Economic Ideas: Frédéric Bastiat on the Law of Liberty and Free Markets

The defense of economic liberty has never been an easy task. Adam Smith expressed his own despair at this problem in The Wealth of Nations. After presenting his powerful criticisms of mercantilism—the eighteenth-century system of government regulation and planning—he despondently suggested that free trade in Great Britain was as unlikely as the establishment of a utopia. He said that ...