Bastiat’s essence, therefore, was not that he wrote clearly, for audiences of non-economists, about economics. It was not that he used humor frequently and effectively. It was not that he was a master stylist. No. Bastiat’s distinguishing feature was his tireless effort to defend the case for free markets and free trade from the many vulgar misperceptions that prevent people from seeing the full play of market forces – and, likewise, that prevent them from seeing the full play of political interventions into market.
But that is the aspiration.
Better, as some haggis hunter pointed out, to aspire to what you cannot manage than settle for what you can.