How Is The Law Perverted?   1 comment

Frederik Bastiat was a contemporary with Alexis de Toqueville and they both came from France. Both were admirers of the United States who noted risks to that wonderful experiment in constitutional republicanism with democratic features. While Toqueville focused on the United States in the most familiar of his writing, Bastiat focused on France while touching on the United States system.  I find Bastiat’s writing to be prescient. He spoke to his own time and society, but he could have been addressing his comments to American circa 2017.

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Image result for image of the law pervertedBastiat was a contemporary with Alexis de Toqueville and they both came from France. Both were admirers of the United States who noted risks to that wonderful experiment in constitutional republicanism with democratic features. While Toqueville focused on the United States in the most familiar of his writing, Bastiat focused on France while touching on the United States system.  I find Bastiat’s writing to be prescient. He spoke to his own time and society, but he could have been addressing his comments to American circa 2017.

How was the perversion of the law accomplished and what has resulted from it?

Bastiat named the perversive forces boldly:

  • naked greed
  • misconceived philanthropy.

Self-preservation and development are normal goals for humans. Intelligent active people enjoy social progress and that’s a net good. Unfortunately, it’s also fairly normal for humans to be greedy. We can look to history to see the wars, migrations of races, sectarian conflicts, slavery, trade frauds and monopolies which emanate from greed. It’s part of the character of humankind.

Man can only derive life and enjoyment from a perpetual search and appropriation; that is, from a perpetual application of his faculties to objects, or from labor. This is the origin of property.

But freed aimed at the seizing and appropriating the produce of others is the origin of plunder. Labor is hard, so people naturally want to avoid the difficulty, so plunder seems as a logical alternative.

Plunder ceases when it becomes more burdensome and more dangerous than labor. The proper aim of the law is to oppose plunder with the collective force to protect property from plunder.

Unfortunately, legislators are no less greedy than other people. This explains the “almost universal perversion of law.” Instead of being a check on injustice, the law becomes its most invincible instrument, as the legislature turns personal independence into slavery, liberty into oppression and property is confiscated by plunder.

It’s also natural for people to fight against injustice that victimizes them.

When, therefore, plunder is organized by law, for the profit of those who perpetrate it, all the plundered classes tend, either by peaceful or revolutionary means, to enter in some way into the manufacturing of laws.

What these classes seek through the exercise of their political rights is, either:

  • to end lawful plunder, or,
  • take part in it.

When the second one becomes the goal of the collective, the nation is in serious trouble.

 

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One response to “How Is The Law Perverted?

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  1. Reblogged this on Let me give YOU the Moe-down.

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