What we need is fresh air, full daylight and honesty.

Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 2, pages 229 to 238 (in French)
February 23rd, 1846

This speech in Bordeaux is one of the constitutive elements of the Association for Free-Trade created in 1846. Frédéric Bastiat explains his position towards the English League, which was a source of inspiration, and towards the government and the restrictive regime in place. He announces the conflict of ideas that is to come.

Today’s quote is the seal of optimism of Frédéric Bastiat because it is motivated by nothing more and nothing else than the triumph of truth (against the monopoly). In a way, this is a way to support freedom of speech. Indeed, without freedom of speech, there can be no opposition to the official discourse and if the latter is wrong, there is no way for truth to be told. On the other hand, when freedom of speech exists, it allows to contradict erroneous ideas and to bring truth to light.

It is not necessary to be right in order to accept freedom of speech but opposing it means that one does not trust the success of his own truth, or highlights the will of keeping mistakes alive if any. In any case, it is not very glorious and defending such a position is impossible to do with integrity.

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