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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The Candlemakers’ Petition, by Frederic Bastiat

We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity for your — what shall we call it? Candlemaker have done so for the purpose of encouraging labor and increasing employment. Skip to main content. The same reason should now induce you to act in the same manner. Do you tell us, that if we gain by this protection, France will not gain, because the petigion must pay the price of it? You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the producer.

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.

Will you say that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of Nature, and that to reject such gifts would bastait to reject wealth itself under the pretext of encouraging the means of acquiring it?

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You reject abstract theories, and have little consideration for cheapness and plenty. Numerous swarms of bees will gather from our mountains the perfumed treasures that today waste their fragrance, like the flowers from which they emanate. Pour un affichage optimal, veuillez activer Javascript dans votre navigateur. These rich and soil-exhausting plants will come at the right time to enable us to avail ourselves of the increased fertility that the rearing of additional cattle will impart to our lands.

The Candlemakers’ Petition | Mises Institute

It is as complete as possible when the producer offers, as the sun does with light, the whole in free gift. We defy you to utter a single word against us which will not instantly rebound against yourselves and your entire policy.


Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you candlema,ers, as you do, foreign coal, iron, wheat, and textiles, in proportion as their price approaches zero, how inconsistent petotion would be to admit the light of the sun, whose price is zero all day long! 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.

The Candlemakers’ Petition

You will tell us that, if we gain by the protection we seek, the country will lose by it, because the consumer must bear the loss. We trust, gentlemen, that you will candlwmakers 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 the manufacturer profits by protection, he will make the farmer prosperous. Will you say that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift, and that to repulse gratuitous gifts, is to repulse riches under pretence of encouraging the means candlemamers obtaining them?

We are hastiat to the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, who enjoys, it would seem, such superior facilities for the production of light, that he is enabled to inundate our national market at so exceedingly reduced a price, that, the moment he makes his appearance, he draws off all custom from us; and thus an important branch of French industry, with all its innumerable ramifications, is suddenly prtition to a state of complete stagnation.

Nature and human labor cooperate in various proportions depending on countries and climates in the production of commodities.

We defy you to utter a word against us that will not instantly rebound against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy. To repulse us, precisely for the reason that our case is a more complete one than any which have preceded it, would be to lay down the following equation: You desire to protect him from foreign competition and reserve the national market for national industry.


You have no longer any right to cite the interest of the consumer. This rival, who is none other than the sun, wages war mercilessly against us, and we suspect that he has been raised up by perfidious Albion good policy nowadaysinasmuch as he displays toward that haughty island a circumspection with which he dispenses in our case.

You have, in obeying the wishes of other monopolists, acted only from a half-motive ; to grant our petition there is a much fuller inducement. Good diplomacy this, for the present time! 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.

Your chief care is the interest of the producer. Unknown translator maybe someone from the FEE. There is, in short, no branch of agriculture which would not be greatly developed by the granting of our petition. You are entirely occupied with the interest of the producer, whom you are anxious to free from foreign competition.

The question is, and we put it formally, petitoin you wish for France the benefit of gratuitous consumption, or the supposed advantages candlemwkers laborious production.

Tags Free Markets Interventionism. We foresee your candlemwkers, 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.

You are on the right road. The same remark applies to navigation.