Friday, March 22, 2013

Bastiat...the SOCIALIST?

So sayeth my good friend Sheldon Richman.

That … veil which is spread before the eyes of the ordinary man, which even the attentive observer does not always succeed in casting aside, prevents us from seeing the most marvelous of all social phenomena: real wealth constantly passing from the domain of private property into the communal domain. 

"Wealth marvelously passing from the private to the communal domain? It sounds like a socialist’s redistributionist fantasy! 

But wait — Frédéric Bastiat, the great laissez-faire radical, wrote those words in his book Economic Harmonies, chapter 8, provocatively titled “Private Property and Common Wealth.” 



Sheldon Richman said...

Thanks, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Bastiat being quite the kidder must have meant it in a mocking way. As in: One marvels at the way that the common man and attentive observer is fooled by the veil. Example: The crony capitalists of the Green Energy industry conspire with government and willing customer stooges to extract private property into the communal domain. The Govs. take administrative fees and dole out the rest to the Green Energy Industry and their "bank getaway car driving" customers. The Veil in this case is the dubious AGW claim.

Tom said...

Mungowitz, you're a tease. I read the article to prepare my point that the sharing done by the invisible hand of the market is very different from (and far better than) that done by the iron hand of the authoritarian state. Then to find that Mr. Richman had already made that point.

Now, for your next trick, can you get liberals to understand this?

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon, I see no indication that Monsieur Bastiat had tongue in cheek. Read his chapter on land, which follows the one I discussed.