to the limit. This would still be a good calculation since, and I say this with the utmost sincerity, we would certainly be less misled by men who were fully responsible for their acts than if they were able to say to us, “You had the right to stop me and you let me continue. I am not the really guilty person.”
Now I ask whether, once the majority has achieved power, not by free competition or the reasoned consent of the deputies, but because the latter has been successively enrolled in the ranks of government, can one still say sincerely that we have a representative government?
Imagine a particular law, running against the interests and ideas of those it is intended to govern. They are called upon to declare through the mediation of their representatives whether they accept or reject it. Obviously they will reject it if these representatives represent in fact those whom the law is intended to govern. But if they represent those who are proposing it, supporting it, and who are called upon to execute it, it will be accepted without difficulty. Is this representative government?
Letter to an Ecclesiastic
Mugron, 28 March 1848
[vol. 7, p. 351. According to Paillottet, this
letter was published in L’Économiste belge,
dated 14 January 1860.]
Sir and Honorable Fellow Countryman,
When I arrived from Bayonne, I found your letter dated the 22nd in which you tell me that your vote in my favor will be subject to an issue you are now raising with me. At the same time I am put to the same test in the Maransin.
I would be a very odd representative if I entered the National Assembly after rejecting, indeed because I had in fact rejected, freedom of trade and religion. The only remaining thing I would need to do to win a few other votes is to disavow freedom of teaching. In any case, my dear sir, I thank you for believing in the sincerity of my answer. You want to know my opinion on the emoluments given to the clergy; I must not disguise my thoughts even to gain votes I might legitimately be proud of.
It is true that I have written that each person should contribute freely to support the religion he professes. I have expressed this opinion and I will support it as a political writer and as a legislator, although not in any spirit of obstinacy, until good reasons make me change my mind. As I have said in my statement of principles/election manifesto, my ideal is universal justice. The relations between the church and the state do not appear to me to be currently based on justice: on the one hand Catholics are forced to pay the pastoral stipends to the Protestant and Jewish religions (before long you will perhaps be paying Abbé Chatel, and that will upset a few sensibilities); on the other hand, the state takes advantage of whatever part of your budget it controls to intervene in the affairs of the clergy and to exercise an influence to which I am opposed. It plays a part in appointing bishops, canons, and parish priests, though of course the Republic can take this sort of direction, even if fetters like this put some of us out of sorts. It seems to me, for instance, contrary to freedom and likely to increase the number of points of conflict between the temporal and spiritual powers.
I believe, furthermore, in a future merger of all the Christian religions or, putting it another way, in the absorption of the dissenting sects by Catholicism. For this to happen, however, the churches must not be political institutions. It is undeniable that the roles attributed to Victoria in the Anglican Church and to Nicholas in the Russian Orthodox Church are a serious obstacle to the reuniting of the entire flock under a single shepherd.
As for the objection arising from the situation in which thirty thousand priests would be placed by a measure such as the elimination of their payments by the state, you are arguing, I believe, on the assumption that this step would be taken violently and not in a spirit of charity. As I see it, it implies the total independence of the clergy and, moreover, in decreeing this, we would have to take account of the treaty concluded in ’89, one which you will remember.
I would need a whole volume to develop my thesis, but, after having expressed my views so frankly and in a way intended to preserve all my independence as a legislator and political writer, I hope that you will not cast doubt upon the sincerity of what remains for me to tell you.
I believe that the reform which I am discussing with you must and will be a subject for discussion rather than a matter for legislation, for many years and perhaps for many generations to come. The forthcoming National Assembly will have the straightforward mission of conciliating minds and reassuring consciences, and I do not think it will want to raise and even less to resolve the question you are putting to me in any way that will offend public opinion.
Take note, in fact, that even if my opinion is correct, it is held only by a very small number of men. If it triumphed now in the sphere of legislation, this would be so only at the price of alarming and arousing the opposition of the vast majority of the nation. It is, therefore, for those who share my views a belief to be defended and propagated and not a measure amenable to immediate realization.
I differ from many others in that I do not think I am infallible. I am so struck by the native infirmity of individual reason that I neither seek nor will ever seek to impose my ideas. I set them out and develop them. As to their realization, I wait for public reason to pronounce its verdict. If they are right, their time will certainly come; if they are wrong, they will die before I do. I have always thought that no reform can be considered mature, with deep roots, and therefore useful, unless a lengthy debate has brought mass public opinion round to it.
It is on this principle that I have acted with regard to free trade. I have not addressed myself to those in power but to the general public and I have striven to bring it round to my opinion. I would consider free trade a lamentable gift if it were decreed before a reasoning public had called for it. I swear to you on my honor that if I had left the barricades as a member of the provisional government, with an unlimited dictatorship, I would not have taken advantage of it, as did Louis Blanc, to impose my personal views on my fellow citizens. The reason for this is simple: in my view, a reform introduced in this way, by surprise, has no solid foundation and will fall at the first test. This is also true for the question you put to me. If it depended on me, I would not accomplish the separation of the church and state violently, not because this separation does not seem to me to be a good thing in itself, but because public opinion, which is the queen of the world according to Pascal, still rejects it. This is the opinion that needs to be won over. On this question and on a few others, it will cost me nothing to remain, perhaps for the rest of my life, in an obscure minority. The day will come, I believe, when the clergy itself will feel the need to regain its independence through a new agreement with the state.
In the meantime, I hope that my opinion, which may be considered purely speculative and which in any case is far from being hostile to religion, will not lose me the honor of your vote. If, however, you feel obliged to withdraw it from me, I will in no sense regret that I have replied sincerely to you.
I remain your devoted fellow
[vol. 7, p. 355]
I always thought that the religious question would continue to move the world. The legitimate religions of today, however, retain too much of the spirit and methods of exploitation to be reconciled with the inevitable progress of enlightenment. On the other hand, corrupt religious practice will put up a long and terrible resistance, being based on, nay confused with, the greatest need of humanity, that is to say with religious morality.
It appears, therefore, that humanity has not done with this sad pendulum swing which has filled the pages of history. On the one hand religious abuse is attacked, and in the heat of the conflict people are led on to dislodging religion itself. On the other hand, people stand as the champions of religion, and in the zeal of defense abuses are justified.
This long tearing apart was decided upon on the day a man used God to make another man his intellectual slave, the day one man said to another, “I am the minister of God. He has given me total power over you, your soul, your body, and your heart.”
But, leaving aside these general reflections, I want to draw your attention to two facts referred to by the newspapers of today which prove how far from resolution are the problems surrounding the unity or separation of the spiritual and the temporal.
It is said that it is this complete separation which will solve all the difficulties. Those who put forward this assertion should begin by proving that the spiritual and the temporal can follow independent destinies and that the master of the spiritual is not the master of all.
Be that as it may, here are the two facts, or perhaps there is only one fact.
His Lordship, the Bishop of Langres, having been chosen by the electors of the département of —— to represent them, did not think he had to regard this election as sufficient, or even rely on his own decision. He has a superior who is neither French nor in France and, it should be said, who is at the same time a foreign king. It is to this superior that His Lordship the Bishop of Langres refers. He says to him, “I promise you full and gentle obedience; will I do well to accept?” His spiritual superior (who is at the same time a temporal king) replies, “The state of religion and the church is so alarming that your services may be more useful on the political stage than in the midst of your flock.”
At this, His Lordship of Langres lets it be known to his electors that he accepts their mandate. As a bishop he is obliged to leave them, but they will receive in compensation an apostolic blessing. Thus all was arranged.
Now, I ask you, is it to defend religious dogmas that the pope confirmed the election of ——? Is his Lordship of Langres going to the Chamber to fight heresies? No, he is going there to pass civil laws and to occupy himself exclusively with temporal matters.
What I want to point out here is that we have fifty thousand people in France, all highly influential in character, who have sworn total and gentle obedience to their spiritual leader, who is at the same time a foreign king, and that the spiritual and temporal are so intertwined that these fifty thousand men can do nothing even as citizens without consulting this foreign king whose decisions are unquestionable.
We would shudder if someone said to us, “We are going to endow a king, whether Louis-Philippe, Henri V, Bonaparte, or Leopold, with spiritual power.” We would think that this might establish a boundless despotism. However, whether you add spiritual power to temporal power or superimpose one upon the other, is it not the same thing? How is it that we would not consider without horror the usurpation of the government of souls by the civil authorities while we find quite natural the usurpation of civil government by priestly authority?
After all, His Holiness Pius IX is not the only man in Europe in whom is vested this twin authority. Nicholas is both tsar and pope and Victoria is queen and female pope.
Let us suppose that a Frenchman professing the Anglican faith is elected as a representative. Supposing that he writes and has published in the newspapers a letter that goes as follows:
I owe you nothing as queen, but as you are placed at the head of my religion, I owe you my total and gentle obedience. Please would you let me know, after consulting your government, if it is in the interests of the state and the Church of England for me to be a legislator in France.
Let us suppose that Victoria replies and has her reply published as follows:
My government is of the opinion that you should accept the office of deputy. Through this you would be able to render great service directly to my spiritual power and, consequently, indirectly to my temporal power, for it is very clear that each of these serves the other.
I ask you, could this man be considered a loyal and sincere representative of France? . . .
On the Separation of the Temporal and Spiritual Domains (an unpublished outline)
[vol. 7, p. 357. According to Paillottet,
this extract from one of Bastiat’s notebooks
was probably written in 1849.]
“Is there a possible solution to the affairs of Rome?” “Yes.” “What is it?” “If we met a pope who says, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ ” “Do you think that would be the solution to the Roman question?” “Yes, and to the Catholic question and to the religious question.”
If in 1847 someone had proposed to abolish the Charter and invest Louis-Philippe with absolute power, there would have been a general outcry against such a proposal.
If, in addition, someone had proposed to give Louis-Philippe spiritual power in addition to temporal power, the proposal would not have been slain by a mere outcry but by the utter disdain it would provoke.
Why? Because we consider that the right to govern men’s acts is already great enough and that we should not add to it that of dictating to their consciences.
What? Is giving spiritual power to a man with temporal power really so very different from giving him who is the spiritual leader temporal power? And is not the result absolutely the same?
We would rather let ourselves be chopped into pieces than let such a combination be imposed on us, and yet we impose it on others!
“But, see here, this state of things that you are criticizing has been going on for centuries!”
“That is true, but it ended by inducing the Romans to revolt.”
“Do not speak to me of the Romans. They are brigands, assassins, degenerate, cowardly, without virtue, good faith, or enlightenment, and I do not see how you can take their side against the Holy Father.”
“And I, for my part, cannot understand how you can side with an institution that has made a people become what you have described.”
The world is full of honest people who would like to be Catholic and who cannot. Alas! They scarcely dare to appear to be.
Not being allowed to be Catholic, they are nothing. They have a root of faith within their heart, but they do not have faith. They aspire to a religion but don’t have a religion.
What is worse is that this desertion is growing day by day. It pushes everyone out of the church, beginning with the most enlightened.
In this way, faith is dying out with nothing to replace it and the very people who, for political reasons or because they are terrified of the future, defend religion, have no religion. To any man whom I hear declaiming in favor of Catholicism, I ask this question: “Do you go to confession?” And he bows his head.
Of course, this is a situation that is not natural.
What is the reason for it?
I will tell you frankly, in my opinion it is entirely due to the union of both fields of power in the same person.
From the moment the clergy has political power, religion becomes a political instrument for it. The clergy no longer serves religion; it is religion that serves the clergy.
And soon the country will be covered with institutions whose aim, religious in appearance, is in fact material interest.
And religion is profaned.
And no one wants to play the ridiculous role of letting himself be exploited right to the depths of his conscience.
And the people reject what truth there is in religion along with the errors mingled in with it.
And then the time comes when priests cry in vain, “Be devout!”; people do not even want to be pious.
Let us suppose that the two powers were separate.
Religion would then not be able to procure any political advantage.
The clergy would then not need to overload it with a host of rites and ceremonies likely to stifle reason.
And each person would feel the root of faith, which never dries up completely, sprout in the depths of his heart.
And since religious forms would no longer be degrading, priests would not have to struggle against human respect.
And the merger of all the Christian sects into one communion would encounter no obstacles.
And the history of humanity would present no finer revolution.
But the priesthood would be the instrument of religion; religion would not be the instrument of the priesthood.
That says it all.
One of the greatest needs of man is the need for a moral code. As a father, husband, master, and citizen, man feels that he has no guarantee if a moral code does not form a brake for his fellow men.
Because this need is generally felt, there are always people inclined to satisfy it.
At the origin of each society, the moral code was encapsulated in a religion. The reason for this is simple. The moral code, in the correct sense of the term, is something which one is obliged to reason over; people have the right to put their maxims into quarantine. In the meantime, the world ——. Religion appeals to people most in a hurry. It speaks with authority. It does not advise, it imposes. “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal.” “Why?” “I have the right to say it,” replies religion, “and I have the right not to say it, because I speak in the name of God, who neither makes mistakes nor is mistaken.”
The basis of religion is therefore the moral code. In addition it has dogmas, facts, a history, ceremonies, and finally ministers.
Within the bosom of the people, ministers of religion are very influential men. Independently of the respect they attract as interpreters of the will of God, they are, in addition, the distributors of one of the things of which man has the greatest need, a moral code. . . .
Are things in religion not the same as in political economy? And are we not mistaken in seeking the solution in a unity that is false, imposed, intolerant, persecuting, socialist, and in addition incapable of producing its right to domination and its proofs of truth?
Unity in all things is the supreme consummation, the point toward which the human spirit gravitates and will eternally gravitate, without ever attaining it. If it were to be achieved in humanity, it would be only at the end of all spontaneous social evolution.
It is variety and diversity which are at the beginning, the origin, and the point of departure of humanity, for the diversity of opinions must be all the greater if the treasure of truths acquired is smaller and the spirit of man has reached agreement, through science, on a smaller number of points. . . .
The Three Pieces of Advice
[vol. 7, p. 361. According to Paillottet, this
outline was published in L’Économiste belge,
3 June 1860. Based on internal evidence in the
text, it was probably written in early 1850.]
“When the country is in danger, each individual owes it the tribute of what he may have acquired of enlightenment and experience.”
This is how every giver of advice begins. A tax on advice! Is there any tax more abundant or more spontaneous?
I also wish to pay this tax, as well as all the others, in order not to be in debt in any way to my country.
Although the millions and millions of pieces of advice it receives differ from one another, they do have a point in common. Each has the pretension of saving society and those who give advice limit themselves to saying, “This is my approach; everything would be marvelous if everyone thought as I do.” All this means that if we all agreed, we would come to an agreement.
“Let us all enter a phalanstery,” says one, “and all our disputes will stop.” “That’s all very well, but 9,999 out of 10,000 Frenchmen have a horror of phalansteries.” “Let us organize a social workshop in unanimous concert,” says another, “and society will run like clockwork.” “Doubtless, but those whom we are aiming at would sooner go to jail.” “Let us bow down to the constitution,” cries a third; “even if it is bad, if everyone carries it out it will be good.” There is no truer word and I believe that this is the wisest and most plausible solution. But how do we persuade those who, although they detest the constitution, submit to it when anarchy threatens them and threaten it as soon as order raises their morale?
Some people say, “Evil arises as a result of the extinction of faith. Let us be good Catholics and social wounds will heal over.” “You say this because you yourself are a Catholic . . . and yet. But what do we do to make those who are not become Catholic?”
Others, depending on their tastes, will repeat, “Let us all unite with the republic!” “Let us all rally to the monarchy!” “Let us all by common accord return to the past!” “Let us all go forward with courage toward the future!”
In the end, everyone follows his own advice, nothing is more natural, and proclaims that the world will be saved if it is followed, and nothing is more certain.
But none of these wins the day nor can any of them triumph, for all these efforts cancel each other out and the status quo remains.
