What Is Property?: An Inquiry Into the Principle of Right and of Government
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of liberty, of the laws of production, of the capacity of physical nature, and of the principle of society itself, -- it does not prevent the social sentiment from stepping over the boundaries of debt and credit. The fields of benevolence and love extend far beyond; and when economy has adjusted its balance, the mind begins to benefit by its own justice, and the heart expands in the boundlessness of its affection. The social sentiment then takes on a new character, which varies with different
facilitating expropriation -- lower the legal price of money. Otherwise, the reform concerning mortgages is but a trap set for small proprietors, -- a legislative trick. Lower interest on money! But, as we have just seen, that is to limit property. Here, sir, you shall make your own defence. More than once, in your learned lectures, I have heard you deplore the precipitancy of the Chambers, who, without previous study and without profound knowledge of the subject, voted almost unanimously to
is for you to instruct the people, and to tell them for what they ought to hope and what they ought to fear. The people, incapable as yet of sound judgment as to what is best for them, applaud indiscriminately the most opposite ideas, provided that in them they get a taste of flattery: to them the laws of thought are like the confines of the possible; to-day they can no more distinguish between a savant and a sophist, than formerly they could tell a physician from a sorcerer. `Inconsiderately
property, then, in your eyes a thing so simple and so abstract that you can re-knead and equalize it, if I may so speak, in your metaphysical mill? One who has said as many excellent and practical things as occur in these two beautiful and paradoxical improvisations of yours cannot be a pure and unwavering utopist. You are too well acquainted with the economical and academical phraseology to play with the hard words of revolutions. I believe, then, that you have handled property as Rousseau,
the extent of the evil and the difficulty of curing it, ordains the statu quo. "The Convention proclaims assistance of the poor to be a national debt. Its law remains unexecuted. "Napoleon also wishes to remedy the evil: his idea is imprisonment. `In that way,' said he, `I shall protect the rich from the importunity of beggars, and shall relieve them of the disgusting sight of abject poverty.' " O wonderful man! From these facts, which I might multiply still farther, two things are to be