De Tracy on Trade

by Don Boudreaux on June 3, 2004

in Trade

Gil Guillory sent to me this quotation from Destutt de Tracy. It’s from de Tracy’s A Treatise on Political Economy (1817), which, I believe, was translated into English by Thomas Jefferson.

Society is purely and solely a continual series of exchanges. It is never anything else, in any epoch of its duration, from its commencement the most unformed, to its greatest perfection. And this is the greatest eulogy we can give to it, for exchange is an admirable transaction, in which the two contracting parties always both gain; consequently society is an uninterrupted succession of advantages, unceasingly renewed for all its members.

Just so.


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