Supervising the newspaper, giving a lecture to the youth in the schools, is this not better than being a Member of Parliament?
Complete Works volume I, page 78 (in French)
Letter dated August 1847
Three years before passing away, Frédéric Bastiat is becoming sick. In this letter to his friend Félix Coudroy, he reassures himself as for his role on earth. Posterity has judged and proved his lucidity. Although he became a Member of Parliament one year after writing this letter, it is not this function that we remember but his writings that he continued to refine until the sad Christmas of 1850 indeed.
We all are provisorily around and the modesty he is showing here should be a lesson for life to each of us. How many French politicians from the last two centuries have been more important than Frédéric Bastiat? Who will still be remembered two centuries from now? It is as individuals that we bring our contribution to humanity and let’s not deceive ourselves, the celebrity that is brought upon through an election is more of an expression of futility than our value on earth.