Our weapon is not cunning tricks but reason and good faith.

Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 2, pages 15 to 21 (in French)
December 13th, 1846

Once again facing the lack of success met by the Free-Trade Association, Frédéric Bastiat needs to explain his position. He addresses here the criticism of being too general in his approach rather than focusing on the iron industrialists.

Today’s quote insists once again on the fact that he is not a politician. He explains quickly what is the difference between the situation in the United Kingdom justifying the focus against the Corn Laws and the situation in France where all kinds of industrialists and landlords were embracing protectionism. The French issue being the absence of support from the public opinion, what was necessary was to convince the people that protectionism is harmful to everybody.

This thirst for reasoning and truth rather than politics will be found across all the Complete Works, including after his election as a Member of Parliament, as we can read in his speech from November 17th, 1849 in which he supports the right to go on strike.

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