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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Now it is precisely on account of this demi-gratuity excuse the word that you argue in favor of exclusion. You reject abstract theories and have little regard for abundance and low prices. The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us — all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely candlemakrs.

The question is, and we put it formally, whether you wish for France the benefit of gratuitous consumption, or the supposed advantages of laborious production. Our heaths will be covered with candlemakrrs trees.

Candlemakers’ Petition

It is a quarter, a half, or three-quarters of the value of the product if the foreigner asks of us only three-quarters, one-half, or one-quarter as high a price. And, first, if you shut up as much as possible all access to natural light, and create a demand for artificial light, which of our French manufactures will not be encouraged by it?

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

Numerous swarms of bees will gather from our mountains the perfumed treasures that today waste their fragrance, like the flowers from which they emanate. We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with candlemakera, we are proud to say, we have endowed the bstiat, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.

But what candlemalers we say of the specialities of Parisian manufacture? But you do not like doctrines; you hold systems in horror; and, as for principles, you declare that there are no such things in political economy.

Remember that hitherto you have always repelled foreign products, because they approximate more nearly than home products the character of gratuitous gifts. Labour and Nature collaborate in varying proportions, depending upon the country and the climate, in the production of a commodity. You say, How can national labor sustain competition with foreign labor, when the former has all candlemakerz work to do, and the latter only does one-half, the sun supplying the remainder?


The Candlemakers’ Petition | Mises Institute

We foresee your objections, gentlemen; but there is not one that you can oppose to us which you will not be obliged to gather from the works of the partisans of free trade. Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you ban, as you do, foreign coal, iron, wheat, and textiles, in proportion as their price approaches zero, how inconsistent it would be to admit the light of the sun, whose price is zero all day long! You wish to free him from foreign competition, that is, to reserve the domestic market for domestic industry.

No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. The question, and we pose it formally, is whether what you desire for France is the benefit of consumption free of charge or the alleged advantages of onerous production.

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.

This plant, luxuriant and exhausting to the soil, will come in good time to profit by the increased fertility which the raising of cattle will have communicated to our fields. Nature and human labor cooperate in various proportions depending on countries and climates in the production of commodities. When an orange comes to us from Portugal, we may conclude that it is furnished in part gratuitously, in part for an onerous consideration; in other words, it comes to us at half price as compared with those of Paris.

Tags Free Markets Interventionism.

The Candlemakers’ Petition

If more tallow is consumed, then there must be more oxen and sheep; and, consequently, we shall behold the multiplication of meadows, meat, wool, hides, and above all, manure, which is the basis and foundation of all agricultural wealth. To repulse us, precisely candlmeakers the reason that our case is a more complete one than any candlmakers have preceded it, would be to lay down the following equation: When, therefore, petution 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 dare challenge you to pronounce one word against our petition, which is not equally opposed to your own practice and the principle which guides your policy.

Articles de Paris are objects specifically manufactured cadlemakers Paris. But you dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice — your practice without theory and without principle. Indeed, you yourselves have anticipated this objection. You have yourselves obviated this objection.

First, if you shut off as much as possible all access to natural light, and thereby create a need for artificial light, what industry in France will not ultimately be encouraged? You are on the right road. It is as perfect and complete as it can be when the donor like the sun in furnishing us with light asks us for nothing.

We trust, gentlemen, that you will not regard this our request as a satire, or refuse it without at least first hearing the reasons which we have to urge in its support. If more oil is consumed, then we shall have an extended cultivation of the poppy, of the olive, and of rape. You are entirely occupied with the interest of the producer, whom you are anxious to free from foreign competition. For the same reason you ought to do so this time too. Thus, when an orange reaches us from Portugal, one can say that it is given to us half free of charge, or, in other words, at half price as compared with those from Paris.

There is none, not even the poor manufacturer of resin in the midst of his pine forests, nor the miserable miner in his petitionn dwelling, but who would enjoy an increase of salary and of comforts. Now, it is precisely this semigratuity pardon the word that we contend should be excluded.

If a Lisbon orange sells cadnlemakers half the price of a Paris orange, it is because natural, and consequently gratuitous, heat does for one what artificial, and therefore expensive, heat must do for the other.