Government Promises and the Public's Hope

Tonight my meeting of the minds group is discussing government promises, the public’s hope, and public protest.
We all got this great quote. Read it and notice the date is was written.

"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else...

Thus, the public has two hopes, and Government makes two promises - many benefits and no taxes. Hopes and promises, which, being contradictory, can never be realized.

Now, is this not the cause of all our revolutions? For, between the Government, which lavishes promises which it is impossible to perform, and the public, which has conceived hopes which can never be realized, two classes of men interpose - the ambitious and the Utopians...

And the people believe, and the people hope, and the people make a revolution!

These two promises are for ever clashing with each other; it cannot be otherwise. To live upon credit, which is the same as exhausting the future, is certainly a present means of reconciling them: an attempt is made to do a little good now, at the expense of a great deal of harm in the future. But such proceedings call forth the spectre of bankruptcy, which puts an end to credit.

What is to be done then?"

-- Frederic Bastiat, "Government", 1848

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at