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Molinari, Custave de (1819–1912)

Gustave de Molinari, the leading representative of the laissez-faire school of classical liberalism in France in the second half of the 19th century, continued to campaign against protectionism, statism, militarism, colonialism, and socialism into his 90s on the eve of the First World War. As he said shortly before his death, his classical liberal views had remained the same throughout his long life, but the world around him had managed to turn full circle in the meanwhile.

Molinari became active in liberal circles when he moved to Paris from his native Belgium in the 1840s to pursue a career as a journalist and political economist. He quickly became active in promoting free trade, peace, and the abolition of slavery. His liberalism was based on a ...

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