The Law

The Law How is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which if undertaken by individuals would land them in jail

How is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which, if undertaken by individuals, would land them in jail These are among the most intriguing issues in political and economic philosophy More specifically, the problem of law that itself violates law is an insurmountable conundrHow is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which, if undertaken by individuals, would land them in jail These are among the most intriguing issues in political and economic philosophy More specifically, the problem of law that itself violates law is an insurmountable conundrum of all statist philosophies The problem has never been discussed so profoundly and passionately as in this essay by Frederic Bastiat from 1850 The essay might have been written today It applies in ever way to our own time, which is precisely why so many people credit this one essay for showing them the light of liberty Bastiat s essay here is timeless because applies whenever and wherever the state assumes unto itself different rules and different laws from that by which it expects other people to live And so we have this legendary essay, written in a white heat against the leaders of 19th century France, the reading of which has shocked millions out of their toleration of despotism This new edition from the Mises Institute revives a glorious translation that has been out of print for a hundred years, one that circulated in Britain in the generation that followed Bastiat s death This newly available translation provides new insight into Bastiat s argument It is a sophisticated, substantial, and precise rendering than any in print The que

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The Law

  1. Claude Fr d ric Bastiat 29 June 1801 24 December 1850 was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.

728 Reply to “The Law”

  1. 6.0 stars The newest member of my list of All Time Favorite books I can not believe I have never read or until somewhat recently heard of this classic of limited government and libertarian political philospophy Bastiat s message is cleare only proper role of the law i.e government is to safeguard the individualsrightto his her life, liberty and property Any actions by the government beyond this limited sphere will actually act to violate the rights of one group at the expense of another A few in [...]



  2. the same situation exists in America today as in the France of 1848Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons Rather, it may call upon them for help Limited legal plunder This system prevailed when the right [...]


  3. While I agree with Bastiat entirely, the way that he has presented the classic blueprint for a just society, is exactly why people who lean towards socialist ideas scoff at those who are for capitalism, economic stability, and most importantly honoring the fundamentals of the need for law to protect life, liberty, and property.The first chapter started out wonderfully, articulately and simple It was accessible and easy to understand and apply I was excited as I hoped to share this with my husba [...]


  4. By a Frenchman, approximately one hundred years ago The impenetrable sealed protection of the fraternity of legal practitioners The unnatural force of the purveyors of jurisprudence, who will decimate, tout de suite, any person or any organization that gets in its way, with impunity The visceral disdain silently sizzling by the subjected, to the omnipotent machine s gears, locked and spinning, reducing all commoners to the lowest level of human comportment A hopeless doctrine for laissez faire g [...]


  5. I believe EVERYONE should read this short little book It so clearly states what the law government should do, and what the law should not do If someone desires FREEDOM in their life, they should take to heart what is presented in this very readable book While written in 1850 by a Frenchman , I have never found a clear, succinct writing on this subject.It is in from this book that I learned an appropriate phrase for taxes Legal Plunder I understand now how individuals can not give to the governm [...]


  6. My husband and I have agreed that this is an important enough book that everyone in the whole world should read it If our government officials understood this book our budget would be far balanced I am not even close to a political or any kind of economist but this book was very readable and I understood it all Quote The state is a great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.


  7. Having been greatly encouraged by some libertarian friends to read The Law by Fr d ric Bastiat, I finally got around to reading it today, and if I were to simplify my impressions of it in as few words as possible, it would be an anti communist manifesto In fact, the book s structure, style, methodology, and zealotry are almost identical in form and potency Like Marx s Communist manifesto, it starts out by stating ideals which it assumes all members of society to hold in common, describes how suc [...]


  8. I listened to this as an Audiobook and just now remembered that I have not added it to my collection This is a reminder that I need to read it in print It s a foundational book for anyone interested in the philosophy of Politics with a capital P and wanting to understand whence comes any legitimacy of the Law itself Hint Much of what purports now to be legitimate law is not, per Bastiat Only the truly heroic dare flout it, but the rest of us obey illegitimate law only out of fear of the conseque [...]


  9. This is a great little book on law, government, and politics Its main goal is to refute the socialist claim that one can create equality through the law When law is given a goal other than its proper one, defense of rights through force, it becomes an instrument for plunder and destruction Instead of creating equality, it ends up destroying property, liberty, and on occasion, life itself Two goals drive that strive greed and false philathropy.Bastiat also argues that almost every politician in o [...]


  10. Am I a libertarian Umat s a difficult question for someone like me to answer I am quite open about my political views,as many naturally are, it s just that they re so hard to pin down I m not really left wing, and God knows I ll never be right wing, so I ve always obviously and correctly assumed I was somewhere in the middle Where exactly in the middle I am is mostly a mystery to myself as of now, but I do feel as if I am approaching the controversial libertarian movement s alluring belief syste [...]


  11. An amazing little pamphlet, and a must read and re read Clear and concise, this book explains the proper relationship between law and liberty, and predicts the perversion of the law The law has been perverted through the influence of two very different causes naked greed and misconceivedphilanthropy i.e good intentions.Letting Bastiat talk about the law Nothing, therefore, can be evident than this The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense it is the substitution of colle [...]


  12. Bastiat has written a potent and concise summary of 19th century classical liberalism The book, really an essay, offers a tenable and tenacious defence of constitutional liberty It is a rhetorical masterpiece and a passionate, straightforward postulation of a clear moral world view that privileges individual liberty over various socialist usurpations of government power, i.e the committing of a legal crime, towards the furthering of minority or majority interests Although I disagree on some of t [...]