Among these myriads of doctrines, there is a single one—I do not need to say that it is mine—which would have the right to generate common agreement. Why is it the only one with this privilege? Because it is the doctrine of liberty, because it is tolerant and just toward all the others. Found a phalanstery if that is what you want, form a group in a social workshop if that pleases you, discuss the constitution as much as you want, demonstrate your preference for the republic or monarchy openly, go to confession if your heart so dictates, in a word make use of all the rights of the individual; provided that you acknowledge these same rights in others, I will be satisfied and, such is my conviction, society, in order to be just, ordered, and progressive, asks nothing else of you.
But I do not presume now to develop this approach which ought, in my view, be adopted as soon as it is put forward. Is there anything more reasonable? We cannot agree on the doctrines, well then, let each of us retain and put forward our own and agree to banish all oppression and violence from among us.
Adopting the point of view that facts are as they are and the situation is as events have made it, let us suppose, as I must, that I am addressing people who above all want France to be at peace and happy. In which case I would like to issue three pieces of practical advice, one to the president of the Republic, the second to the majority in the Chamber, and the third to the minority.
I would like the president of the Republic to go before the National Assembly and make the following solemn speech:
The greatest plague at the present time in our country is the uncertainty of the future. Insofar as this uncertainty may concern my projects and my views, my duty is to eliminate it and this is also my wish.
People ask, “What will happen in two years’ time? Before my country, under the eye of God, and by the name I carry, I swear that on —— May 1852, I will relinquish the chair of president.
I have received a mandate from the people by virtue of the constitution. I will hand this mandate back to the people in accordance with the constitution.
There are some who say, “But what if the people choose you again?” To this I reply, “The people will not do me the injury of electing me against my wishes, and if a few citizens forget their duty to this extent, I will in advance consider null and void the votes that bear my name at the next election.”
Others, considering themselves to be much wiser, think that my presidency can be prolonged by changing the constitution in accordance with the forms it has itself established.
It is not up to me to impose limits on the legal exercise of the rights of the Assembly. However, if it is the mistress of its regular resolutions, I am master of mine, and I formally declare that, should the constitution be modified, my first presidency would not immediately be followed by a second.
I have thought about this and this is the basis of my opinion:
The rule governing our action is contained in these words, France before all. What ails France? Uncertainty. If this is the case, citizens, is calling everything into question a way of removing uncertainty? Good God! The constitution is just one year old and already you would hurl this burning question, do we need to draw up a new constitution? If your reply is negative, will the passions outside be calmed? If it is affirmative, another constitution will need to be convoked, the foundations of our national existence will once more be disturbed, we will rush headlong into a new unknown and, in a few months, undergo three general elections.
This extreme option appears to me to be the height of folly. I have no right to oppose it other than by declaring in the most decisive manner that it will not profit my followers, since, I repeat, I will not accept the presidency in whatever form or in whatever manner it happens to me.
This is my first resolution. I have taken it out of duty; I proclaim it with joy since it may contribute to the tranquillity of our country. I will be sufficiently rewarded if it provides me with a successor who is an honest republican who brings to the first function of the state neither bitterness nor utopia nor commitment to the political parties.
I now have a second resolution to put before you. Through the will of the people I must carry out executive power for two years more.
I understand the meaning of the words executive power and I am resolved to restrict myself to it absolutely.
The nation has handed down two delegations. On its representatives it has conferred the right to make laws. To me, it has entrusted the mission of having them executed.
Representatives, make the laws you consider to be the best, the most just, and the most useful to the country. Whatever they are, I will carry them out to the letter.
If they are good, their execution will prove this; if they are bad, their execution will reveal their faults and you will reform them. I have not the right and do not accept the responsibility of judging them.
I say all this in accordance with the faculty attributed to me by Article —— of the constitution.
I will execute your decrees, therefore, without distinction. There are some, however, to which I consider myself to be bound, by national wish, to give particular attention. These concern the repression of misdemeanors and crimes, order in the streets, respect for persons and property, using this word property in its widest meaning, which includes both the free exercise of faculties and labor and the peaceful enjoyment of acquired wealth.
So, representatives, make laws. Let citizens discuss all the political and social questions in meetings and in the newspapers. But let no one disturb the order reigning in the city, peace within families, and the security of industry. At the first sign of revolt or uprising, I will be there. I will be there together with all good citizens and with the true republicans. I will be there with the brave Republican Guard and with our admirable army.
Some people say, “Can we count on the zeal of the National Guard and on the loyalty of the army?”
Yes, in the path I have just traced we can count on them. I trust them as I trust myself, and no one has the right to insult our armed forces by believing that they would take sides with the disturbers of public peace.
I wish, and I have the right to wish, since the people have given me this express mission, and my will in this is the same as theirs, I wish order and security to be respected everywhere. I want this and it shall be so. I am surrounded by loyal soldiers and tested officers. I have on my side force, the law and public common sense, and if I did not fear to wound the just susceptibilities of those of whose assistance I am assured by appearing to doubt them, I would say that even defection would not make me hesitate. Legal order will reign, if it costs me the presidency and my life.
This, citizens, is my second resolution. And here is the third.
I wonder what is the cause of these incessant and passionate conflicts between the nation and the government it gave itself.
Perhaps it should be attributed to the ingrained habit of opposition. Combating power is to give oneself a role considered to be heroic because in the past it might have been glorious and dangerous. I know that there is no other remedy for this than time. But, as these perpetual conflicts and the language of hate and exaggeration that they generate are one of the great plagues of our Republic, I have had to examine whether they had causes other than irrational tradition, in order to eliminate any cause over which I had any power.
I sincerely believe that the legislative and executive powers mix up and confuse their roles too much.
I am resolved to limit myself to mine, which is to see that the laws you have voted are executed. In this way, I would have only a restricted responsibility, even in the eyes of the most susceptible. If the nation is badly governed, they will not be able to blame me, provided that I execute the laws. The government and I will be blameless in the debates in the tribune and in the press.
I will choose my ministers outside the Assembly. In this way there will be a logical separation between the two powers. In this way, I will put an end to the alliances and portfolio wars within the Chamber which are so disastrous to the country.
My ministers will be my direct agents. They will come to the Assembly only when they are called, in order to answer questions asked in advance by means of regular messages.
In this way, you will be perfectly free and enjoy perfectly impartial conditions in which to draft laws. My government will not exercise any influence on you in this respect. For your part, you will have none over their execution. You will doubtless have to check them, but their execution as such is my responsibility.
This being so, citizens, is it possible to imagine a collision? Would you not have the greatest interest in seeing that only good laws result from your deliberations? Could I have any other interest than ensuring their proper execution?
In two years the nation will be called upon to elect another president. Its choice will doubtless fall upon the most worthy, and we will not fear any attack on freedom and the laws from him. In any case, I will have the satisfaction of leaving him precedents that will bind him. When the presidency is not set on the name of Napoléon, on the person elected by seven million votes, is there anyone in France who is able to dream of a coup d’état in his favor and aspire to empire?
Let us therefore banish vain fears. We will live through a first, second, and third presidency free from danger. . . .
Glossary of Persons
Abd el-Kader (1808-83). Algerian poet, diplomat, and soldier who directed the revolt against the French from 1832. He gave himself up in 1847, was imprisoned in France, and was freed in 1852.
Affre, Romain. Close friend of Bastiat’s and son-in-law of Mme Marsan (Marie-Julienne Badbedat).
Alfieri, Vittorio (1749-1803). Italian playwright who also wrote a short treatise, De la tyrannie (1802).
Anisson-Duperron, Alexandre (1776-1852). French politician and director of the Royal Printing House.
Arago, François (1786-1853). French astronomer and physicist. Elected deputy from 1830 to 1852. In 1848 he was a member of the executive commission and the provisional government.
Arnault, Lucien (1787-1863). Diplomat and civil servant during the First Empire; the restoration put an end to his career. He later became a playwright, writing several tragedies, but is largely forgotten today. He was appointed a prefect during the July Monarchy (1830-48).
Arrivabene, Giovanni, count (1787-1881). Italian aristocrat. He was forced to flee the Piedmont revolution of 1821 and was condemned to death in absentia for his role in the uprising. He settled in Belgium and wrote extensively on the conditions of the working class in such books as Sur la condition des laboureurs et des ouvriers belges (1845). He also translated works by James Mill and Nassau Senior into French.
Ashworth, Henry. Head of a successful manufacturing family in Bolton and one of Richard Cobden’s closest personal friends.
Augier, Émile (1820-84). Poet and novelist.
Badbedat, Marie-Julienne (Mme Marsan) [dates unknown]. The only known woman with whom Bastiat fell in love. There was gossip that they had had an affair, but Bastiat denied it very strongly and indignantly.
Baines, Edward (1774-1848). A leading radical journalist who owned the Leeds Mercury newspaper in England. He was active in numerous reform issues, such as antislavery, Catholic emancipation, the disestablishment of the Church of England, and the removal of the Corn Laws. Although he was a close ally of Richard Cobden over the Corn Laws, he split with him over the question of compulsory education. Baines was a strict voluntaryist on the matter.
Barbeyrac, Jean (1674-1744). French eighteenth-century writer on natural law; he also annotated and translated works by Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, which were much used by French jurists and lawyers.
Bastiat, Justine. Frédéric’s aunt. She raised him after his parents’ death and was responsible for ensuring that he received an excellent education.
Bastide, Jules (1800-1879). French minister of foreign affairs and editor of the newspaper Le National.
Benoist d’Azy, Paul (1824-98). Industrialist in the metallurgical field who favored protectionism.
Béranger, Pierre-Jean (1780-1857). French poet and author of patriotic and liberal songs.
Berryer, Pierre Antoine (1790-1868). French lawyer and liberal politician.
Bertin, Edouard (1797-1871). Artist. Son of François Bertin, founder of Le Journal des débats. He took over the paper after the death of his brother.
Billault, Adolphe (1805-63). Lawyer, mayor of Nantes, France. Deputy and twice minister under Napoléon III.
Blaise, Adolphe Gustave (1811-86). A regular contributor to Le Journal des économistes and other periodicals. With Joseph Garnier he edited a series of lectures by Blanqui, Cours d’économie industrielle (1837-39), which Blanqui had given at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.
Blanc, Louis (1811-82). French journalist and historian active in the socialist movement. Blanc founded the journal Revue du progrès, publishing articles that later became the influential pamphlet Organisation du travail (1840). During the 1848 revolution he became a member of the temporary government, promoted the national workshops, and debated Adolphe Thiers on the merits of the right to work in Le Socialisme; droit au travail, réponse à M. Thiers (1848).
Blanqui, Jérôme Adolphe (1798-1854). Liberal economist and brother of the revolutionary socialist Auguste Blanqui. Blanqui became director of the prestigious École supérieure de commerce de Paris and succeeded Jean-Baptiste Say to the chair of political economy at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. He was elected deputy, representing the Gironde from 1846 to 1848. Among Blanqui’s many works on political economy and sociology are the Encyclopédie du commerçant (1839-41), Précis élementaire d’économie politique (1842), and Les Classes ouvrières en France (1848).
Bonaparte, Louis-Napoléon (1808-73). Nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte, he was raised in Italy and became active in liberal Carbonari circles. Louis-Napoléon returned to France in 1836 and 1840 to head the Bonapartist groups seeking to install him on the throne. On both occasions he was unsuccessful. In 1848 he was elected president of the Second Republic. In 1851 he dissolved the Assembly and won a plebiscite that made him emperor of the Second Empire. Louis-Napoléon was popular for his economic reforms, which were a mixture of popularism and liberalism. A free-trade treaty with England was signed in 1860 during his reign by Cobden and Chevalier. A socialist uprising in 1870 and a disastrous war with Prussia in 1871 led to the ignominious collapse of his regime.
Boyer-Fonfrède, Henri (1788-1841). Liberal publicist, economic journalist, and supporter of the July Monarchy. He founded the L’Indicateur and wrote Questions d’économie politique (1846).
Bright, John (1811-89). Manufacturer from Lancashire and leading member of the Anti-Corn Law League. Elected to the Commons in 1843, he pleaded for the equality of religions under the law, criticized the privileges of the Church of England, supported the separation of church and state, and asked for the right for Jews and atheists to swear a non-Christian oath and to be allowed to be elected to Parliament. Later, in 1869, he became minister of the Board of Trade in the Gladstone Cabinet.
Broglie, Victor, duc de (1785-1870). Prime minister in 1835 and 1836 and son of an aristocrat guillotined during the Revolution. He negotiated an agreement with Britain to abolish slavery and another with the United States to compensate the United States for losses during Napoléon’s continental blockade.
Buffet, Louis Joseph (1818-98). Lawyer, deputy, and minister of agriculture and commerce from December 1848 to October 1849.
Bugeaud, Thomas, marquess de Piconnerie, duc d’Isly (1784-1849). Governor of Algeria, marshall of France, and deputy.
Buloz, François (1802-77). Editor of La Revue des deux mondes, which covered arts, literature, politics, and society.
Bulwer, Henry (1801-72). British ambassador to Spain 1843-48.
Bursotti, Giovanni [dates unknown]. Italian economist and author of Biblioteca di commercio (1841-42) and Esposizione della tariffa doganale per lo regno delle Due Sicilie (1854).
Cabet, Etienne (1788-1856). Lawyer, historian, journalist, and author of the book Voyage in Icarie, in which he expounded communist theories tinged with spiritualism. He left for the United States in February 1848, where he tried without success to found a communist community, first in Texas, then in Illinois. He came back to France in 1851 but in 1852 returned to the United States, where he spent the rest of his life.
Calmètes, Victor-Adrien (1800-1871). Born in Spain of French parents, he established a friendship with Bastiat at the Sorèze School. After Sorèze, he practiced law. In 1827 he joined the society Aide toi, le ciel t’aidera (“help yourself, heaven will help you”), led by Adolphe Thiers. Calmètes became a judge in Montpellier in 1830 and later president of the court. He was elected a general councillor in 1840 and deputy in 1869.
Canning, George (1770-1827). British politician who inspired a group of young Tory members of Parliament eager for reforms (the Canningites).
Carey, Henry C. (1793-1879). American economist who argued that national economic development should be promoted by extensive government subsidies and high tariff protection. The proofs of his book The Harmony of Interests, Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Commercial (1851) were sent to Bastiat in November 1850, before the book appeared in print. After the publication of Bastiat’s Economic Harmonies (1851), Carey accused him of plagiarism; and a bitter debate in Le Journal des économistes ensued.
Castagnède [first name and dates unknown]. A local notable and colleague of Bastiat in the General Council.
Caussidière, Marc (1801-61). Deputy and former worker, he was active in the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. He was accused, with Louis Blanc, of being an agitator in the “conspiracy” of 15 May.
Cavaignac, Eugène (1802-57). French general, deputy, minister of war, head of the executive. He crushed the workers’ uprising of June 1848. He was a candidate in the presidential election of 10 December 1848 but obtained only 1,448,000 votes against 5,434,000 for Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte.
Changarnier, Nicolas Anne Theodule (1793-1877). French general who had a meteoric rise in the French army, with successes in various military campaigns in North Africa. During the revolution he assisted the provisional government in restoring order in Paris, was elected to the General Assembly to represent the Seine département, and was placed in command of the National Guard in Paris. For his opposition to Louis-Napoléon he was arrested and banished.
Chantelauze, V. (1787-1850). Magistrate, deputy, and minister of justice during part of the last government of Charles X. He prepared the ordinances that triggered the three revolutionary days of July 1830 and the proclamation of Louis-Philippe (duc d’Orléans) as “king of the French.”
Charles Albert (1798-1849). King of Sardinia (1831-49).
Chateaubriand, François René, vicomte de (1768-1848). Novelist, philosopher, and supporter of Charles X. Minister of foreign affairs from December 1822 to June 1824. Defender of freedom of the press and Greek independence, Chateaubriand refused to take the oath to King Louis-Philippe after 1830. He spent his retirement writing Mémoires d’outre-tombe (1849-50).
