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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Liberty Fund’s expanded English-language edition (2017), expertly edited by David Hart, of Frédéric Bastiat’s great work Economic Sophisms and “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen”; specifically, this passage is from the new translation of Bastiat’s May 1847 essay “The People and the Bourgeoisie” (footnote deleted):

Can one assimilate wealth obtained by force to that acquired through work? And if the people consider any rise in status, even the natural rise generated by industry, thrift and the exercise of every virtue to be an obstacle to be overturned, what motive, stimulus or raison d’être will there be left to human activity and foresight?

It is dreadful to think that an error so pregnant with disastrous possibilities is the outcome of the profound ignorance in which modern education swaddles the current generations with regard to anything that relates to the way society works.

DBx: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


Bon anniversaire to the great Bastiat, who was born in Bayonne on this date 221 years ago. (There’s some confusion about the date of Bastiat’s birth; Mark Perry, like some others, reports it as June 29th and not June 30th. I’m still inclined to go with the date of June 30th, although I have no especially strong feeling about the matter.)

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