Yves Guyot accuses all those who seek Protection from foreign competition of being “Socialists” (1893)
Found in: The Tyranny of Socialism
The French laissez-faire economist and politician Yves Guyot (1843-1928) accuses all political groups who call for state intervention in the economy, whether from the left with its demand for minimum wages, or from the right with the demand of large land owners for government protection from cheap foreign food stuffs, “Socialists”:
Yes, large and small proprietors alike, those of you are Socialists, who beg for customs duties. For what is it you ask, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee the revenue of your property? What is it you ask for, tradesmen and manufacturers of every kind, who seek the imposition of import duties, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee your profits? And what is it the Socialists ask, if not for the intervention of the State to guarantee to the workman a maximum of work, a minimum of wage? In a word, what is it you all ask, if not for the intervention of the State to protect you all against competition? The Protectionist asks for protection from the competition of progress from without—the Socialist asks for protection from the competition of activity within—and in aid of what? To throw political interference into the scale so as to violate the Law of Supply and Demand for the arbitrary benefit of such and such a class of producers or workmen, and to the detriment of all consumers and ratepayers, which means—everybody.