Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter seven: On Government Duties vis-à-vis Enlightenment - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter seven: On Government Duties vis-à-vis Enlightenment - Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments 
Principles of Politics Applicable to a all Governments, trans. Dennis O’Keeffe, ed. Etienne Hofmann, Introduction by Nicholas Capaldi (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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On Government Duties vis-à-vis Enlightenment
The duties of government vis-à-vis enlightenment are simple and easy. They are of quite another nature, however, from the direction they too often claim. Each generation adds to the resources, physical or moral, of the human race. Sometimes new methods are discovered, at other times machines invented, sometimes communication is perfected, at others facts are clarified. All these things are in some degree the acquisition of new faculties. They are worth preserving independently of the incidental purpose for which they can be used. Doubtless all man’s faculties, from those nature  has given him to those which time reveals to him or his efforts invent, have drawbacks as well as advantages. But the drawbacks of any faculty are not in the faculty itself but in the use made of it. Consequently, as long as government applies itself only to conserving the resources, the discoveries, the new abilities man has won, without giving them an aim or directing their use, it fulfills a salutary function, its action neither equivocal nor complicated. It does only unequivocal and harmless good.
The Outcome of Preceding Discussion Relative to the Action of Government