Frederic Bastiat was a French classical liberal who sat in the National Assembly after the Revolution of 1848. But while today classical liberalism is largely associated with the political Right in American politics, in 19th century France Bastiat sat on the Left side of the Assembly with the socialists in opposition to the monarchists.
Bastiat, who came from a long line of merchants, was particularly frustrated with French mercantilism, the idea that domestic industry ought to be protected from cheaper foreign competition. It’s a bad idea that won’t die, but I suppose we have mercantilists to thank for inspiring this witty, little satire.
Here’s a link to Sean’s friend’s medical fundraising page.
Here’s a link to next episode’s reading from Lenin on imperialism.