Heroes of the Mind

Frederic Bastiat

We pay tribute to the life and ideas of Frederic Bastiat, the great French economist, writer, and statesman whose clear and logical expositions refuted and combatted the various fallacies of mercantilism, socialism, and Marxism -- fallacies and myths which still retard human progress today.

1801 - 1850
Frederic Bastiat was the master at explaining economic processes and political fallacies in terms the average non-economist could relate to -- and why good observers of public policies and their results must go beyond simply what is seen in the short run and look beyond and beneath to discover what is usually not seen -- the hidden and longer range consequences. 

To read his classic essay, click here -->Text of "What Is Seen & What Is Not Seen"
-- the article which inspired Henry Hazlitt to write his classic book Economics In One Lesson a century later.

A Petition from the Candlemakers . . . a classic of delightful wit

What is the Proper Function of Political Law and its Agencies of Enforcement?

In the year 1850, not long before his untimely death from tuberculosis, Bastiat wrote and published perhaps the most eloquent essay on the proper role of government ever written. It is entitled "The Law" and is filled with Bastiat's usual clarity of expression and profound insights. Click on the following link and read the full text of the American translation of this classic exposition: The Law (HTML version) by Frederic Bastiat

The Law (plain text version) by Frederic Bastiat

Dallas Federal Reserve President Bob McTeer's Wall Street Journal tribute to Frederic Bastiat
Why Frederic Bastiat is my hero by Bob McTeer
Economist Dr. Walter Williams on "Liberty's Greatest Advocate"
The Wit & Wisdom of Frederic Bastiat by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, 12/9/2001
Quotations from Frederic Bastiat on a Variety of Topics

For a sampling of Bastiat's other writings, bibliography, and a good source for further investigation, click on the Bastiat Institute on the Resource and Reference link below:
Frederic Bastiat Resource Reference Link (The Bastiat Institute)

For brief quotations from other heroes of the mind, check out The Dead Economists Society. 

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