19th century Belgian/French economist, considered the originator of market-anarchism
See also:
  • FreedomPedia
  • Gustave de Molinari

    Gustave de Molinari (3 March 1819 - 28 January 1912) was a political economist and classical liberal theorist born in Belgium associated with French laissez-faire economists such as Frédéric Bastiat and Hippolyte Castille. Living in Paris, in the 1840s, he took part in the Ligue pour la Liberté des Échanges (Free Trade League), animated by Frédéric Bastiat. On his death bed in 1850, Bastiat described Molinari as the continuator of his works. In 1849, shortly after the revolutions of the previous year, Molinari published two works: an essay, 'The Production of Security', and a book, Les Soirées de la Rue Saint-Lazare, describing how a market in justice and protection could advantageously replace the state.


    3 Mar 1819, in Liège, Belgium


    28 Jan 1912, in Adinkerque, Belgium


    Gustave de Molinari, 1819-1912
    Short biography, list of major works and other resources
    "Belgian-born Parisian journalist and radical laissez-faire ultra of the French Liberal School. In the aftermath of the 1848 Revolutions, Molinari launched a journalist campaign against socialists of all stripes. In a controversial 1849 article, Molinari argued that police and even defense should be provided by private companies."
    Life and Works of Gustave de Molinari, by David M. Hart, 1 Jan 2001
    Includes bibliography and works about Molinari
    "Molinari became active in liberal circles when he moved to Paris from his native Belgium in the 1840s to pursue a career as a journalist and political economist and was active in promoting free trade, peace, and the abolition of slavery. His liberalism was based upon the theory of natural rights (especially the right to property and individual liberty) and he advocated complete laissez-faire in economic policy and the ultra-minimal state in politics."

    Web Pages

    Gustave de Molinari - Online Library of Liberty
    Includes photo, short biography and links to various editions of his writings and to selected quotations
    "Gustave de Molinari was born in Liège on March 3, 1819 and died in Adinkerque on January 28, 1912. He was the leading representative of the laissez-faire school of classical liberalism in France in the second half of the 19 th century and was still campaigning against protectionism, statism, militarism, colonialism, and socialism into his 90s on the eve of the First World War. As he said shortly before his death, his classical liberal views had remained the same throughout his long life but the world around him had managed to turn full circle in the meantime."


    Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 25 Jul 2000
    Examines Molinari's conception of the states, including democracies, and their role in defense, as well as his proposal for agencies to provide defense against external aggressors
    "Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was born in Belgium but spent much of his life in France as a member of the French laissez faire liberal school of economists. ... In this radical school of economists Molinari stood out as the most radical. He appears to have been the first writer to draw the conclusion that government could, in effect, be replaced by competing companies or agencies offering to provide security and protection."
    Remembering Gustave de Molinari, by Gary M. Galles, 5 Mar 2005
    Selection of quotes by Molinari on government and individual sovereignty, together with introductory and concluding remarks
    "His role was such that Frederic Bastiat, from his deathbed in 1850, described Molinari as his successor. That conclusion was merited by two strong defenses of liberty he put out in 1849, after France's 1848 revolution (positions which, later, forced him into exile from Napoleon III in his native Belgium): Les Soirees de la rue Sainte-Lazare and "De la Production de la Securite" (The Production of Security) in the Journal des Economistes."
    Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Lengthy biographical essay, covering those who influenced Bastiat as well as those influenced by him, his writings (including correspondence with his friend Félix Coudroy), his roles in the French Constituent and Legistative Assemblies and his legacy
    "[Bastiat] contributed two essays to the Dictionnaire de l'Economie politique (Dictionary of Political Economy), which Ambrose Clement, Charles Coquelin, Horace Say, Gustave de Molinari, and others developed as a means to popularize free-market ideas. ... The glorious French laissez-faire tradition passed into history with the death of Bastiat's friend Gustave de Molinari on January 28, 1912, although Molinari influenced American individualists like Benjamin Tucker, whose radical ideas persist to this day."


    The Production of Security, Journal des Economistes, Feb 1849
    Questions whether the provision of security to citizens should be an exception to the economic principle of free competition, delving into arguments favoring monopolistic and communistic government and concluding with a hypothetical free market example
    "Hence also the creation of establishments whose object is to guarantee to everyone the peaceful possession of his person and his goods. These establishments were called governments. Everywhere, even among the least enlightened tribes, one encounters a government, so universal and urgent is the need for security provided by government. Everywhere, men resign themselves to the most extreme sacrifices rather than do without government and hence security, without realizing that in so doing, they misjudge their alternatives."

    Books Authored

    The Society of To-morrow: A Forecast of Its Political and Economic Organisation, 1899
    Partial contents: Formation of Primitive Communities and the Conditions Necessary to Their Existence - Competition Between Primitive Communities and Its Results - Competition Between States in Process of Civilisation - Decline of Destructive Competition
    Related Topic: Society

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.