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Physiocrat, member of 18th century French school of economists founded by François Quesnay, who held that agriculture, rather than industry or commerce, was the basis of a nation's prosperity, and that land alone should be subject to tax. The physiocrats' belief in a natural economic law, which merely required non-interference to be successful, is reflected in their famous formula laissez faire (let it be). The physiocrats influenced Adam Smith.

See also: Economics.

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