L'UNIVERSITÉ LIBERTÉ

L'UNIVERSITÉ LIBERTÉ

octobre 24, 2014

Authentiquement Libéral - Libertarien et Vous ? BASTIAT...(french and english)

L'Université Libérale, vous convie à lire ce nouveau message. Des commentaires seraient souhaitables, notamment sur les posts référencés: à débattre, réflexions...Merci de vos lectures, et de vos analyses.

Pourquoi faut-il que l'homme classe des personnes afin qu'il se distingue des autres sinon que pour ses privilèges et son esprit d'exclusive, style caste. Question de sécurité, de différence ?
Pourquoi faut-il donc s'appeler peuple , bourgeois , noble; pourquoi faut-il être bobo, socialo...etc ? Pourquoi faudrait-il être encore de gauche, de droite, des extrêmes, voire maintenant plutôt centriste de toutes tendances ? Faire du social, n'est pas l'exclusivité des socialistes !

Manque t-on autant de discernement philosophique, de lecture économique, devrions nous rester ignorant sans aucun concept, sans aucun calcul ? 
Libéralisme = Humanisme
Pourquoi donc tous ces conservatismes, sommes nous pas capable à de nouveaux préceptes de morale?
Pourquoi toujours se cantonner à l'existant, n'avons-nous plus aucune lumière?
Faut-il revenir à des fondamentaux: Voltaire, Montesquieu...etc ?



Aujourd'hui, dans notre pays, tous les pouvoirs sont concentrés entre les mains de quelques dizaines de personnes, qu'elles soient de gauche ou de droite.

Pouvoir exécutif : L'ensemble de l'appareil de l'État est entre les mains d'un petit nombre de personnes, toutes formées aux mêmes méthodes, faisant référence à la même pensée, réagissant de la même façon devant tous les problèmes. Ces personnes affirment avec un aplomb tout à fait extraordinaire que eux, et eux seuls, ont le sens de l'intérêt général. À les en croire, tous les autres sont là pour défendre une catégorie ou des intérêts particuliers. Hauts fonctionnaires nommés en principe pour défendre l'intérêt général, ils ont tendance à croire qu'eux seuls, par construction, détiennent la vérité en matière d'intérêt général. Élus sans difficultés dans des circonscriptions sur mesure, ils conservent cet état d'esprit. Les ministres désignés pour assumer le pouvoir exécutif qui n'appartiennent pas à cette caste sont éphémères et largement dépendants de ces hauts fonctionnaires.

Pouvoir législatif : au moins, pourrait-on dire, n'y a-t-il pas ou peu de hauts fonctionnaires à l'Assemblée. Mais l'Assemblée ne possède pas vraiment le pouvoir législatif, car la Constitution donne au seul gouvernement le pouvoir de fixer l'ordre du jour de l'Assemblée Nationale ! Ce qui veut dire qu'aucun projet de loi ne peut être discuté à l'Assemblée Nationale s'il n'est pas approuvé par le gouvernement. On ne peut donc parler à l'Assemblée que de ce dont le gouvernement veut qu'on parle. Et naturellement dans le sens que veut le gouvernement, puisqu'il détient la majorité dans l'Assemblée, qu'il a la possibilité de préparer ses parlementaires, voire de châtier les rétifs.

Pouvoir administratif :
ils l'ont par définition s'ils sont dans leur administration. S'ils détiennent un pouvoir politique, et si pris d'une illumination, ils en venaient à envisager une décision contraire à l'intérêt de leurs petits copains dans leur administration d'origine, ils ne la prendraient pas, tant est puissant leur esprit de corps.

Pouvoir économique : on peut penser que les chefs d'entreprise, au moins, ne se recrutent pas dans le même milieu. Mais ce n'est pas forcément vrai pour les plus grandes : il y a les nationalisées, et celles qui sont issues des nationalisées. Il y a toutes celles qui dépendent tellement du bon vouloir de l'Administration qu'elles trouvent plus confortables de nommer à leur tête un homme issu de cette administration. S'il est ingénieur d'un grand corps, ou issu de l'ENA, après tout il aura des connaissances et des capacités de travail sortant de l'ordinaire, et en cherchant bien, on pourra même en trouver qui ont l'esprit d'entreprise. Quand aux apparatchiks du MEDEF, ils ne sont que trop flattés de pouvoir discuter tel ou tel détail de la loi des finances avec les inspecteurs des finances de Bercy. Ce comportement, il est vrai, est en train de changer sous l'impulsion de la nouvelle équipe.

