FREE CREDIT

It is harmful to the lender, since when he needs to take out a loan he becomes a victim of the same (kind of) plunder.

Charles-François Chevé
Letter No. 1
F.C. Chevé to F. Bastiat

Free Credit is a collection of fourteen letters that were also published under the name Interest and Principal by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in response to the publication of Capital and Rent by Frédéric Bastiat.

The first of these letters is from Charles-François Chevé who was a journalist at the Voix du Peuple. His objective was to take the arguments published in Capital and Rent one by one in order to conclude on the necessity of abolishing rent (or interest), which is the exact opposite to the conclusion of Frédéric Bastiat. Obviously, Chevé was convinced about the iniquity of interest and the arguments from Bastiat only drove him mad to the point of blinding him. His arguments are of little value, in the vein of today’s quote, which is an answer to the argument saying that interest is beneficial to the borrower rather than to the lender only, and which consists in saying that plunder harms the plunderer because the latter could well be a victim of plunder himself if he were plundered instead of plundering. This makes absolutely no sense and explains without doubt why, further to Frédéric Bastiat’s answer, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon became the one who took the pen to keep the debate going.

Other quotes from Free Credit:
First letter – Second letter – Third letter – Fourth letter – Fifth letter – Sixth letter – Seventh letter

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