Selected Essays on Political Economy
By Frédéric Bastiat
Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He led the free-trade movement in France from its inception in 1840 until his untimely death in 1850. The first 45 years of his life were spent in preparation for five tremendously productive years writing in favor of freedom. Bastiat was the founder of the weekly newspaper,
Le Libre Échange, a contributor to numerous periodicals, and the author of sundry pamphlets and speeches dealing with the pressing issues of his day. Most of his writing was done in the years directly before and after the Revolution of 1848—a time when France was rapidly embracing socialism. As a deputy in the Legislative Assembly, Bastiat fought valiantly for the private property order, but unfortunately the majority of his colleagues chose to ignore him. Frederic Bastiat remains one of the great champions of freedom whose writings retain their relevance as we continue to confront the old adversary.
Seymour Cain, trans. / George B. de Huszar, ed.
First Pub. Date
Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.
Includes Preface by George B. de Huszar, introduction by Friedrich A. Hayek
The text of this edition is under copyright
- About the Author
- Preface to the English-Language Edition, by George B. de Huszar
- Introduction, by F. A. Hayek
- Chapter 1, What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen
- Chapter 2, The Law
- Chapter 3, Property and Law
- Chapter 4, Justice and Fraternity
- Chapter 5, The State
- Chapter 6, Property and Plunder
- Chapter 7, Protectionism and Communism
- Chapter 8, Plunder and Law
- Chapter 9, Academic Degrees and Socialism
- Chapter 10, Declaration of War against the Professors of Political Economy
- Chapter 11, Speech on the Suppression of Industrial Combinations
- Chapter 12, Reflections on the Amendment of M. Mortimer-Ternaux
- Chapter 13, The Balance of Trade
by George B. de Huszar
Preface to the English-Language Edition
Frédéric Bastiat wrote numerous essays or pamphlets which he used to promote his ideas and to combat errors. Many of his important essays or pamphlets are included in this volume. Of these, “The Law” and “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen” are well known; others are not so familiar. Henry Hazlitt in his
Economics in One Lesson said this regarding “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen”: “The following work may, in fact, be regarded as a modernization, extension, and generalization of the approach found in Bastiat’s pamphlet.” The Editor is responsible for the arrangement of the essays in the present volume.
This translation follows as faithfully as possible the original French standard edition of the complete works of Bastiat. Cross references have been included among the three volumes of the present translation.
Three types of notes are included: Translator’s notes are directed at the general reader and are mainly about persons and terms. Editor’s notes refer to notes by the editor of the French edition; Bastiat’s notes stand without such notations. Only the Translator’s notes are at the bottom of the page; Editor’s notes and Bastiat’s notes are at the end of the volume. The latter two are more important but were put at the back to avoid cluttering the pages and to promote readability. Where the French editor has indicated a cross reference to a chapter or passage in either
Economic Harmonies or
Economic Sophisms, the original reference to the French edition has been replaced by one directing the reader to the English translation.
Although these three volumes of English translations of Bastiat are published simultaneously, there is some repetition of the Translator’s notes and the editorial Prefaces. This is necessary because some may obtain only one volume of this three-volume series, and therefore each volume has been made as self-sufficient as possible.
The Editor wishes to express his appreciation to Seymour Cain, to W. Hayden Boyers, to F. A. Hayek for writing the Introduction, to Arthur Goddard, and to the William Volker Fund.