Front Page Titles (by Subject) Arthur Goddard, Preface to the English-Language Edition - Economic Sophisms
Arthur Goddard, Preface to the English-Language Edition - Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms 
Economic Sophisms, trans. Arthur Goddard, introduction by Henry Hazlitt (Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996).
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- Arthur Goddard, Preface to the English-language Edition
- Henry Hazlitt, Introduction
- First Series, Chapter 1: Abundance and Scarcity
- First Series, Chapter 2: Obstacle and Cause
- First Series, Chapter 3: Effort and Result
- First Series, Chapter 4: Equalizing the Conditions of Production
- First Series, Chapter 5: Our Products Are Burdened With Taxes
- First Series, Chapter 6: The Balance of Trade
- First Series, Chapter 7: A Petition
- First Series, Chapter 8: Differential Tariffs
- First Series, Chapter 9: An Immense Discovery!
- First Series, Chapter 10: Reciprocity
- First Series, Chapter 11: Money Prices
- First Series, Chapter 12: Does Protectionism Raise Wage Rates?
- First Series, Chapter 13: Theory and Practice
- First Series, Chapter 14: Conflict of Principles
- First Series, Chapter 15: Reciprocity Again
- First Series, Chapter 16: Obstructed Rivers As Advocates For the Protectionists
- First Series, Chapter 17: A Negative Railroad
- First Series, Chapter 18: There Are No Absolute Principles
- First Series, Chapter 19: National Independence
- First Series, Chapter 20: Human Vs. Mechanical Labor and Domestic Vs. Foreign Labor
- First Series, Chapter 21: Raw Materials
- First Series, Chapter 22: Metaphors
- First Series, Chapter 23: Conclusion
- Second Series, Chapter 1: The Physiology of Plunder 1*
- Second Series, Chapter 2: Two Systems of Ethics
- Second Series, Chapter 3: The Two Hatchets
- Second Series, Chapter 4: Subordinate Labor Council
- Second Series, Chapter 5: High Prices and Low Prices 17*
- Second Series, Chapter 6: To Artisans and Laborers 23*
- Second Series, Chapter 7: A Chinese Tale
- Second Series, Chapter 8: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc 33* 34*
- Second Series, Chapter 9: Robbery By Subsidy 36*
- Second Series, Chapter 10: The Tax Collector
- Second Series, Chapter 11: The Utopian 53*
- Second Series, Chapter 12: Salt, the Postal Service, and the Tariff 65*
- Second Series, Chapter 13: Protectionism, Or the Three Aldermen a Demonstration In Four Scenes Scene 1.
- Second Series, Chapter 14: Something Else 91*
- Second Series, Chapter 15: The Little Arsenal of the Freetrader 96*
- Second Series, Chapter 16: The Right Hand and the Left 101* (a Report to the King)
- Second Series, Chapter 17: Domination Through Industrial Superiority 108*
Preface to the
by Arthur Goddard
Ever since the advent of representative government placed the ultimate power to direct the administration of public affairs in the hands of the people, the primary instrument by which the few have managed to plunder the many has been the sophistry that persuades the victims that they are being robbed for their own benefit. The public has been despoiled of a great part of its wealth and has been induced to give up more and more of its freedom of choice because it is unable to detect the error in the delusive sophisms by which protectionist demagogues, national socialists, and proponents of government planning exploit its gullibility and its ignorance of economics.
It was with the aim of exposing the most influential and widespread of these economic fallacies that Bastiat began, in 1844, to contribute to the Journal des économistes the brilliant succession of essays that comprise the present volume. The first series appeared in book form in 1845; and the second series, three years later. Increasingly in the years that have elapsed since their first publication, these essays have come to be recognized as among the most cogent and persuasive refutations of the major fallacies of protectionism—fallacies that are still with us today and that will continue to crop up as long as the public remains uninstructed: "The introduction of machinery means fewer jobs"; "Protective tariffs keep domestic wages high"; "We need laws to equalize the conditions of production"; "Imports must be restricted to restore the balance of trade"; "High prices mean a high standard of living"; "There are no economic laws or absolute principles"; "We need colonies to provide markets for the products of our industry"; "Free trade places us at the mercy of our enemies in case of war"; etc., etc. The great lesson which all these essays teach, in one form or another, is the necessity of always looking at economic questions from the point of view of the consumer, rather than that of the producer.
What gives this work its unique quality and places it among the classics of economic literature is not only the logical rigor with which each fallacy is demolished, but the highly original and striking way in which the author uses wit, irony, satire, dialogue, and apologue to reduce erroneous ideas to patent absurdity, as, for example, in his famous and often separately translated petition of the candlemakers for protection against the competition of the sun.
In preparing the present translation, I have had the opportunity of consulting, and have occasionally availed myself of the wording, of an earlier, unpublished version, as well as of some explanatory notes, produced by a different translator, to whom I should have been glad to give here the credit due him had he not stipulated that his name not be mentioned. The present version is based on a careful comparison with the French texts—Œuvres complètes, ed. by P. Paillotet (Paris: Guillaumin et Cie., 1854-64), vols. IV and V, and Mélanges d'économie politique (Brussels: Meline, Cans, et Cie., 1851), I, 1-232. I have sought to make the wording and style of this translation conform, so far as possible, to the terminology used in the two other works of Bastiat, Selected Essays on Political Economy and Economic Harmonies, also newly translated for this series, and to the usage customary in books on economics written in the English language. At the same time, every effort has been made to assist the reader to understand the topical and other allusions of the French text by the addition of translator's notes, wherever it has been at all possible to provide them. So labeled, these have been enclosed in brackets and placed, for convenience, at the bottom of the pages where the items to which they make reference appear. The notes of the French editor, likewise enclosed in brackets, appear at the back of the book, where they are labeled merely "Editor," together with Bastiat's own notes, which stand without brackets or label. Where the French editor has indicated a cross reference to an essay included in the volume of selected essays being published in this series, or to a chapter or passage in Economic Harmonies, the original reference to the French edition has been replaced by one directing the reader to the English translation.