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empire of circumstances. The crowd of citizens may be divided, for it knows not to whom to pay attention; the language is the same, and it appears to them that they have only to choose between two factions.
Anarchy threatens you, you say, where then are the elements of this anarchy in France? I perceive them in England, where, by a strange medley, political liberty combines with commercial law which overwhelms industry with obstructions and the poor with humiliations. Yes, anarchy is possible in England, where the state of "Proletaire," is invariably that of the majority of the citizens; where the concentration of fortunes perpetuates and irritates misery; where the pregnant woman, the orphan, the old man, are driven from parish to parish, for fear that the accouchement of the first, the maintenance of the second, and the burial of the last, should become an extra charge to the parish. I can imagine anarchy at Naples, which is overrun with the Lazaroni. It is possible in Germany, where pecuniary exemptions, and offensive distinctions, are alike aggravating; in a word, it is possible every where, where the regime, which the faction encouraged by your weakness wishes to renew, exists. But here, where thanks to the laws whose object is to destroy that faction, the divided properties give to three fourths of the French people a strong interest in the maintenance of order; here, where, thanks to the destruction of the prohibitions and of the wardenships which this faction wishes to re-establish, industry is free and fruitful, anarchy cannot be desired by any one.
Our social organisation, our laws relative to industry and property, distinct from your efforts to clude and paralyse their effects, are so admirable that every body in France, including those who are not interested in it, has more to lose than gain by pillage. For he who has nothing, is, if he likes, certain of acquiring. It is not the same in other countries, the poor there are eternally poor, except by the effect of crime or chance; but amongst us, the road is marked out, and conducts every one, by a progression protected by the law, to ease by the means of labor.
When the Ministers speak of anarchy there is not only error or bad faith in it, there is fatuity. You shall be overthrown to-morrow, and I will answer for it, that two hours after your fall, there will be no trace of anarchy; because there are proprietors every where, and order always answers the appeal made to it by property.
I do not say this to render the prospect of an overthrow less terrible. Every overthrow brings with it evils of longer or shorter duration, more or less disastrous, which it is desirable to avoid. I say it to reduce things to their just value, because truth is more forcible than emphasis, because exaggeration, when it is apparent, hurts its cause and fails in its object.
Useful only by the children they may have.
If you simply represent that the present is better than that which may be, I will support you zealously, particularly if you take care to consider the liberty which has been promised us, as an integral and' indispensable portion of that which is. But when you speak of anarchy; when you liberally bestow this injurious designation on all opposition to unjust power, on every appeal to recognised rights, on every manifestation of thought which authority feels importunate; when you degrade as anarchists our richest capitalists, our citizens who are the greatest lovers of peace; your speeches are puerile, your declamations empty of idea, your rhetoric weak, and no one pays attention to you, or at least no one believes you.
But now it is no longer anarchy that you fear; it is military despotism. I am no more inclined than any body else to judge favorably of it; but if there were reason to fear this despotism, would you not have prepared the way? Do you not imprudently and unceasingly extol the services which the soldiers render, or have rendered you? Do you not produce them as the surest support of the throne, and the arbiters of our destiny? and if by chance you had unawares gone still farther; if in the recent disturbances, military corps had declared themselves annoyed by the manifestation of an opinion different to theirs; if they had in the first place insulted the citizens who manifested that opinion, and afterwards the deputies on whom the citizens heaped testimonies of esteem; if you had seen with an indifferent, perhaps an indulgent eye, all these things so contrary to discipline; if, on an occasion a little anterior, and not less remarkable, these military corps had threatened with their vengeance a Minister in office; if his sudden retreat might be attributed to their threats, and if you, the present Ministers, were coolly seated in that place, thus become vacant; would you not have been the first to suggest to the whole of the soldiery, the dangerous doctrine of their importance? for the sword does not recognize privilege, and if it has been possible to abjure passive obedience, in order to effect one overthrow, it is deplorable, but not astonishing, that it should also be abjured to effect others,
Besides, this passive obedience, which you recommended, is it not the most direct road to military despotism? These pretorians, the habitual subject of the superficial and dull erudition of your editors,' did they form an intelligent and reflecting army of
See amongst others, an article in the Journal des Debats, of the 31st August, 1820. Arguments and facts are there profusely used to prove a truth which certainly nobody denies; which is, that there is neither liberty nor tranquillity in those countries, where the soldiers usurp the power and decide on the fate of the Nation. But the easy demonstration of this truth is again spoiled, by the narrow, and consequently defective manner in which
citizens or traitors? Certainly not. These pretorians were blind instruments, up to the moment in which they declared themselves rebels; that is, in which they consecrated to a second chief, the implicit obedience which they had a long time professed to the firet.'
The best rampart against military despotism is patriotism. The best guarantee for patriotism is intelligence. Seek then no longer to make machines of your warriors which are strangers to reason. Place your strength even in their reason; in their reason, which will make them feel the necessity of discipline; in their reason, which will attach them more every day to a liberty which will protect their brothers, their wives, their fathers, and their children. their reason, in a word, which will preserve them from the suggestions of the factious, and keep them on their guard against their immediate commanders, should they be perfidious; for mark it well, in the very conspiracy you announce, it is the immediate chiefs, the subalterns who have conspired, if you are to be believed about it. Now these immediate chiefs, these subaltern officers, were precisely those who had a provisional right to passive obedience; so their project, such at least as you relate it, was to profit by this passive obedience, to conduct their troops to the very place of crime, without confiding to them what was expected from their subordination. This would have been the master-piece of that passive obedience, which you represent as the best guarantee for the stability of governments.
