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Welcome to Matt Ridley's Blog
Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

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Bastiat: Freedom and Optimism

A journalism prize to celebrate Frederic Bastiat

Frederic Bastiat's writings are full of brilliant rebukes against the restriction of trade, and the curtailment of human happiness such restrictions always bring. But it is in a discussion around the state funding of the arts that Bastiat most clearly articulates the pessimism behind the bureaucratic state and the life-enhancing optimism of those who believe in human freedom.

Our adversaries consider that an activity which is neither aided by supplies, nor regulated by government, is an activity destroyed. We think just the contrary. Their faith is in the legislator, not in mankind; ours is in mankind, not in the legislator.

The latest evidence for the rationality of such optimism can, of course, be found in my book.

I am a judge for this year's Bastiat Prize for Journalism, which rewards modern-day writers in his spirit. Entries must be in by 30 June, so there are still a few days left to enter. Entry form and full details here: http://www.policynetwork.net/bastiat-2010-announcement