Civilisation has Had its Day (English translation)


(Original Italian publication, 20.4.2013: L’IndipendenzaMovimento Libertario – Catallaxy Institute)

“Banking secrecy has had its day,” declared Pierre Moscovici, the French minister for the economy, in support of the attempt by the governments of ten (for now) European countries to put in place, “possibly within the year,” as the La Stampa newspaper reported, “a multilateral platform for the automatic exchange of bank account information which will make it possible to effectively curb tax evasion.” The history of principles that have ‘had their day’ is a long one and it invariably marches to the beat of the States’ ever-increasing need for cash.

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Solidarity vs ‘Social Solidarity’


(Original publication: Catallaxy Institute)

Frédéric Bastiat who, in addition to being an economist and a philosopher, was in my opinion also one of the greatest poets of liberty, wrote this: «Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: “Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second half of your program will destroy the first”. In fact, it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot» [Bastiat, F., 2007,The Bastiat Collection (Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Auburn), Vol. 1, p. 62].

In these very few lines Bastiat makes the following three points Continue reading