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The Law
 
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The Law [Format Kindle]

Frederick Bastiat

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This book has been specifically formated for the Amazon Kindle.

The Law, first published as a pamphlet in June, 1850. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) 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 1848. 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.

Book Description

And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law -- which necessarily requires the use of force -- rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 94 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 60 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1419168878
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Editeur : Misbach Enterprises (1 juin 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001B5VPXY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  344 commentaires
312 internautes sur 334 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Should be required reading in Washington, D.C. 31 janvier 2006
Par Penfist - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
What book is is important enough that I read it once a year? The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Written in 1848 as a response to socialism in France, this book essay is just as relevant today as it was then.

"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. 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 same 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 the 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: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all."

My copy of The Law is filled with highlighted yellow phrases. Among them:

"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 has 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 purpose 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 a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.

Every legislator should be forced to read Bastiat's The Law once a month for their entire term and write a synopsis of how they have upheld the ideas contained within it. The tome should be taught in our school systems. It should be drilled into every citizen's head from birth until death."

When he was alive, Bastiat called the United States the one nation in the world that came close to applying law in a just manner. If he could visit us today, he would puke all over the steps of Congress. He would barf in the halls of the White House. He would upchuck in lobbyists offices all over Washington, D.C. When he was done throwing up, I do believe Bastiat would start a revolution.

He would definitely take on our current system of governance because we're turning into Socialism Lite 'Less Filling, More Taxes.'

"Socialists look upon people as raw material to be formed into social combinations. This is so true that, if by chance, the socialists have any doubts about the success of these combinations, they will demand that a small portion of mankind be set aside to experiment upon. The popular idea of trying all systems is well known. And one socialist leader has been known seriously to demand that the Constituent Assembly give him a small district with all its inhabitants, to try his experiments upon.

In the same manner, an inventor makes a model before he constructs the full-sized machine; the chemist wastes some chemicals - the farmer wastes some seeds and land - to try out an idea.

But what a difference there is between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his elements, between the farmer and his seeds! And in all sincerity, the socialist thinks that there is the same difference between him and mankind!

It is no wonder that the writers of the nineteenth century look upon society as an artificial creation of the legislator's genius. This idea - the fruit of classical education - has taken possession of all the intellectuals and famous writers of our country. To these intellectuals and writers, the relationship between persons and the legislator appears to be the same as the relationship between the clay and the potter.

Moreover, even where they have consented to recognize a principle of action in the heart of man - and a principle of discernment in man's intellect - they have considered these gifts from God to be fatal gifts. They have thought that persons, under the impulse of these two gifts, would fatally tend to ruin themselves. They assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange."

