Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson

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Marc Antoine René de Voyer

Marc Antoine René de Voyer, marquis de Paulmy and 3rd marquis d'Argenson (1757) (22 November 1722, Valenciennes – 13 August 1787), was a French ambassador to Switzerland, Poland, Venice and to the Holy See; and later Minister of War. He was also a noted bibliophile and collector of art.

Quotes[edit]

  • Laissez faire, telle devrait être la devise de toute puissance publique, depuis que le monde est civilisé ... Détestable principe que celui de ne vouloir grandir que par l'abaissement de nos voisins! Il n'y a que la méchanceté et la malignité du coeur de satisfaites dans ce principe, et l’intérêt y est opposé. Laissez faire, morbleu! Laissez faire!!
    • Let it be, that should be the motto of all public powers, since the world was civilized ... That we cannot grow except by lowering our neighbors is a detestable notion! Only malice and malignity of heart is satisfied with such a principle and our (national) interest is opposed to it. Let it be, for heaven's sake! Let it be!
      • Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson. Diary of René de Voyer, (1736); As quoted in J.M. Keynes, 1926, "The End of Laissez Faire". Argenson's Mémoirs were published only in 1858, ed. Jannet, Tome V, p.362. See A. Oncken (Die Maxime Laissez faire et laissez passer, ihr Ursprung, ihr Werden, 1866)
    • Alternative translation:
      Laissez faire ought to be the motto of every public authority
      • Quoted in: Mark Skousen. The Making of Modern Economics, (2009), p. 48

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