Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 22, 2013

in Crony Capitalism, Property Rights, Trade

… is from page 238 of of Volume 2 (“The Law,” “The State,” and Other Political Writings, 2012) of Liberty Fund’s The Collected Works of Frederic Bastiat; specifically, it’s a passage from the manifesto of the Association pour la liberté des échanges (Free Trade Association, of which Bastiat was a founding member) and is quoted by Bastiat in his 1848 essay “Protectionism and Communism“:

Trade is a natural right like property.  Any citizen who has created or acquired a product must have the option of either using it immediately or selling it to another person on the earth’s surface who is free to give him in exchange the object of his preference.  Depriving him of this faculty, when he has not used it to contravene public order and proper behavior, and solely to satisfy the convenience of another citizen, is to legitimize plunder and contravene the law of justice.

It also violates the conditions of order, since what order can there be within a society in which each branch of production, supported by the law and public forces, seeks its success through the oppression of all the others?

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