Gustave de Molinari (3 March 1819 – 28 January 1912) was the leading representative of the laissez-faire school of classical liberalism in France in the second half of the 19th century and was still campaigning 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 meantime.
The Production of Security, an essay by de Molinari, was first published in 1849. According to Murray Rothbard, Molinari was the great innovator in the market provision of security. Indeed, he might be regarded as the first proponent of what is called anarcho-capitalism.
Molinari was steeped in the old liberal worldview of Bastiat and hence was a dedicated champion of private property and free markets. But Molinari took matters further to argue that markets were also better at providing the service that the state claimed was its monopoly privilege: the provision of security itself.
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