It is really difficult for our prejudices to allow us, not only to judge correctly, but even to see the facts as they are.
Complete Works volume I, page 37 (in French)
Letter dated August the 17th, 1840
It is in the middle of a long letter written in Madrid that I found today’s quote. Frédéric Bastiat was in Spain where, if I understand correctly, he was trying to found an insurance company. He describes to his friend the chaotic situation pervading there after the first civil war (Carlist) and the nationalisation of convents and monasteries.
It is the opportunity to share here and there some reflexions about what is happening in revolutionary times. Today’s quote is applicable to each one of us in all circumstances but it is true that the risk is exacerbated at times when emotions are taking over reason. Indeed, we are all prejudiced – this is what allows us to take decisions and action quickly (it is impossible to analyse all relevant parameters of the situation permanently in order to take decisions). Ideally however, our decisions should be based on facts. The problem is that, particularly in a moment of excitement or fear, we tend to be blinded by our prejudices and to ignore the facts (the example of the recent crisis created amid the covid epidemic is blatant).