Chatel, Ferdinand (1795-1857). Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1821, he served as a military chaplain. Chatel professed liberal and Gallican ideas, which led to his exclusion from the church. In 1830 he founded the French Catholic Church, a dissident church that adopted French for the liturgy and eliminated confession, fasting, and celibacy for priests. The church was closed by the police in 1842.
Chénier, André (1762-94). French poet and revolutionary. He was guillotined for protesting the excesses of the Terror.
Cheuvreux, Hortense (née Girard) (1808-93). Married Casimir Cheuvreux, a wealthy merchant, in 1826. M. and Mme Cheuvreux and their daughter Louise became good friends of Bastiat’s. In 1877 Mme Cheuvreux published Bastiat’s letters to her family in Lettres d’un habitant des Landes. (The sister of Casimir, Anne Cheuvreaux, had married Jean-Baptiste Say’s son Horace in 1822, thus making the Cheuvreaux family part of the Say family.)
Cheuvreux, Louise. Daughter of Casimir and Hortense Cheuvreux.
Chevalier, Michel (1806-87). Liberal economist and alumnus of the École polytechnique. Minister of Napoléon III. Initially a Saint-Simonist, he was imprisoned for two years (1832-33) in France. After a trip to the United States, he published Lettres sur l’Amérique du Nord (1836), Histoire et description des voies de communications aux États-Unis et des travaux d’art qui en dependent (1840-41), and Cours d’économie politique (1845-55). He was appointed to the chair of political economy at the Collège de France in 1840 and became senator in 1860. An admirer of Bastiat and Cobden, Chevalier played a decisive role in the 1860 treaty on free trade between France and England (Chevalier was the signatory for France, and Cobden the signatory for England).
Clarkson, Thomas (1760-1846). With William Wilberforce he was one of the leading figures in the campaign to abolish the slave trade (1807) and slavery itself (1833).
Clément, Ambroise (1805-86). Economist and secretary to the mayor of Saint-Étienne for many years. Clément was able to travel to Paris frequently to participate in political economy circles. In the mid-1840s he began writing on economic matters and so impressed the publisher Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin that the latter asked him to assume the task of directing the publication of the important and influential Dictionnaire de l’économie politique in 1850. Clément was a member of the Société d’économie politique from 1848, was a regular writer and reviewer for Le Journal des économistes, and was made a corresponding member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1872. He wrote the following works: Recherches sur les causes de l’indigence (1846), Des nouvelles idées de réforme industrielle et en particulier du projet d’organisation du travail de M. Louis Blanc (1846), and La Crise économique et sociale en France et en Europe (1886), as well as an early review of Bastiat’s Economic Harmonies for Le Journal des économistes (1850), in which he praised Bastiat’s style but criticized his position on population and the theory of value.
Cobden, Richard (1804-65). Founder of the Anti-Corn Law League. Born into a poor farmer’s family in Sussex, he was trained by an uncle to be a clerk in his warehouse. At twenty-one, he became a traveling salesman and was so successful that he was able to set up his own business by acquiring a factory making printed cloth. Thanks to his vision of the market and his sense of organization, his company became very prosperous. Nevertheless, at the age of thirty, he left the management of the company to his brother in order to travel. He wrote influential articles in which he defended two great causes: pacifism, in the form of nonintervention in foreign affairs; and free exchange. From 1839 he devoted himself exclusively to the Anti-Corn Law League and was elected member of Parliament for Stockport in 1841. Toward the end of the 1850s, he was asked by the government to negotiate a free-trade treaty with France; his French counterpart was Michel Chevalier (see above).
Coburg, Frederick of Saxe-Coburg (1737-1815). General in the Austrian army, who symbolized in the eyes of Frenchmen the first coalition in the war against the French Revolution.
Comte, Charles (1782-1837). Lawyer, liberal critic of Napoléon and then of the restored monarchy, son-in-law of Jean-Baptiste Say. One of the leading liberal theorists before the 1848 revolution, he founded, with Charles Dunoyer, the journal Le Censeur in 1814 and Le Censeur européen in 1817 and was prosecuted many times for challenging the press censorship laws and criticizing the government. He encountered the ideas of Say in 1817 and discussed them at length in Le Censeur européen. After having spent some time in prison he escaped to Switzerland, where he was offered the Chair of Natural Law at the University of Lausanne before he was obliged to move to England. In 1826 he published the first part of his magnum opus, the four-volume Traité de législation, which very much influenced the thought of Bastiat, and in 1834 he published the second part, Traité de la propriété. Comte was secretary of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and was elected a deputy representing La Sarthe after the 1830 revolution.
Considerant, Victor Prosper (1808-93). Follower of the socialist Fourier and advocate of the “right to work” program, which so enraged Bastiat. He was author of Principes du socialisme: Manifeste de la démocratie au XIXe siècle (1847).
Constant, Benjamin (1767-1830). Novelist, politician, and political theorist. Born in Lausanne, Constant was a close friend of Germaine de Staël and accompanied her to Paris in 1795. He was a supporter of the Directory and a member of the Tribunat but came to oppose the loss of political liberty under Napoléon. He became a staunch opponent of Napoléon, but in spite of this he was approached by him during the Hundred Days (period between Napoléon’s return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815) to draw up a constitution for a more liberal, constitutional empire. Constant became a deputy in 1819 and continued to defend constitutional freedoms until his death. He is best known for his novel Adolphe (1807) and for Principes de politique applicables à tous les gouvernements (1815); De l’esprit de conquête et de l’usurpation, dans leurs rapports à la civilisation européen (1814); and Cours de politique constitutionelle (1820).
Corcelle, Claude Tinguy de (1802-92). A Liberal, he held the post of deputy several times between 1839 and 1873. Corcelle was also a friend of Tocqueville’s. His wife’s grandfather was La Fayette, whose memoirs he published.
Coudroy, Félix (1801-74). Son of a doctor from Mugron. He read law in Toulouse and Paris; however, a long illness prevented him from practicing. He lived in Mugron and established a strong and lasting friendship with Bastiat. He published a number of brochures and articles in La Chalosse, Le Mémorial bordelais, and Le Journal des économistes.
Cousin, Victor (1792-1867). Philosopher and politician who at the time of the restoration sided with the liberal Doctrinaire party. He was also the leader of a spiritualist school of thought (l’école spiritualiste éclectique).
Custine, Astolphe, marquis de (1790-1857). French aristocrat known mostly for his perceptive writings about his travels, most notably to Russia.
Daire, Eugene (1798-1847). A tax collector who revived interest in the heritage of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century free-market economics. He came to Paris in 1839, met Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin, discovered the works of Jean-Baptiste Say, and began editing the fifteen-volume Collection des principaux économistes (1840-48). It included works on eighteenth-century finance, the physiocrats, Turgot, Adam Smith, Malthus, Jean-Baptiste Say, and Ricardo.
Dampierre, Roger de (1813-96). Landowner from the Landes. An unsuccessful candidate in 1842 and 1846, he was elected deputy in 1848 and 1849.
Darblay, Aimé-Stanislas (1794-1878). French industrialist, active in the grain trade. He introduced the cultivation of oil-producing plants into the Brie region and set up one of the first factories for the extraction of seed oil.
David, Félicien (1810-76). Composer from Aix-en-Provence. He moved to Paris in 1830, where he came under the influence of the Saint-Simonians.
Decazes, Elie, duc de Glücksberg (1780-1860). Minister of the interior between 1815 and 1820. He was appointed prime minister in November 1819 but had to resign in 1820, following the murder of the duc de Berri, heir to the throne. However, Louis XVIII made him a peer and sent him to London as ambassador. In 1826 he created an important mining and metallurgical company modeled after those he had seen in Britain.
Decazes, Louis Charles, duc de Glücksberg (1819-86). Son of Elie Decazes. Diplomat and minister of foreign affairs under the Third Republic.
Delavigne, Casimir (1793-1843). French dramatist who was fashionable during his life but is largely forgotten today.
Destutt de Tracy, Antoine (1754-1836). Tracy was one of the leading intellectuals of the 1790s and early 1800s and a member of the ideologues (a philosophical movement not unlike the objectivists, who professed that the origin of ideas was material—not spiritual). In his writings on Montesquieu, Tracy defended the institutions of the American Republic, and in his writings on political economy he defended laissez-faire. During the French Revolution he joined the third estate and renounced his aristocratic title. During the Terror he was arrested and nearly executed. Tracy continued agitating for liberal reforms as a senator during Napoléon’s regime. One of his most influential works was the four-volume Éléments d’idéologie (first published in 1801-15) (Tracy coined the term ideology). He also wrote Commentaire sur l’ésprit des lois (1819), which Thomas Jefferson translated and brought to the United States. In 1823 he published his Traité d’économie politique, much admired by Jefferson and Bastiat.
Dombasle, Joseph Alexandre Mathieu de (1777-1843). An agronomist, he wrote a number of works dealing with agriculture, especially the sugar-beet industry, including De l’impôt sur le sucre indigène: Nouvelles considerations (1837). Inspired by British agriculture, he introduced the practice of triennial crop rotation (cereals, forage, vegetables), which Bastiat tried in vain to carry out in his own sharecropping farms.
Domenger, Bernard (1785-1865). Mayor of Mugron (1834) and friend of Bastiat’s.
Donato, Nicolò (1705-65). Venetian diplomat and author of Uomo de Governo (The Statesman), which was translated into French.
Droz, Joseph (1773-1850). Moral philosopher, economist, literary critic, and father-in-law of Michel Chevalier. Some of his notable publications include Lois relatives au progrès de l’industrie (1801); Économie politique, ou, Principes de la science des richesses (1829); and Applications de la morale à la politique (1825). He was appointed to the Académie française in 1813 and to the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1833.
Duchâtel, Charles Tanneguy (1803-67). Liberal writer, author of several books, and minister of the interior.
Dudon, J. F. (1778-1857). Magistrate and deputy. He served as minister of state in the last government of Charles X.
Dufaure, Armand (1798-1881). A lawyer, he was elected deputy in 1834 and became minister of public works in 1839. Twice minister of the interior under the Second Republic, he resigned after the coup of Louis-Napoléon. He returned to politics in 1871 and became prime minister in 1876.
Duffour-Dubergier, Martin (1797-1860). Mayor of Bordeaux and defender of liberal ideas.
Dumas, Jean-Baptiste André (1800-1884). Chemist, professor at the Sorbonne and at the École polytechnique, and minister of agriculture and commerce from 31 October 1849 to 9 January 1851.
Dunoyer, Barthélémy-Pierre-Joseph-Charles (1786-1862). Dunoyer was a journalist; an academic (a professor of political economy); a politician; the author of numerous works on politics, political economy, and history; a founding member of the Société d’économie politique (1842); and a key figure in the French classical liberal movement of the first half of the nineteenth century, along with Jean-Baptiste Say, Benjamin Constant, Charles Comte, Augustin Thierry, and Alexis de Tocqueville. He collaborated with Comte on the journals Le Censeur and Le Censeur européen during the end of the Napoleonic empire and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Dunoyer (and Comte) combined the political liberalism of Constant (constitutional limits on the power of the state, representative government); the economic liberalism of Say (laissez-faire, free trade); and the sociological approach to history of Thierry, Constant, and Say (class analysis and a theory of historical evolution of society through stages culminating in the laissez-faire market society of “industry”). His major works include L’Industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté (1825), Nouveau traité d’économie sociale (1830), and his three-volume magnum opus De la liberté du travail (1845). After the revolution of 1830 Dunoyer was appointed a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, worked as a government official (he was prefect of L’Allier and La Somme), and eventually became a member of the Council of State in 1837. He resigned his government posts in protest against the coup d’état of Louis-Napoléon in 1851. He died while writing a critique of the authoritarian Second Empire; the work was completed and published by his son Anatole in 1864.
Dupérier [first name and dates unknown]. A colleague of Bastiat’s in the General Council of the Landes.
Dupin, Charles (1784-1873). A deputy, an alumnus of the École polytechnique, a naval engineer, and a professor of mechanics at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (where he taught courses for working people). He is one of the founders of mathematical economics and of the statistical office (Bureau de France).
Duprat, Pascal (1815-85). Deputy from the Landes.
Durrieu, Simon (1775-1862). A French general born in Saint-Sever and a deputy of the Landes (1834-45). He was raised to the peerage in 1845 by Louis-Philippe.
Dussard, Hyppolite (1791-1879). A journalist, essayist, and economist. He was manager of Le Journal des économistes from 1843 to 1845, a collaborator of La Revue encyclopédique, and prefect of La Seine-Inférieure after the 1848 revolution.
Duval [first name unknown] (1807-93). Magistrate who married the daughter of Jean-Baptiste Say in 1830. He was elected senator in 1871.
Eichthal, Gustave, baron d’ (1804-86). Member of the Saint-Simonian socialist group, which also included Olinde Rodriguez, Prosper Enfantin, Auguste Comte, and Michel Chevalier. There was some contact between Comte and Saint-Simon and the liberal group of Charles Comte (no relation), Charles Dunoyer, and Augustin Thierry in the 1820s. Both groups were interested in the impact that “industry” (see Note on the Translation, pp. xvi-xvii) would have on the progress of society. The socialist group believed the state could and should assist in the development of industry. The liberal group rejected that view.
Elliot, Ebenezer (1781-1849). Elliot was known as the “free-trade rhymer.” He played an important role in the propaganda efforts of the Anti-Corn Law League. His ideas are reflected in his Corn Law Rhymes (1830) and The Splendid Village (1844). The following comes from The Ranter (1830). The “bread tax” is a reference to the corn laws:
- In haste she turns, and climbs the narrow stair,
- To wake her eldest born, but, pausing, stands
- Bent o’er his bed; for on his forehead bare,
- Like jewels ring’d on sleeping beauty’s hands,
- Tired labour’s gems are set in beaded bands;
- And none, none, none, like bread-tax’d labour know’th
- How more than grateful are his slumbers brief.
- Thou dost not know, thou pamper’d son of sloth!
- Thou canst not tell, thou bread-tax-eating thief!
- How sweet is rest to bread-tax’d toil and grief!
Evans, William [dates unknown]. Chairman of the Emancipation Society and one of the pallbearers at Richard Cobden’s funeral.
Falloux du Coudray, Alfred Pierre (1811-86). Deputy and minister of education (20 December 1848-31 October 1849). Author of a bill on freedom of education.
Faucher, Léon (1803-54). Journalist, writer, and deputy for the Marne. He was twice appointed minister of the interior. During the July Monarchy he became an active journalist, writing for Le Constitutionnel and Le Courrier français, and was one of the editors of La Revue des deux mondes and Le Journal des économistes. Faucher was appointed to the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1849 and was active in the Association pour la liberté des échanges. He wrote on prison reform, gold and silver currency, socialism, and taxation. One of his better-known works was Études sur l’Angleterre (1856).
Faurie, François (1785-1854). Merchant from Bayonne. Elected deputy of Bayonne from 1831 to 1837, he then gave up all political activity after two election failures.
Feutrier, François-Jean-Hyacinthe (1785-1830). An ecclesiastic who, as minister of ecclesiastic affairs, took a deep interest in educational matters. He became bishop of Beauvais in 1826.
Fix, Theodore (1800-1846). Swiss by birth, he came to France to work as a land surveyor and soon moved to Paris to work as a translator of German texts. After becoming interested in economics, he and Sismondi began in 1833 a short-lived journal, La Revue mensuelle d’économie politique, which lasted only three years. One of the notable aspects of Fix’s works was his fluency in both German and English, which allowed him to write with authority for a French-speaking audience on the economics works published in those languages. In the course of his work Fix met many well-respected French political economists, such as Rossi and Blanqui; wrote several articles for Le Journal des économistes; and became the chief economics writer for the periodical Le Constitutionnel. Before he died at a young age from heart disease, he published one book, Observations sur l’état des classes ouvrières (1846).
Fontenay, Anne Paul Gabriel Roger de (1809-91). Economist and devoted disciple of Bastiat. He wrote the preface to the Guillaumin edition of Bastiat’s works.
