By Bastiat F.

ISBN-10: 1933550074

ISBN-13: 9781933550077

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If want is a pain, effort is a pain also, and there is therefore no reason why he should not seek to diminish the latter, when he can do so without diminishing the satisfaction, which is his ultimate object. This is the reason of his success when he comes to replace onerous by gratuitous Utility, which is the perpetual object of his search. qxd 7/6/2007 11:34 AM Page 49 Harmonies of Political Economy—Book One 49 It follows from the interested nature of the human heart, that we constantly seek to increase the proportion that our Satisfactions bear to our Efforts; and it results from the intelligent nature of our mind that we manage at each step to augment the proportion that gratuitous bears to onerous Utility.

Rousseau and his disciples of the Convention have been held up to us of late as the apostles of human fraternity. Men for materials, a ruler for mechanician, a father of nations for inventor, a philosopher above them all—imposture for means, slavery for result—is this the fraternity that is promised us? This work of Rousseau to which I have referred—the “Contrat Social”—appears to me well fitted to exhibit the characteristics of these artificial social organizations. The inventors of such systems set out with the idea that society is a state contrary to nature, and they seek to subject humanity to different combinations.

It is easy to see that there are two rocks ahead upon which this undertaking may founder. In the middle of the vortex in which we are carried along, if this work is abstruse, it will not be read; if it obtains readers, the questions of which it treats will be but lightly dealt with. How are we to reconcile the exactions of the reader with the requirements of science? To satisfy all conditions both in form and substance, each word would require to be weighed, and have its proper place assigned to it.

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Bastiat Collection: Harmonies of political economy by Bastiat F.

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