Read The Law. It will change all your assumptions about what the role of government should be in your life in only 76 pages. When you're done, make your friends read The Law. If they won't, stop being friends with them. Send a copy to your Representatives and Congressmen and ask them what the hell they think they're doing with this country of ours.
69 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Concise, Powerful, Elegant Defense of Liberty and the Law 11 août 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
When I read F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," I thought I had read the most inspired and compelling book ever to discredit socialism and other collective-isms. I was wrong...very wrong. I cannot believe Bastiat wrote "The Law" in the middle of the 19th century since it has so much applicability to the 20th (and soon to be 21st) century. If ever there was a concise and powerful argument for defending Liberty and the Law against every social engineer, this has to be it (only 75 pages!). Bastiat is a master of words and the analogy. Every lover of freedom who wishes to get a nutshell understanding of why Liberty and Law matters ought to read this book. Every enemy of freedom (e.g. liberals, socialists, communists, etc.) ought to fear it.
61 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A 19th Century Writer Gives Birth To 21st Century Ideology 24 mai 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Fredric Bastiat was a 19th century French law-maker, economist and author. He wrote a number of highly technical works of economic theory, books that are still considered valuable contributions to free-market economic thought. But his least technical work, a pamphlet called The Law, has proven to be perhaps his most enduring from a modern political standpoint.
Written in 1850, just two years after the French Revolution of 1848, the Law is part treatise and part polemic, an appeal to the French people reminding them of the proper sphere of the law and government and begging them to turn away from their descent into socialism. The Law is also a summary of much of what Bastiat considered to be important from his own work; at the time The Law was written he was very sick, and he would be dead within a year of its publication. As a French patriot, Bastiat was deeply moved by the disintegration he saw in French society.
As the last vestiges of the class-society were replaced and the new "democratic" order was being instituted, the State was more and more being used as a means by which groups of citizens (special interests) could plunder one another through taxes, transfer payments, tariffs, etc, committing what Bastiat calls "legal plunder." As he saw it, the law was being perverted into a so-called "creative" entity, through which controlling groups would seek to enforce their particular agendas at the expense and through the pocketbooks of the people in general.
Bastiat argues that the law should be properly viewed as the formal embodiment of Force. That is, human laws should be the organized and formal construction of justice. Just law, he says, is nothing more than the organization of the human right to self-defense. This is a surprisingly narrow definition, perhaps almost too narrow to be truly useful. But I can imagine that Bastiat wouldn't have seen much moral value in the philosophy of pragmatism; he certainly would have made a bad present-day politician, a "flaw" which I find highly admirable.
Bastiat is revered by many modern libertarians as one of the founding fathers of their ideology, and rightly so. But it seems to me that his work is more accurately anarcho-capitalist than libertarian. To say that Bastiat is arguing for "limited" government is a gross understatement. In fact, Bastiat seems instead to be arguing for the abolition of most all of what today we would call The Government. Many libertarians, for example, probably wouldn't argue the abolition of all forms of taxation on moral grounds. Personally I appreciate his definition of plunder as "...tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on..."
Obviously although Bastiat may not share the views of modern libertarians in every respect, they have much to respect in him. And of course, the average economic and social liberal won't care for him at all, as he makes a special point of going after the vast majority of liberal sacred cows. But more surprisingly, the Religious Right should be wary of taking Bastiat on as too great of an ally. Although Bastiat and his book have been instrumental in forming many right-wing/libertarian ideas about free markets and the proper role of government, Bastiat argues forcefully against the use of the law as a tool for the shaping of moral values. Jerry Falwell and Bastiat are notably out of step with one another. I can imagine that Bastiat would not have much use for the Congressional institution of days of prayer, or for teacher-led prayer in the public schools he so despised, for anti-drug and pro-abstinence programs, or for the ministerial functions that many politicians have sought to usurp.
Conservatives have an unfortunate habit of revering political figures. But as Bastiat says, "There are too many 'great' men in the world--legislators, organizers, do-gooders, leaders of the people, fathers of nations, and so on, and so on. Too many persons place themselves above mankind; they make a career of organizing it, patronizing it, and ruling it."
Bastiat didn't believe in the inherent value of rulers of men. Many conservatives hope that their sons will grow up to be leaders in a political sense. Bastiat believed that we would be better served if more people sought to be useful, productive, inventive and moral, instead of trying to lead all the rest of society. Society will function much more desirably when we relinquish the desire for power over our fellow men, and instead seek power over our own actions.
Although Bastiat's views on law and government may be too simplistic and dated to be implemented literally in a modern society, I believe that there is still much instruction to be had from this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in developing an understanding of the roots of modern libertarian thought.
80 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Translation from Seven Treasures Seems Poor 16 juillet 2009
Par Michael D. Roy - Publié sur Amazon.com
The translation (the original was in French), from Seven Treasures Publications, doesn't ring as true as the translation by Dean Russell, of the Foundation for Economic Education.
Compare these two translations:

(from the Feb 6, 2009 edition from Seven Treasures Publications):
"Existence, faculties, assimilation - in other words, personality, liberty, property - this is man. It is of these three things that it may be said, apart from all the demagogue subtlety, that they are anterior and superior to all human legislation."

(from the Dean Russell translation):
"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."

As stated in the 15th printing of the Foundation for Economic Education edition, "A nineteenth century translation of The Law, made in 1853 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 thoroughly familiar with the English language."

I recommend the Russell translation from the FEE. Hopefully, Amazon will sell it soon.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great introduction to Libertarian Philosophy 11 juillet 2000
Par Steven Tursi - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Frederick Bastiat was a French Farmer in the first half of the 19th century who watched his country's government assume more and more power. That is what I thought made this book unique - In the first paragraph, he states his intent of the book to be an "alert" to his countrymen - which is probably why the book is so emotional as well as succinct.
Bastiat manages to describe the purpose of "law," from a religious standpoint, in the first 3-4 pages. The rest of the book is mostly specific details of how his description of the proper purpose of the law has been thwarted in France in 1850. Many of the same principals apply today.
For three bucks and an hour of your time, this book is guaranteed to engage you and make you think. In my experience, its ability to persuade people is uncanny.
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&quote;
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. &quote;
Marqué par 613 utilisateurs Kindle
&quote;
When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. &quote;
Marqué par 513 utilisateurs Kindle
&quote;
The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. &quote;
Marqué par 456 utilisateurs Kindle

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