Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Candlemaker's Petition

This is an audio version of Bastiat's famous satire, "The Candlemaker's Petition," where he pleads for the French government to protect France's domestic candle industry from unfair, low-cost foreign competition: the sun.

Bastiat's petition was published in 1845, and it is still effective as a brief but damning exposé of the self-serving logic of protectionism.

An excerpt...

" We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion (excellent diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because he has for that haughty island a respect that he does not show for us."

You can print and read your own copy here.

You can down download a free audio version from

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