What will French citizens do with their hands and minds when they are free?

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms Second Series

At the occasion of a new exposition of the sophism that mixes up work and wealth according to the principle that “all wealth comes from the intensity of work”, Bastiat touches upon the issue with men of power. As a matter of fact, the question about what individuals would do if they were left free to choose is a recurring question among “the elite”, nowadays as much as then. These people are so much convinced of being better than others that they cannot conceive others acting differently than the way they think others should act.

Most of the pamphlet is about a different theme though. Extrapolating, Bastiat shows that there is no fundamental difference between protectionist restrictions and prohibiting usage of the right hand. This allows him to expose all the fallacies around the error consisting of thinking that wealth comes from work rather than the fruits of work.

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