In defence of a free society: public consensus and moral conviction required
“The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skilfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.” ~ Frédéric Bastiat
Frédéric Bastiat (France, 1801–1850) wrote with urgency and passion for the free society. He knew that political systems are not enough to preserve freedom. We need public consensus that comes from practical and moral conviction.
Bastiat wrote the parable of the candlemakers' petition: Candlemakers and tallow producers lobby the Chamber of Deputies to block out the Sun to prevent its unfair competition with their products. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) obviously took the story as a blueprint – let’s make the world governments block out carbon dioxide. The attempt is impossible and will destroy us all, but we’ll do it anyway.
From Economic Harmonies:
“We cannot doubt that self-interest is the mainspring of human nature. It must be clearly understood that this word is used here to designate a universal, incontestable fact, resulting from the nature of man, and not an adverse judgment, as would be the word selfishness.”