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.
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 of obtaining them?
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 cadnlemakers Paris. There is none, not even the poor manufacturer of resin in the midst of his pine forests, nor the miserable miner in his dark dwelling, but who would enjoy an increase of salary and of comforts.
If the manufacturer gains by protection, he will make the agriculturist also a gainer; and if agriculture prospers, it will open a vent petitino manufactures. You have done this to encourage laborto increase the demand for labor. 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 industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation.
Navigation would equally profit.
The Candlemakers’ Petition, by Frederic Bastiat
You are on the right track. The same holds true of shipping. The moment he shows himself, our trade bastit us — all consumers apply candlemakerss him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant. We are subjected 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 reduced to a state of complete stagnation.
This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion excellent diplomacy nowadays! No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Once more, when products such as coal, iron, corn, or textile fabrics are sent us from abroad, and we can acquire them with less labor than if we made them ourselves, the difference is a free gift conferred upon us.
The same remark applies to navigation.
But what shall we say of the manufacture of articles de Paris? Nature and human labor cooperate in various proportions depending on countries and climates in the production of commodities. We foresee your objections, gentlemen, but we know that you can oppose to us none but such as you have picked up from the hastiat works of the partisans of Free Trade. For whenever this has been found to compete with that of the producer, you have invariably sacrificed the first.
And first, if, by shutting out as bstiat as possible all access to natural light, you thus create the necessity for artificial light, is there in France an industrial pursuit which will not, through some connection with this important object, be benefited peyition it?
The Candlemakers’ Petition
Remember that hitherto you have always repelled foreign products, because they approximate more nearly than home products the character of gratuitous gifts. If a Lisbon orange sells for 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.
Numerous swarms of bees will gather from our mountains the perfumed treasures that today waste their fragrance, like the flowers from which they emanate.
If France consumes more tallow, there will have to be more cattle and sheep, and, consequently, we shall see an increase in cleared fields, meat, wool, leather, and especially manure, the basis of all agricultural wealth. View the discussion thread. Thus, also, if the consumer is interested in the admission of candlemalers, we, the producers, pray for its interdiction.
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. How, you say, could national labor sustain the competition of foreign labor, when the first has every thing to do, and the last is rid of half the trouble, the sun taking the rest of the business bastit himself?
Petitkon if this half, being gratuitous, determines you to exclude competition, how should the whole, being gratuitous, induce you to admit competition? You desire to protect him from foreign competition and reserve the national market for national industry.
We defy you to utter a word against us that will not instantly rebound against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy. Indeed, you yourselves have anticipated this objection. 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. If the manufacturer profits by protection, he will make the farmer prosperous. Now, it is precisely on the basis of its being semigratuitous pardon the word that you maintain it should be barred.
If the manufacturer gains by protection, he will cause the agriculturist to gain also; if agriculture prospers, it opens a market for manufactured goods.
Skip bastit main content. Numerous swarms of bees will gather upon our mountains the perfumed treasures, which are now cast upon the winds, useless as the blossoms from which they emanate.