09/28/2018 Tocqueville Lecture Series - David Hart: “The ‘Seen’ and the ‘Unseen’ Bastiat: Some Reflections on Editing His Work and His Continuing Relevance for Today”
Dr. Hart’s presentation will address three things that have come out of ten years of working on the Bastiat Translation Project for Liberty Fund. The first concerns editorial and translation problems that inevitably arise when one attempts to translate texts of highly specialized nature (economic theory) written over 170 years ago. The second concerns the fact that Bastiat was a member of an important school of economic thought, the “Paris School” of political economy, which is not well known to us today. Bastiat and a small group with whom he was affiliated, the so-called “Four Musketeers” of political economy, were highly original thinkers who were ahead of their time in areas such as free banking, the private provision of public goods, and subjective value theory and the pure logic of choice. The third aspect addressed by the talk will deal with the continuing relevance of Bastiat’s thought 168 years after his death, especially his witty refutation of protectionist ideas (in the age of Trump) and the many hard-hitting anti-socialist pamphlets he wrote during the Second Republic (in the age of Bernie Sanders).