Lastly, of what use are words against the eternal and immutable laws of our nature? This nature does not abdicate itself. I wrote so five years ago; why am I forced to repeat it? No one will ever succeed in making man become a total stranger to all inquiry, and to resign the intelligence which Providence has given him for his guidance, and of which no profession can absolve him from making use.
the author conceives the question he writes upon. It is said that Caligula would not have fallen from his throne, had it not been for the want of discipline in his guards. It is said that Nero, after having tyrannised over the world for fourteen years, perished by an insurrection. No doubt the insubordination of the soldiers is incompatible with every regular and free government; but a free government is always the best and surest meals, to have nothing to fear from the insubordination of the soldiers.
Nec civis meus est, in quem tua classica, Casar
His aries actis disperget saxa lacertis,
Illa licet, penitus quam tolli jusseris, urbem
It is the pretorians who speak, and here is an instance, if I am not mistaken, of a passive obedience as perfect as can be desired.
Of those physical means with which you take care to surround yourself, it is opinion which creates, assembles, retains around you, and directs these means. These soldiers, who appear to us, and who are in effect at all times passive and unreflecting agents, these soldiers are men; they have moral faculties, sympathy, sensibility, and a conscience which may awake on a sudden. Opinion has the same empire over them as over the rest of their fellow creatures, and no prescription attacks its empire. See it traversing the French troops in 1789, transforming into citizens men collected from all parts, not only of France but of the world; reanimating minds paralysed by discipline, enervated by debauchery; causing notions of liberty to penetrate amongst them like a prejudice, and breaking, by this new prejudice, the bonds which so many ancient prejudices and rooted habits had interwoven. See afterwards opinion, rapid and changeable, sometimes separating our warriors from their chiefs, sometimes reassembling them around them, rendering them by turns rebels or faithful subjects, sceptics or enthusiasts. See in England, in another sense, the republicans, after the death of Cromwell, concentrating all the forces in their own hands, disposing of the army, the treasure, the civil authorities, the Parliament, and the Courts of Judicature. Dumb opinion only was against them, that wished to repose itself in royalty. Suddenly all their means are dissolved; every thing totters, every thing falls.
Doubtless a military government is a great scourge; but what are the means to prevent the fear of it? To reinforce the civil authority. Now, to reinforce the civil authority, what is necessary? To rest it upon justice; that is, on liberty. If you rest it upon force, you come back to a military government; for force and the sword are one and the same thing. We make the citizens tremble before us, and we tremble before the Janisaries, in our turn.
I am coming to the last grievance of Ministers, to their invisible associations, to those directing committees who have arrogated to themselves so terrible a power over elections.
If these associations existed, the fault of them would be attributable to authority. Private citizens, who have not, like the privileged orders of former times, the dazzling of rank, the support of a caste, or the monopoly of fortune, would not exercise over the mass of a nation the power attributed to them, if that nation did not recognise their interests to be one. Why do these two interests agree? It is because authority has created factious interests in opposition to those of the people. Authority wants deputies who will consent to all its demands. Is it astonishing chat the citizens do not return the candidates proposed by authority? It requires of its functionaries a complete abnegation of principles, opinions, and conscience. Is it not natural that electors should listen to
those who recommend them not to choose any functionary? With what face will the Prefects henceforth recommend the choosing this species, after the dismissal of Messrs. Camille-Jordan and RoyerCollard, of MM. Girardin and St. Aignan? What need is there of directing committees, of secret associations, to inculcate such simple ideas? The acts of the Ministry are sufficient. This Ministry pleads eloquently against itself, but since committees and associations are on this topic, I shall put a question to Ministers. One of them has spoken to us of the brethren at Manchester. It is true that all the hearers smiled, the others fill the papers they patronise with denunciations against a liberal centre, allied to the Radicals, to the Carbonari, the Teutonians, which unites all the branches of the same system, and which is ready to invade Europe. Would there not, on the contrary, be a permanent and active directing committee in another sense? The associations, about which the Ministers make so great a noise, suppose a labor, a connexion, a secresy, which surround their creation and their existence with numberless obstacles; and it is at least a preliminary difficulty to conquer, for the unprivileged multitude. But have not the feudal institutions bequeathed to us an asssociation which unites all these characters? an association which has an interest separate from the rest of the human race; whose colors, rallying words, and meetings, are authorised; which spreads itself from one end of Europe to the other; whose members in each country are much more the countrymen of their caste, than those of their fellow citizens; whose directing committee has its seat around thrones, in eminent functions, in ministerial cabinets? There is found precisely every thing that is invented to accuse of chimerical conspiracies individuals or classes isolated in their positions, changeable in their nature, not forming a body because admission is given to all, having consequently no exclusive interest, no natural union, no centre or means of action always existing, without being obliged to create them, or to agree upon them. If I wished to seek for conspiracies I should much sooner look for them, I confess, in the directing committees of aristocracy; and I should find numerous symptoms of an uninterrupted conspiracy against the constitutional regime, in that habitual intercourse with foreign powers, in those denunciations which are addressed to them, in those declamations made in concert with them against the French institutions, in those secret notes, tending to analyse our divisions to them and to submit our affairs to them; the repeated clamors against all our election laws, successively, would appear to me to be one of the branches of this conspiracy; the assassination of the deputies, defenders of the Charter, one of its means; and the project pompously announced, of an European congress, which is to impose upon all nations the preservation of