Page:Essays on Political Economy (Bastiat).djvu/141

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133
GOVERNMENT.

It is bound "To afford important encouragement and efficient protection to agriculture."

It is bound "To purchase railroads, canals, and mines; and, doubtless, to transact affairs with that industrial capacity which characterises it."

It is bound "To encourage useful experiments, to promote and assist them by every means likely to make them successful. As a regulator of credit, it will exercise such extensive influence over industrial and agricultural associations, as shall ensure them success."

Government is bound to do all this, in addition to the services to which it is already pledged; and further, it is always to maintain a menacing attitude towards foreigners; for, according to those who sign the programme, "Bound together by this holy union, and by the precedents of the French Republic, we carry our wishes and hopes beyond the boundaries which despotism has placed between nations. The rights which we desire for ourselves, we desire for all those who are oppressed by the yoke of tyranny; we desire that our glorious army, should still, if necessary, be the army of liberty.

You see that the gentle hand of Government—that good hand which gives and distributes, will be very busy under the government of the Montagnards. You think, perhaps, that it will be the same with the rough hand—that hand which dives into our pockets. Do not deceive yourselves. The aspirants after popularity would not know their trade, if they had not the art, when they show the gentle hand,