Quotes

Frederic Bastiat quotes from his book “The Law”

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”

“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.”

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

“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.”

“The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose–that it may violate property instead of protecting it–then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder.”

“The mission of law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even thought the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit.
Its mission is to protect property.”

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.

“I believe that my theory is correct; for whatever be the question upon which I am arguing, whether it be religious, philosophical, political, or economical; whether it affects well-being, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, property, labor, exchange, capital,
wages, taxes, population, credit, or Government; at whatever point of the scientific horizon I start from, I invariably come to the same thing—the solution of the social problem is in liberty.”

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