You will readily agree that people do not immediately satisfy any of their needs with écus.
Part 2 of 4
In this second part, Frédéric Bastiat goes on with his explanations about wealth not being made of money (today’s quote recognises that money allows to buy wealth and that consequently, it does not constitute wealth itself) and the idea that an erroneous interpretation of this leads logically to unfortunate results.
The first consequence is protectionism (that seeks to accumulate precious metals within a jurisdiction), the second is colonialism (that seeks to extend the said jurisdiction – ironically because exchange and wealth creation are favoured by the size of the market) and the third, logically following the first two applied to each and every country, is universal war. To these three predictable outcomes (and please note that they were predicted before being confirmed afterwards, this text having been written in 1849), we can add “hatred of capital” (which will translate into the implementation of communism in the 20th century) and paper money (which is an allegory of inflation going alongside its production and which surpassed all the fears that one could have at the time, when money was still based on precious metals).