By Murray N. Rothbard
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Extra resources for An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought: Volume I: Economic Thought Before Adam Smith
Force or fraud, as infringements on property rights, were of course considered illegal. The code held explicitly that ignorance of the value of a good by either buyer or seller was insufficient ground for authorities to step in and rescind the voluntarily agreed contract. g. the Visigothic law set forth in the sixth and seventh centuries, and the Bavarian law of the early eighth century. Bavarian law added the explicit provision that a buyer may not rescind a sale because he later decides that the agreed price was too high.
To Tertullian, attack on merchants and money-making was part and parcel of a general philippic against the secular world, which he expected at any moment to founder on the shoals of excess population, so that the earth would soon suffer from 'epidemics, famines, wars, and the earth's opening to swallow whole cities' as a grisly solution to the overpopulation problem. 340-420), educated in Rome but also influenced by the eastern Fathers, took up the theme, proclaiming the fallacy that in trade, one man's gain must be achieved by means of the other man's loss: 'All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain.
Deeply pessimistic, and seeing no hope for a mass movement to correct oppressive government, Lao Tzu counselled the now familiar Taoist path of withdrawal, retreat, and limitation of one's desires. 286 BC) built on the master's ideas of laissez-faire to push them to their logical conclusion: individualist anarchism. The influential Chuang Tzu, a great stylist who wrote in allegorical parables, was therefore the first anarchist in the history of human thought. The highly learned Chuang Tzu was a native of the state of Meng (now probably in Honan province), and also descended from the old aristocracy.