Resources on Bastiat

Resources on Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

My dear Frédéric [FB writing to himself],

Like you I love all forms of freedom; and among these, the one that is the most universally useful to mankind, the one you enjoy at each moment of the day and in all of life’s circumstances, is the freedom to work and to trade. I know that making things one’s own is the fulcrum of society and even of human life. I know that trade is intrinsic to property and that to restrict the one is to shake the foundations of the other. I approve of your devoting yourself to the defense of this freedom whose triumph will inevitably usher in the reign of international justice and consequently the extinction of hatred, prejudices between one people and another, and the wars that come in their wake...

I love freedom of trade as much as you do. But is all human progress encapsulated in that freedom? In the past, your heart beat for the freeing of thought and speech which were still bound by their university shackles and the laws against free association. You enthusiastically supported parliamentary reform and the radical division of that sovereignty, which delegates and controls, from the executive power in all its branches. All forms of freedom go together. All ideas form a systematic and harmonious whole, and there is not a single one whose proof does not serve to demonstrate the truth of the others. But you act like a mechanic who makes a virtue of explaining an isolated part of a machine in the smallest detail, not forgetting anything. The temptation is strong to cry out to him, “Show me the other parts; make them work together; each of them explains the others. . . .” [Draft Preface for the Harmonies (1847)]

Online resources

At Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty website:

Liberty Fund's Edition of Bastiat's Collected Works

The cover of Vol. 1 (2011)
The cover of Vol. 2 (2012)

The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011 -2015), General Editor Jacques de Guenin. Academic Editor Dr. David M. Hart. </title/2393>. Order from LF's online catalog <>.

  • Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman. The Correspondence and Articles on Politics (March 2011 )[order a copy]
  • Vol. 2: "The Law," "The State," and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850 (June 2012) [order a copy]
  • Vol. 3: Economic Sophisms and "What is Seen and What is Not Seen"
  • Vol. 4: Miscellaneous Works on Economics: From Jacques-Bonhomme to Le Journal des Économistes
  • Vol. 5: Economic Harmonies
  • Vol. 6: The Struggle Against Protectionism: The English and French Free-Trade Movements