Fonteyraud, Henri Alcide (1822-49). Fonteyraud was born in Mauritius and became professor of history, geography, and political economy at the École supérieure de commerce de Paris. He was a member of the Société d’économie politique and one of the founders of the Association pour la liberté des échanges. Because of his knowledge of English, he went to England in 1845 to study at first hand the progress of the Anti-Corn Law League. During the 1848 revolution he campaigned against socialist ideas with his activity in Le Club de la liberté du travail and, along with Bastiat, Coquelin, and Molinari, by writing and handing out in the streets of Paris copies of the broadside pamphlet Jacques Bonhomme. Sadly, he died very young during the cholera epidemic of 1849. He wrote articles in La Revue britannique and Le Journal des économistes, and he edited and annotated the works of Ricardo in the multivolume Collection des principaux économistes. His collected works were published posthumously as Mélanges d’économie politique, edited by J. Garnier (1853).
Forbes, Charles, comte de Montalembert (1810-70). Journalist and politician. He was the leader of the liberal Catholics.
Fourier, François-Marie-Charles (1772-1837). Socialist and founder of the phalansterian school (Fourierism). Fourierism consisted of a utopian, communistic system for the reorganization of society. The population was to be grouped in “phalansteries” of about eighteen hundred persons, who would live together as one family and hold property in common.
Fox, William Johnson (1786-1864). Journalist and renowned orator, one of the founders of the Westminster Review. He became one of the most popular speakers of the Anti-Corn Law League and delivered courses to the workers on Sunday evenings. He served in Parliament from 1847 to 1863.
Frayssinous, Denis (1765-1841). A member of the French Academy and appointed a grand master (1822-24). He became minister of state education and religious worship (1824-28) under the French restoration.
Ganneron, Auguste (1792-1842). Manufacturer, banker, and deputy of Paris.
Garnier, Joseph (1813-81). Garnier was a professor, journalist, politician, and activist for free trade and peace. He traveled to Paris in 1830 and came under the influence of Adolphe Blanqui, who introduced him to economics and eventually became his father-in-law. Garnier was a pupil, professor, and then director of the École supérieure de commerce de Paris, before being appointed the first professor of political economy at the École des Ponts et caussées in 1846. Garnier played a central role in the burgeoning free-market school of thought in the 1840s in Paris. He was one of the founders of the Association pour la liberté des échanges and the chief editor of its journal, Le Libre échange; he also was active in the Congrès de la paix. A founder, along with Guillaumin, of Le Journal des économistes, he became chief editor in 1846. Additionally he was one of the founders of the Société d’économie politique, along with being its perpetual secretary, and he was one of the founders of the 1848 liberal broadsheet Jacques Bonhomme. Garnier was acknowledged for his considerable achievements by being nominated to join the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1873 and to become a senator in 1876. He authored numerous books and articles, including Introduction à l’étude de l’économie politique (1843), Richard Cobden, les ligueurs et la ligue (1846), and Congrès des amis de la paix universelle réunis à Paris en 1849 (1850). He edited Malthus’s Essai sur le principe de population (1845), Du principe de population (1857), and Traité d’économie politique sociale ou industrielle (1863).
Gauguier, Joseph (1793-1855). Industrialist and deputy (1831-42). He unsuccessfully proposed a parliamentary reform in 1832 and 1834.
Gay, J. B., comte de Martignac (1778-1832). Minister of the interior from 1828 to 1829.
Gérard, Etienne (1773-1852). Volunteer in the French revolutionary wars in 1792; appointed general in 1812 and field marshal in 1830. He was elected deputy in 1822 and served as prime minister (18 July-29 October 1834).
Gioberti, Vincenzo (1801-52). Italian philosopher and politician.
Girard, Edouard [dates unknown]. Brother of Mme (Hortense) Cheuvreux.
Girard, Mme [first name and dates unknown]. Mother of Mme (Hortense) Cheuvreux.
Glücksberg, duc de. See Decazes, Elie, and Decazes, Louis Charles.
Grivel, Jean-Baptiste (1778-?). Vice admiral, nominated deputy peer of France in 1845 after a distinguished military career. Senator during the Second Empire.
Guillaumin, Gilbert-Urbain (1801-64). Orphaned at the age of five, Guillaumin was brought up by his uncle. He arrived in Paris in 1819 and worked in a bookstore before eventually founding his own publishing firm in 1835. He was active in liberal politics during the 1830 revolution and made contact with the economists Adolphe Blanqui and Joseph Garnier. In 1835 he became a publisher in order to popularize and promote classical liberal economic ideas, and the firm of Guillaumin eventually became the major publishing house for liberal ideas in the mid-nineteenth century. Guillaumin helped found Le Journal des économistes in 1841 with Horace Say (Jean-Baptiste’s son) and Joseph Garnier. The following year he helped found the Société d’économie politique. His firm published scores of books on economic issues, making its catalog a virtual who’s who of the liberal movement in France; it included works by Bastiat. Guillaumin also published the following key journals, collections, and encyclopedias: Journal des économistes (1842-1940), L’Annuaire de l’économie politique (1844-99), the multivolume Collection des principaux économistes (1840-48), Bibliothèques des sciences morales et politiques (1857- ), Dictionnaire d’économie politique (1852) (coedited with Charles Coquelin), and Dictionnaire universel théorique et practique du commerce et de la navigation (1859-61).
Guinard, Auguste (1799-1874). Political agitator for the republican cause. Elected deputy in 1848 but not in 1849.
Guizot, François (1787-1874). A successful academic and politician whose career spanned many decades, he was born to a Protestant family in Nîmes. His father was guillotined during the Terror. As a law student in Paris, the young Guizot was a vocal opponent of the Napoleonic empire. After the restoration of the monarchy Guizot was part of the “doctrinaires,” a group of conservative and moderate liberals. He was professor of history at the Sorbonne from 1812 to 1830, publishing Essai sur l’histoire de France (1824), Histoire de la revolution d’Angleterre (1826-27), Histoire générale de la civilisation en Europe (1828), and Histoire de la civilisation en France (1829-32). In 1829 he was elected deputy and became very active in French politics after the 1830 revolution, supporting constitutional monarchy and a limited franchise. He served as minister of the interior, minister of education (1832-37), ambassador to England in 1840, and then foreign minister and prime minister, becoming in practice the leader of the government from 1840 to 1848. He promoted peace abroad and liberal conservatism at home, but his regime, weakened by corruption and economic difficulties, collapsed with the monarchy in 1848. He retired to Normandy to spend the rest of his days writing history and his memoires such as Histoire parlementaire de France (1863-64) and Histoire des origines du gouvernement représentif en Europe (1851).
Halévy, Jacques (1799-1862). Parisian composer, mostly of opera and ballet.
Harcourt, François-Eugène, duc d’ (1786-1865). Liberal politician, president of the Association pour la liberté des échanges in Brussels in 1841, and ambassador to Rome. He wrote Discours en faveur de la liberté du commerce (1846).
Haussez, Charles d’ (1771-1854). Prefect, counsellor of state, and deputy. He became minister of the navy in August 1829.
Hickin, Joseph. Secretary of the Anti-Corn Law League.
Humann, Georges (1780-1842). Businessman and liberal politician. Twice minister of finance.
Huskisson, William (1770-1830). President of the Board of Trade (1823-27). He reformed the Navigation Act, reduced duties on manufactured goods, and repealed some quarantine duties.
Jobard, Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise-Marcellin (1792-1861). He wrote Nouvelle économie sociale and coined the phrase Le Monautopole (meaning “monopoly of oneself”), which referred to the natural right of an inventor to be the sole disposer of his or her own work.
Joinville, François-Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Marie d’Orléans, prince de (1818-1900). A son of Louis-Philippe.
Jouy, Victor Etienne de (1764-1846). French playwright and author of librettos.
Knatchbull, Sir Edward (1781-1849). Member of Parliament for the county of Kent and author of The Speech of Sir E. Knatchbull (1829).
Lacave-Laplagne, Jean-Pierre (1795-1849). French politician and deputy from 1834 to 1849. Minister of finance from 1837 to 1839 and again from 1842 to 1847.
Lafarelle, Félix de (1800-1872). French lawyer and economist. He was deputy of La Garde de 1842 in the revolution of 1848 and correspondent of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1846. He was author of Du progrès social au profit des classes populaires nonindigentes (1847).
La Fayette, Marie Joseph, marquis de (1757-1834). A French aristocrat, he was a general in the American War of Independence. After the war La Fayette returned to France and played an important role in the early phases of the French Revolution. He served in the Estates General, and later the National Constituent Assembly. He attempted to guide the Revolution along a more moderate course, joining the Feuillants, who wanted France to become a constitutional monarchy. Ultimately, overwhelmed by the excesses of the Terror, he fled France in 1792 and was considered a traitor for his efforts to save the constitutional monarchy. Imprisoned in Prussia for five years as a “revolutionary,” he returned to France and lived in semiretirement on an estate belonging to his wife. Elected deputy in 1818, he reentered the political scene to fight for individual liberties.
Laffitte, Jacques (1767-1844). Born in Bayonne. Banker, entrepreneur, and friend of the Bastiat family. He was elected deputy in 1816 and served as prime minister from 1831 until March 1832.
Lamarque, Jean-Maxilien (1770-1832). French general under Napoléon. Exiled in 1815 for three years, he translated the ten-thousand-odd verses of the Ossian Poems, by James Macpherson, into French. In the Landes, he showed a great interest in agricultural methods and in means of communication. He was elected deputy of the Landes in 1828 and 1830. In parliament, he was an influential speaker. He died of cholera in Paris and was given a national funeral, during which a popular uprising against the monarchy was repressed by General Lobau. The event is described by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
Lamartine, Alphonse de (1790-1869). Poet and statesman. As an immensely popular romantic poet, he used his talent to promote liberal ideas. He was a member of the provisional government and minister of foreign affairs in June 1848. After he lost the presidential election of December 1848 to Louis-Napoléon, he retired from political life and returned to writing.
Lamennais, Félicité, abbé de (1782-1854). Priest, deputy, and journalist; known for his four-volume Essai sur l’indifférence en matière de religion (1821-23). Lamennais was a strong critic of the Gallican Church and an ardent defender of the pope. By 1832, he resented the lack of encouragement from the Vatican in the face of violent attacks from Gallicanism and progressively distanced himself from Rome. He became active in journalism and, like Bastiat, was elected to the legislative assembly of 1848.
Larnac, Marie Gustave (1793-1868). Tutor to Louis-Philippe’s son, the duc de Nemours. Larnac later became the duke’s secrétaire des commandements (head of the private cabinet). As the candidate sponsored by the government, Larnac was elected deputy of the district of Saint-Sever in 1845 and reelected in 1846, defeating Bastiat. He gave up political life after the revolution of 1848.
Laromiguière, Pierre (1756-1837). Member of the doctrinaires (see Guizot, François). He taught humanities and philosophy while pursuing medical studies. His Ph.D. dissertation on property rights and taxation, “Le Droit de propriété est violé toutes les fois que les impôts sont levés arbitrairement,” was a criticism of the ancien régime. He left the clergy in 1792 to become professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne. His Leçons de philosophie; ou, Essai sur les facultés de l’âme (1815), which had six consecutive editions between 1815 and 1844, greatly influenced Bastiat as well as generations of students.
Latour-Maubourg, Mme de [first name and dates not known]. Wife of Victor Nicolas de Fay, vicomte de Latour-Maubourg (1768-1850) and former minister of war.
Laurence, A. M. Colleague of Bastiat’s in the General Council of the Landes.
Ledru-Rollin, Alexandre (1790-1874). Lawyer, deputy (1841-49), owner of the newspaper La Réforme, minister of the interior of the provisional government of February 1848, and then member of the executive commission. He had to yield his powers to General Cavaignac in June 1848. In 1849 Ledru-Rollin organized a demonstration against the foreign policy of Louis-Napoléon, the new president of the republic. He was exiled and came back to France only in 1870.
Lefranc, Victor (1809-83). Lawyer and deputy from the Landes.
Leopold I (1790-1865), king of Belgium (1831-65). He was elected king by the Belgian National Congress.
Leroux, Pierre (1798-1871). Prominent member of the Saint-Simonian group of socialists. Like Bastiat, he was a journalist during the 1840s and was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1848 and to the Legislative Assembly in 1849. His most developed exposition of his ideas can be found in De l’humanité (1840) and also in De la ploutocratie, ou, Du gouvernement des riches (1848).
Lherbette, Armand (1791-1864). Lawyer and attorney of the king. Elected deputy in 1831.
Lobeau [Lobau], Georges Mouton, comte de (1770-1838). Bastiat’s spelling is wrong; the correct spelling is “Lobau.” Volunteer in 1792, general in 1805. Elected liberal deputy in 1828. Nominated Maréchal de France by Louis-Philippe in 1831. Lobau repressed the uprising that followed the funeral of Jean-Maxilien Lamarque.
Louis, Joseph-Dominique, baron (1755-1837). Politician and diplomat. He was minister of finance under the two restorations and the July Monarchy and made a peer of France in 1832.
Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans (1773-1850). Louis-Philippe was the last French king during the July Monarchy (1830-48), abdicating on 24 February 1848. He served in the French army before going into exile in 1793. His exile lasted until 1815, when he was able to return to France under the restoration of the monarchy (King Louis XVIII was his cousin). During his exile he visited Switzerland, Scandinavia, the United States, and Cuba before settling in England. When the July revolution overthrew King Charles X in 1830, Louis-Philippe was proclaimed the new “king of the French.” Initially, he enjoyed considerable support from the middle class for his liberal policies, but he became increasingly conservative and was ousted in the February 1848 revolution.
Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766-1858). Malthus is best known for his writings on population, in which he asserted that population growth (increasing at a geometric rate) would outstrip the growth in food production (growing at a slower arithmetic rate). Malthus studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, before becoming a professor of political economy at the East India Company College (Haileybury). His ideas were influential among nineteenth-century political economists. His principal work was An Essay on the Principle of Population (1st ed., 1798; rev. 3rd ed., 1826).
Manuel, Jacques Antoine (1775-1827). Liberal deputy (1815-27) in the Chamber that followed Napoléon’s abdication. Manuel formed an alliance with Constant and La Fayette.
Marmont, Auguste de (1774-1852). Appointed field marshall and duke of Ragusa by Napoléon, whom he betrayed. His defection in 1814 made Napoléon’s abdication inevitable.
Marsan, Julie [dates unknown]. Daughter of Marie-Julienne Marsan (née Badbedat). See Badbedat, Marie-Julienne.
Mauguin, François (1785-1852). Lawyer and deputy (1848 and 1849).
Mendizabal, Juan (1790-1853). Prime minister (13 June 1835-15 March 1836), later minister of finance of Spain.
Mignet, François-Auguste-Alexis (1796-1884). Liberal lawyer, journalist, historian, and an editor of Le Courrier français and Le National (edited by Mignet, Thiers, Carrel, and Passy). In 1830 he joined other journalists in protesting the restrictive press laws. He secured a job as director of the Archives of the Foreign Ministry, from which position he was able to publish many historical works. He lost his job as a result of the 1848 revolution and took early retirement to continue writing works of history. He became a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1832, assuming the post of permanent secretary in 1837, and became a member of the Académie française in 1836. His main works were Histoire de la Révolution française (1824), Histoire de Marie Stuart (1852), and Notices et mémoires historiques (1843), which contains many eulogies of important political economists and historians.
Mill, John Stuart (1806-73). English philosopher, political theorist, and economist who became one of the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth century. He worked for the East India Company before becoming a member of the British Parliament (1865-68), where he introduced many proposals for reform legislation, such as women’s suffrage. Mill went to France in 1820 and met many of the leading liberal figures of the day, such as Jean-Baptiste Say. He had a great interest in French politics and history and wrote many essays and reviews on these topics. His best-known books include System of Deductive and Inductive Logic (1843), Principles of Political Economy (1848), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861), and The Subjection of Women (1869).
