It must be tough to be a French libertarian, if there even are any. Ive never met one, but maybe they exist. I like to say that French politics consists of ten socialists parties, a globalist party, and a nationalist party. The country itself is a mix of deep socialism and traditonalism. So deeply tangled up in regulations and taxes that several books could be written about, its a wonder they even have an economy. What ever happened to the land that gave us the great Frederic Bastiat?
In truth, he never really got off the ground in the first place. His childhood was beset by a series of family deaths, but he eventually got into intellectualism when his grandfather bequeathed him money. He entered politics in the 1830s and was elected to the national assembly in 1848 and 1849. He was a liberal, when libertarians were called liberals and socialists were outside in the streets promoting anarchy. However, he was also acquainted with Proudhon and the two debated. Bastiat published a few works in the late 1840s and then died of tuberculosis in 1850. He never got to promote his work much, and the French Liberal School faded away. Today, the great economist is hardly even known outside of Austrian school circles, but his work formed the basis of many novel concepts, such as opportunity cost, and his many parables to explain economic misconceptions.
As is well known, France is undergoing a presidential election that will greatly influence its direction for the next five years. However, the choice is a bit grim. The expected winner is Emmanuel Macron, a socialist pretending to be a centrist who once worked for the infamous Rothschilds. He is the globalist favored candidate and basically wants to maintain the status quo. His opponent is the nationalist Marine Le Pen, who wants to leave the EU, cut immigration, and expand welfare programs, which throws shade on her portrayal as a far right candidate. France has a two round runoff system, so the other candidates were knocked out. An extremely far left candidate Melechon came in fourth last round. He wanted to massively move France towards Greek and Venezuelan style governance, but also wanted to leave the EU. Third place was the original frontrunner Francois Fillon, probably one of the most economically libertarian candidates in France in some time. He actually wanted to cut taxes and regulations! Sacre bleu. Unfortunately, he was torpedoed by some ridiculous scandals.
Its a tough choice, but if theres any hope, at least Le Pen wants to end the anti-liberal EU (yes, it is not at all liberal) and prevent the immigration of those who would vote more socialist than even the French. And there is an inkling of evidence that she is not as economically socialist as she portrays. Unfortunately, she needs to appeal to the great French left, many of whom are considering just sitting this one out. She is unlikely to win, but if she breaks 40%, that is a partial victory and will help her party in the June parliament elections. And perhaps one day, the French will learn about economics. Maybe we need to crowdfund the distribution of French copies of What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen. At least it wont need to be translated!