Pouvoir financier :
là ils sont encore les maîtres pour deux raisons. D'abord ils sont directement à la tête des banques nationalisées. Ensuite, l'État est de très loin le plus gros emprunteur sur le marché financier (plus de 85% des capitaux à court terme). Il réduit donc ainsi les moyens disponibles pour les entreprises. Seule lueur d'espoir, ces dernières peuvent maintenant emprunter sur les marchés étrangers. Pouvoir médiatique : en France, c'est un pouvoir qui penche nettement d'un certain côté de l'échiquier politique, et qui se caractérise par une certaine paresse d'analyse. Il va volontiers chercher l'information auprès de l'oligarchie dont nous parlons, et il s'en fait assez facilement l'écho. En pratique les choses se passent de la manière suivante : un événement se produit. Il est d'abord l'objet d'une information et d'un commentaire bref de l'Agence France-Presse, qui incidemment est assez largement à gauche. L'information est ensuite commentée beaucoup plus longuement dans Le Monde. Les autres journalistes reprennent, avec leur style propre, mais sans grande valeur ajoutée, ce qui est dit dans ces deux sources. L'effort d'investigation et de remise en cause est à peu près nul. Quant à la télévision, elle a trop peu de temps pour faire un effort d'imagination, et ses journalistes politiques se comportent le plus souvent comme des perroquets.

Comment en sortir ? 
Si l'on ne fait rien, il ne faut pas exclure que la classe exploitée par cette oligarchie, qui est aujourd'hui la classe moyenne active, ne finisse par se révolter dans le désordre. On connaît le coût humain des révolutions. Il vaut mieux les éviter. La seule autre issue est que tous les citoyens qui comprennent l'analyse ci-dessus adhèrent à un parti politique en nombre suffisant pour en influencer les dirigeants, ou plus efficacement, les remplacer. On ne peut en effet espérer changer pacifiquement les choses que par l'intermédiaire des partis, et on ne pourra guère changer les mentalités des hommes actuellement à la tête des partis.

Cela peut paraître utopique. Mais tout est toujours possible. Les événements les plus extraordinaires peuvent se produire au moment où on ne les attend pas. Lorsqu'ils se produisent, il faut être prêt à les exploiter. 
 
F. Bastiat


L’application d’un programme authentiquement libéral devrait avoir pour effet de rendre impossible le développement du « grand capitalisme ».


Il apparaît que la stigmatisation des grandes sociétés capitalistes, souvent multinationales, est loin d’être contradictoire avec la défense d’idées authentiquement libérales. Tout au contraire, les véritables libéraux gagneraient certainement en influence, tout en désamorçant plus aisément les critiques réductrices de leurs adversaires, à prendre soin de se démarquer résolument du grand capitalisme, qui, comme démontré plus haut, fait quotidiennement le lit du réglementarisme et du monopolisme, deux des plus sérieux obstacles au développement du libéralisme économique ordinaire.
Par Christian Laurut.
 
 
 
 L'ÉTAT par Frédéric BASTIAT ( english )
 
