I have never doubted that the socialists have led astray many generous hearts and sincere minds.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Harmonies

Following Frédéric Bastiat, I never doubted that a large number of individuals who think that socialism offer an adequate answer to the faults of society are sincere. Indeed, I used to think I was a socialist before I discovered I was a liberal myself.

In this very short chapter (obviously unfinished), Frédéric Bastiat exposes the mistake of the socialists that consists in thinking that, since there is suffering in society that is not shared by all in the same way, it is possible to respond to it politically. He also takes the opportunity to expose the lack of respect of those who think so towards opponents who expose their “solutions”.

No, there is not always a solution and there is no reason why the ones that look adequate at first sight may not be opposed because of the side effects it can produce. Unfortunately, a choice always implies costs (not necessarily financial costs) against the expected benefits. Moreover, the expected benefits may end up not being met.

I have come to a point where I do respect those who do not think like I do and are seduced by the allure of politicians who promise the earth, as soon as they are able to respect me as well. However, I have much less respect for politicians who are born liars et promise the moon, either by ignorance or by contempt towards the truth (who in my opinion, constitute the majority of those who obtain a platform to get elected).

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