The Candlemakers’ Petition. by Frédéric Bastiat (). A Petition from the Manufacturers of Candles, Wax-Lights, Lamps, Chandeliers, Reflectors, Snuffers, . 09/19/Claude Frédéric Bastiat. Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles, Waxlights, Lamps, Candlelights, Street Lamps, Snuffers, Extinguishers, and the. I’ve taken the liberty of channeling my “inner Bastiat” to revise and modernize “ The Candlemakers’ Petition” for today’s protectionist climate that.

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And does it not argue the greatest inconsistency to check as you do the importation of coal, iron, cheese, and goods of foreign manufacture, merely cnadlemakers and even in proportion as their price approaches zero candpemakers, while at the same time you freely admit, and without limitation, the light of the sun, whose price is during the whole day at zero?

But if you take this position, you strike a mortal blow at your own policy; remember that up to now you have always excluded foreign goods because and in proportion as they approximate gratuitous gifts. Navigation would equally profit.

Candlemakers’ Petition – RationalWiki

These rich yet soil-exhausting plants will come at just the right time to enable us to put to profitable use the increased fertility that the breeding of cattle will impart to the land. If you urge that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift candlenakers nature, and that to reject such gifts is to candlemakees wealth itself under pretense of encouraging the means of acquiring it, we would caution you against giving a death-blow to your own policy.

We defy you to utter a word against us that will not instantly candlemakerz against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy. Thus, there is not one branch of agriculture that would not undergo a great expansion.

We shall say, then, your practice — your practice without theory and without principle.

The part canclemakers Nature contributes is always free of charge; it is the part contributed by human labour that constitutes value and is paid for.

The question, and we ask it formally, is this: The same reason should now induce you to act in the same manner. Now it is precisely on account of this demi-gratuity excuse the word that you argue in favor of exclusion.

The Candlemakers’ Petition

No poor resinier from his heights on the seacoast, no coal miner from the depth of his sable gallery, but will rejoice in higher wages and increased prosperity. If more tallow be consumed, there will arise a necessity for an increase of cattle and sheep.


You have only half as good a reason for complying with the demands of other monopolists as you have for granting our petition, which is in complete accord with your established policy; and to reject our demands precisely because they are better founded than anyone else’s would be tantamount to accepting the equation: To take another example: View the discussion thread. Gentlemen, if you will be pleased to reflect, you cannot fail to be convinced that there is perhaps not one Frenchman, from the opulent stockholder of Anzin down to the poorest vendor of matches, who is not interested in the success of our petition.

It is the quarter, the half, or the three-quarters of the value of the produce, in proportion as the foreign merchant requires the three-quarters, the half, or the quarter of the price. You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the producer. You reject abstract theories and have little regard for abundance and low prices.

We are about to offer you an admirable opportunity of applying your — what shall we call it? If you were consistent, you would, while excluding as hurtful to native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude a fortiori and with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous.

Choose, but candlemwkers consistent. In this belief we are confirmed by the fact that in all his transactions with this proud island, he is much more moderate and careful than with us.

No; nothing is more deceptive than theory — your doctrine?

The part nature executes is always gratuitous; it is the part executed by human labor that constitutes value and is paid for. When a product — coal, iron, wheat, or textiles — comes to us from abroad, and when we can acquire it for less labour than if we produced it ourselves, the difference is a gratuitous gift that is conferred up on us. Will you say that the light pegition the sun is a gratuitous gift of Nature, and that to reject such gifts would be to reject wealth itself under the pretext of encouraging the means of acquiring it?

If you confer upon us the monopoly of furnishing light during the day, first of all we shall purchase quantities of tallow, coals, oils, resinous substances, wax, alcohol — besides silver, iron, bronze, crystal — to carry on our manufactures; and then we, and those who furnish us with such commodities, having become rich will consume a great deal and impart prosperity to all the other branches of our national industry.

You say, How can national labor candlemwkers competition with foreign labor, when the former has all the work to do, and the latter only does one-half, the sun supplying the remainder?


Again, when any article, as coal, iron, cheese, or cloth, comes to us from foreign countries with less labor than if we produced it ourselves, the difference in price is a gratuitous gift conferred upon us; and the gift is more candlemkaers less considerable, according as the difference is greater or less. Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you exclude, as you do, coal, iron, corn, foreign fabrics, in proportion as their price approximates to zero, what inconsistency it would be to admit the light of the sun, the price of which is already at zero during the entire day!

Thus, also, if the consumer is interested in the admission of light, we, the producers, petigion for its interdiction. You are entirely occupied with the interest of the producer, whom you are anxious to free from foreign competition. This rival, who is no other than the sun, carries on so bitter a war against us, that we have every reason to believe that he has been excited to this course by our perfidious neighbor England.

You have done this to encourage laborto increase the demand for labor.

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The portion of Nature is always gratuitous; that of labor alone regulates the price. Nature and human labor cooperate in various proportions depending on petitkon and climates in the production of commodities.

If the manufacturer profits by protection, he will make the farmer prosperous. We pray your honorable body not to mistake our petition for a satire, nor to repulse us without at least hearing the bzstiat which we have to advance in its favor.

The Candlemakers’ Petition, by Frederic Bastiat

When, therefore, we purchase a Portuguese orange, we may say that we obtain it half gratuitously and half by the right of labor; in other words, at half price compared to those of Paris. 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 petotion whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation.

You wish to free him from foreign competition, that is, to reserve the domestic market for domestic industry.

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