I wish that someone would offer a prize, not of five hundred francs, but of a million, with crosses, crowns, and ribbons, to whoever would give a good, simple, and intelligible definition of this term: the state.
5.2
What an immense service he would render to society!
5.3
The state! What is it? Where is it? What does it do? What should it do?
5.4
All that we know about it is that it is a mysterious personage, and certainly the most solicited, the most tormented, the busiest, the most advised, the most blamed, the most invoked, and the most provoked in the world.
5.5
For, sir, I do not have the honor of knowing you, but I wager ten to one that for six months you have been making utopias; and if you have been making them, I wager ten to one that you place upon the state the responsibility of realizing them.
5.6
And you, madame, I am sure that you desire from the bottom of your heart to cure all the ills of mankind, and that you would be in no wise embarrassed if the state would only lend a hand.
5.7
But alas! The unfortunate state, like Figaro, knows neither to whom to listen nor where to turn. The hundred thousand tongues of press and rostrum all cry out to it at once:
"Organize labor and the workers."
"Root out selfishness."
"Repress the insolence and tyranny of capital."
"Make experiments with manure and with eggs."
"Furrow the countryside with railroads."
"Irrigate the plains."
"Plant forests on the mountains."
"Establish model farms."
"Establish harmonious workshops."
"Colonize Algeria."
"Feed the babies."
"Instruct the young."
"Relieve the aged."
"Send the city folk into the country."
"Equalize the profits of all industries."
"Lend money, without interest, to those who desire it."
"Liberate Italy, Poland, and Hungary."
"Improve the breed of saddle horses."
"Encourage art; train musicians and dancers."
"Restrict trade, and at the same time create a merchant marine."
"Discover truth and knock a bit of sense into our heads."
"The function of the state is to enlighten, to develop, to increase, to fortify, to spiritualize, and to sanctify the soul of a nation."**31
5.8
"Oh, sirs, a little patience," replies the state with a piteous air. "I shall try to satisfy you, but for that I shall need some resources. I have prepared proposals for five or six taxes, brand new and the mildest in the world. You will see how glad people will be to pay them."
5.9
But then a great cry is raised: "Shame! Shame! Anybody can do a thing if he has the resources! Then you would not be worthy of being called the state. Far from hitting us with new taxes, we demand that you eliminate the old ones. Abolish:
"The tax on salt;
"The tax on beverages;
"The tax on letters;
"The octroi;*62
"Licenses;
"Prestations."
5.10
In the midst of this tumult, and after the country had changed its state two or three times for not having satisfied all these demands, I tried to point out that they were contradictory. Good Lord! What was I thinking of? Could I not keep this unfortunate remark to myself?
5.11
So here I am, discredited forever; and it is now an accepted fact that I am a heartless, pitiless man, a dry philosopher, an individualist, a bourgeois—in a word, an economist of the English or American school.
5.12
Oh, pardon me, sublime writers, whom nothing stops, not even contradictions. I am wrong, no doubt, and I retract my error with all my heart. I demand nothing better, you may be sure, than that you should really have discovered outside of us a benevolent and inexhaustible being, calling itself the state, which has bread for all mouths, work for all hands, capital for all enterprises, credit for all projects, ointment for all wounds, balm for all suffering, advice for all perplexities, solutions for all problems, truths for all minds, distractions for all varieties of boredom, milk for children and wine for old age, which provides for all our needs, foresees all our desires, satisfies all our curiosity, corrects all our errors, amends all our faults, and exempts us all henceforth from the need for foresight, prudence, judgment, sagacity, experience, order, economy, temperance, and industry.
5.13
And why should I not desire it? Heaven forgive me! The more I reflect on it, the more I find how easy the whole thing is; and I, too, long to have at hand that inexhaustible source of riches and enlightenment, that universal physician, that limitless treasure, that infallible counselor, that you call the state.
5.14
Hence, I insist that it be shown to me, that it be defined, and that is why I propose that a prize be offered to the first to discover this rare bird. For, after all, it will have to be admitted that this precious discovery has not yet been made, since the people have up to now overthrown immediately everything that has presented itself under the name of the state, precisely because it has failed to fulfill the somewhat contradictory conditions of the program.
5.15
Need it be said that we may have been, in this respect, duped by one of the most bizarre illusions that has ever taken possession of the human mind?
5.16
Man is averse to pain and suffering. And yet he is condemned by nature to the suffering of privation if he does not take the pains to work for a living. He has, then, only the choice between these two evils. How arrange matters so that both may be avoided? He has found up to now and will ever find only one means: that is, to enjoy the fruits of other men's labor; that is, to arrange matters in such a way that the pains and the satisfactions, instead of falling to each according to their natural proportion, are divided between the exploited and their exploiters, with all the pain going to the former, and all the satisfactions to the latter. This is the principle on which slavery is based, as well as plunder of any and every form: wars, acts of violence, restraints of trade, frauds, misrepresentations, etc.—monstrous abuses, but consistent with the idea that gave rise to them. One should hate and combat oppressors, but one cannot say that they are absurd.
5.17
Slavery is on its way out, thank Heaven, and our natural inclination to defend our property makes direct and outright plunder difficult. One thing, however, has remained. It is the unfortunate primitive tendency which all men have to divide their complex lot in life into two parts, shifting the pains to others and keeping the satisfactions for themselves. It remains to be seen under what new form this deplorable tendency is manifested.
5.18
The oppressor no longer acts directly by his own force on the oppressed. No, our conscience has become too fastidious for that. There are still, to be sure, the oppressor and his victim, but between them is placed an intermediary, the state, that is, the law itself. What is better fitted to silence our scruples and—what is perhaps considered even more important—to overcome all resistance? Hence, all of us, with whatever claim, under one pretext or another, address the state. We say to it: "I do not find that there is a satisfactory proportion between my enjoyments and my labor. I should like very much to take a little from the property of others to establish the desired equilibrium. But that is dangerous. Could you not make it a little easier? Could you not find me a good job in the civil service or hinder the industry of my competitors or, still better, give me an interest-free loan of the capital you have taken from its rightful owners or educate my children at the public expense or grant me incentive subsidies or assure my well-being when I shall be fifty years old? By this means I shall reach my goal in all good conscience, for the law itself will have acted for me, and I shall have all the advantages of plunder without enduring either the risks or the odium."
5.19
