Economic Sophisms/197

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh""Consequently, I should base the law of national defence on these two enactments:

"'ART. 1st.—Every able-bodied citizen shall remain sous les drapeaux for four years—namely, from 21 to 25—for the purpose of receiving military instruction.'"

"A fine economy, truly! You disband four hundred thousand soldiers to create ten millions."

"Listen to my second article:

"'ART. 2d.—Unless it is proved that at 21 years of age he knows perfectly the platoon drill.'"

"Nor do I stop here. It is certain that in order to get quit of four years' service, there would be a terrible emulation among our youth to learn the par le flanc droit and the charge en douze temps. The idea is whimsical."

"It is better than that. For without bringing families to grief, without encroaching on equality, would it not secure to the country, in a simple and inexpensive manner, 10 millions of defenders capable of setting at defiance all the standing armies of the world?"

"Really, if I were not on my guard, I should end with taking a serious interest in your conceits."

Utopian free-trader getting excited. "Thank Heaven! here is my Budget relieved of 200 millions. I suppress the octroi. I remodel indirect contributions. I … "

"Oh! Monsieur l'Utopiste!"

Utopian free-trader getting more and more excited. "I should proclaim freedom of worship, freedom of teaching, and new resources. I would buy up the railways, pay off the public debt, and starve out stockjobbers."

"Monsieur l'Utopiste!"

"Set free from a multiplicity of cares, I should concentrate all the powers of government in the repression of fraud, and in the administration of prompt and cheap justice; I … "

"Monsieur l'Utopiste, you undertake too many things; the nation will not support you!"

"You have granted me a majority."

"I withdraw it."

"Be it so. Then I am no longer a minister, and my projects will continue to be what they were—UTOPIAS."

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