There is not a man on earth whose lot has not been determined by billions of facts over which he himself had no control;

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Harmonies

This chapter on solidarity is unfinished. I will not spend too much time on it, notably because the usage of the word seems to have evolved considerably to the extent that it is becoming difficult to avoid misinterpretations on this topic. Indeed, it seems to be that the way Frédéric Bastiat saw it was more or less what we call today economic externalities.

 It is in such a context that I read today’s quote. We all benefit and suffer from an umpteen number of positive and negative externalities. As a consequence, it may be appropriate to correct their faults by what we call today solidarity but it is not as obvious as it seems. It is literally impossible to correct them all and, as we all benefit and suffer from these, it may be wiser to ignore them. I do not have the answer to what should be the extent of legal solidarity. My intuition is that, as for most of the current legislation, it should be reduced but I am in no position to know if it should be outright abolished because the problem of externalities is particularly complex.

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