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Respect the French


It is nice to see Frédéric Bastiat cited in the Telegraph, and the "seen/unseen" point to be spreading more widely.  But Tim Worstall couldn't be more wrong in saying that Bastiat was "the only Frenchman who ever really understood economics."

As can be learned from Murray Rothbard's Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Bastiat was but one eminent representative of  a "pre-Austrian" French tradition of outstanding economic pioneers that went back to Tracy, Say, and Turgot.  That might even be extended to the founder of economics, Richard Cantillon, who wrote in French, but was of Irish extraction.

And don't forget the outstanding French liberals who Ralph Raico covers so well in chapters 5 and 6 of his Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School.

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