Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bastiat, Frederic, the son of a Bayonne merchant, born in 1801, spent a few years in business, but retired early to a small country estate at Mugron, where he devoted himself to the study of economical questions. Between 1832 and 1844 he published several pamphlets on local subjects, but the Free Trade movement in England attracted his attention, and he at once adopted the doctrines of Cobden with zeal, writing his Sophismes Economiques, and Cobden et La Ligue, which stirred violently the minds of French thinkers. He started Free Trade associations in his country, and also a paper, the Libre-Echange. He was gaining ground when the revolution of 1848 brought him face to face with the opposing influences of socialism. Though hard work was affecting his health he issued a series of telling essays, in which he proved socialism to be tainted by the errors of protection, and in 1850 he brought out the first volume of a constructive treatise. Les Harmonies Economiques, intended to set forth his idea that human nature, if allowed free play, leads to harmonious combination of interests, and not to the system of injustice and inequality that socialists would sweep away. But his malady compelled him to seek a change of climate in Italy, and he died at Rome at the end of the year.