Economic Sophisms By Frédéric Bastiat


The author writes:

My design in this little volume is to refute some of the arguments which are urged against the Freedom of Trade.

I do not propose to engage in a contest with the protectionists; but rather to instill a principle into the minds of those who hesitate because they sincerely doubt.

I am not one of those who say that Protection is founded on men’s interests. I am of opinion rather that it is founded on errors, or, if you will, upon incomplete truths. Too many people fear liberty, to permit us to conclude that their apprehensions are not sincerely felt.

It is perhaps aiming too high, but my wish is, I confess, that this little work should become, as it were, the Manual of those whose business it is to pronounce between the two principles. Where men have not been long accustomed and familiarized to the doctrine of liberty, the sophisms of protection, in one shape or another, are constantly coming back upon them. In order to disabuse them of such errors when they recur, a long process of analysis becomes necessary; and every one has not the time required for such a process—legislators less than others. This is my reason for endeavoring to present the analysis and its results cut and dry.
But it may be asked, Are the benefits of liberty so hidden as to be discovered only by Economists by profession?

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  • Jeffrey Tucker

    Economic Sophisms

    Economic Sophisms Here is the third of Bastiat’s great trilogy and it focuses on trade and protectionism. What a treasure trove of logic and argument for free trade! Bastiat understood this issues as few others. The arguments he takes on are, of course, still with us. Kick off the discussion! Questions, comments, observations or elaborations? Either reply here or create a new discussion using the tag Library_Economic Sophisms

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