Millevoye, Charles Hubert (1782-1816). French poet, author of the poem The Fall of the Leaves.
Molé, Louis Mathieu, comte de (1781-1855). Former prefect and minister of justice under Napoléon and under Louis XVIII. Rallying to Louis-Philippe, he was head of the government and minister of foreign affairs in 1836. Accused by some deputies of being little more than a spokesman for the king, he resigned in 1839 and led a moderate opposition against Guizot. He served as deputy in 1848 and 1849 but quit political life after the coup of 1851.
Molesworth, William, Sir (1810-55). British politician and member of the Anti-Corn Law League.
Molinari, Gustave de (1819-1912). Born in Belgium but spent most of his working life in Paris, where he became the leading representative of the laissez-faire school of classical liberalism in France in the second half of the nineteenth century. His liberalism was based on the theory of natural rights (especially the right to property and individual liberty), and he advocated complete laissez-faire in economic policy and an ultraminimal state in politics. In the 1840s he joined the Société d’économie politique and was active in the Association pour la liberté des échanges. During the 1848 revolution he vigorously opposed the rise of socialism and published shortly thereafter two rigorous defenses of individual liberty in which he pushed to its ultimate limits his opposition to all state intervention in the economy, including the state’s monopoly of security. During the 1850s he contributed a number of significant articles on free trade, peace, colonization, and slavery to the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852-53) before going into exile in his native Belgium to escape the authoritarian regime of Napoléon III. He became a professor of political economy at the Musée royale de l’industrie belge and published a significant treatise on political economy (Cours d’économie politique, 1855) and a number of articles opposing state education. In the 1860s Molinari returned to Paris to work on the Journal des debats, becoming editor from 1871 to 1876. Toward the end of his long life, Molinari was appointed editor of the leading journal of political economy in France, Le Journal des économistes (1881-1909). Molinari’s more important works include Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (1849), L’Évolution économique du dix-neuvième siècle: Théorie du progrès (1880), and L’Évolution politique et la révolution (1884).
Monclar, Eugène de (1800-1882). Priest and first cousin of Bastiat. Like Bastiat, he worked in the family commercial firm, which he left to study law. Shortly after becoming a lawyer, he studied for the priesthood. Once ordained, he became a member of the Company of Priests of Saint-Suplice, devoted to the education of ecclesiastics, and taught in different cities. He traveled to Italy and while in Naples learned that his cousin Bastiat was in Rome and was able to be with him in his final hours.
Monjean, Maurice (1818-?). A member of the editorial board of Le Journal des économistes from 1841 to 1845. He also edited Malthus’s Principles of Population and Definitions of Political Economy in the series Collection des principaux économistes (1846).
O’Connell, Daniel (1775-1847). Irish campaigner, member of Parliament, mayor of Dublin.
Odier, Antoine (1766-1853). Businessman, deputy (1827-37), then pair de France (a peer of the realm). Member of the liberal opposition. Father-in-law of General Cavaignac.
Orléans, duc d’. See Louis-Philippe.
Ortolan, Joseph (1802-73). Professor of law.
Paillottet, Prosper. Political writer and the editor, friend, and legal executor of Bastiat. (See also the General Editor’s Note and the General Introduction.)
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, third viscount (1784-1865). Whig leader and minister of foreign affairs (1830-41 and 1846-50). Palmerston was prime minister of Britain during the Crimean War and a liberal interventionist. He worked to limit French influence in world affairs.
Passy, Frédéric (1822-1912). Nephew of Hippolyte Passy. He was a supporter of free trade and the ideas of Richard Cobden and Bastiat. Passy was a cabinet minister and then professor of political economy at the University of Montpellier in France. He wrote an introduction to one of the Guillaumin editions of the works of Bastiat. Active in the French peace movement, he helped found the Ligue internationale et permanente de la paix. For his efforts he received the first Nobel Peace Prize (1901, with Henri Dunant, one of the founders of the Red Cross). He wrote many books on economics and peace, including Notice biographique sur Frédéric Bastiat (1857), Pour la paix: notes et documents (1909), and La Démocratie et l’instruction: Discours d’ouverture des cours publics de Nice.
Passy, Hippolyte (1793-1880). Cavalry officer in Napoléon’s army and French economist. After the restoration of the monarchy, Passy traveled to the United States and there discovered the works of Adam Smith. Upon his return to France, he wrote for several opposition papers, such as the liberal National (with Adolphe Thiers and François-Auguste Mignet), and published a book, De l’aristocracie considérée dans ses rapports avec les progrès de la civilization (1826). Passy was elected as a deputy from 1830 on, serving as minister of finance in 1834, 1839-40, and 1848-49. In 1838 he became a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, in which he served for some forty years, and was particularly active in developing political economy. He criticized the colonization of Algeria and advocated free trade. He cofounded the Société d’économie politique (1842), wrote numerous articles in Le Journal des économistes, and authored several books, including Des systèmes de culture et de leur influence sur l’économie sociale (1848) and Des causes de l’inégalité des richesses (1848).
Paulton, Abraham. Free-trade lecturer and radical journalist recruited by Richard Cobden for the Anti-Corn Law League.
Pavée de Vandœuvre, baron de (1808-?). Minister of Louis XVIII and president of the General Council of the département of l’Aube. Peer of France.
Peel, Sir Robert (1788-1850). Leader of the Tories and former minister in the government of the Duke of Wellington. In 1841 he became prime minister and took measures aimed at alleviating the most severe poverty, thus giving some satisfaction to the free traders while at the same time trying to broaden the outlook of the aristocracy. He accomplished the repeal of the Corn Laws on 26 May 1846 by obtaining a composite majority, but not without adverse consequences. The Tory Party was irreparably divided, and on that same evening, Peel lost a vote of confidence on his Irish policy and had to resign.
Pergolesi, Giovanni Battista (1710-36). Neapolitan composer.
Périer, Casimir (1777-1832). French entrepreneur, deputy, and influential member of the liberal opposition. Prime minister from March 1831 until his death.
Petitti, Carlo Ilarione, conte di Roreto (1790-1850). Italian economist, academic, counsellor of state, and senator. Petitti wrote numerous works, including Saggio sul buon governo della mendicità, degli istituti di beneficenza e delle carceri (1837), Delle strade ferrate italiane e del miglior ordinamento di esse: Cinque discorsi Capolago (1845), and Considerazioni sopra la necessità di una riforma de’ tributi con alcuni cenni su certe spese dello Stato (1850).
Peupin, Henri (1809-72). French clockmaker. Wrote liberal articles in workers’ magazines.
Pitt, William (the Younger) (1759-1806). British politician. Son of prime minister William Pitt the Elder, he was himself twice prime minister (1783-1801 and 1804-6). A Tory and a strong opponent of the French Revolution.
Pius IX (Cardinal Giovanni Ferretti) (1792-1878). Pope from 1846 to 1878. He started out as a liberal but became more conservative after the 1848 revolution. He took refuge in Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples, for a brief time in 1848 and lost the papal states permanently to Italy in 1870.
Polignac, Auguste-Jules-Armand-Marie, prince de (1780-1847). Childhood friend, then prime minister, of Charles X. Polignac was an ultraroyalist politician who served in various capacities during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy after 1815. He was appointed ambassador to England in 1823, minister of foreign affairs in 1829, and prime minister by Charles X just prior to the outbreak of the July revolution in 1830. He was responsible for issuing the Four Ordinances (designed to weaken the constitution), which was the immediate trigger for the outbreak of the revolution. After the revolution he was imprisoned at Ham, amnestied in 1836, and finally exiled from the country. During his imprisonment he wrote Considérations politiques sur l’époque actuelle (1832).
Prince-Smith, John (1809-74). Liberal economist, born in London, where he worked as a parliamentary reporter before moving to Hamburg in 1828 to write for an English-language newspaper there. He was an ardent supporter of Bastiat. In 1831 he was employed as an English teacher at a local gymnasium. While in Hamburg Prince-Smith discovered economics and began writing about British economic developments for his German readers. In 1846 he settled in Berlin, where he published John Prince-Smith über die englische Tarifreform und ihre materiellen, sozialen und politischen Folgen für Europa, a small book on tariff reform in Britain and its likely impact on Europe, a work that reflected his interest in Cobden, Bastiat, and the Anti-Corn Law League. He also published works on banking and currency issues. In 1846 he founded a German free-trade association and was elected deputy representing Stettin in the Prussian parliament. Between 1870 and 1874 he was head of the Congress of German Economists. His collected works, published shortly after his death, were titled John Prince-Smith’s Gesammelte Schriften (1877-80).
Proudhon, Pierre Joseph (1809-65). French political theorist, considered to be the father of anarchism. Proudhon spent many years as a printer and published numerous pamphlets on social and economic issues, often running afoul of the censors. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1848 representing La Seine. In 1848 he became editor in chief of several periodicals, such as Le Peuple and La Voix du peuple, in which he wrote articles critical of the government. These views got him into trouble again with the censors, for which he spent three years in prison, between 1849 and 1852. He is best known for Qu’est-ce que la propriété? Ou recherches sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement (1841), Système des contradictions économiques (1846), and several articles published in Le Journal des économistes. His controversy with Bastiat on the subject of capital and interest appears in the form of letters between Bastiat and Proudhon (OC, vol. 5, p. 94, “Gratuité du crédit”).
Puyravault, Audry de (1773-1852). French businessman and deputy (1822-37).
Quesnay, François (1694-1774). Surgeon and economist. He taught at the Paris School of Surgery and was personal doctor to Madame Pompadour. As an economist he is best known as one of the founders of the physiocratic school, writing the articles “Fermiers” and “Grains” for Diderot’s Encylopédie (1756). Quesnay also wrote Le Tableau économique (1762) and Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle de gouvernement le plus avantageux au genre humain (1768).
Quijano, Garcia. Member of the Société d’économie politique and occasional contributor to Le Journal des économistes.
Raspail, François (1794-1878). A self-taught French botanist, chemist, and hygienist who made major contributions to cell theory and pioneered the use of the microscope in the study of cell tissue. He turned to radical politics after the 1830 revolution and was jailed for his role as president of the Society of the Rights of Man. During the 1848 revolution he was imprisoned for participating in the demonstration of 15 May 1848 but was later released from prison by Napoléon III only to spend the years until 1863 in foreign exile. Raspail unsuccessfully stood for president in the 1848 election. He was elected a deputy from Lyon in 1869. During the Third Republic he was an outspoken and popular republican deputy.
Renouard, Augustin-Charles (1794-1878). French lawyer with an interest in elementary school education. He was secretary general of the minister of justice and an elected deputy. He also was vice-president of the Société d’économie politique and wrote or edited a number of works on economic and educational matters, including Mélanges de morale, d’économie et de politique extraits des ouvrages de Franklin, et précédés d’une notice sur sa vie (1824); and “L’Éducation doit-elle être libre?” in Revue encyclopédique (1828).
Reybaud, Louis (1798-1879). French businessman, journalist, novelist, fervent antisocialist, politician, and writer on economic and social issues. In 1846 he was elected deputy representing Marseilles, but his strong opposition to Napoléon III and the empire forced him to retire to devote himself to political economy. He became a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques in 1850. His writings include the prizewinning critique of socialists, Études sur les réformateurs et socialistes modernes: Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen (1840); the satirical novel Jérôme Paturot à la recherché d’une position sociale (1843); and Économistes contemporains (1861). Reybaud also wrote many articles for Le Journal des économistes and the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852).
Ricardo, David (1772-1823). English political economist, born in London of Dutch-Jewish parents. Ricardo joined his father’s stockbroking business at a young age and made a considerable fortune on the London Stock Exchange. In 1799 he read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) and developed an interest in economic theory. He met James Mill and the Philosophic Radicals in 1807, was elected to Parliament in 1819, and was active politically in trying to widen the franchise and to abolish the restrictive Corn Laws. He wrote a number of works, including The High Price of Bullion (1810), on the bullion controversy; and the treatise On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817).
Ridolfi, Cosimo (1794-1865). Descendant of a very wealthy and learned Florentine family who distinguished himself in chemistry and agronomy. In 1841 he chaired the Congress of Italian Scientists, which took place in Florence.
Rossi, Pellegrino (1787-1848). Italian politician. Born in Tuscany, Rossi lived in Geneva, Paris, and Rome. He was a professor of law and political economy, as well as a poet, ending his days as a diplomat for the French government. He moved to Switzerland after the defeat of Napoléon, where he met Germaine de Staël and the duc de Broglie. He founded, with Sismondi and Etienne Dumont, Les Annales de législation et des jurisprudences. After the death of Jean-Baptiste Say, Rossi was appointed professor of political economy at the Collège de France in 1833, and in 1836 he became a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques. In 1847 he was appointed ambassador of France to the Vatican but was assassinated in 1848 in Rome. He wrote Cours d’économie politique (1840) and numerous articles in Le Journal des économistes.
Rumilly, Louis Gauthier de (1792-1884). French lawyer and deputy (1830-34 and 1837-40). Unsuccessfully presented a project for parliamentary reform in 1840.
Russell, John, first Earl Russell (1792-1878). English Whig and liberal member of Parliament. He was prime minister twice, in 1846-52 and in 1865-66. As leader of the opposition in 1845, Russell favored the repeal of the Corn Laws and advised the prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, to take a similar stance.
Saint-Chamans, Auguste, vicomte de (1777-1860). Deputy (1824-27) and mercantilist economist.
Saint-Cricq, Pierre de (1772-1854). French politician, deputy, general manager of customs, and president of the Trade Council. Favorable to protectionism.
Saint-Hilaire, Jules Barthélemy (1805-95). French businessman, journalist, and writer. Professor of Greek and Latin philosophy at the Collège de France. Elected senator for life in 1875.
Salvandy, Narcisse Achille de (1795-1856). Former soldier of Napoléon, he became active in politics from 1830. He was the French ambassador in Madrid and Turin and author of novels and political writings.
Say, Horace Émile (1794-1860). Son of Jean-Baptiste Say. Married Anne Cheuvreux, sister of Casimir Cheuvreux, whose family were friends of Bastiat’s. Say was a businessman and traveled in 1813 to the United States and Brazil. A result of his trip was Histoire des relations commercialesentre la France et le Brésil (1839). He became president of the Chamber of Commerce of Paris in 1834, was a counsellor of state (1849-51), and headed an important inquiry into the state of industry in the Paris region (1848-51). Say was also very active in liberal circles: he participated in the foundation of the Société d’économie politique, the Guillaumin publishing firm, Le Journal des économistes, and Le Journal du commerce; and he was an important collaborator in the creation of the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique and the Dictionnaire du commerce et des marchandises. In 1857 he was nominated to the Académie des sciences morales et politiques but died before he could formally join.
Say, Jean-Baptiste (1767-1832). The leading French political economist in the first third of the nineteenth century. Before becoming an academic political economist late in life, Say apprenticed in a commercial office, working for a life insurance company; he also worked as a journalist, soldier, politician, cotton manufacturer, and writer. During the Revolution he worked on the journal of the idéologues, La Décade philosophique, littéraire, et politique, for which he wrote articles on political economy from 1794 to 1799. In 1814 he was asked by the government to travel to England on a fact-finding mission to discover the secret of English economic growth and to report on the impact of the revolutionary wars on the British economy. His book De l’Angleterre et des Anglais (1815) was the result. After the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, Say was appointed to teach economics in Paris, first at the Athénée, then as a chair in “industrial economics” at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, and finally as the first chair in political economy at the Collège de France. He is best known for his Traité d’économie politique (1803), which went through many editions (and revisions) during his lifetime. One of his last major works, the Cours complet d’économie politique pratique (1828-33), was an attempt to broaden the scope of political economy away from the preoccupation with the production of wealth, by examining the moral, political, and sociological requirements of a free society and how they interrelated with the study of political economy.
