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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16440/why-bastiat-is-still-great/

Why Bastiat Is Still Great

April 11, 2011 by

If we were to take the greatest economists from all ages and judge them on the basis of their theoretical rigor, their influence on economic education, and their impact in support of the free-market economy, then Frédéric Bastiat would be at the top of the list.

FULL ARTICLE by Mark Thornton

{ 8 comments }

Bogart April 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

The “SEEN” vs the “UNSEEN” concept would have been enough. How come with all of this technology and other stuff, our un-enlightened society would not be able to understand the concept.

D. Saul Weiner April 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I suppose that to most people (of all ages) “Seeing is believing”.

Bastiat said that liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works. Whether or not one is a believer, one must recognize that what Bastiat said is correct.

Gurrie April 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

Bastiat saw it so clearly and said it so clearly. Thanks to Mark Thornton for the article. Shouldn’t Bastiat’s work “The Law” also be mentioned?

Dick Fox April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

When people ask me what I believe I point to Bastiat as the best example. I recommend his complete works.

Tony Fernandez April 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

The Law was probably his greatest work, even better than the Parable of the Broken Window. Although I feel that his views did not quite go far enough, he was still great for that era. Let’s not even forget the fact that his writing is very readable.

Thank you Bastiat. I think your piece The Law more than anything else made me sympathetic to the Austrian viewpoint.

GreenLeaf April 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Bastiat is my hero. I cannot stop laughing every time I read his works. Fallacies are explained in such an easy way and so many times repeatedly that I almost feel sorry for his opponents. This Guy from 1840s had more commonsense than 99% of 21st century humanity put together.

Stephen MacLean April 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Any possibility of Dean Russell’s biography Frédéric Bastiat: Ideas and Influences becoming available as a PDF file?

Fouad April 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

@ GreenLeaf :
“This Guy from 1840s had more commonsense than 99% of 21st century humanity put together.”

I totally agree with you !

sometimes it is depressing when you see the reaction of people when you explain to them for example why expansionist monetary policy is responsible for the financial crisis and not at all the private sector….people look at you as a crazy person…lol

I think the seen VS the unseen concept is revolutionary in that it explains very well why people cannot accept easily common sense economics, thats because they concentrate on the seen, it is difficult for the human mind to imagine the unseen.

when the state construct a road or a school or a hospital, people see only those very useful constructions, they think that without the intervention of the state they wont have the road, nor the school neither the hospital…which is maybe true, but they simply forget that these constructions werent constructed for free, there is an opportunity cost, there are unseen things that didnt have the chance to be constructed…and those unseen things are maybe more valued for people than the road, the school or the hospital (maybe better food, or better clothes, or some new very useful technology…etc who knows)

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