Our role, with very little expenditure, will henceforward be limited to repressing abuses, that is to say, preventing one citizen’s freedom from being exercised at the expense of another’s.
Pamphlets and Journal des Débats
As a conclusion, Frédéric Bastiat reverts back to the large budget items that he wishes to see modified in order to redress the financial situation of the country. He also moans short-term view politics, which, in his view, is at the source of then current difficulties when the government focuses on power issues instead of trying to govern in a better way. This conclusion also reverts back to international policy and the important role played by peace in Bastiat’s mind, which is also at the heard of liberal thinking as I have underlined before in citing “If goods and services do not cross borders, soldiers will”.
At the end of the pamphlet, the editor added an article dated January 1st, 1849 that had been published in the Journal des Débats and is a summary of the position taken in Peace and Freedom under the form of an imaginary investiture speech. Today’s quote is chosen from this text and is in itself a summary of the deeply humanitarian policy that Frédéric Bastiat would love to see in place, to which I also dream of sometimes.
Other quotes from Peace and Freedom:
Introduction – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Conclusion