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Laissez faire, free markets, individual liberty, and peace
The Thinker Who Carried the Revolution

The Thinker Who Carried the Revolution

Introduction to Bastiat’s Social Harmonies by Rose Wilder Lane Special thanks to David Hart Frederic Bastiat is one of the leaders of the revolution whose work and fame, like Aristotle’s, belong to the ages. Aristotle, too, was a pioneer in an unexplored continent of human knowledge; he did little more than blaze two trees where the Wilderness Road began; he showed the way to a new world that he did not reach. What modern science owes to Aristotle, a free world will someday owe to Bastiat. He was born in Bayonne on June 29, 1801, when France was rocking under the first impact of the revolution upon the Old World. Tutored by Washington and advised by Jefferson, Lafayette had brought the revolution from America to Europe. The reaction against it was swift and terrible; in France, the Terror, from France, Napoleon. In England the reaction against liberty revoked the liberties that had been granted to Englishmen; free speech, free assembly, trial by jury, habeas corpus, all were taken back; there was a cold Terror in England. Bastiat’s father was a merchant, hardly surviving through perilous times. As a schoolboy, Frederic heard of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, the defeat at Waterloo.…

The Soul of Liberty – The Broken Window

The Soul of Liberty – The Broken Window

Foreword by Justin Nelson We all have insatiable and constant needs. We spend most of our money on food, bills, and other necessities that can seem like such a drag when compared with what we could buy. Would you like the latest iPhone with brand new gadgets designed for hours upon hours of mind-blowing stimulation? Or would you rather spend that money on your next car insurance payment? Of course you’d rather get the iPhone, but the insurance may be more beneficial in the long run. But what if the government mandated that cars should be damaged regularly in order to benefit the automotive mechanics? Sure the mechanics get more work and money, but your insurance rates would be rising all the time! You’d be left with very light pockets and Apple without any profits. It would be an unnecessary transfer of wealth that could have many indirect consequences. A few years ago, following the 2008 recession, Congress passed a bill that actually paid people to have their cars destroyed. There was the inevitable environmental rationale (get the inefficient cars off the road!) but there was a primary reason: the perception that buying more cars would boost the economy. It didn’t. Wealth was diverted…

New Bastiat Series – The Soul of Liberty

New Bastiat Series – The Soul of Liberty

“Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control. He was a truly scintillating advocate of an untrammeled free market.” ~ Murray Rothbard Frederic Bastiat was born in the south of France on June 30, 1801. It was during the Napoleonic Wars that he awoke to a world wrought with strife and terror at the coming of a new age. In his youth he saw the loss of both his mother and father. He then had to live with his grandfather. At 17, he went into the family business of exports; this experience was the catalyst which started his great interest in economics. He began to see the true effects of government intervention in the role of commerce, namely tariffs and subsidies. By age 25 his grandfather had died and he inherited the family estate, and thus was he left to pursue his rapidly growing intellectual interests in everything from philosophy and history to poetry and political economy. Bastiat’s works are mostly pamphlets, letters, and articles that resonate in the setting of Nineteenth-Century France but…

ANNOUNCING: The Bastiat Institute on Liberty.me!

ANNOUNCING: The Bastiat Institute on Liberty.me!

The Bastiat Institute is proud to announce the launch of our new Liberty.me publishing site. We promote free-market economics in all its forms through our network, which includes over 100,000 social media “likes” and “follows” from the US, Brazil, Vietnam, and dozens of other countries. Our focus on Liberty.me will be to publish Bastiat works and material relevant to the tradition, as well as insightful commentary by leading Austrian economists.  We’ll also be working with Liberty.me to release the Bastiat Collection, a series of 25 classic works that will feature original forwards. The Institute was recently joined by acclaimed economist Robert Murphy and is recruiting other top econ pros to join our ranks. We hope to contribute in ways both seen and unseen to the growing renaissance of economic and libertarian thought that is sweeping the globe. After all, someone has to stand up against the candlemakers! If you’re interested in writing for The Bastiat Institute, please complete this application and we’ll be in touch.