As, on the one hand, it is certain that we all address some such request to the state, and, on the other hand, it is a well-established fact that the state cannot procure satisfaction for some without adding to the labor of others, while awaiting another definition of the state, I believe myself entitled to give my own here. Who knows if it will not carry off the prize? Here it is:
5.20
The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.
5.21
For, today as in the past, each of us, more or less, would like to profit from the labor of others. One does not dare to proclaim this feeling publicly, one conceals it from oneself, and then what does one do? One imagines an intermediary; one addresses the state, and each class proceeds in turn to say to it: "You, who can take fairly and honorably, take from the public and share with us." Alas! The state is only too ready to follow such diabolical advice; for it is composed of cabinet ministers, of bureaucrats, of men, in short, who, like all men, carry in their hearts the desire, and always enthusiastically seize the opportunity, to see their wealth and influence grow. The state understands, then, very quickly the use it can make of the role the public entrusts to it. It will be the arbiter, the master, of all destinies. It will take a great deal; hence, a great deal will remain for itself. It will multiply the number of its agents; it will enlarge the scope of its prerogatives; it will end by acquiring overwhelming proportions.
5.22
But what is most noteworthy is the astonishing blindness of the public to all this. When victorious soldiers reduced the vanquished to slavery, they were barbarous, but they were not absurd. Their object was, as ours is, to live at the expense of others; but, unlike us, they attained it. What are we to think of a people who apparently do not suspect that reciprocal pillage is no less pillage because it is reciprocal; that it is no less criminal because it is carried out legally and in an orderly manner; that it adds nothing to the public welfare; that, on the contrary, it diminishes it by all that this spendthrift intermediary that we call the state costs?
5.23
And we have placed this great myth, for the edification of the people, in the Preamble of the Constitution. Here are the first words of the Preamble:
France has been constituted as a republic in order to .... raise all its citizens to an ever higher standard of morality, enlightenment, and well-being.
5.24
Thus, it is France, or the abstraction, which is to raise Frenchmen, or the realities, to a higher standard of morality, well-being, etc. Is this not to be possessed by the bizarre illusion that leads us to expect everything from another power than our own? Is this not to imply that there is, above and beyond the French people, a virtuous, enlightened, rich being who can and ought to bestow his benefits on them? Is this not to assume, and certainly most gratuitously, that there exists between France and the people of France, that is, between the synoptic, abstract term used to designate all these individuals and the individuals themselves, a father-son, guardian-ward, teacher-pupil relationship? I am well aware of the fact that we sometimes speak metaphorically of "the fatherland" or of France as a "tender mother." But in order to expose in its full flagrance the inanity of the proposition inserted into our Constitution, it suffices to show that it can be reversed, I will not say without disadvantage, but even to advantage. Would exactness suffer if the Preamble had said:
5.25
"The French have been constituted as a republic in order to raise France to an ever higher standard of morality, enlightenment, and well-being"?
5.26
Now, what is the value of an axiom of which the subject and the object can be interchanged without disadvantage? Everyone understands the statement: "The mother will nurse the baby." But it would be ridiculous to say: "The baby will nurse the mother."
5.27
The Americans formed another idea of the relations of citizens to the state when they placed at the head of their Constitution these simple words:
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain, etc.
5.28
There is no mythical creation here, no abstraction from which the citizens demand everything. They expect nothing save from themselves and their own efforts.
5.29
If I have permitted myself to criticize the first words of our Constitution, it is not, as one might think, in order to deal with a mere metaphysical subtlety. I contend that this personification of the state has been in the past, and will be in the future, a fertile source of calamities and of revolutions.
5.30
Here the public, on the one side, the state on the other, are considered as two distinct entities, the latter intent on pouring down upon the former, the former having the right to claim from the latter, a veritable shower of human felicities. What must be the inevitable result?
5.31
The fact is, the state does not and cannot have one hand only. It has two hands, one to take and the other to give—in other words, the rough hand and the gentle hand. The activity of the second is necessarily subordinated to the activity of the first. Strictly speaking, the state can take and not give. We have seen this happen, and it is to be explained by the porous and absorbent nature of its hands, which always retain a part, and sometimes the whole, of what they touch. But what has never been seen, what will never be seen and cannot even be conceived, is the state giving the public more than it has taken from it. It is therefore foolish for us to take the humble attitude of beggars when we ask anything of the state. It is fundamentally impossible for it to confer a particular advantage on some of the individuals who constitute the community without inflicting a greater damage on the entire community.
5.32
It finds itself, then, placed by our demands in an obviously vicious circle.
5.33
If it withholds the boon that is demanded of it, it is accused of impotence, of ill will, of incapacity. If it tries to meet the demand, it is reduced to levying increased taxes on the people, to doing more harm than good, and to incurring, on another account, general disaffection.
5.34
Thus, we find two expectations on the part of the public, two promises on the part of the government: many benefits and no taxes. Such expectations and promises, being contradictory, are never fulfilled.
5.35
Is this not the cause of all our revolutions? For between the state, which is lavish with impossible promises, and the public, which has conceived unrealizable expectations, two classes of men intervene: the ambitious and the utopian. Their role is completely prescribed for them by the situation. It suffices for these demagogues to cry into the ears of the people: "Those in power are deceiving you; if we were in their place, we would overwhelm you with benefits and free you from taxes."
5.36
And the people believe, and the people hope, and the people make a revolution.
5.37
Its friends are no sooner in charge of things than they are called on to make good their promises: "Give me a job, then, bread, relief, credit, education, and colonies," say the people, "and at the same time, in keeping with your promises, deliver me from the burden of taxation."
5.38
The new state is no less embarrassed than the old, for, when it comes to the impossible, one can, indeed, make promises, but one cannot keep them. It tries to gain time, which it needs to bring its vast projects to fruition. At first it makes a few timid attempts; on the one hand, it extends primary education a little; on the other, it reduces somewhat the tax on beverages (1830). But it is always confronted with the same contradiction: if it wishes to be philanthropic, it must continue to levy taxes; and if it renounces taxation, it must also renounce philanthropy.
5.39
