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And because its truths are eternal, it will still be read when another century has passed. Frederic Bastiat was a French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before — and immediately following — the Revolution of February This was the period when France was rapidly turning to complete socialism.
As a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism.
But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic. The Law is here presented again because the same situation exists in America today as in the France of The same socialist-communist ideas and plans that were then adopted in France are now sweeping America.
The explanations and arguments then advanced against socialism by Mr.
Bastiat are — word for word — equally valid today. His ideas deserve a serious hearing. His objective was an accurate rendering of Mr. A nineteenth century translation of The Law, made in in England by an unidentified contemporary of Mr.
Bastiat, was of much value as a check against this translation. In addition, Dean Russell had his work reviewed by Bertrand de Jouvenel, the noted French economist, historian, and author who is also thoroughly familiar with the English language. Russell bears full responsibility for the translation.
The Law The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life. But life cannot maintain itself alone.
The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties.
And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them.
This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course. Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.
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.
What, then, is law?
It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two.
For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality?The main problem with writers like Joe (and to be fair, that’s a Tiny group) is that they destroy the dreams of the rest of us, I’ve always been a pretty good writer and at times I think maybe I should start blogging and try to build an audience, but then you read a Posnanski piece like this and you realise, why bother, I’d just be wasting everyone’s time, why pollute the world with my.
President Obama believes that health care is a right for every American. This is a perversion of the Founding Fathers’ idea of rights. There is an abundance of problems associated with ObamaCare but not enough attention has been paid to the dangerous philosophy behind the law.
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America’s True History of Religious Tolerance The idea that the United States has always been a bastion of religious freedom is reassuring—and utterly .