That which is seen and that which is not seen
That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen by Frederic BastiatIl est des francais geniaux qui beneficient d’une reputation internationale alors qu’on ne cite quasiment jamais leurs noms en France.
Frederic Bastiat, le Pape du liberalisme, est de ceux-la, qui souffre probablement de la trop grande clarte de ses ecrits !
Peut-etre prefere-t-on, en France, se perdre dans des conversations ou des discussions sans fin plutot que se referer simplement a des theses lumineuses et pragmatiques.
A une epoque ou l’on ne peut s’affirmer « liberal » sans se voir traiter aussitot « d’ultra », il nous a paru important de rehabiliter la pensee de Frederic Bastiat qui defend la liberte de lindividu face a toute autorite.
Il ecrit en 1850 : « Il y a trop de grands hommes dans le monde ; il y a trop de legislateurs, d’organisateurs, d’instituteurs de societes, de conducteurs de peuples, de peres des nations, etc. Trop de gens se placent au-dessus de lhumanite pour la regenter, trop de gens font metier de soccuper delle… » et ajoute : « L’Etat, cest la grande fiction a travers laquelle tout le monde s’efforce de vivre aux depens de tout le monde »
Frederic Bastiat nous rappelle que la pensee liberale, si elle est evidemment economique, est egalement une pensee philosophique, juridique et politique de la liberation de lhomme.
Mais l’homme occidental moderne est-il vraiment jaloux de sa liberte ?
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It seems like all economists, regardless of ideology, would be thrilled by the way that Bastiat brings a dry textbook topic to life. Recently, though, I persuaded one of my favorite liberal economists to read it. How many would love it if they read it? And smart people who think of themselves as supremely rational still have an emotional component to the way they think about things and the way they make decisions. Humans are not Vulcans or robots. Macro lends itself to extrapolating partial equilibrium analysis, extrapolating demand into aggregate demand via multiplier effects that Keynesians have argued are greater than 1 in real time.
Unidentified translator, most likely someone from the FEE. Downloaded from David T. Freeman's Personal Empowerment Resources. See also the original french text on Bastiat. Introduction In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause — it is seen. The others unfold in succession — they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen.
Full site Title names Author names Essays Groups. This pamphlet will be in the Collected Works of Bastiat , vol. Until the book is published, we have included this HTML version of the final edit in this collection as a temporary measure.
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Today is the th birthday of Frederick Bastiat, one of the greatest political and economic thinkers of the 19 th century. And as Religion and Liberty adds ,. He typified that rare breed of liberal who holds a deep and powerful belief in a personal and transcendent God, and who incorporates this belief in a wide ranging social philosophy centering on the proposition that when left alone society will most clearly display the wisdom and intent of the Creator. That is why I never tire of arguing about how God created such economic phenomena as the price system and comparative advantage in order to coordinate human flourishing. In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause—it is seen.
The parable seeks to show how opportunity costs , as well as the law of unintended consequences , affect economic activity in ways that are unseen or ignored. The belief that destruction is good for the economy is consequently known as the broken window fallacy or glazier's fallacy. Bastiat's original parable of the broken window from "Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas" :. Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation — "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good.