These two promises always and necessarily conflict with each other. To have recourse to borrowing, that is, to eat into the future, is indeed a means of reconciling them in the present; one tries to do a little good in the present at the expense of a great deal of harm in the future. But this procedure raises the specter of bankruptcy, which destroys credit. What is to be done, then? The new state then takes a firm stand against its critics: it regroups its forces to maintain itself, it stifles opinion, it has recourse to arbitrary decrees, it ridicules its former maxims, it declares that one can govern only on condition of being unpopular; in short, it proclaims itself the government.
5.40
And this is precisely what other demagogues are waiting for. They exploit the same illusion, take the same road, obtain the same success, and soon come to be engulfed in the same abyss.
5.41
This is the way we came to the February Revolution. At that time the illusion that is the subject of this article had made its way further than ever into popular thought, along with socialist doctrines. More than ever before, people expected that the state, in a republican form, would open wide the floodgates of its bounty and close off the stream of taxes. "I have often been deceived," said the people, "but this time I myself will stand guard to see that I am not again deceived."
5.42
What could the provisional government do? Alas! What is always done in such a circumstance: promise and gain time. It did not fail to do this, and, to add solemnity to its promises, it gave them definitive form in its decrees. "Increased welfare, shorter working hours, relief, credit, gratuitous education, agricultural settlements, land clearance, and, at the same time, reductions in the taxes on salt, beverages, letters, meat, all will be granted .... when the National Assembly meets."
5.43
The National Assembly met, and, as two contradictory ideas cannot both be realized, its task, its sad task, was confined to retracting, as gently as possible, one after another, all the decrees of the provisional government.
5.44
Still, in order not to make the disappointment too cruel, it had to compromise a little. Certain commitments were kept; others were fulfilled in token form. Hence, the present administration is trying to devise new taxes.
5.45
Now, looking ahead a few months, I ask myself sadly what will happen when the newly created civil servants go out into the country to collect the new taxes on inheritances, incomes, and the profits of agriculture. May Heaven give the lie to my presentiments, but here again I see a role for the demagogues to play.
5.46
Read the last Manifesto of the Montagnards*63 which they issued in connection with the presidential election. It is rather long, but can be summed up in a few words: The state should give a great deal to the citizens and take little from them. It is always the same tactic, or, if you will, the same error.
The state owes instruction and education free of charge to all citizens.
5.47
It owes:
A general and professional education, appropriate as nearly as possible to the needs, vocations, and capacities of each citizen.
5.48
It should:
Teach each citizen his duties toward God, toward men, and toward himself; develop his feelings, his aptitudes, and his faculties; give him, in short, proficiency in his work, understanding of his best interests, and knowledge of his rights.
5.49
It should:
Put within everyone's reach literature and the arts, the heritage of human thought, the treasures of the mind, all the intellectual enjoyments which elevate and strengthen the soul.
5.50
It should:
Insure against every disaster, fire, flood, etc. [how great are the implications of this little et cetera!], suffered by a citizen.
5.51
It should:
Intervene in the relations between capital and labor and make itself the regulator of credit.
5.52
It owes:
Practical encouragement and efficacious protection to agriculture.
5.53
It should:
Buy up the railroads, the canals, the mines,
5.54
and undoubtedly also administer them with that industrial expertise which is so characteristic of it.
5.55
It should:
Stimulate laudable enterprises, and encourage and aid them with all the resources capable of making them succeed. As regulator of credit, it will largely control the industrial and agricultural associations, in order to assure their success.
5.56
The state is to do all this without prejudice to the services that it performs today; and, for example, it must always adopt a threatening attitude toward foreign nations; for, say the signers of the program,
linked by that holy solidarity and by the precedents of republican France, we extend our commitments and our hopes, beyond the barriers that despotism has raised between nations, on behalf of all those whom the yoke of tyranny oppresses; we desire that our glorious army be again, if it must, the army of liberty.
5.57
You see that the gentle hand of the state, that good hand which gives and which bestows, will be very busy under the government of the Montagnards. Perhaps you believe that the same will be true of the rough hand, of the hand that reaches into our pockets and empties them?
5.58
Undeceive yourselves. The demagogues would not know their business if they had not acquired the art of hiding the rough hand while showing the gentle hand.
5.59
Their reign will surely mean a jubilee for the taxpayer.
5.60
"It is on luxuries," they say, "not necessities, that taxes should be imposed."
5.61
Will it not be a happy day when, in order to load us with benefits, the public treasury is content to take from us just our superfluous funds?
5.62
Nor is this all. The Montagnards intend that "taxation should lose its oppressive character and should henceforth be no more than an act of fraternity."
5.63
Heavenly days! I am well aware of the fact that it is the vogue to get fraternity in everywhere, but I did not suspect that it could be put into the receipt of the tax collector.
5.64
Getting down to details, the signers of the manifesto say:
We demand the immediate abolition of taxes that fall on objects of primary necessity, such as salt, drinks, et cetera.
Reform of the real estate tax, the octroi, and license fees.
Justice free of charge, that is, the simplification of forms and the reduction of expenses. [This no doubt has to do with official stamps.]
5.65
Thus, real estate taxes, the octroi, license fees, taxes on stamps, salt, beverages, mail—all are to be done away with. These gentlemen have found the secret of keeping the gentle hand of the state energetic and active, while paralyzing its rough hand.
5.66
Indeed! I ask the impartial reader, is this not childish and, what is more, dangerously childish? Why would people not make one revolution after another, once they had made up their minds not to stop until this contradiction had been made a reality: "Give nothing to the state, and receive a great deal from it"?
5.67
Does anyone believe that if the Montagnards came to power, they would not themselves become the victims of the very means that they employed to seize it?
5.68
Citizens, throughout history two political systems have confronted each other, and both of them can be supported by good arguments. According to one, the state should do a great deal, but also it should take a great deal. According to the other, its double action should be barely perceptible. Between these two systems, one must choose. But as for the third system, which is a mixture of the two others, and which consists in requiring everything from the state without giving anything to it, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who advance it in order to give themselves the pleasure of accusing all governments of impotence and exposing them thus to your violent attacks, flatter and deceive you, or at least they deceive themselves.
5.69
As for us, we think that the state is not and should not be anything else than the common police force instituted, not to be an instrument of oppression and reciprocal plunder, but, on the contrary, to guarantee to each his own and to make justice and security prevail.**32

