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Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bastiat: The Law

Take the time to read this classic economic treatise by Frédéric Bastiat as you consider what forms of government, if any, should be created in the post-Collapse autonomous zones.

Excerpts from "The Law" and other works from Bastiat:

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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.
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...Do those worshippers of government believe that free persons will cease to act? Does it follow that if we receive no energy from the law, we shall receive no energy at all? Does it follow that if the law is restricted to the function of protecting the free use of our faculties, we will be unable to use our faculties? Suppose that the law does not force us to follow certain forms of religion, or systems of association, or methods of education, or regulations of labor, or regulations of trade, or plans for charity; does it then follow that we shall eagerly plunge into atheism, hermitary, ignorance, misery, and greed? If we are free, does it follow that we shall no longer recognize the power and goodness of God? Does it follow that we shall then cease to associate with each other, to help each other, to love and succor our unfortunate brothers, to study the secrets of nature, and to strive to improve ourselves to the best of our abilities?
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...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...
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If you prefer video to text, here is an extensive collection of videos about Bastiat's work, including "The Law" in 9 parts.

Freedom is the key value.

In the chaos of the day and to come, never lose sight of that central fact.

(Thanks to Perry Eidelbus for reminding me of Bastiat)

5 Comments:

Blogger Brock Townsend said...

Yes, excellent, and required reading at the 7th grade level of the Robinson Curriculum, a self-taught course.
http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/
In the eight they read his Economic Sophisms, a much longer book.

October 20, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

Excellent argument for liberty and the restraint of law. A must-read for every patriot, and students of history and the law.

October 21, 2009 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger BourneShooter said...

Available for free download here:

http://freeaudio.org/fbastiat/thelaw.html

October 22, 2009 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger BourneShooter said...

Available for free download here:

http://freeaudio.org/fbastiat/thelaw.html

October 22, 2009 at 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was great!

Its too bad that we weren't all taught this in seventh grade. Or any grade...

October 22, 2009 at 4:17 AM  

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