  13. 155650 Every time I read this book I can t help but wish that everyone I know would take the time to study the principles within Great book Let me say that again, great book A must have in every home, office, bathroom, car, backpack, library and shelf.


  14. I really enjoyed his plain, easy to understand explanation of law and the logical development of his views A must read


  15. Fiery, passionate writing that actually makes sense How can it not be five stars And how dare we expect less from the great Mr Bastiat His message really is simple that the law is made to protect individual liberty so by God, why should it be used for any other purpose It is not because men have made laws, that personality, liberty, and property exist On the contrary, it is because personality, liberty, and property exist beforehand, that men make laws What, then, is law It is the collective org [...]


  16. review The Law was originally published in French in 1850 by Frederic Bastiat It was written two years after the third French Revolution of 1848 From Claude Fr d ric Bastiat 29 June 1801 24 December 1850 was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost Bastiat was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, France When he was nine years old, he was orphaned and became a ward of his pa [...]


  17. Quotes Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack.Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain and since labor is pain in itself it follows that men will resort [...]


  18. Written by TJ Lawrence Tuesday, 09 February 2010 01 52 The Law, a book authored by French economist, politician and political theorist Frederic Bastiat was originally published as a pamphlet in the final year of Bastiat s life having died in December of 1850 while suffering from tuberculosis The Law, originally written in French during a time when France was rapidly turning into complete Socialism was entitled La Loi, the book has been translated into English, published several times since its o [...]


  19. THE MORE CORRUPT THE STATE, THE MORE NUMEROUS THE LAWS TACITUSThere are certain books which drastically change the way you look at the world They will shook you down, call you a fool at your face, pass a quiver through your spine and give you goose bumps This is one such book.Although written in the 19th century, every word this book utters, holds good even today It is a strong argument put forth to defend the Liberty of man The author chides away every attempt to apply the instrument of law to [...]


  20. Indulge me, M Basitat, and imagine yourself in a society where the law is but the criminal code, for that is what you propose in your pamphlet or should I call it an essay Imagine a society where you are free to do everything except that which violates the persons liberty and property Am I missing something Let us make a bargain I will sell you the beans land makes over the next Y years for a sum of money, X.Scenario 1 war breaks out and the price of beans increases, I give you X back and sell t [...]


  21. A must read for anybody who wants to defend individual liberty or for those who consider themselves well versed in political philosophy.Written in 1850, this short book reads like a response to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and all other political pundits Bastiat uses easy to understand examples to counteract the problems of collectivism, socialism and government intervention The Law is perverted and the only way to restore it from abuse as a tool for legal plunder, whereby everybody lives at the expens [...]


  22. The Law exists in a comical realm of fringe reality While reading this, I had this thought, Libertarianism only exists in a world without causation Basically, this reality can only exist in a world where no other interactions take place This is similar to all extreme ideologies, be it Communism or Milton Friedman s version of Capitalism Like those concepts, The Law fails to take into account human nature in the slightest Better yet, it fails to take in the realities of the natural world Libertar [...]


  23. This short book provides one of the most succinct explanations of what the relationship between law and freedom should be that I have found so far It is a must read of anyone who values their freedom, which should be you Here are some gems It is not because men have made laws, that personality, liberty, and property exist On the contrary, it is because personality, liberty, and property exist beforehand, that men make laws Hence come an infinite multitude of plans for organization teriffs, prote [...]


  24. This short essay is one of the best arguments on the purpose of law and government that I have ever read Though it was first published in 1850, you might think it came out of the mind of some present day Tea Party conservative or the Heritage Foundation think tank In a nutshell, Bastiat presents the purpose of law all law Law is justice Just that, nothing Its proper mission is to protect the people, and to secure to them the possession of their property Any government legislature that seeks to [...]


  25. This booklet was originally published in 1850 Bastiat is all about liberty and personal freedom, about limiting the scope of government involvement in people s lives, about not sculpting society to the grandiose schemes of socialists and politicians I m with him all the way I m not a great historian so I m sure my perspective is shallow, but I was surprised that the issues he discusses were so prevalent in 1850 I hadn t ever considered that So in addition to appreciating his clear observations o [...]


  26. Same issues we face with creeping socialism were denounced in 1850 by this man in France But how is this legal plunder to be identified Quite simply See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile sou [...]


  27. Concise and graceful, The Law attacks the malevolent underpinnings of socialism and comes to the defence of negative liberty at a time when it seemed to be on the brink of being overwhelmed Bastiat, as both a member of the National Assembly in revolutionary France and proponent of free market economics, was both relentless and factual in his Malthusian outlook on the state of European political economy Definitely worth a read to libertarians moderate and extreme, as well as those who wish to und [...]


  28. This is a book that should be read by every American citizen, especially in an election cycle in which both sides are interested in getting their bully elected in order to extort from others for their interests In the words of J R R Tolkien, e proper study of Man is anything but Man and the most improper job of any man, even saints who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on , is bossing other men Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.


  29. This book must be read by everyone, short and sweet Many things he said were the most well thought out propositons that I ve ever read, and prophetic When you buy yours get and extra and give it away.Bastiats logic is keen, his views were right on the money.Many of the things he said would happen because of this or that policy have and are happening as I write this He lived in France long ago but the economic rules for then and now haven t change.


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