Bastiat, Frédéric(frādārēk` bästyä`), 1801–50, French economist. In his Harmonies of Political Economy (1850, tr. 1860) he developed the classical theories of economic individualism and laissez-faire. A popular and controversial writer, he vigorously supported free trade. There are several translations of his essays called Sophismes économiques (1847–48).
Born June 30, 1801; died Dec. 24, 1850. French bourgeois economist; propagandist for free trade.
K. Marx characterized Bastiat as “the most superficial and therefore the most adequate representative of the apologetic of vulgar economy” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, p. 18). Bastiat was one of the authors of the “theory” of the harmony of interests of labor and capital, a theory which concealed the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie and depicted this exploitation as some kind of “exchange of services” between labor and capital. Bastiat actively advocated “free enterprise,” which he regarded as the decisive condition for the establishment of social harmony in bourgeois society.
WORKSSophismes économiques. Paris, 1846. New edition: Paris, 1854. In Russian translation: Ekonomicheskie sofizmy. St. Petersburg, 1863.
Harmonies économiques. Paris, 1840. New edition: Paris, 1954. In Russian translation: Ekonomicheskie garmonii. [Moscow], 1904.
REFERENCESMarx, K. Kapital, vol. 1. K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, pp. 18, 70, 91, 92, 204, 419, 575.
Marx, K. “Bastia i Keri.” Ibid., vol. 46, part 1, pp. 3–16.
Marx, K. “Teorii pribavochnoi stoimosti” (in vol. 4 of Kapital). Ibid., vol. 26, part 1, pp. 413,416; vol. 26, part 3, pp. 91,527,550, 552,561.