Notes for this chapter


30.
[To understand the form of this composition, note that it was printed in the Journal des débats, issue of September 25, 1848.—Editor.]
31.
[This last phrase is from M. de Lamartine. The author cites it also in the pamphlet (chap. 2 of this volume) entitled "The Law."—Editor.]
62.
[A local tax on certain commodities (foodstuffs, fodder, liquids, fuels, building materials, etc.) imposed as a condition of their being brought into a town or district.—Translator]
63.
[In 1848, members of the Socialist Democrat Party. The name, of course, goes back to the militant "Mountain" Party of Danton and Robespierre during the French Revolution.—Translator.]
32.
[See chap. 17 of Economic Harmonies and, in the first volume (of the French edition), the pamphlet of 1830 entitled "To the Electors of the Department of Landes."—Editor.] NOTES TO CHAPTER 6
 
 
 
Joseph Schumpeter described Bastiat nearly a century after his death as “the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.” Orphaned at the age of nine, Bastiat tried his hand at commerce, farming, and insurance sales. In 1825, after he inherited his grandfather’s estate, he quit working, established a discussion group, and read widely in economics.
Bastiat made no original contribution to economics, if we use “contribution” the way most economists use it. That is, we cannot associate one law, theorem, or pathbreaking empirical study with his name. But in a broader sense Bastiat made a big contribution: his fresh and witty expressions of economic truths made them so understandable and compelling that the truths became hard to ignore.
Bastiat was supremely effective at popularizing free-market economics. When he learned of Richard Cobden’s campaign against the British Corn Laws (restrictions on the import of wheat, barley, rye, and oats), Bastiat vowed to become the “French Cobden.” He subsequently published a series of articles attacking protectionism that brought him instant acclaim. In 1846 he established the Association of Free Trade in Paris and his own weekly newspaper, in which he waged a witty assault against socialists and protectionists.
Bastiat’s “A Petition,” usually referred to now as “The Petition of the Candlemakers,” displays his rhetorical skill and rakish tone, as this excerpt illustrates:
We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a foreign rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light, that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price.... This rival ... is none other than the sun....
We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights and blinds; in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures.
This reductio ad absurdum of protectionism was so effective that one of the most successful postwar economics textbooks, Economics by Paul A. Samuelson, quotes the candlemakers’ petition at the head of the chapter on protectionism.
Bastiat also emphasized the unintended consequences of government policy (he called them the “unseen” consequences). Friedrich Hayek credits Bastiat with this important insight: if we judge economic policy solely by its immediate effects, we will miss all of its unintended and longer-run effects and will undermine economic freedom, which delivers benefits that are not part of anyone’s conscious design. Much of Hayek’s work, and some of Milton Friedman’s, was an exploration and elaboration of this insight.

