By Frédéric Bastiat
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He was the leader of 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. Frédéric Bastiat remains one of the great champions of freedom whose writings retain their relevance as we continue to confront the old adversary.
George B. de Huszar, trans. and W. Hayden Boyers, ed.
First Pub. Date
Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.
First published in French. Introduction by Dean Russell
Translation and editorial content: Copyright ©: 1996 The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. (FEE). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. The Library of Economics and Liberty is grateful to FEE for permission to produce this book in electronic form.Picture of Frédéric Bastiat courtesy of The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.
- About the Author
- Preface to the English-Language Edition, by George B. de Huszar
- Bibliographical Notice
- Introduction, by Dean Russell
- To the Youth of France
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Conclusion to the Original Edition
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapter 23
- Chapter 24
- Chapter 25
by George B. de Huszar
Preface to the
Frédéric Bastiat has said that the
Harmonies is a counterpart to
Economic Sophisms, and, while the latter pulls down, the
Harmonies builds up. Charles Gide and Charles Rist in a standard treatise,
A History of Economic Doctrines, have referred to “the beautiful unity of conception of the
Harmonies,” and added, “we are by no means certain that the
Harmonies and the
Pamphlets are not still the best books that a young student of political economy can possibly read.”
Harmonies after chapter 10 are unfinished fragments and therefore are filled with repetitions which Bastiat would have corrected had he lived. It is also important to keep in mind that parts of the
Harmonies were first given as speeches.
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; the Editor’s notes and Bastiat’s notes are at the end of the volume. The latter two are more important but were put in 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
Economic Sophisms or to any of the pamphlets or speeches included in
Selected Essays on Political Economy, 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 W. Hayden Boyers, to Dean Russell for writing the Introduction, to Arthur Goddard, and to the William Volker Fund.
Notes to “To the Youth of France”
Tableau èconomique, 1759), Mercier de la Rivière, Dupont de Nemours, Le Trôsne, Mirabeau, Condorcet, and Turgot; the “English School”: Adam Smith, Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Senior, Scrope, and Ricardo; and his own French contemporaries: Jean-Baptiste Say, Pellegrino Rossi, Garnier, and others less well known who held similar views on wealth and free exchange. See also Bastiat’s comments in chapter 9.—Translator.]
Essay on the Principle of Population.—Translator.]
Code de la nature, 1755); Mably (
Doutes…. sur l’ordre naturel et essentiel des sociétés politiques, 1768); Babeuf, founder of the society of “the Equals” (executed in 1797), and his later followers: Philippe Buonarroti, Armand Barbès, Martin Bernard, and Louis Auguste Blanqui. Bastiat also includes as sharers of these ideas his contemporary “planners of artificial social orders”: Fourier, Louis Blanc, Considérant, Cabet, Owen, and Saint-Simon. (Cf. notes on Fourier, Louis Blanc, Owen, and Cabet, chapter 1, p. 11; on Proudhon, chapter 5, p. 128; on Considérant, p. 550.)—Translator.]
supra on “socialists.”
|Capital’s Share||Labor’s Share||Total|
Of course, these ratios are intended to serve only as an illustration.
NOTES TO CHAPTER 1