Where is the bold speculator now who would dare to set up a factory or take on a business?
Section 5 of 6
Still considering the consequences of a system where legislation would be defined to the liking of elected representatives and according to their wishful thinking, Frédéric Bastiat warns us about the danger, namely to arouse the lust for power of egocentric psychopaths. This reminds me of the ideas that would be developed a hundred years later by Friedrich von Hayek in its famous Road to Serfdom.
However, even without going all the way to this type of catastrophes for society (or for humanity – the 20th century has shown how this analysis can be premonitory, unfortunately), today’s quote highlights one of the major economic feature of the damages caused by democratic centralism, namely the collapse of innovation. When property rights are not warranted, initiatives are destroyed because of men’s weakness who act in the view of benefiting from their own efforts rather than toil for the benefit of unknown fellows who happen to have the skill to hog the fruits of these efforts.