Portrait of Gustave de Molinari

Quotes by Gustave de Molinari

1819 – 1912

Gustave de Molinari was born in Liège on March 3, 1819 and died in Adinkerque on January 28, 1912. He was the leading representative of the laissez-faire school of classical liberalism in France in the second half of the 19 th century and was still campaigning against protectionism, statism, militarism, colonialism, and socialism into his 90s on the eve of the First World War.


As he said shortly before his death, his classical liberal views had remained the same throughout his long life but the world around him had managed to turn full circle in the meantime.

See also our collection of extracts, essays, and other resources on Molinari.

See the Liberty Matters online discussion of Gustave de Molinari’s Legacy for Liberty

For additional information about Gustave de Molinari see the following:

  • A working draft of Liberty Fund’s translation of Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (Evenings on Saint Lazarus Street) (1849).
  • Other essays by or about Molinari.

Molinari featured as the March 2022 OLL Birthday. Read it here


Parties & Elections

Gustave de Molinari argues that political parties are like “actual armies” who are trained to seize power and reward their supporters with jobs and special privileges (1904)

Gustave de Molinari

Socialism & Interventionism

Molinari appeals to socialists to join him in marching down “the broad, well-trodden highway of liberty” (1848)

Gustave de Molinari

Property Rights

Molinari defends the right to property against the socialists who want to overthrow it, and the conservatives who defend it poorly (1849)

Gustave de Molinari


Molinari on the elites who benefited from the State of War (1899)

Gustave de Molinari

Free Trade

Molinari calls the idea of using tariffs to promote a nation’s economy “a monstrosity” (1852)

Gustave de Molinari

Rhetoric of Liberty

Molinari on mankind’s never-ending struggle for liberty (1849)

Gustave de Molinari