История на икономическата мисъл

Accent on the Right

Автор(и) : Leonard E. Read

Издател : Foundation for Economic Education

Място на издаване : New York, USA

Година на издаване : 1968

Брой страници : 114

Език : английски


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"DEDICATION of a book is a writer's way of paying respect to someone, or of acknowledging a devoted helper, or of honoring a loved one - and, as a rule, the tribute is to a contemporary. Why, then, my dedication to Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)?
First, Bastiat is one of my heroes. I am unaware of anyone who saw more clearly through the political fog than he and who more brilliantly and copiously revealed his insights.
And what integrity! For instance, his re-election to the Chamber of Deputies was in grave doubt: his constitutents had observed that he voted now with the Left and then with the Right, giving the appearance of inconsistency. This was his defense, ""I have not made an alliance with anyone; I have not joined either side. On each question I have voted according to my own conscience."" He was re-elected.
Second, and unconventionally, I think of Bastiat as a contemporary, for he does in fact live on. The fruits of his fertile mind are better known in the U.S.A. today than at any time since he began to write nearly a century and a ha l f ago-perhaps more widely understood and shared he r e than ever in his own country. This is an important kind of immortality.
However, I pay tribute to Bastiat primarily to portray a truth we so sorely need to recognize. Most antisocialists, frustrated by what goes on, and impatiently looking for immediate remedies, repeatedly resort to useless short cuts. They want action now! And get nothing for their pains, absolutely nothing except, perhaps, discouragement! The hard fact is that the trend lines in social thinking do not alter their direction much less reverse themselves - at your insistence or mine, however voluble. These trends, particularly when headed toward social decline, move with a ne a r inexorable force and are changed, if at all, by starter stuff - leaven-or , if I may coin a term, intellectual incubation."

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