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 W. Hayden Boyers
Les Harmonies économiques, par Frédéric Bastiat, Paris, Guillaumin, 1850, 463 pp.
This was the first edition. It was published just a few months before Bastiat died, and was incomplete, containing only the first ten chapters.
Les Harmonies économiques, par Frédéric Bastiat, 2ème édition augmentée des manuscrits laissés par l’auteur, publiée par la Société des Amis de Bastiat (
sous la direction de P. Paillottet et R. de Fontenay), Paris, Guillaumin, 1851, xi, 567 pp.
This was the first complete edition, and no changes of any importance were subsequently made in it. Paillottet brought back from Rome (where Bastiat had died) the manuscript of the
Harmonies and had Bastiat’s commission to edit and publish the entire work.
Oeuvres complètes de Frédéric Bastiat, mises en ordre, revues et annotées d’après les manuscrits de l’auteur (
par P. Paillottet et R. de Fontenay), Paris, Guillaumin, 1854-55, 6 vols.
Harmonies were incorporated into this as Volume VI.
Oeuvres complètes, etc.,
2ème édition, in the series “La Bibliothèque des sciences morales et politiques,” Paris, Guillaumin, 1862-64, 7 vols.
Harmonies remains the sixth volume, and a seventh (
Mèlanges) is added. This has remained the standard edition. Reprints of various volumes, given special “edition” numbers, and sometimes with slight differences in pagination, appeared at various times through 1893.
The edition of the
Harmonies used by the translator is
Les Harmonies èconomiques, par Frèdèric Bastiat, 6ème édition, Paris, Guillaumin, 1870. It is still listed as Volume VI in the
Oeuvres complètes, 2ème edition. The translator also consulted the 1862 and 1884 editions of the
Harmonies and found no significant variants. The Appendix letter, entitled “A Tentative Preface to the
Harmonies,” was consulted in the
Oeuvres complètes, 2ème edition, Vol. VII, 1861, pp. 303 ff.
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