Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fear and Faith in France

"Vaclac Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, said that communism rested on two pillars : "fear and faith", and when at least one of those two pillars collapsed, the whole system collapsed. In France, we have not reached that stage yet. We are frightened, but of the unknown, of strikes, of socialists, of public opinion. And we still believe in State intervention. And yet we should trust ideas that are right. Bastiat said : "Unity should result from the universal feeling of free conviction and from the natural attraction that truth exercises on men's minds". Hayek was less optimistic. He said : "The day France becomes libertarian, to be sure the whole world will have become so before then"."

Pascal Salin holds a doctorate in economics and is professor of economics at the university of Paris-Dauphine. This paragraph came from a dinner-debate at the Bastiat Circle in France.

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