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Economists in those days were indeed against special interests, but they were - and considered themselves - counsellors of the Prince, free-trade advocates in economics and supporters of "enlighten despotism" in political philosophy, though in the last months of his ministry Turgot counter Malesherbes' proposal to convene Les États-Généraux with a project to create an elected Assembly of all property owners in the realm regardless of their social rank. Anyway, secte was still great, even Voltaire, Diderot and Adam Smith refferend to the physiocrates like that (Turgot was sort of a deviant of the group); the name calling got more derisory afterwards, when Napoleon called the economists ideologues and laissez-faire critics in the 19th century labeled them optimists, incurable optimists that is.

The problem is that Turgot practiced a kind of shock therapy without building up political support for these (not to mention the food riots). Turgot's fate is worth keeping in mind to all would-be-reformers.

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