Selected Works

1850. Economic Harmonies. Translated by W. H. Boyers, 1964. Available online at: http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basHar.html
1845. Economic Sophisms. Translated by A. Goddard, 1964. Available online at: http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basSoph.html Includes “A Petition.”
1848. Selected Essays on Political Economy. Translated by S. Cain, 1964. Available online at: http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss.html Includes “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen.”
1850. The Law. Translated by Dean Russell, 1995. Available online at: http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basLaw.html
Articles by Bastiat in Lalor’s Cyclopaedia:
“Spoliation by Law”
“Plenty and Dearth”
Miscellaneous quotes, discussions, and references

 BASTIAT
Cover
Table of Contents
About the Author
Preface to the English-Language Edition, by George B. de Huszar
Introduction, by F. A. Hayek
1. What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen
2. The Law
3. Property and Law
4. Justice and Fraternity
6. Property and Plunder
7. Protectionism and Communism
8. Plunder and Law
9. Academic Degrees and Socialism
10. Declaration of War Against the Professors of Political Economy
11. Speech on the Suppression of industrial Combinations
12. To the Democrats: Reflections on the Amendment of M. Mortimer-Ternaux
13. The Balance of Trade
Footnotes

Frédéric Bastiat

De Wikiberal
 
Frédéric Bastiat (30 juin 1801 - 24 décembre 1850) est un économiste libéral français.
Économiste et pamphlétaire, élu député des Landes en 1848, il n'a de cesse de combattre le protectionnisme et le socialisme, et de promouvoir le libre-échange et les droits de l'individu. Il a été la figure centrale de l'école de Paris.
Écrivain au style direct, ses écrits (articles ou pamphlets) manient les comparaisons pédagogiques et les fables satiriques, et visent à débusquer les principaux mythes ou sophismes entretenus autour de l'État (la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s'efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde), du socialisme (la spoliation légale), de la richesse (le profit de l'un est le profit de l'autre), de la solidarité (il m'est tout à fait impossible de concevoir la Fraternité légalement forcée, sans que la Liberté soit légalement détruite, et la Justice légalement foulée aux pieds), de l'impôt, de l'interventionnisme, du machinisme, etc.
La satire de Bastiat la plus célèbre (qui vise le protectionnisme) est sa pétition au Parlement français de la part des fabricants de chandelles [1], qui demandent à être protégés « de la compétition ruineuse d'un rival étranger » (qui s'avère finalement être le soleil !). Cette pétition s'achève par la demande d'une « loi qui ordonne la fermeture de toutes fenêtres, lucarnes, (...) par lesquelles la lumière du soleil a coutume de pénétrer dans les maisons ».
En matière économique, il insiste souvent sur la distinction entre ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (on parlerait aujourd'hui des coûts cachés). Ce thème, élargi pour critiquer l'activité interventionniste de l'État, est développé à l'origine dans sa parabole de la vitre cassée. L'argent dépensé pour réparer une fenêtre cassée apportera du travail au réparateur ; ce dernier pourra augmenter ses dépenses, ce qui produira plus d'affaires pour d'autres. Ce qu'on ne voit pas ici, c'est comment l'argent aurait été dépensé si la fenêtre n'avait pas été cassée. La fenêtre cassée a seulement détourné de l'argent vers d'autres dépenses. Selon Bastiat, l'État agit continuellement de la sorte en prenant aux plus actifs pour subventionner des groupes d'intérêt, des associations corporatistes ou assister les inactifs.
L'accent qu'il met sur le rôle économique de l'individu consommateur en fait un précurseur d'économistes du XXe siècle tels que Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek ou Pascal Salin. Ronald Reagan a dit de lui qu'il était son économiste préféré.
Il a été redécouvert en France par Gilbert Fournier.

