Communism destroys liberty, for it permits no one to dispose freely of his own labor.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Harmonies

Despite what I erroneously mentioned in my preceding blogpost that pertained to the introduction of this chapter Private Property and Common Wealth, Frédéric Bastiat does not consider that the common wealth of goods is the opposite of property. The main writings in this chapter shows how he sees the part of property diminishing in the production of goods and services while the “common” part, which is “free” (on condition of paying for the private part) and given to the consumer, is increasing. What he means is that productivity gains are systematically transferred to the consumers after a while. Thus, they are not appropriated by the producer (or the owner of an existing good, the relative value of which is going to diminish thanks to economic growth generated through productivity gains).

However, he expects to be misread in his reasoning and underlines therefore that those who will call him a communist are wrong. He explains why there is a difference between value falling into common wealth further to productivity gains and value being forcingly transferred to the common wealth of the people through government coercion. Today’s quote underlines as a forecast the essence of the issues that will be met in the 20th century upon the implementation of communist experiences. Despite what some still consider to be possible, i.e. a communism that respect human beings, arguing that past experiences were not “real” communism, the opposition to private property, which is at the source of communism, requires that liberty be denied, which is why all communist experiences, past, present and future have been and will be a failure.

Other quotes from Private Property and Common Wealth:
Introduction – Development – Conclusion

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