Frederic Bastiat Essay

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Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French classical economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years before and after the Revolution of February 1848. 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 fight against socialism drained Bastiat's already fading energy, and by 1850--a mere six years alter his first published article and only two since his election to the National Assembly--he was on his deathbed. But far from being a flash in…show more content…
Many philosophers have made important contributions to the discourse on liberty, Bastiat among them. But Bastiat's greatest contribution is that he took the discourse out of the ivory tower and made ideas on liberty so clear that even the unlettered can understand them. Like others, Bastiat recognized the greatest single threat to liberty is government.
Law, according to Bastiat, "is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense" (pg. 2). Bastiat starts off saying that the basic gifts man has from God, it exists only to do what individuals have a right to do: protect their persons, their liberties and their properties. Bastiat gave the same rationale for government as did our Founders, saying, "Life, liberty and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it is the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." No finer statements of natural or God-given rights have been made than those found in our Declaration of Independence and "The Law." The law was created to ensure that individuals in society were allowed to use these gifts. "Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent" (pg. 12).When the law is used for more than these three goals, the law becomes an instrument of injustice. Similar to the use of the law is abused by the greed and false philanthropy
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