Libéral

De Wikiberal
 
Libéral est un terme emprunté au latin liberalis, « relatif à une personne de condition libre » qui connaît plusieurs acceptions :
  • anciennement (sens de l'adjectif liberalis en latin, voir [1]), ce qui convenait à un homme libre - arts libéraux, éducation libérale - ; aujourd’hui, profession libérale ;
  • qui aime à donner, qui se plaît à donner (latin liberalitas : libéralité, générosité) ;
  • qui est favorable aux libertés civiles et politiques, qui les favorise ;
Le premier emploi enregistré du terme libéral pour désigner un parti politique remonte aux Cortes de Cadix - assemblée constituante réunie dans cette ville espagnole entre 1810 et 1814, durant la Guerre d’Indépendance espagnole, contre l’invasion napoléonienne. De l’espagnol, ce sens politique du terme libéral passa à d’autres langues.
Les libéraux usent du terme libéral pour se référer à ce qui est en accord avec des lois fondamentales, qui trouvent leur consensus dans la Déclaration d’indépendance des États-Unis de 1776 et la Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du citoyen de 1789, et qui, dans le même temps, n’impose aucune restriction, obligation, ni imposition d’aucune sorte si ce n'est pour garantir les droits repris dans la loi. Dans ce sens, le libéralisme est à l’origine de la démocratie moderne.
Liberal est également le nom de deux villes des États-Unis : Liberal, Kansas et Liberal, Missouri.

Note importante : aux États-Unis, au Canada et dans une moindre mesure au Royaume-Uni, le terme liberal possède maintenant un sens différent du français et désigne notamment ceux qui correspondraient aux sociaux-démocrates ou à la gauche progressiste non marxiste. Il convient donc de savoir dans quel contexte ce terme est employé, pour éviter les confusions. De même, ultraliberal ne désigne pas les prétendus "ultralibéraux", mais les gauchistes.
Également, de nombreux partis dans différents pays du monde se prétendent libéraux, bien que souvent la politique qu'ils préconisent soit davantage interventionniste que proprement libérale au vrai sens du terme.

10 commentaires:

Georges Lane a dit…

Le jeu d'échec fait partie de ces jeux qui vous socialo-communisent car ils vous font oublier le cadre du jeu où vous êtes censés "jouer".

Honte à la "théorie des jeux" chère aux mathématiciens quand ils n'en deviennent pas fous comme, par exemple, "Nash"...

La liberté n'a pas de cadre a priori, de limite a priori, c'est son authenticité.

La spontanéité de chacun y découvre des règles... de droit que les hommes de l'état cherchent à cadrer, à limiter à leurs avantages.

François Guillaumat a dit…

Faudrait réfuter Tirole.

Georges Lane a dit…

Une de ses marottes : les marchés « bifaces », « qui organisent des interactions entre plusieurs catégories d’usagers, tel un moteur de recherche qui offre le service au grand public mais fait payer les entreprises qui y figurent ».
https://lejournal.cnrs.fr/.../jean-tirole-prix-nobel...

Autre thème majeur : la régulation des industries de réseau, telles que les télécoms, l’électricité, les chemins de fer, le gaz, la poste, etc. « Dans ces secteurs, explique-t-il, les monopoles pourraient piéger le consommateur dans des prix élevés ou des services médiocres. » Avec Jean-Jacques Laffont, il a offert aux régulateurs de ces monopoles, généralement l’État, toute une batterie de mesures pour prévenir ce genre de problèmes.

Il n'y a rien à réfuter, le cadre du jeu d'échec qui nous intéresse, est ignoré.

Et Jean Jacques Laffont que j'ai connu comme professeur passionné par la croissance ... et non par ses questions est mort et qu'Attali faisait connaître la croissance optimale ... Tous polytechniciens qui ont abandonné l'étude de mathématiques pour une science qu'ils ignorent.

Georges Lane a dit…

http://www.institutcoppet.org/.../conference-du-mont...

Olivier-Benoît Garand a dit…

Al ... D'où sort le traduction de l'Etat de Bastiat ?

La conclusion voit "force commune" se commuer en "common police force" ... ce qui donne une sens très différent au propos de Bastiat, dont l'idéal est de limiter l'Etat à la garantie des droits fondamentaux ... et pas seulement à la sécurité.

Alain Genestine a dit…

http://www.econlib.org/

François Guillaumat a dit…

Il y croit, le Tirole, aux "monopoles naturels" ?
Il ne comprend pas que toute intervention de l'état crée un privilège de monopole ?

Georges Lane a dit…

L'intervention de l'état n'est jamais que la surface du jeu d'échec dont on se moque.

François Guillaumat a dit…

Et réciproquement.

Hippolyte Neuville a dit…

Je suggère : une émission de Lumière 101 sur l'économie tirolienne.