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Principles of Economics; Marshall, Alfred
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Appendix B
Note:
Even the generous Vauban (writing in 1717) had to apologize for his interest in the wellbeing of the people, arguing that to enrich them was the only way to enrich the king—Pauvres paysans, pauvre Royaume, pauvre Royaume, pauvre Roi. On the other hand Locke, who exercised a great influence over Adam Smith, anticipated the ardent philanthropy of the Physiocrats as he did also some of their peculiar economic opinions. Their favourite phrase Laissez faire, laissez aller, is commonly misapplied now. Laissez faire means that anyone should be allowed to make what things he likes, and as he likes; that all trades should be open to everybody; that Government should not, as the Colbertists insisted, prescribe to manufacturers the fashions of their cloth. Laissez aller (or passer) means that persons and goods should be allowed to travel freely from one place to another, and especially from one district of France to another, without being subject to tolls and taxes and vexatious regulations. It may be noticed that laissez aller was the signal used in the Middle Ages by the Marshals to slip the leash from the combatants at a tournament.