Say, Léon (1826-96). Grandson of Jean-Baptiste Say and son of Horace Say. He had a career as a banker and administrator of the Chemin de fer du nord. Say wrote a number of articles for Le Journal des débats and was a prominent popularizer of free trade and other economic issues. After 1871 he had a distinguished political career as a deputy for La Seine and then as minister of finance in the Third Republic, where he pursued policies of reducing taxation, deregulating internal trade, and opposing the Méline Tariff. In 1880 he was appointed ambassador to England. Say was elected to the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and also to the Académie française. He was a key editor of and contributor to the Nouveau dictionnaire d’économie politique (1891-92). Many of his writings on finance can be found in Les Finances de la France sous la troisième république (1898-1901).
Schwabe. The Schwabes were English friends of the Cheuvreux family and of Bastiat. Their daughter, Mrs. Salis-Schwabe, a writer, was married to a Frenchman. She wrote Richard Cobden: Notes sur ses voyages, correspondences, et souvenirs (1879).
Scialoja, Antonio (1817-77). Italian economist and professor of political economy at the University of Turin. He was imprisoned and exiled during the 1848 revolution. His major economic works were I principi della economia sociale esposti in ordine ideologico (1840), later translated into French as Les Principes de l’économie exposé selon des idées (1844); Trattato elementare di economia sociale (1848); and Lezioni di economia politica (1846-54). He also wrote many works on law.
Scribe, Eugène (1791-1861). French dramatist and author of opera libretti.
Senior, Nassau William (1790-1864). British economist who became a professor of political economy at Oxford University in 1826. In 1832 he was asked to investigate the condition of the poor and, with Edwin Chadwick, wrote the Poor Law Commissioners’ Report of 1834. In 1843 he was appointed a correspondent of the Institut de France. He returned to Oxford University in 1847. During his lifetime he wrote many articles for such review journals as the Quarterly Review, the Edinburgh Review, and the London Review. His books include Lectures on Political Economy (1826) and Outline of the Science of Political Economy (1834).
Simon, Richard (1638-1712). Oratorian monk. In 1678 he published Une Histoire critique de l’Ancien Testament, which was condemned by the French bishop Bossuet and destroyed. He was excluded from his order.
Smith, Adam (1723-90). Scottish moral philosopher and a leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. He was one of the founders of modern economic thought with his work The Wealth of Nations (1776). Smith studied at the University of Glasgow where one of his teachers was the philosopher Francis Hutcheson. In the late 1740s Smith lectured at the University of Edinburgh on rhetoric, belles-lettres, and jurisprudence; those lectures are available to us because of detailed notes taken by one of his students. In 1751 he moved to Glasgow, where he was a professor of logic and then moral philosophy. His Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759, translated into French in 1774) was a product of this period of his life. Between 1764 and 1766 he traveled to France as tutor to the Duke of Buccleuch. While in France, Smith met many of the physiocrats and visited Voltaire in Geneva. As a result of a generous pension from the duke, Smith was able to retire to Kirkaldy to work on his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations, which appeared in 1776 (French edition in 1788). Smith was appointed in 1778 as commissioner of customs and was based in Edinburgh, where he spent the remainder of his life. An important French edition of the Wealth of Nations was published in 1843 by Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin, with notes and commentary by leading French economists such as Blanqui, Garnier, Sismondi, and Say.
Smith, John Benjamin (d. 1879). Member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and a supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League.
Soult, Nicolas, duc de Dalmatie (1769-1851). Field marshall under Napoléon. After the empire fell, he went into business and then into politics during the July Monarchy. He was minister of war and thrice prime minister.
Soustra [first name and dates unknown]. Member of the Bayonne city council.
Staël, Anne-Louise-Germaine de (1766-1817). Née Germaine Necker, the daughter of the Swiss-born financier Jacques Necker, who served as controller-general under Louis XVI from 1776 to 1781 and again from 1788 to July 1789. She married the Baron de Staël-Holstein (1766-1817). Staël is best known today as a writer of novels, such as Corinne, ou l’Itale (1807), and for her analysis of German literature and character in De l’Allemagne (suppressed by Napoléon so that it did not appear until 1813). She also played an important role in developing a liberal movement around the exiles and enemies of Napoléon, first in a salon in Paris and then at her residence, Coppet, on the shores of Lake Geneva. In 1794 she started a long-lasting though stormy liaison with Benjamin Constant. Her book Considérations sur les principaux événements de la Révolution française (1818) was one of the first major histories of the French Revolution and the economic policies of her father, whose attempts to reform French finances on the eve of the Revolution failed.
Stanhope, Philip, Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773). English aristocrat, politician, and writer. Member of the Commons (1718-26) and later a member of the House of Lords. His Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, to His Son (1774) was translated into French in 1877, long after Bastiat’s death.
Thiers, Adolphe (1797-1877). French lawyer, historian, politician, and journalist. While Thiers was a lawyer he contributed articles to the liberal journal Le Constitutionnel and published one of his most famous works, the ten-volume Histoire de la révolution française (1823-27). He was instrumental in supporting Louis-Philippe in July 1830 and was the main opponent of Guizot. Thiers defended the idea of a constitutional monarchy in journals like Le National. After 1813 he became successively a deputy, undersecretary of state, minister of agriculture, and minister of the interior. He was briefly prime minister and minister of foreign affairs in 1836 and 1840, when he resisted democratization and promoted restrictions on the freedom of the press. During the 1840s he worked on the twenty-volume Histoire de consulat et de l’empire, which appeared between 1845 and 1862. After the 1848 revolution and the creation of the Second Empire he was elected deputy representing Rouen in the Constituent Assembly. Thiers was a strong opponent of Napoléon III’s foreign policies and after his defeat was appointed head of the provisional government by the National Assembly. He then became president of the Third Republic until 1873. Thiers wrote essays on economic matters for Le Journal des économistes, but his protectionist sympathies did not endear him to the economists.
Thompson, Thomas (1783-1869). English political writer and owner of the Westminster Review. He was an active member of the Anti-Corn Law League. In 1811 he became governor of Sierra Leone, where he fought slavery.
Tracy.See Destutt de Tracy, Antoine.
Trélat, Ulysse (1795-1879). French physician and liberal politician. He was minister of public works between 12 May and 19 June 1848.
Turgot, Anne-Robert-Jacques, baron de L’Aulne (1727-81). Economist of the physiocratic school, politician, reformist bureaucrat, and writer. During the mid-1750s Turgot came into contact with the physiocrats, such as Quesnay, Dupont de Nemours, and Vincent de Gournay (who was the free-market intendant for commerce). Turgot had two opportunities to put free-market reforms into practice: when he was appointed Intendant of Limoges in 1761-74; and when Louis XVI made him minister of finance between 1774 and 1776, at which time Turgot issued his six edicts to reduce regulations and taxation. His works include Eloge de Gournay (1759), Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses (1766), and Lettres sur la liberté du commerce des grains (1770).
Turpin, Etienne (1802-73). French landowner and deputy.
Vernes, Charles (1786-1858). Founder of the Banque Vernes. Sousgouverneur of the Bank of France (1832-58) and author of a report on the Algerian war.
Villèle, Jean-Baptiste, comte de (1773-1854). French statesman and leader of the ultralegitimists. He became prime minister in 1822 but had to resign after the victory of the liberals in 1828.
Villermé, Louis René (1782-1863). French military surgeon, then civilian doctor. He was a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques. He wrote on public-health issues such as prisons, mortality rates, population growth, and the condition of workers. On the latter he wrote Tableau de l’état physique et moral des ouvriers employés dans les manufactures de coton, de laine, et de soie (1840), which became a basis for labor regulations.
Villiers, George, Earl of Clarendon (1800-1870). Diplomat and politician. Succeeded his father in the House of Lords. Influential member of the Whig opposition to Robert Peel. Advocate of the repeal of the Corn Laws. His brother, a member of Parliament since 1835 and an active member of the League, presented a motion at each session of Parliament aimed at repealing the Corn Laws.
Vincens Saint-Laurent, Marc-Antoine (1764-1860). French high-ranking civil servant. He wrote several books that were praised in Le Journal des économistes.
Vivien, Alexandre (1799-1854). French high-ranking civil servant, deputy (from 1833), minister of justice under Thiers. Minister of public works under Cavaignac, he resigned from all positions after the coup of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte.
Walpole, Robert, Earl of Oxford (1676-1745). One of the leaders of the Whigs and twice chancellor of the exchequer. He controlled the country’s politics between 1715 and 1742 and laid the foundations for the parliamentary regime of the United Kingdom.
Wilberforce, William (1759-1833). British politician. One of the leading figures in the campaign to abolish the slave trade (1807) and slavery itself (1833).
Wilson, George (1808-70). British businessman whose main business interests were the management of railways and telegraphs. He had a long involvement in the liberal politics of Manchester and later became chairman of the Anti-Corn Law League.
Wilson, James (1805-60). Born in Scotland, he founded the Economist in 1843 and was elected a member of Parliament in 1847. His books include Influence of the Corn Laws (1839) and Capital, Currency, and Banking (1847), which was a collection of his articles from the Economist.
Wolowski, Louis (1810-76). Lawyer, politician, and economist of Polish origin. His interests lay in industrial and labor economics, free trade, and bimetallism. He was a professor of industrial law at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, a member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques from 1855, serving as its president in 1866-67, and a member and president of the Société d’économie politique. His political career started in 1848, when he represented La Seine in the Constituent and Legislative Assemblies. During the 1848 revolution he was an ardent opponent of the socialist Louis Blanc and his plans for labor organization. Wolowski continued his career as a politician in the Third Republic, where he served as a member of the Assembly and took an interest in budgetary matters. He edited La Revue de droit français et échange and wrote articles for Le Journal des économistes. Among his books are Cours de législation industrielle: De l’organisation du travail (1844) and Études d’économie politique et de statistique (1848), La question des banques (1864), La Banque d’Angleterre et les banques d’Ecosse (1867), La Liberté commerciale et les résultats du traité de commerce de 1860 (1869), and L’Or et l’argent (1870).
Glossary of Places
Adour. A river flowing through the Landes. It allowed the transportation of goods from the Chalosse, the part of the département in which Bastiat lived, to the port of Bayonne, from which they could be exported. Eventually, sand deposits made navigation on this river more and more difficult.
Les Bagnères. Spas in the Pyrenees. Bastiat went to these spas as often as he could in order to cure an affliction of the throat, an illness that would eventually kill him.
Le Butard (The Butard Wood). A former hunting lodge of Louis XIV, located in the woods west of Versailles, close to the Château de la Jonchère. Owned by the state, it was rented by a M. Pescatore, a friend of the Cheuvreux family and an admirer of Bastiat. Pescatore made it available to Bastiat whenever he wanted to use it in order to rest from the hustle and bustle of Paris. In this solitary, charming place, the writer composed the first chapters of Economic Harmonies.
Chalosse. The part of the Landes in which Bastiat had his home. It covers several counties.
Croissy. A small town near Paris.
Les Eaux-Bonnes.See Les Bagnères.
Garonne. A river in southwest France.
Landes. A French département in southwest France, where Bastiat spent most of his life.
Mugron. A small town in the Landes overlooking the Adour River, where Bastiat lived from 1825 to 1845. At the time it was a significant commercial center, with a port on the Adour River and about two thousand inhabitants (fifteen hundred now). Today, Mugron has a street, a square, and a plaza named after Bastiat.
Pau. A town in southwest France.
Véfour. A famous Parisian restaurant, still in existence. The members of the Société d’économie politique held a monthly meeting there.
Glossary of Subjects and Terms
Académie des sciences morales et politiques. One of the five académies that compose the Institut de France (see Institut de France).
Anti-Corn Law League. The Anti-Corn Law League, Corn League, or League, was founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright in Manchester. Their initial aim was to repeal the law restricting the import of grain (Corn Laws), but they soon called for the unilateral ending of all agricultural and industrial restrictions on the free movement of goods between Britain and the rest of the world. For seven years they organized rallies, meetings, public lectures, and debates from one end of Britain to the other and managed to have proponents of free trade elected to Parliament. The Tory government resisted for many years but eventually yielded on 25 June 1846, when unilateral free trade became the law of Great Britain.
Association pour la liberté des échanges. Founded in February 1846 in Bordeaux. Bastiat was the secretary of the board, presided over by François d’Harcourt and having among its members Michel Chevalier, Auguste Blanqui, Joseph Garnier, Gustave de Molinari, and Horace Say.
Capital and Rent (OC, vol. 5, p. 23, “Capital et rente”). This pamphlet first appeared in February 1849 and was a reply to the socialists Proudhon and Thoré.
Le Censeur. A journal founded by Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer. From 1814 to 1815 its full name was Le Censeur, ou examen des actes et des ouvrages qui tendent à détruire ou à consolider la constitution de l’État; later, from 1817 to 1819, it was called Le Censeur européen ou Examen de diverses questions de droit public et de divers ouvrages littéraires et scientifiques, considérés dans leurs rapports avec le progrès de la civilisation. The journal was devoted to political and economic matters and was a constant thorn in the side of first Napoléon’s empire and then the restored monarchy. It was threatened with closure by the authorities on several occasions and finally was forced to close in 1815. During this period of enforced leisure Comte and Dunoyer discovered the economic writings of Jean-Baptiste Say, and when the journal reopened, it tilted toward economic and social matters as a result. It was one of the most important journals of liberal thought in the early nineteenth century.
Le Censeur européen. See Le Censeur.
La Chalosse. A weekly journal of the district of Saint-Sever.
Charter.See Constitutional Charter.
Cobden and the League (OC, vol. 3: Cobden et la ligue: ou, L’Agitation anglaise pour la liberté du commerce). First published in 1845 by Guillaumin as a separate book before it was reissued in Bastiat’s Œuvres complètes. Bastiat was so impressed with the organization and tactics of the Anti-Corn Law League in Britain that he wished to emulate it in France. He was ultimately largely unsuccessful. As part of his efforts to inspire the French people to pressure the government for tariff reform he put together this collection of translations of many of the League’s public speeches, newspaper reports of their meetings, and other documents of the campaign. He prefaced the book with a long introduction in which he outlined the League’s goals and beliefs (see OC, vol. 3, p. 1, “Introduction”).
Collège de France. An institution created under François I in 1529 to deliver advanced teaching not yet available at the universities.
Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. A public institution of higher education created by Abbé Grégoire in 1794. It was intended for people already engaged in professional life.
Constituent Assembly (Assemblée constituante). A body elected by universal suffrage to prepare a constitution. Its motions were prepared by two commissions and fifteen committees.
Constitutional Charter. Promulgated by Louis XVIII on 4 June 1814. It was a compromise between the principles of the ancien régime and the reforms brought about by the French Revolution.
Corn Laws. Legislation introduced by Parliament in the seventeenth century to maintain a high price for corn (in the British context this meant grain, especially wheat) by preventing the importation of cheaper foreign grain altogether or by imposing a duty on it in order to protect domestic producers from competition. The laws were revised in 1815 following the collapse of wheat prices at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The artificially high prices which resulted led to rioting in London and Manchester. The laws were again amended in 1828 and 1842 to introduce a more flexible sliding scale of duties which would be imposed when the domestic price of wheat fell below a set amount. The high price caused by protection led to the formation of opposition groups, such as the Anti-Corn Law League in 1838, and to the founding of the Economist magazine in 1843. Pressure for repeal came from within Parliament by members of Parliament, such as Richard Cobden (elected in 1841), and from without by a number of factors: the well-organized public campaigning by the Anti-Corn Law League; the writings of classical economists who were nearly universally in favor of free trade; the writings of popular authors such as Harriet Martineau, Jane Marcet, and Thomas Hodgskin; and the pressure of crop failures in Ireland in 1845. The Conservative prime minister Sir Robert Peel announced the repeal of the Corn Laws on 27 January 1846, to take effect on 1 February 1849 after a period of gradual reduction in the level of the duty. The act was passed by the House of Commons on 15 May and approved by the House of Lords on 25 June, thus bringing to an end centuries of agricultural protection in England.
