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Libertarian Activism in France

Libertarian Activism in France

By: Gilles Laurent

In France, the libertarian movement is small. Many people turn to socialism, communism or nationalism according to the result of the last presidential election. The candidate of the "Parti Socialiste" (the equivalent of your democratic party but more leftist on economics than yours) won the election, the candidate of the "Front de Gauche" (communist party) did 11% and the "Front National" (nationalism and protectionism party) did 18%. We, the libertarians, did not have a  candidate because we needed 500 signatures from 500 mayors. It's very difficult to obtain these signatures because we want to stop the subsidies that mayors receive from the state to do some projects in their cities. So, we are small but we are here and we are very energetic like Ernest Hancock in his radio show :-) and we have some projects to make progress on our libertarians ideas.


Recently, we launched the Bastiat2012 project. The idea is to present our candidate for the presidential election, Frédéric Bastiat, the famous French economist and deputy in the 19th century. We created a website with a political program, with his old texts, we did a book with his best texts, we put signs about him in the street in different places (Paris, Strasbourg, Rennes, Colmar, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence etc...)

we distributed flyers, we did a political campaign like for a real candidate. Our slogan was " A dead candidate can be better than our living candidates". We also did a "What if" video inspired by the "What if Ron Paul" video (you can have English subtitles by clicking CC)
Et si nous avions fait fausse route depuis 60 ans ?
This video had great success.


At the same time, we created a Facebook page "France for Ron Paul 2012" to inform French people about the Ron Paul campaign and his ideas of liberty. We translated some of Ron Paul's speeches and videos. Our biggest work was the translation of the documentary "For Liberty", a great success with 10,000 views : 
Qui est Ron Paul ? For Liberty Re-cut - Ron Paul 2012 DVD (French subtitles)
Finally we did a real website : RonPaulFrance.Fr


For some projects we simply copy you, our Americans friends, because your movement is advanced compared at ours. So when I saw the website and the dime card project, I realized immediately that is a genius idea to explain the concept of inflation, including neophyte people in economics and people who are not in the libertarian movement. You can see the face value and the real value in silver. The difference is the steal by inflation. So I contacted the team to ask how to do the dime cards. And 3 months later, I realized my French dime cards with old French coins in silver. Around the French dime card that I named "carte franche" (a translation meaning frank card or honest card), I did a website to explain very simply the concept of inflation. I named this website (monnaie saine means sound money)


In France, I think that the most important libertarian project is Contrepoints.Org. Contrepoints was created in 2010 with the observation that there was no libertarian media in France. "Internet is a dream tool because you can do a lot with very little money" says Lexington, one of the website's founders from association. The name Contrepoints is an allusion to the magazine Contrepoint, a 70's magazine with Raymond Aron. Now there are roughly 100 writers voluntarily who write articles about actuality and libertarianism for Contrepoints.Org . In 30 months, the website is a success and has over 500 000 page views by month. There is too a youtube channel Contrepoints-TV : . The next step is the professionalization of the project.


Pulp Libéralisme is an initiation book between a book and a comic. The idea is to explain very simply the classical liberalism and Austrian Economics school ideas. The book is divided into 36 chapters where each chapter answers to a libertarianism cliché. On each page there are  simple explanations, a quotation from a libertarian author, and a humoristic picture from an old American comic whose bubbles had been modified.  The book is available on or on Amazon.


"Libres" means "Free" in French. Libres! is a book written by 100 authors. Each author made a double page article on a particular subject with a libertarian view. The authors are very different, there are University Professors, businessmen, students, secretaries, lawyers, etc... and there are very different subjects, such as education, drugs, money, immigration, poker legislation etc... The book will be available in September 2012 on or Amazon.

Here is a link to Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock on 06-05-12 where Ernest interviews Gilles and his friend and fellow activist, Edouard Hesse (or watch on video archive below):

Gilles Laurent is a French libertarian activist. He is the creator of the French Dime Card Project, creator of the webpage LaMonnaiesaine.Org (La Monnaie Saine means The Sound Money), and he also did the French translation of the Silver Calculator App. You can visit him on his facebook page at Facebook.Com/GillesLaurent67

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