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.
The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8
Bastiat are — word for word — equally valid today. His ideas deserve a serious hearing. His objective was an accurate rendering of Mr. Bastiat's words and ideas into twentieth century, idiomatic English.
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.
Would you also like to receive exclusive deals from the Mental Floss store and save 15% on your first order? We provide excellent essay writing service 24/7. Enjoy proficient essay writing and custom writing services provided by professional academic writers. This translation of The Law was done by Dean Russell of The Foundation staff. His objective was an accurate rendering of Mr. Bastiat's words and ideas into twentieth. In the English version of the Bible the word Glory, one of the commonest in the Scripture, is used to translate several Hebrew terms in the Old Testament, and the. These three documents, known collectively as the Charters of Freedom, have secured the rights of the American people for more than two and a quarter centuries and are.
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?
And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.
St. Benedict and his Order "One man whose simple genius remains undimmed to this day: Benedict of Nursia. Not only was he considered the father of. The Federalist No. 10 The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued) Daily Advertiser Thursday, November 22, Gun control is not one issue, but many. To some people gun control is a crime issue, to others it is a rights issue. Gun control is a safety issue, an education issue. Deism is a theological theory concerning the relationship between a Creator and the natural world. Deistic viewpoints emerged during the scientific revolution of 17th.
Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights.
Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the Order Popular Personal Essay On Founding Fathers principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?
If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of more info natural right of lawful defense.
It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: A Just and Enduring Government If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that this web page would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed.
It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.
Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. 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.
When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the Order Popular Personal Essay On Founding Fathers for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.
It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread.
We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.
The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities. The Complete Perversion of the Law But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions.
And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it learn more here acted in direct opposition to its own purpose.
The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real Order Popular Personal Essay On Founding Fathers was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others.
It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into click crime, in order to punish lawful defense. How has this perversion of the Order Popular Personal Essay On Founding Fathers been accomplished?
And what have been the results? The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: Let us speak of the first. A Fatal Tendency of Mankind Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people.
And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. But there is also another tendency that is common among people.
When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
Property and Plunder Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder. Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work.
History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it. When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor. It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work.
All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder. But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men.