Council of State. A French institution giving advice on draft bills and acting as a court of final appeal on administrative matters. Its members were appointed by the king.
Le Courrier français. A daily paper, with a mildly Catholic, leftist, and monarchic slant. It ran from 1819 to 1851.
Damned Money (OC, vol. 5, p. 64, “Maudit argent”). The pamphlet Maudit argent first appeared in the April 1849 edition of the Journal des économistes and was written in response to a criticism of money expressed by an economist on the government’s finance committee.
La Démocratie pacifique: Journal des intérêts des gouvernements et des peuples. A Fourrierist journal, launched by Victor Considérant, advocating the creation of “harmonious communities.” It ran from 1843 to 1851.
Département. France is divided into ninety-five départements, which are the equivalent of counties and which enjoy a certain administrative autonomy.
Deputy. A member of the French parliament.
Economic Harmonies (OC, vol. 6: Harmonies économiques). “Social Harmonies” was the original title Bastiat gave to what was eventually published as Economic Harmonies. The idea that all voluntary economic exchanges are “harmonious,” mutually beneficial to both parties to the exchange, and conducive to social peace and order is a key insight of Bastiat and one that preoccupied him as he was dying. His chef d’œuvre and the only book-length work he ever wrote but left unfinished at his death was Harmonies économiques. It was published posthumously in a more complete version by his friends in Paris in 1851.
Economic Sophisms (OC, vol. 4: Sophismes économiques). Bastiat published two collections of essays under the general title Economic Sophisms. Originally published in Le Journal des économistes in 1845 and 1847, these essays were designed to refute common misconceptions about the free market, which Bastiat termed “sophisms.” A first collection was published by Guillaumin in book form in 1846 as Sophismes économiques. Guillaumin also published further editions in 1847 and 1848. Very popular, they went through many editions and were quickly translated into Spanish, Italian, German, and English.
Économiste. See Les Économistes.
Les Économistes. In Bastiat’s lifetime Les Économistes was the term used to refer to the free-trade school of economic thought.
February Revolution.See Revolution of 1848.
Fourierism.See glossary of names: Fourier, François-Marie Charles.
General Council. A chamber in each French département that deliberates on subjects concerning the département. It has one representative per county (28 at the time for the Landes département, 31 today), elected for nine years then (six years today). Its functions have varied over time. Bastiat was elected general councillor in 1833 for the county of Mugron, a post he held until his death. At that time, the council deliberations had to be approved by the prefect.
Harmonies. See Economic Harmonies.
L’Indicateur. Newspaper with a very liberal perspective.
Individualism and Fraternity (Individualisme et fraternité). The unpublished sketch “Individualisme et fraternité” was written to refute the socialist interpretation of the first French Revolution that was expressed by Louis Blanc in his Histoire de la révolution française, the first volume of which appeared in 1847.
Institut de France. Academic institution covering the five académies (arts, literature, sciences, history and archaeology, and moral and political sciences).
Jacques Bonhomme. A short-lived biweekly paper that seems to have lasted for only four issues (June-July 1848). It was founded and largely written by Bastiat, Alcide Fonteyraud, Charles Coquelin, and Gustave de Molinari. Its purpose was to counter socialist ideas during the 1848 revolution, and it was handed out in the streets of Paris.
Le Journal des débats. A journal founded in 1789 by the Bertin family and managed for almost forty years by Louis-François Bertin. The journal went through several title changes and after 1814 became Le Journal des débats politiques et littéraires. The journal likewise underwent several changes of political positions: it was against Napoléon during the First Empire; under the second restoration it became conservative rather than reactionary; and under Charles X it was in support of the liberal stance espoused by the doctrinaires. It ceased publication in 1944.
Le Journal des économistes.Le Journal des économistes: revue mensuelle de l’économie politique, des questions agricoles, manufacturières et commerciales was the journal of the Société d’économie politique and appeared from December 1841 until the fall of France in 1940. It was published by the firm of Guillaumin, which also published the writings of most of the liberals of the period. Le Journal des économistes was the leading journal of the free-market economists (known as Les Économistes) in France in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was edited by Adolphe Blanqui (1841-42), Hippolyte Dussard (1843-45), Joseph Garnier (1845-55), Henri Baudrillart (1855-65), Joseph Garnier (1865-81), Gustave de Molinari (1881-1909), and Yves Guyot (1910-?). Many of Bastiat’s articles for the journal were later published as pamphlets and books, and his works were all reviewed there. There are fifty-eight entries under Bastiat’s name in the table of contents of the journal for the period 1841 to 1865.
Le Journal du commerce. A business daily that appeared from 1795 through 1837 under various titles.
July Monarchy.See Revolution of 1848.
July Revolution.See Revolution of 1848.
Justice and Fraternity (OC, vol. 4, p. 298, “Justice et fraternité”). This essay first appeared in Le Journal des économistes on 15 June 1848 and was one of several essays Bastiat wrote during the 1848 revolution to counter socialist ideas. In this essay, Bastiat takes aim at socialists such as Fourier, Cabet, Owen, Proudhon, and Louis Blanc, who wished to use the law in order to bring about by force their ideal of fraternity. Bastiat contrasts this with the aim of political economists like himself, who saw the function of the law as one of achieving universal justice by protecting each individual’s life, liberty, and property.
The Law (OC, vol. 4, p. 342, “La Loi”). Bastiat wrote two pieces titled “La Loi”: the first was published as a pamphlet, La Loi (1850); the second was his only entry, “Lois,” in the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852), vol. 2, pp. 93-100, published posthumously. The Law is quite well known to English readers because it was quickly translated in 1853 and has been kept in print since 1950 by the Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.
League.See Anti-Corn Law League.
Le Libre échange. The weekly journal of the Association pour la liberté des échanges. It began in 1846 as Le Libre-échange: Journal du travail agricole, industriel et commercial but changed its name to the simpler Libre échange at the start of its second year of publication. It closed in 1848 as a result of the revolution. The first fifty-two issues were published as a book by the Guillaumin publishing firm under the title Le Libre-échange, journal de l’association pour la liberté des échanges (1847). The first sixty-four issues were published by Bastiat, the editor in chief, and Joseph Garnier; the last eight issues were published by Charles Coquelin. The journal’s editorial board included Anisson-Dupéron (pair de France), Bastiat, Blanqui, Gustave Brunet (assistant to the mayor of Bordeaux), Campan (secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux), Michel Chevalier, Coquelin, Dunoyer, Faucher, Fonteyraud, Garnier, Louis Leclerc, Molinari, Paillottet, Horace Say, and Wolowski.
Le Mémorial bordelais. A newspaper that represented several political perspectives.
Le Moniteur. See Le Moniteur industriel.
Le Moniteur industriel. A periodical created in July 1835. It became the stronghold of protectionists and Bastiat’s bête noire.
Montagnard Manifesto.See La Montagne.
Montagnards.See La Montagne.
La Montagne (The Mountain). La Montagne comprised a group of deputies (Montagnards) favorable to a “democratic and social republic.” The Montagnard Manifesto expressed their ideas. The name comes from the first general assemblies of the Revolution, in which the deputies professing these ideas sat in the highest part of the assembly, “the mountain.”
Le National. Liberal paper founded in 1830 by Adolphe Thiers to fight the ultrareactionary politics of the prince de Polignac. It played a decisive role during the “three glorious days” and contributed to the success of Louis-Philippe. Its readership considerably exceeded the number of its subscribers (around three thousand).
National Guard. A militia created in 1789, recruited mainly from among the bourgeoisie. It was responsible for keeping order jointly with the army. Dissolved in 1827, it was reestablished in July 1830. La Fayette took command of it, as he had forty years earlier, in 1789. It played an essential role under Louis-Philippe, and its desertion in 1848 marked the end of that regime.
Navigation Act. The act prevented merchandise from being imported into Britain if it was not transported by British ships or ships from the producer countries. The first act, adopted in 1651, applied to commerce within Europe and generated a war with Holland (1652-54). Extended to colonies in 1660 and 1663, it generated a second war with Holland (1665-67). It was repealed in 1849.
La Patrie. A political journal of no fixed political opinions.
Plunder and Law (OC, vol. 5, p. 1, “Spoliation et loi”). The pamphlet Spoliation et loi, published by Le Journal des économistes on 15 May 1850.
Prefect. A representative of the executive branch in a département (see Glossary of Places: département). The prefecture is the location of the office of the prefect. In large départements, there are also administrative subdivisions called sous prefectures, which are headed by sous préfêts.
La Presse. A widely distributed daily newspaper, created in 1836 by the journalist, businessman, and politician Émile de Girardin (1806-81). Girardin was one of the creators of the modern press and author of, among many works, the brochure Le Socialisme et l’impôt (1849), in which he advocated a single tax on capital and revenue.
Property and Law (OC, vol. 4, p. 275, “Propriété et loi”). The pamphlet Propriété et loi appeared in the May 1848 edition of Le Journal des économistes and was written to defend a natural law theory of property.
Property and Plunder (OC, vol. 4, p. 394, “Propriété et spoliation”). During the 1848 revolution Bastiat wrote an important pamphlet in the July 1848 edition of Le Journal des débats. It was a reply to socialist critics of property, such as Louis Blanc, Proudhon, and Considérant, especially the latter’s Théorie du droit de propriété et du droit au travail. A key to understanding the social and economic ideas of the French économistes in general, and Bastiat in particular, is the contrasting notions of “property” and “plunder” (or “spoliation” in French). According to this view, there are two contrasting ways of acquiring and owning property. On the one hand there is “property” justly acquired through one’s own hard work or by the peaceful exchange with other property owners on the free market. On the other hand there is “spoliation,” or plunder, by which one uses violence oneself or uses the power of the state to act on one’s behalf to take the justly acquired property of others through legislation, subsidies, tariffs, taxation, or other state-enforced means.
Protectionism and Communism (OC, vol. 4, p. 504, “Protectionisme et communisme”). The pamphlet Protectionisme et communisme was written in response to a work by Thiers, De la propriété.
La Quotidienne. A royalist journal, organ of the legitimists during the July Monarchy.
La République française. A newspaper launched by Bastiat, which lasted only a few days. The circumstances are explained in the letter to Félix Coudroy of 13 February 1848 (see Letter 89).
Revolution of 1848 (also called the February Revolution). Because France went through so many revolutions between 1789 and 1870, they are often distinguished by reference to the month in which they occurred. Thus, we have the “July Monarchy” (of 1830) (also called the revolution of 1830), when the restored Bourbon monarchy of 1815 was overthrown in order to create a more liberal and constitutional monarchy under Louis-Philippe; the “February Revolution” (of 1848), when the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe was overthrown and the Second Republic was formed; the “June Days” (of 1848), when a rebellion by workers in Paris who were protesting the closure of the government-subsidized National Workshops work-relief program was bloodily put down by General Cavaignac; and the “18 Brumaire of Louis-Napoléon,” which refers to the coup d’état that brought Louis-Napoléon (Napoléon Bonaparte’s nephew) to power on 2 December 1851 and which ushered in the creation of the Second Empire—the phrase was coined by Karl Marx and refers to another date, 18 Brumaire in the revolutionary calendar, or 9 November 1799, when Napoléon Bonaparte declared himself dictator in another coup d’état. Bastiat was an active participant in the 1848 revolution, being elected to the Constituent Assembly on 23 April 1848 and then to the Legislative Assembly on 13 May 1849.
Revolution of 1830. See Revolution of 1848.
La Revue britannique. A monthly review founded in 1825 by Sébastien-Louis Saulnier (1790-1835), which contained many articles on economic matters. Its full title read Revue britannique. Receuil international. Choix d’articles extraits des meilleurs écrits périodiques da la Grande-Bretagne et de l’Amérique, complété sur des articles originaux. The issue of the 6th series, vol. 1, in 1846, contained a long essay on the Anti-Corn Law League, by Alcide Fonteyraud, “La Ligue anglaise,” which was based on Bastiat’s book Cobden and the League (1845). The Revue ceased publication in 1901.
La Revue des deux mondes. A review founded in 1829 by François Buloz that published essays on arts, literature, politics, and society. Its name was a reflection of its aim, namely, to bring France and the United States closer together. It ceased publication in 1944.
La Revue encyclopédique. A review founded in 1819 by M. A. Julien. During the restoration period it was quite liberal, with many articles and book reviews on economists such as Say, Dunoyer, and MacCulloch. It changed direction in 1831, when the son of the founder took it in a markedly Saint-Simonian direction. It ceased publication in 1835.
September Laws. Laws restricting liberties promulgated in September 1835, following an attempt against the life of Louis-Philippe.
Social Harmonies. See Economic Harmonies.
Société d’économie politique (Society of Political Economy) was founded in 1842, with the name Réunion des économistes, and began meeting regularly in October 1842. Summaries of the meetings were published by Joseph Garnier, the permanent secretary and vice president of the society, in Le Journal des économistes. The articles “Adresse au président de la ligue anglaise son adhésion sympathique aux principes de cette association,” vol. 13 (December-March 1846), p. 19; “Réponse de M. Cobden au nom de la Ligue,” vol. 14 (April-July 1846), p. 60; and “Banquet offert à M. Cobden,” vol. 15 (August-November 1846), p. 89, show the very great interest the society had in Cobden’s activities in England.
Sophisms. See Economic Sophisms.
The State (OC, vol. 4, p. 327, “L’État”). Originally published in Le Journal des débats in September 1848, “The State” was one of several essays which Bastiat wrote during the 1848 revolution in order to counter socialist ideas and proposals for increased economic interventionism. His criticism and sarcasm in this piece was directed toward the Montagnard faction (see La Montagne) in the Chamber. This group was promising the moon to French citizens and was urging massive increases in the function of the state to achieve this. In this short essay Bastiat sarcastically offered his own definition of what the state was, namely “the great fiction by which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”
La Voix du peuple. A newspaper launched by Proudhon on 30 September 1849 to replace Le Peuple, a paper that had ceased on 13 June 1849. La Voix du peuple ceased in May 1850.
What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen (OC, vol. 5, p. 336, “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas ou, l’économie politique en une leçon”). This was the last pamphlet Bastiat wrote, in 1850, before his death. It has a sad story, as Bastiat wanted to refute many of the bad economic arguments he had heard in the National Assembly. According to George de Huszar, the editor of Bastiat’s Selected Essays on Political Economy (Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1964), in which this essay appears, Bastiat lost the original manuscript in a house move and so rewrote it. He was unhappy with the result, so he rewrote it again. The expression “what is seen and what is not seen” has become emblematic of Bastiat’s approach to economic problems in that he wants to go beneath the apparent surface of economic phenomena, such as in the parable of the broken window. Some would see the broken window as an opportunity for the glass industry to expand its sales and create more work; others, like Bastiat, would see it as a loss because the old window has been destroyed and what is spent on replacing it might have been used to purchase something else. Bastiat spent the last decade of his life making arguments like this to a popular audience who did not seem to understand.
Wine and Spirits Tax. Eliminated by the revolutionary parliament of 1789, the tax on wine and spirits was progressively reinstated during the empire. It comprised four components: (1) a consumption tax (10 percent of the sale price); (2) a license fee paid by the vendor, depending on the number of inhabitants; (3) a tax on circulation, which depended on the département; and (4) an entry duty for the towns of more than four hundred inhabitants, depending on the sale price and the number of inhabitants. Being from a wine-producing region, Bastiat had always been preoccupied by a law that was very hard on the local farmers.
