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Frederic Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat (June 30, 1801– December 24, 1850) was a French political economist, classical liberal theorist, and legislator.  His literature has been instrumental in influencing the development of libertarianism and the Austrian school of economics. Bastiat is famous for developing the fundamental concept of opportunity cost. He was a firm believer in free markets and the individual’s right to life, liberty and property and that government should be restricted to protecting these rights from aggression and theft.

Fun Fact: Bastiat was raised and educated by his paternal grandfather.

To learn more about Bastiat's economic way of thinking, apply for a FEE Summer Seminar!

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Bastiat's Life

His Literary Works Are a Treasure Trove That Can Still Instruct Readers Today

JUNE 01, 2001 by SHELDON RICHMAN

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Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace

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JUNE 01, 1997 by JIM POWELL

Frederic Bastiat ranks among the most spirited defenders of economic freedom and international peace. Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek called Bastiat a publicist of genius. The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises saluted Bastiat's immortal contributions. Best-selling economics journalist Henry Hazlitt marveled at Bastiat's uncanny clairvoyance. Said intellectual historian Murray N. Rothbard: Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control.

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Bastiat, Liberty, and The Law

Bastiat's Writing Exhibits a Rare Purity and Reasoned Passion

MAY 01, 1996 by SHELDON RICHMAN

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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