Front Page Titles (by Subject) 11.: Under the Republic 25 - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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11.: Under the Republic 25 - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Under the Republic25
[vol. 7, p. 210. According to Paillottet,
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.26
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:
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 budget28 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.
[25 ](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.
[26 ]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.
[27 ]The revolution of 1848.
[28 ]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.