List of the Correspondence by Recipient
To Victor Calmètes
- 1. Bayonne, 12 September 1819
- 2. Bayonne, 5 March 1820
- 3. Bayonne, 18 March 1820
- 4. Bayonne, 10 September 1820
- 5. Bayonne, October 1820
- 6. Bayonne, 29 April 1821
- 7. Bayonne, 10 September 1821
- 8. Bayonne, 8 December 1821
- 9. Bayonne, 20 October 1822
- 10. Bayonne, December 1822
- 15. Mugron, 12 March 1829
- 16. Mugron, July 1829
- 19. Bayonne, 22 April 1831
- 54. Bayonne, 4 March 1846
To Félix Coudroy
- 11. Bayonne, 15 December 1824
- 12. Bayonne, 8 January 1825
- 13. Bordeaux, 9 April 1827
- 14. Bayonne, 3 December 1827
- 17. Bayonne, 4 August 1830
- 18. Bayonne, 5 August 1830
- 20. Bordeaux, 2 March 1834
- 21. Bayonne, 16 June 1840
- 22. Madrid, 6 July 1840
- 23. Madrid, 16 July 1840
- 24. Madrid, 17 August 1840
- 25. Lisbon, 24 October 1840
- 26. Lisbon, 7 November 1840
- 27. Paris, 2 January 1841
- 28. Paris, 11 January 1841
- 29. Bagnères, 10 July 1844
- 30. Eaux-Bonnes, 26 July 1844
- 37. Paris, May 1845
- 38. Paris, 23 May 1845
- 39. Paris, 5 June 1845
- 40. 16 June 1845
- 41. 18 . . . [no month or year given]
- 42. Paris, 3 July 1845
- 43. London, July 1845
- 53. Bordeaux, 19 February 1846
- 56. Paris, 22 March 1846
- 60. Paris, 18 April 1846
- 61. Paris, 3 May 1846
- 62. Paris, 4 May 1846
- 63. Paris, 24 May 1846
- 67. Bordeaux, 22 July 1846
- 77. Paris, 11 March 1847
- 81. Paris, August 1847
- 85. Paris, 5 January 1848
- 87. Paris, 24 January 1848
- 89. Paris, 13 February 1848
- 94. Paris, 29 February 1848
- 101. Paris, 9 June 1848
- 102. Paris, 24 June 1848
- 108. Paris, 26 August 1848
- 110. Paris, 7 September 1848
- 115. Paris, 26 November 1848
- 116. Paris, 5 December 1848
- 120. Paris, 1 January 1849
- 130. Paris, 15 March 1849
- 133. Paris, 25 April 1849
- 142. Paris, 30 July 1849
- 155. Paris, 13 December 1849
- 158. Paris, January 1850
- 189. Paris, 9 September 1850
- 203. Rome, 11 November 1850
To A. M. Laurence
- 31. Mugron, 9 November 1844
To Richard Cobden
- 32. Mugron, 24 November 1844
- 36. Mugron, 8 April 1845
- 44. London, 8 July 1845
- 46. Mugron, 2 October 1845
- 48. Mugron, 13 December 1845
- 50. Mugron, 13 January 1846
- 51. Mugron, 9 February 1846
- 52. Bordeaux, February 1846
- 55. Paris, 16 March 1846
- 57. Paris, 25 March 1846
- 58. Paris, 2 April 1846
- 59. Paris, 11 April 1846
- 64. Paris, 25 May 1846
- 65. Mugron, 25 June 1846
- 66. Bordeaux, 21 July 1846
- 68. Paris, 23 September 1846
- 69. Paris, 29 September 1846
- 70. Paris, 1 October 1846
- 71. Paris, 22 October 1846
- 72. Paris, 22 November 1846
- 73. Paris, 25 November 1846
- 74. Paris, 20 December 1846
- 75. Paris, 25 December 1846
- 76. Paris, 10 January 1847
- 78. Paris, 20 March 1847
- 79. Paris, 20 April 1847
- 80. Paris, 5 July 1847
- 83. Paris, 15 October 1847
- 84. Paris, 9 November 1847
- 91. Paris, 25 February 1848
- 92. Paris, 26 February 1848
- 96. Mugron, 5 April 1848
- 98. Paris, 11 May 1848
- 100. Paris, 27 May 1848
- 103. Paris, 27 June 1848
- 106. Paris, 7 August 1848
- 107. Paris, 18 August 1848
- 151. Paris, 17 October 1849
- 152. Paris, 24 October 1849
- 157. Paris, 31 December 1849
- 185. Paris, 3 August 1850
- 186. Paris, 17 August 1850
- 188. Paris, 9 September 1850
- 199. Pisa, 18 October 1850
To Horace Say
- 33. Mugron, 24 November 1844
- 82. Mugron, Monday, October 1847
- 97. Mugron, 12 April 1848
- 146. Mugron, 16 September 1849
- 172. Mugron, 3 June 1850
- 182. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 4 July 1850
- 200. Pisa, 20 October 1850
To Charles Dunoyer, member of the Institute
- 34. Mugron, 7 March 1845
To Alphonse de Lamartine
- 35. Mugron, 7 March 1845.
To Mr. Paulton
- 45. Paris, 29 July 1845
To [D.] Potonié
- 47. Mugron, 24 October 1845
To Alcide Fonteyraud
- 49. Mugron, 20 December 1845
To Mrs. Schwabe
- 86. Paris, 17 January 1848
- 88. Paris, 27 January 1848
- 90. Paris, 16 February 1848
- 99. Paris, 17 May 1848
- 114. Paris, 14 November 1848
- 118. Paris, 28 December 1848
- 129. Paris, 11 March 1849
- 150. Paris, 14 October 1849
To Marie-Julienne Badbedat (Mme Marsan)
- 93. 27 February 1848
To Bernard Domenger
- 95. Paris, 4 March 1848
- 109. Paris, 3 September 1848
- 122. Paris, 18 January 1849
- 125. Paris, 3 February 1849
- 126. Paris, 1849 [no month or day]
- 127. Paris, 21 March 1849
- 131. Paris, 25 March 1849
- 132. Paris, 8 April 1849
- 134. Paris, 29 April 1849
- 136. Paris, 1849 [no month or day]
- 140. Paris, Tuesday, 13 . . . (Summer 1849)
- 154. Paris, 13 November 1849
- 156. Paris, 25 December 1849
- 162. Paris, 18 February 1850
- 164. Paris, 22 March 1850
- 196. Pisa, 8 October 1850
- 205. Rome, 28 November 1850
To Julie Marsan (Mme Affre)
- 104. Paris, 29 June 1848
To Mr. Schwabe
- 105. Paris, 1 July 1848
- 111. Dover, 7 October 1848
- 112. Paris, 25 October 1848
To Mme Cheuvreux
- 113. Paris, November 1848
- 119. Paris, January 1849
- 123. Paris, February 1849
- 124. Paris, February 1849
- 128. Paris, Monday, March 1849
- 135. Paris, 3 May 1849
- 137. Brussels, Hôtel de Bellevue, June 1849
- 138. Brussels, June 1849
- 139. Antwerp, June 1849
- 143. Mont-de-Marsan, 30 August 1849
- 144. Mugron, 12 September 1849
- 147. Mugron, 18 September 1849
- 148. Paris, 7 October 1849
- 149. Paris, 8 October 1849
- 153. Paris, November 1849
- 159. Paris, 2 January 1850
- 160. Paris, January 1850
- 161. Paris, February 1850
- 163. Paris, March 1850
- 165. Paris, Friday, April 1850
- 166. Bordeaux, May 1850
- 168. Mugron, 20 May 1850
- 169. Mugron, 23 May 1850
- 170. Mugron, 27 May 1850
- 174. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 15 June 1850
- 176. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 23 June 1850
- 177. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 24 June 1850
- 181. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 4 July 1850
- 183. Mugron, July 1850
- 192. Lyons, 14 September 1850
- 194. Marseilles (on board the Castor), 22 September 1850
- 195. Pisa, 2 October 1850
- 198. Pisa, 14 October 1850
- 202. Pisa, 29 October 1850
- 207. Rome, 14, 15, and 16 December 1850
To the Count Arrivabene
- 117. Paris, 21 December 1848
- 201. Pisa, 28 October 1850
To George Wilson, chairman of the Anti-Corn Law League
- 121. Paris, 15 January 1849
To Prosper Paillottet
- 141. Paris, 14 July 1849
- 167. Mugron, 19 May 1850
- 171. Mugron, 2 June 1850
- 175. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 23 June 1850
- 178. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 28 June 1850
- 179. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 2 July 1850
- 190. Lyons, 14 September 1850
- 197. Pisa, 11 October 1850
- 204. Rome, 26 November 1850
- 206. Rome, 8 December 1850
To M. Cheuvreux
- 145. Mugron, 16 September 1849
- 184. Mugron, 14 July 1850
- 193. Marseilles, 18 September 1850
To Louise Cheuvreux
- 173. Mugron, 11 June 1850
- 191. Lyons, 14 September 1850
To M. de Fontenay
- 180. Les Eaux-Bonnes, 3 July 1850
To the president of the Peace Congress in Frankfurt
- 187. Paris, 17 August 1850
From Prosper Paillottet to Mme Cheuvreux
- 208. Rome, 22 December 1850
To the Journal des économistes
- 209. Undated
Bibliography of Primary Sources
Secondary education took place in royal “colleges” (former Napoleonic lycées), or municipal “colleges.” The construction cost of the latter was borne by the town. The Theater of Bayonne had been built in 1840.
Virgil’s first Eclogue begins, “Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi.” (“Tityrus, reclining beneath the cover of a spreading beech tree.”)
“Steps to Parnassus” (title).
“Nourishment,” “clothing,” “housing.”
From Molière’s Les Femmes savantes.
Belise was one of “les femmes savantes” (the learned ladies).
Bayonne is located at the confluence of the Adour and Nive rivers.
“No unequal match for many.”
On 29 February 1848, a High Commission for Education was set up to help the minister of education.
Spain was the setting for several Franco-British rivalries.
In 1843 France signed a trade treaty with the kingdom of Sardinia.
A customs union, the Zollverein, was constituted after 1818 at the initiative of Prussia. In 1834 it comprised thirty-four German states.
A customs union between Belgium and France was contemplated as a counterbalance to the Zollverein but never realized. Instead, a less ambitious Franco-Belgian commercial treaty was ratified in 1845.
In order to quell disturbances in the papal states, Pope Gregory XVI called upon Austria. On 28 June 1832, Austrian troops entered Bologna, Italy. For reasons of diplomatic balance, a French garrison was sent to Ancona, southeast of Bologna. In 1832 the Austrian troops left Bologna and the French troops left Ancona.
In 1842 Tahiti was a French protectorate. Following incidents with English ships, Admiral Dupetit-Thouars transformed it into a territory of “direct sovereignty.” This created tension between London and Paris. The latter disavowed the admiral on 24 February 1844.
(Paillottet’s note) From the second issue of La République française, that of 27 February, until the fifth dated 1 March 1848, Bastiat’s name figures on the last line of the newspaper with the names of its other editors. This is no longer the case in the following issues. Bastiat no longer gave his signature to the newspaper, but limited himself to signing his own articles.
The title of the petition was “A Ministry of Progress, Work Organization, and Abolition of the Exploitation of Man by Man.”
(Paillottet’s note) In the sense that they attract competition the most.
The Town Hall of Paris was the seat of the temporary government after the “three glorious days” of February 1848.
The sale of tobacco products was a state monopoly in France.
On 3 May 1847, the Whig government of John Russell adopted the Factory Bill (Ten Hours’ Bill), which limited the work of women and young people under eighteen to ten hours on weekdays and eight hours on Saturday.
By the treaty of Waitangi, the Maoris acknowledged English sovereignty but did not accept the constitution.
The queen of Portugal, Maria II, was threatened by rebels. Palmerston imposed a compromise that was not observed.
In 1845 Brazil had not yet abolished slavery. Palmerston decided that suspicious Brazilian ships would be inspected, even in territorial waters, and that guilty shipowners and captains would be prosecuted by British tribunals (Aberdeen Bill). The bill was applied.
(Paillottet’s note) In vol. 2, pp. 459 to 465, is shown the contingent supplied by Bastiat to the Petites affiches de Jacques Bonhomme. [OC, vol. 2, p. 459, “Petites affiches de Jacques Bonhomme”; and p. 462, “Circulaires d’un ministère introuvable.”] Through the kindness of M. G. de Molinari, we are now able to reproduce short articles written by Bastiat for two other public broadsheets, which had a short existence in 1848, La République française and Jacques Bonhomme.
At the outset of the revolution of February 1848, the memory of the Revolution of 1789 was still very fresh, at least in the literature. In this article and the two following ones, Bastiat betrays the fear that the proclamation of the Republic will trigger a resumption of wars on the part of the monarchies. Later on, he wholeheartedly approves a subtle note sent to French embassies by Lamartine, the great poet and statesman, then minister of foreign affairs of the provisional government, aimed at soothing foreign concerns.
The revolution of 1848.
The 1847 budget foresaw 1,357,253,000 francs of revenues and 1,458,725,000 francs of expenses, out of which 335,898,000 were for the army and 108,315,000 for the navy.
This piece was untitled in the original.
Bastiat’s letter is dated 27 February (1848). On 23 February the prime minister, François Guizot, resigned and a number of demonstrators were shot. On 26 February the liberal opposition organized a provisional government and declared the Second Republic, leading to the abdication of King Louis-Philippe.
The Austrian empire, ruled by Metternich under the nominal authority of Ferdinand I; Prussia of Frederick William IV; and the Russian empire of Tsar Nicholas I were the three great absolutist powers in Europe.
The revolution of 1848.
Under the honorable pretext of fighting the trade in slaves, the “right of search” in practice gave control of the seas to England. See “On Parliamentary Reform,” note 31, p. 378.
In fact, the kingdom of Prussia did not have a constitution but a set of laws.
We have grouped the following four articles under the new title, “Articles in La République française on the Political Situation.”
A provisional government was formed on 24 February 1848 and presided over by Jacques Charles Dupont de l’Eure, who was a liberal deputy under the restoration and a minister of justice under the July Monarchy. Among the government’s most famous ministers were Lamartine (Foreign Affairs), Ledru-Rollin (Interior), Cremieux (Justice), and two socialists without portfolios: Alexandre Martin (called Albert) and Louis Blanc.
(Paillottet’s note) Here and elsewhere the use of the plural shows that Bastiat was speaking for his colleagues as well as himself. At this time, his signature appears in the paper as a mark of solidarity.
The revolution of 1848.
The revolution of 1848.
(Paillottet’s note) M. Adolphe de Lajonkaire.
The Constituent Assembly, elected on 23 April 1848, adopted the Constitution on 4 November and dissolved itself by the end of April 1849.
The lois de suspects (law of suspects), passed 12 August 1793 and enlarged by the decree of 17 September 1793, made way for the Terror phase of the Revolution. Directed at first toward the nobility, it allowed the immediate arrest of suspects, without cause or proof of a crime.
Since 29 October 1840, Guizot, then minister of foreign affairs, had been the key man of a government whose prime minister was Marshal Soult.
A part of the Landes.
See “To the Electors of the Landes,” p. 387.
In 1789 the National Assembly put the properties of the church “at the disposal of the Nation.” In exchange, the nation took over the payments to the clergy.
(Paillottet’s note) This draft article indicates its date itself. [There are references in this piece to Pope Pius, who was pope from 1846 to 1878. Also there is a reference to “His Lordship, the Bishop of Langres” (Pierre-Louis Parisis), who was elected to the Constituent Assembly of 4 May 1848. Thus, we estimate that this article could be dated sometime in mid-1848.]
The name given by the absolutists to the count of Chambord, son of Charles X. He never reigned.
Following a political crisis in Italy, Pope Pius IX took refuge in Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples. The Italian Republic was proclaimed in 1849. To please the French Catholics and to prevent Austria from intervening, the National Assembly sent troops to restore the pope in Rome while protecting the new republic. The new Roman republic fell nevertheless after a month of fighting. See also “Pius IX” in the Glossary of Persons.
(Paillottet’s note) The next word is missing in the manuscript. It is possible that the insertion of would perish would be in line with the thinking of the author.
This paragraph and the preceding two paragraphs were found on a separate piece of paper.
A Fourier-type commune. See also “Fourier” in the Glossary of Persons.
The irony is that Louis-Napoléon seized power in a coup d’état in December 1851 and was made emperor in December 1852.