The Law

bastiatIn 1850 Frederic Frédéric Bastiat published The Law, his most famous political writing. Influenced by John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, Bastiat criticizes government for their usage of what he called legal plunder. His argument here focuses on the difference between thievery and thievery preformed by the government. If a man has his private property taken against his will by another person everyone will call that theft. On the other hand, if people vote to have property reapportioned from one man to another group against that man’s will it is considered a legal tax. That is the reason Bastiat calls it legal plunder. It is thievery presented as law by the governing officials. This book is considered to be a major political critique in the world of classical liberalism. The link can be seen in Bastiat’s emphasis on private property and his attacked and a strong centralized government. It is a fantastic book that is worth a read.

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